News bulletin 36:
News bulletin 36: 12 Sep 2017

Is concrete getting a bad ‘wrap’?
The ABC’s 4 Corners’ recent episode Combustible included Builders Collective president Phil Dwyer talking about the recent building cladding issues, adding ”most people think they’ve got a concrete building”. He blamed government regulations for failures. You can watch the program and or read its transcript.

Celebrating success
GHD has reported record earnings growth beyond the one billion dollar mark and has been named in the AFR’s list of Australia’s top private companies on the back of opening another office in NZ.

Concrete’s time in the sun
Engineering and architecture students at Washington University have built a concrete precast solar house for this year’s US Solar Decathlon in October. A/Prof Hongxi Yin argues that while the manufacturing process of concrete may emit carbon dioxide, its inherent longevity and thermal properties “can successfully offset those emissions”.

Development of new panels
NSW has recently passed the Environmental Planning and Assessment and Electoral Legislation Amendment (Planning Panels and Enforcement) Bill 2017 legislation that introduces new local planning panels for the Greater Sydney Region and Wollongong. The four-member panels will come into effect early next year and comprise different experts who will decide on Development Applications.

Getting down but not dirty
Boral is using a particular type of washout system to clean concrete delivery truck drums that carry concrete to the NorthConnex 9.5 km tunnels in Sydney’s north. NorthConnex will use about 160,000 m³ of concrete for structural and non-structural elements and an additional 200,000 m³ will line the tunnels. The system is designed to reduce concrete cross-contamination.

A green light for the alley
An ambitious mixed-used development set to revitalise Parramatta’s ‘Auto Alley’ has been given the go-ahead by the Sydney West Planning Panel. It will include multiple residential towers of 30-40 storeys; two 10-storey commercial buildings; a high-end hotel; thousands of square metres of public open space and parking for over 1000 vehicles.

Image: Shotcreting in the NorthConnex tunnel. Source: Drumblaster.