Probing the mysteries of cracks and stresses
Probing the mysteries of cracks and stresses22 Feb 2018

Diving into a pool from a few feet up allows you to enter the water smoothly and painlessly, but jumping from a bridge can lead to a fatal impact. The water is the same in each case, so why is the effect of hitting its surface so different?

This seemingly basic question is at the heart of complex research by a team in MIT’s Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE) that studied how materials react to stresses, including impacts. The findings could ultimately help explain phenomena as varied as the breakdown of concrete under sudden stress and the effects of corrosion on various metal surfaces. More...

New Standard (Methods of testing concrete)
New Standard (Methods of testing concrete)21 Feb 2018

This Standard sets out a method for the securing, preparing and testing of cylindrical core specimens (cores) from hardened concrete for the determination of compressive strength and mass per unit volume.

Publication Number: AS 1012.14
Title: Methods of testing concrete - Method for securing and testing cores from hardened concrete for compressive strength
Publishing Date: 21/02/2018
Project Committee: BD-042 Methods Of Testing Concrete


News bulletin-7:
News bulletin-7: 20 Feb 2018

Meinhardt has welcomed Glenn Platt, a civil engineer with more than 28 years’ experience, as its new state manager and national infrastructure leader in Victoria. Another people move is Gus Elliot, whose experience in infrastructure and project delivery, has led to his appointment as chief operating officer project support for BGC Contracting.

And McConnell Dowell has announced changes to its executive team and operating model with the internal appointment of Vito Trantino to the newly created position of executive general manager engineer, technology and innovation.

Other news out of McConnell Dowell this week is the company was awarded a $40 million contract by the South Australia Government for detailed design, planning and site inspections ahead of bridge, culvert, road widening and intersection upgrades across regional SA.

Hansen Yuncken has been awarded the City Art Gallery Project that will form part of the City of Gold Coast’s Cultural Precinct Development.

Researchers at Tomsk Polytechnic University along with specialists from NTC Tekhnika have proposed thermal non-destructive testing to inspect reinforced concrete supports to enable efficient detection of corrosion of steel reinforcement hidden behind the concrete shell of supporting rail structures.

The church of Saint Jacques de la Lande, featuring a sculptural composition of intersecting concrete forms, is the first to be built in Brittany (France) in the 21st century. It was designed by 84-year-old Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza Vieira.

Image: Saint Jacques de la Lande in France.  Photographer: João Morgado.

Concrete pipes offer space for microhome tube housing of the future
Concrete pipes offer space for microhome tube housing of the future16 Feb 2018

The tubes are designed to accommodate one or two people, including a living room with a bench that converts into a bed, a mini-fridge, a bathroom, a shower and storage space for clothes and personal items. whilst extremely heavy, perhaps the main USP is that they require little in terms of installation and can be easily secured to one another, reducing installation costs and offering an efficient way to constructing new builds... More

Construction prototype for ultra-thin concrete roof
Construction prototype for ultra-thin concrete roof14 Feb 2018

A prototype for an ultra-thin, sinuous concrete roof using innovative design and fabrication methods has been designed and built by researchers from the ETH Zürich. The shell is part of a roof-top apartment unit called HiLo that is planned to be built next year on the NEST, the living lab building of Empa and Eawag in Dübendorf...More

News bulletin-6:
News bulletin-6: 13 Feb 2018

Life cycle engineers at Lehigh University have incorporated, for the first time, the three most common failure modes for bridges vulnerable to floods, hurricanes and tsunamis, into a risk assessment framework to optimise retrofitting strategies.

Roma Agrawal, an engineer from the UK says “structural engineers are unsung heroes” and believes her type of job doesn’t get the credit it deserves: “People appreciate that they live in a warm building or have bridges to cross, but they don’t appreciate how they came to be there.”

Researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research and Kuwait University have created a material that mixes pulverised volcanic rock with traditional cement. The material, based on calculations published online this week in the Journal of Cleaner Production, would take 16% less energy to construct a neighbourhood of 26 concrete buildings.

Enjoy images from an exhibition at Chicago's Gallery 400 titled 'Félix Candela's Concrete Shells: An Engineered Architecture for México and Chicago', based on the research of Juan Ignacio del Cueto.

Image source:


Kingdom Tower: The structural system and how it was developed
Kingdom Tower: The structural system and how it was developed9 Feb 2018

The architectural constraints, most particularly the building program and use, are primary drivers for any structural system selection. During the early stages of the competition phase, it became clear that as matter of risk management for this first-of-its-kind tower, the structural system should fundamentally build on the success of the recently completed Burj Khalifa, but refining and improving on those elements of the system proved to be more problematical during the construction and realization of the Dubai tower....More


News bulletin-5:
News bulletin-5: 6 Feb 2018

John Holland has tackled the issue of gender pay equity by adjusting the salary of 15% of women employees that were identified as being paid less than their male colleagues across the business. CEO Joe Barr said the employees’ incomes had been increased immediately. He added that John Holland intends to lead the way in the construction sector in eliminating the pay gap and by including flexibility and wellbeing in its work practices.

A development application has been approved for construction of a $347 million medical specialist rehab centre in Brisbane’s north. The preferred tenderer is Australian Unity and it will be built in partnership with the Queensland Government. The centre is part of the $1.1 billion Herston Quarter redevelopment.

Institute Bronze Member AECOM has released a global report, The Future of Infrastructure, which is the result of a survey of 509 civil infrastructure professionals across Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America. Results of the survey included rethinking project design and delivery; changes in legislation and innovative funding models; and future proofing networks and systems.

CPB Contractors has been selected to design and construct the Gunyama Park Aquatic and Recreation Centre in inner Sydney. Construction is expected to commence this year and conclude in 2019.

Image: John Holland is tackling the gender pay gap. Source J

Can concrete conquer air pollution?
Can concrete conquer air pollution?5 Feb 2018

In 2014, the Stony Brook researchers showed that powdered concrete can react with nitrogen oxides, often called NOx. These pollutants contribute to the formation of smog, a type of lung-choking pollution. NOx also can play a role in turning rainfall acidic. This can damage crops, buildings and more. But cement contains calcium compounds. And they will react with NOx, pulling them out of the air, Ramakrishnan and a colleague showed.

Curious, the team decided to see if concrete would do the same thing to another major air pollutant released by fossil fuel burning: sulfur dioxide...More

Luminous Cement Could Light Roads, Structures
Luminous Cement Could Light Roads, Structures1 Feb 2018

By using additives, scientists are able to prevent the formation of crystals that occur normally during the production of cement, creating a material with a noncrystalline structure—similar to glass—that allows passage of light inside...More

News bulletin-4:
News bulletin-4: 30 Jan 2018

Expressions of Interest are now open to complete Melbourne’s M80 Ring Road Upgrade. The final upgrades include a 4 km section between Sydney Rd and Edgars Rd, and a 2 km section between Plenty Rd and the Greensborough Hwy. Construction is expected to begin later this year and conclude late 2021.

Institute Silver Member Arcadis has won the tender to carry out planning work for the Tenterfield Heavy Vehicle Bypass out of a competitive shortlist of six, the RMS said. The bypass will start north of the Tenterfield Creek Bridge, run west of the railway corridor and re-join the existing highway near Cowper St.

Seymour Whyte has commenced launching steel trusses as part of its construction of Australia’s longest single span pedestrian/cyclist bridge, located in Western Sydney. The company is working with Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), Institute Silver Member Freyssinet, and Civmec to design, manufacture, transport and launch all eight 25 m x 8 m sections of the main span truss.

A consortium led by Grocon has been selected to deliver Central Barangaroo by the Barangaroo Delivery Authority. The consortium will create and deliver a mixed use development across the 5.2 ha waterfront site that will provide a link between Barangaroo Reserve in the north and Barangaroo South fronting Sydney Harbour.

Prof Martin Loosemore, advisor on workplace productivity and reform to the Cole Royal Commission into the Building and Construction Industry and a member of the government’s Built Environment Industry Innovation Council asks Construction productivity: are we measuring the wrong thing?

Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) has announced CEO Brendan Lyon’s successor who will start in the role at the end of March.

Image: The M80 Ring Road. Source: Vic Road

L.A. Gives Notice to Owners of Older Concrete Structures About Seismic Retrofits
L.A. Gives Notice to Owners of Older Concrete Structures About Seismic Retrofits26 Jan 2018

The L.A. retrofit ordinance, which also includes requirements for weak first-story wood-framed buildings, was the first of its kind in the U.S.

The buildings department expects the ordinance’s nonductile concrete sections, which give owners 25 years to retrofit or raze, to apply to some 1,200 buildings. To date, though more may be listed, “the majority of the buildings have been identified,” says Luke Zamperini, chief inspector and public information officer for the buildings department...More 

News bulletin-3:
News bulletin-3: 23 Jan 2018

Arup has been awarded the design contract for the $158 million Brisbane International Cruise Terminal that will include detailed design and analysis of a 200 metre-long wharf, a 9300 m² terminal building and landside civil works.

Acciona Australia has won the US$400 million contract to build the new Cebu-Cordova Bridge in the Philippines, to be carried out in partnership with First Balfour Inc and D.M. Consunji Inc.

Tasmania’s Premier and Minister for Infrastructure, Rene Hidding, has said the Bridgewater Bridge business case submitted to Infrastructure Australia provides a compelling case for a new four-lane highway-speed link between Brooker Highway and Midland Highway across the Derwent River.

University researchers in the US have been working on self-healing concrete that uses fungi as a healing agent to fix bridges.

Concrete water pipes in Hong Kong have been turned into modular housing. The prototype, known as the OPod Tube House, features pods that are just over eight feet wide, each with 1000 ft² space for one or two people and plenty of natural light.

Image: Cebu-Cordova Bridge illustration. Source: Dissing+Weitlin

Graphene-Based Concrete Admixture
Graphene-Based Concrete Admixture18 Jan 2018

Researchers from Australia have developed a graphene-cement matrix with enhanced strength and durability through the incorporation of graphene oxide. They mixed 0.05 to 0.07 wt.% of GO with Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) and tested various parameters as highlighted. Tested results showed improvement flexural strength of an OPC matrix from 41% to 59% and compressive strength from 15% to 33% .... More

News bulletin-2:
News bulletin-2: 16 Jan 2018

The Australian Industry Group has released the key findings of the December 2017 Australian Performance of Construction Index that shows the 11th straight month of expansion with overall slowing of growth.

Institute Bronze Member Wagners has confirmed via the ASX the company is in negotiations with Adani to construct an airport for fly-in fly-out workers for the Carmichael Coal Mine in Queensland.

A new Australian Building and Construction Commissioner has been appointed to replace Nigel Hadgkiss and will start his tenure in early February.

A series of abstracts for articles on concrete research have been released that will be published in February.

The Minister for International Development and the Pacific has publicly accused China of funding useless infrastructure projects in the Pacific.

Image: Wagners built the Wellcamp Airport west of Brisbane

Roman recipe for world's most durable concrete -
Roman recipe for world's most durable concrete - 15 Jan 2018

Scientists have uncovered the chemistry behind how Roman sea walls and harbour piers resisted the elements, and what modern engineers could learn from it.

Romans built their sea walls from a mixture of lime (calcium oxide), volcanic rocks and volcanic ash, a study, published in the journal American Mineralogist, found.

Scientists previously discovered Roman concrete contained aluminous tobermorite, a rare mineral that is hard to produce.More...


News bulletin-1:
News bulletin-1: 9 Jan 2018

Hickory Group has congratulated Shan Kumar, Principal Engineer, Innovations, Research & Development, on his Honorary Doctorate from Swinburne University that recognises his 30 years in the construction industry.

A review into the Grenfell Tower fire disaster has called for a “major culture change” in the UK’s building industry with the interim report saying that regulation of fire safety in high-rise buildings is “not fit for purpose”.

An industry report into concrete product manufacturing in Australia has found that increasing import competition has caused revenues to decline despite a modest increase in domestic demand over the last five years.

Australian contractors in concrete services are expected to rake in $8.2 billion in revenue in 2017-18, with demand for new housing and apartment construction forecast to strengthen from 2019-20 onward.

The total spend on construction projects in the US in the latest figures for November show the country reached an all-time high at US$1,257.0 billion, which was also the fourth consecutive monthly gain.

MIT students fortify concrete by adding recycled plastic
MIT students fortify concrete by adding recycled plastic19 Dec 2017

Discarded plastic bottles could one day be used to build stronger, more flexible concrete structures, from sidewalks and street barriers, to buildings and bridges, according to a new study.
MIT undergraduate students have found that, by exposing plastic flakes to small, harmless doses of gamma radiation, then pulverizing the flakes into a fine powder, they can mix the irradiated plastic with cement paste and fly ash to produce concrete that is up to 15 percent stronger than conventional concrete.
“There is a huge amount of plastic that is landfilled every year,” says Michael Short, an assistant professor in MIT’s Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering. “Our technology takes plastic out of the landfill, locks it up in concrete, and also uses less cement to make the concrete, which makes fewer carbon dioxide emissions. This has the potential to pull plastic landfill waste out of the landfill and into buildings, where it could actually help to make them stronger.”


Queensland Branch - 2018 Seminar Program -
Queensland Branch - 2018 Seminar Program - 14 Dec 2017

Please note the schedule is subject to change so keep your eye on the Qld page for up to date details.

 20th February  Innovative Award Winning Projects
 20th March  The Challenges of Marine Concrete
 17th April

 Concrete Floors and Pavements

 22nd May  Raw Materials
 19th  June  Concrete Inspection and Testing
 24th July  Project Specific
 28th August  Networking Event
 25th September  Impact on Concrete Performance
 23rd October  Precast - Offsite construction, anchoring and 
rapid construction
 20th November  Post Tensioning
Note: Seminar topics and dates may change.
Please check the Events page of the CIA website to keep up-to-date

News bulletin 49:
News bulletin 49: 12 Dec 2017

The Robert Bird Group has been wholly acquired by Surbana Jurong, one of Asia’s largest consultancies. The Brisbane-based international company has 600 staff and is part of the Singapore group’s growth strategy that saw it purchase infrastructure consultancy SMEC Holdings last year.

Institute Bronze Member AECOM is set to work with technology firm HTC to develop and extend the reach of virtual reality to benefit the engineering and construction industries.

Meinhardt have been appointed the civil engineers for the $2 billion redevelopment of the Moonee Valley Racecourse into an urban precinct which will include a new grandstand and community, business and recreation facilities.

No need to go for gold when you can go for jobs with our Silver Members! Arcadis has roles for a senior sustainability engineer, pavements engineer, and a senior durability engineer. Cardno is looking for a civil & urban team leader while GHD has advertised for a senior engineering project manager. Project managers are being sought by Calibre Consulting for underground utilities/services and water infrastructure delivery and they’re also after a buildings and structures manager.

The Darlington Upgrade Project delivery team, which includes Laing O’Rourke and Fulton Hogan, have successfully manoeuvred a 3000 t 180 m bridge into place without a hitch over the weekend. The bridge in SA was constructed on adjacent land and moved into place with self-propelled modular transporters.

The New Zealand Transport Agency has released a time-lapse video of the construction of Christchurch’s Memorial Avenue Gateway Bridge, condensing two years into two minutes.

Image: The Darlington Upgrade Project in South Australia. Source: SA Govt.

News bulletin 48:
News bulletin 48: 5 Dec 2017

Many pedestrian bridges have experienced dramatic vibrations and wobbling when crowds have tried to cross them, e.g. the London Millennium Bridge began to sway on its opening day in 2000 and had to be closed while the Squibb Park Bridge in NY bounced sideways as pedestrians crossed in 2014, not reopening until this year. This movement could be reduced by using biomechanically inspired models of pedestrian response to bridge motion and a mathematical formula to estimate the critical crowd size at which bridge wobbling begins, according to a study by Georgia State University.

Institute Silver Member Cardno has received an Urban Design Award along with joint entrants John Graham and BVN for the Gold Coast Sports and Leisure Centre. Cardno provided civil engineering, hydrology, landscape and geotechnical consulting. Other consultants on this project included Bligh Tanner, ARUP, Hansen Yuncken, and Aurecon.

Following the failure of the Oroville Dam spillway in the US earlier this year, construction engineering firm Kiewit was hired by California’s Department of Water Resources (DWR) to rebuild and reinforce it. However hairline cracks were detected in October when curing coverings places over the erosion-resistant concrete slabs were removed. The DWR investigated and explained the cracks were the result of “some of the design elements” and “are not abnormal” however not everyone agrees.

A development application has been lodged for a 55-storey commercial tower between George and Pitt Streets in Sydney by new Institute Gold Member, Lendlease. The development will include a mixed-use podium, public spaces and expanded laneways. Lendlease has also partnered with one of Japan’s largest property companies to work on Melbourne Quarter’s first residential building, the 44-storey East Tower.

On the Forrestfield Airport Link in Perth work is underway at Wright Crescent to build an emergency egress shaft. 35 linear metres of D-walls that are up to 36 metres deep are expected to be constructed in two months.

Image: Thomas Porostocky via Georgia State University.

News bulletin 47:
News bulletin 47: 28 Nov 2017

Australia’s engineering industry is very active with continuing staffing demand and vacancies, according to the Hays Global Skills Index for October-December 2017. The report highlights work demand hot spots and what type of engineers and workers are needed, including structural and civil.

New Institute Gold Member Lendlease is also celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2018 and is calling on past colleagues or those who knew people who worked for the company (Civil & Civic in the 1960s-1980s) to share their stories.

The level of construction work has spiked for a second straight quarter, outpacing market expectations, JP Morgan says. The figures have been bolstered by a 33% surge in engineering work, including roads and bridges.

The Beach Apartments on the Gold Coast have been completed, Multiplex has announced. Standing at 108 m high, construction included 15,510 cubic metres of concrete sourced from local supplier Hymix. Construction in the area has picked up ahead of the Commonwealth Games next year.

Watch this presentation on Victoria Gate Shopping Centre in Leeds UK held at Café Concrete in October. It gives fascinating insights into the project that won an award for the best shopping centre in the world earlier this year. There’s also a video of behind the scenes from 2016.

Image: The Beach Apartments. Source: Multiple

Project Profile - Prefabricated Concrete for the Song School, J Woodside Consulting and SA Precast
Project Profile - Prefabricated Concrete for the Song School, J Woodside Consulting and SA Precast23 Nov 2017

The Institute is very pleased to introduce our final project profile, and winner of both the Commercial Buildings project category and the Kevin Cavanagh Trophy for outstanding excellence in concrete – Prefabricated Concrete for the Song School by J Woodside Consulting and SA Precast!

The Song School is a two-storey concrete building, designed by Palassis Architects for the choirs of St George’s Cathedral and the Anglican Diocese of Perth. The building is partly underground to minimise the footprint and maintain existing sightlines.

The lower floor included prefabricated concrete curved beams internally together with an exposed prefabricated concrete external wall at the Eastern end, with vertical slots and glazed to provide light into the lower area.

From the lower level, a series of U-shaped prefabricated columns support a series of prefabricated concrete vaulted arches at the first floor which forms a colonnade with access from the lower level to the upper level. On top of the vaulted units, there are two curved and sloping prefabricated concrete spires.

The prefabricated concrete elements for the Song School at the St George’s Cathedral are made with a white concrete with an off form sandblasted finish. They represent excellence in prefabricated concrete and ability to achieve the shape and form that the architect has specified.

SA Precast and J Woodside Consulting combined to produce a workable solution to the architect’s concept and in its final shape and form and erection has been admired by all involved.

As the documentation had to be significantly changed there was considerable input into details and connections to achieve a workable solution. This also included bracing of the precast elements on the site.

There is no doubt this project has pushed the boundaries of precast concrete, and we look forward to seeing more projects from SA Precast and J Woodside Consulting!

News bulletin 46:
News bulletin 46: 21 Nov 2017

Hong Kong’s anti-corruption watchdog has charged 19 laboratory staff working for a government contractor over faking concrete test reports for the multibillion-dollar Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge (HZMB).

York Civil has announced the opening of the first 10 km of its Pacific Highway Upgrade: Woolgoolga to Halfway Creek project. The project included extensive concrete pavement works, drainage and fauna crossing structures and construction of 11 bridges.

A five-tonne replica of Brisbane’s Story Bridge has been built by engineering students for Constructionarium Australia’s project, sponsored by Downer which has historic involvement in the bridge’s build. In Aurecon’s Bridge Building Competition, designed to support STEM skills, 250 schools participated.

More than one piece of concrete has fallen 40 storeys from the roof of a development in Singapore into a playground. The developer said lightning was the cause, a claim refuted by the local council. A piece of concrete has also fallen from a light rail transit project in Jakarta while a large piece of concrete has also fallen from a five-year-old bridge in Oklahoma.

The WA Government has release a tender for the Metronet project for an engineering consultancy and land use planning consultancy to collaborate with the Metronet team, operational consultant and key stakeholders to overall lead and co-ordinate the Options Study Analysis for the Morley-Ellenbrook Line.


Project Profile - Wandoo B Concrete Gravity Structure, GHD & Vermilion Oil and Gas Australia
Project Profile - Wandoo B Concrete Gravity Structure, GHD & Vermilion Oil and Gas Australia14 Nov 2017

This year we received a range of technology and innovation projects entered into our Awards for Excellence Program, each pushing the boundaries of concrete. The 13 project entries that were entered demonstrated innovation in its finest form - exploring theory, materials, processes, systems and technology that has the capability to transform the industry.

There could only be one Medallion for Excellence Winner of this category, and the Institute was very pleased to award this to GHD and Vermilion Oil and Gas Australia for their innovative project - Condition Investigation, Remaining Life Assessment and Inspection Maintenance and Repair Plan for Wandoo B Concrete Gravity Structure.

Vermilion Oil & Gas oil production in the Western Australian North west shelf, 75 kms offshore from Karratha, relies on the Wandoo B Concrete Gravity Structure (CGS) to structurally support its oil facilities and provide oil storage.

The CGS original operational life was 20 years (from 1997) and an extension of 20 years was required. The exposure condition is aggressive offshore marine. Inspection and testing of concrete was challenging and key constraints for an operational offshore oil platform above water included limited accessibility to surfaces, maintaining site operations during survey works, working at heights and over water with safety as a priority. Inspections below water were conducted using Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV), where sea level tides and currents provided significant challenges during inspection.

GHD was engaged as the concrete engineering consultant to complete the CGS condition investigation and remaining life assessment including provision of an inspection, maintenance and repair (IMR) plan. Third party verification was by Lloyds Register. The CGS has seabed oil storage caissons 115 m long, 70 m wide and 17 m high and four shafts 10 m internal diameter to 69 m high. Design uses reinforcement and prestress tendons. Concrete was grade 50 MPa with 65% blast furnace slag.

The remaining life assessment determined a 20 year life extension can be achieved. A service life of 60+ years can reasonably be achieved with specific life primarily dependent on atmospheric concrete chloride ingress risk and following the IMR Plan first-time developed for the Wandoo B CGS. The judges noted that this innovation and technology was ground-breaking, and could have massive implications worldwide for the industry.

The Institute is already looking forward to the technology and innovation projects entered in our 2019 program! 

News bulletin 45:
News bulletin 45: 14 Nov 2017

AECOM is now offering school term-only engineering contracts across a number of roles in Australia and New Zealand. This is to encourage qualified people who are parents and grandparents to return to the industry, who may have left due to difficulties balancing work and primary care responsibilities.

The Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) has forecast a healthy recovery for non-residential building activity. It says a rebound in infrastructure investment in engineering construction is expected to increase significantly.

The Goulburn Weir has been awarded international heritage status by the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID). The concrete weir in Victoria was constructed in the late 19th century and considered very advanced for its time, so much so it appeared on early Australian currency.

The Western Australia Government is inviting industry to express interest in the design and build of a key intersection upgrade. The Wanneroo Road-Ocean Reef Road $64.8 million project will include a bridge, on and off ramps, drainage and realignment of paths and pedestrian crossings.

Discarded plastic bottles could become a new source of stronger, more flexible concrete structures, according to MIT. A study by the US university has found exposing plastic flakes to small, harmless doses of gamma radiation and pulverising the flakes into a fine powder can be mixed with cement paste and fly ash, to produce a concrete up to 15% stronger than conventional concrete.

Beca has announced its 2017 list of outstanding engineers, naming one new Chief Engineer and 14 Beca Technical Fellows. The recipients demonstrate exceptional technical or delivery skills, expertise and leadership along with outstanding competence in project delivery.

Image: The Goulburn Weir under construction in 1889

NSW Branch - 2018 Event Program
NSW Branch - 2018 Event Program10 Nov 2017

Our NSW Branch Committee has compiled a fantastic mix of learning opportunities for next year, packed with fresh ideas for our Members, too!

Throughout 2018 the NSW Branch will be delivering 9 technical seminars, 3 site visits, 3 regional seminars, a networking event, a major projects breakfast AND we’ll be hosting a Student Competition.

We would like to thank our 2018 Branch Sponsors who have confirmed they will be on board again for this busy year ahead. There are plenty of promotional opportunities and sponsor benefits this year, as we will look to mix things up.

We know Sydney is a busy city, so we’ll be beginning our technical seminars 30 minutes later to allow for Sydney traffic (presentations will commence at 5.30pm). Remember that our usual venue, Ryde-Eastwood Leagues Club has just finished major renovations, has 450 FREE car spots, and is positioned right across the road from West Ryde train station.

To keep our Members updated with the latest concrete technology and research, we’ll be introducing an additional speaker at each seminar, completing a PhD project in concrete or a related field. So they’re not alone, we’ll be opening the doors to Institute Student Members for each technical seminar and site visit FREE of charge*.

The NSW Branch has been requested back to the Port Macquarie area, an opportunity which we are very grateful for. With an established Regional Seminar Subcommittee, this team will ensure a technical seminar of the highest quality will be delivered.

We look forward to kicking things off in February with our seminar, Supporting Structures! We’ll be covering piling, basement construction and retaining walls. We look forward to seeing our Members again, and hope you enjoy our 2018 technical program.


Date Topic
21 February Supporting Structures
March Boral Materials Laboratory – Site Visit Regional Seminar – Port Macquarie
11 April Condition Assessment & Service Life Evaluation
16 May Design & Construction of High Rise Concrete Elements
June Liberty OneSteel – Steel Mill Site Visit X2 Regional Seminars – Canberra and Surrounding Areas
18 July Major Projects Breakfast
15 August High Rise Construction
19 September Future of Concrete Construction Materials
October Regional – Precast Plant Tour
21 November Student Competition Concrete Structures and Fire
December Social Event

*Full-time Student Members only - Must bring student card and have proof of enrolment available for viewing prior to entry.

Project Profile - The Adelaide Convention Centre Plenary Building, Aurecon
Project Profile - The Adelaide Convention Centre Plenary Building, Aurecon7 Nov 2017

Repair and rehabilitation of projects is critical to extending a structures service and design life, and provides the perfect opportunity to implement creative solutions. Our winner of the Medallion for Excellence in the Repair and Rehabilitation category - Aurecon, have creatively implemented solutions to reduce cost and increase efficiency without compromising quality.

The new Adelaide Convention Centre Plenary building replaces the original plenary building with a larger, heavier, highly functional and adaptable state-of-the-art facility. Similar to the original plenary, the new building is atop the existing northern car park, rail corridor and plaza buildings that were retained and provide the new construction structural support. This involved both re-rating and strengthening the existing concrete structure and working with the architect to position the new building where the greatest structural capacity existed.

To achieve this the Aurecon team undertook detailed inspection, testing, analysis, calculation and creative design to increase and manipulate the capacity of the existing concrete structures and foundations to suit the new facility, minimising the substructure works and avoiding new piling all together. The strengthening works included new in ground foundations and tie beams to better mobilise the existing piles; column strengthening to increase the vertical load capacity new insitu concrete cores and shear walls to carry the heavier structure under more stringent design codes.

These strengthening works were completed without compromising car park capacity and rail clearance envelopes. The team worked collaboratively with the Architect and Client to evolve the architectural form of the building to respond to the existing structural constraints.

The judges noted that this was an extremely clever project, and the final design achieved savings in critical project budget and programme, and successfully diverted investment from the substructure into the functionality and aesthetic of the superstructure.

Thanks to Aurecon for entering this excellent project into our Awards for Excellence program - We look forward to viewing what projects are on the horizon for Aurecon!

News bulletin 44:
News bulletin 44: 7 Nov 2017

The first of 14 concrete pours has been made on the new Christchurch Convention Centre project, with around 100 concrete trucks carting materials in the early hours of the morning. The project will require 19,000 m³ of concrete, 4400 t of structural steel and 43,000 facade panels. CPB Contractors signed up in August and has hit the ground running, according to Ōtākaro Ltd.

Spiralling costs in energy-intensive manufacturing of materials like bricks and cement are placing product manufacturers under enormous pressure to justify ongoing investment in Australia, according to the Housing Industry Association.

Why are builders in LA making concrete with imported sand and gravel from Canada despite these materials being abundant locally?

Deakin University School of Engineering is collaborating with two hospitals in Victoria on a project that uses plastic waste from dialysis treatment and recycling it into longer-lasting concrete.

The Victoria Government has awarded the contract for the first stage of the $81 million O'Herns Road Upgrade project to Maca Civil. The second stage contract is yet to be announced but will involve building a new interchange with on- and off-ramps and duplication of lanes.

The concepts and evidence for the benefits of internal curing have been known for about two decades in the US, but acceptance into the mainstream has been slow, so why hasn’t it caught on?

Image: the new Christchurch Convention Centre project in New Zealand is underway. Source: Ōtākaro Ltd.


Perth Stadium Site Visit
Perth Stadium Site Visit6 Nov 2017

The WA Branch were very excited to be able to offer our 15 Future Perth Breakfast raffle winners the opportunity for a preview site visit at the new Perth Stadium. Here was just one of our reviews:
“really enjoyed the visit and seeing a new landmark for WA, I think the structural design is the real winner as I couldn’t find a bad seat in the stadium and the breakout areas and views of the Swan were amazing – really sells the city! It will be a great addition to Perth from a sporting and family experience but also as a tourist destination with that and crown… thanks Multiplex and the greater team for such an in depth tour and congrats on an amazing project!”
Paul O’ Neill – Divisional Manager - Constructive

Project Profile - Jubilee Bridge, ARUP
Project Profile - Jubilee Bridge, ARUP2 Nov 2017

Our 2017 Awards for Excellence program received 51 project entries, an incredible 15 of these were infrastructure projects. However, only one project could win the Medallion for Excellence in this particular category – Jubilee Bridge, by ARUP.

Measuring 220m in length, 6 metres in width, 3,000 tonnes in weight, the curvilinear Jubilee Bridge forms the final link of the barrier-free 3.5km Marina Bay waterfront loop. With its timely completion to celebrate Singapore’s 50th year of independence, the bridge, part of an 8km heritage trail around the Civic District, has become linked to the nation’s history.

Set in a busy maritime environment, the design team was challenged to achieve the aspiration of a simple, elegant and slender bridge form, with careful consideration of safety and minimal disruption to the public during construction. Connecting two famed landmarks - the Esplanade Theatre and the Merlion - the Jubilee Bridge took reference from Merlion’s water spray and was designed to counterpoise the more elaborate Helix Bridge across the bay. Offering an unobstructed panoramic view of Singapore’s magnificent skyline, the Jubilee Bridge has since added to the city’s vibrancy and aided its aspiration of becoming a walkable city.

The profile of the Jubilee Bridge is curved in plan, elevation and section. This presented a range of challenges for both the design and construction of the bridge. The multi-curved nature provides a unique bridge profile not commonly noted, nor manufactured easily by precasting. The slender depth of the bridge at mid-span is also an unorthodox feature made possible by the use of high-strength concrete and a field of post-tensioned tendons.

The judges noted that it was exceptionally well executed, especially as there were challenges involved in the casting of in-situ concrete to match precast segments. A beautiful looking bridge.

We’re already looking forward to what the future holds for consulting engineers, ARUP!

Project Profile - Manly House, Partridge Structural
Project Profile - Manly House, Partridge Structural31 Oct 2017

The Concrete Institute of Australia is very pleased to be highlighting our Medallion Winners that were recently awarded at Concrete 2017. We will begin by exploring our Residential Projects Winner – Manly House, entered by Partridge Structural.

This beachfront residential project in Manly, NSW, involved the construction of an all-new, freestanding three-storey house. The house construction consists of suspended, conventionally reinforced concrete slabs at all levels, supported on a combination of loadbearing masonry (both brick and core-filled concrete block), structural steel columns, and reinforced concrete blade walls.

Engineering features and challenges evident in the project are exposed Class 1 off-form concrete finishes; an aggressive exposure environment just 40m from breaking surf; large cantilevers with thin profiles; slender supports; large open spans, highly bespoke concrete detailing; highly stressed torsion beams; suspended beams and slabs with large rebates and recesses for architectural features; and an exceptional curved concrete shell "column" that was matched to adjacent curved brickwork shells and actually worked as a strut-and-tie beam.

Every aspect of the concrete's design, detailing, and actual construction - whether a beam, a slab, or a column - had the concrete working near to its ultimate capacity, with very little margin or redundancy. It is also a project where the concrete is the "hero of the dish" being fully exposed and on display.

The judges commented in particular that the engineering involved in the cast in-situ, vertical, thin curved elements was extremely difficult and then to be constructed with off white cement to such a high-quality finish was exceptional.

We look forward to viewing upcoming projects completed by Partridge Structural! 

News bulletin 43:
News bulletin 43: 31 Oct 2017

Georgiou Group has installed 32 concrete girders measuring 25 m-long and weighing 27.7 tonnes in the construction of an overpass west of Toowoomba. The girders are part of the bridge sub-structure in the Stage 2 duplication project of the Warrego Highway.

Wagners has revealed it has an agreement in place with India’s JSW Cement, one of the country’s major brands, for its Earth Friendly Concrete (EFC). This comes on the back of the Queensland government awarding Wagners $250,000 under the Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas Fund.

A new approach to producing concrete has been found by researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, inspired by the hierarchical arrangements of simple building blocks in natural materials. The findings of the study could lead to new ways of making concrete stronger while using more sustainable local materials as additives to offset emissions.

Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) has released a new report that claims the infrastructure pipeline certainty has improved but the appetite for infrastructure assets has waned. The think tank also says Australia is operating under a cloud of political uncertainty and investment is getting harder. IPA has also announced its CEO will depart at the end of his contract.

Image: EFC being used in the construction of the Wellcamp Airport aircraft pavement in 2014. Source: Wagners.


Catching up on Concrete 2017
Catching up on Concrete 201730 Oct 2017

Welcome back following Concrete 2017 and the 3rd ICDC! Over 530 industry delegates joined us in Adelaide to attend the largest concrete conference in the southern hemisphere, surpassing Concrete 2015 in Melbourne.

The conference was filled with a range of activities for our delegates, including 160 technical presentations, 2 workshops, 3 social events, 5 keynote speakers, 2 invited speakers and 45 exhibitors!

Two workshops were held to kick start Concrete 2017 and ICDC, Cement Chemistry for Engineers (delivered by Professor Karen Scrivener) and fib Model Code 2020 (delivered by a powerhouse of durability leaders), which received overwhelmingly positive feedback! We would like to thank the University of South Australia for allowing the Institute to make use of their fantastic facilities.

Our international delegates were invited to attend a cocktail evening, to provide an opportunity to network and become familiar with Institute staff and councillors who would be available to assist throughout the upcoming days in Adelaide.

Concrete 2017 began with a warm welcome address, and our first keynote speaker, Louise Adams (Aurecon) delivering her presentation on innovation within the industry. Our keynote and invited speakers delivered a range of relevant industry topics from both a local and international perspective. We would like to thank our keynote and invited speakers for delivering high quality, informative and engaging keynote presentations –

Professor Des Bull, Professor Doug Hooton, Professor Tim Ibell, Professor Karen Scrivener, Mr Peter McBean, Dr Stuart Matthews, and Mr Mike Schneider.

Our 2017 Gala Dinner was well attended by approximately 450 delegates, who joined in the festivities to welcome several significant Institute Members to our growing list of Life and Honorary Members, and to celebrate our National Awards for Excellence in Concrete and National Engineering Bursary Winners. We would like to congratulate the following winners for their outstanding projects, which are more than worthy of the recognition bestowed upon them.

Kevin Cavanagh Trophy for Most Outstanding Project
Prefabricated Concrete for the Song School – J Woodside Consulting and SA Precast

Residential Buildings - Medallion Winner
Manly House – Partridge Structural

Commercial Buildings - Medallion Winner
Prefabricated Concrete for the Song School – J Woodside Consulting and SA Precast

Infrastructure Projects - Medallion Winner
Jubilee Bridge – ARUP

Technology and Innovation - Medallion Winner
Condition Investigation, Remaining Life Assessment and Inspection Maintenance and Repair Plan for Wandoo B Concrete Gravity Structure – GHD and Vermilion Oil and Gas Australia

Repair and Rehabilitation - Medallion Winner
The Adelaide Convention Centre Plenary Building – The Aggressive Relifing of an Existing Structure - Aurecon

Concrete Institute Life Members
Dr Liza O’Moore – University of Queensland
Mr Craig Heidrich – HBM Group

Concrete Institute Honorary Members
Professor Jay Sanjayan – Swinburne University of Technology
Professor Priyan Mendis – University of Melbourne
Mr Tony Thomas – Formerly Boral Concrete

National Engineering Bursary Winner
Dr Ali Amin, University of New South Wales
Thesis titled, 'Post Cracking Behaviour of Steel Fibre Reinforced Concrete: From Material to Structure'

Our full album of Concrete 2017 images can be found on the Institute’s Facebook Page. We will also be covering the project profiles of our National Award Winners across our social channels and on our website!
The Concrete Institute would like to extend our appreciation to the following groups and organisations who contributed to the success of Concrete 2017
The Concrete 2017 & ICDC Organising Committee – Professor Julie Mills, Associate Professor Rebecca Gravina, Mr Rodney Paull, Professor Harald Justnes, Mr David Millar, Mr Tom Benn, Mr John Woodside, and Mr Mark Gobolos
Concrete 2017 Conference Partner, FOSROC
Concrete 2017 Platinum Sponsor – BASF Australia
Concrete 2017 Gold Sponsor – Sika Australia
Concrete 2017 Silver Sponsors – Krystol Group, Freyssinet Australia, ramsetreid, Le Nickel – SLN
Concrete 2017 Bronze Sponsors – Cycrete, United Fasteners, ICCONS, Quakewrap
Concrete 2017 Barista Sponsors – Xypex Australia
Concrete 2017 Badge & Lanyard Sponsors – BOSFA

We would also like to thank all delegates who stopped by the Institute's stand and introduced yourself, asked questions, viewed our publications and excitedly asked for a CIA cap! We love getting to know our Members, Non Members and our concrete community.
We are very pleased to be hosting the 5th international fib congress in Melbourne next year, which will aim to attract a large range of international delegates, exhibitors and sponsors! View our fib 2018 website here for all details!

News bulletin 42:
News bulletin 42: 24 Oct 2017

A prototype for an ultra-thin, sinuous concrete roof using innovative design and fabrication methods has been designed and built by researchers in Switzerland.

Austroads has released a report on experimental work focused on specification and use of geopolymer concrete in the manufacture of structural and non-structural components.

Researchers at The University of Queensland (UQ) are working on concrete mixes that produce low carbon footprint, high performance concrete using Australia’s stockpiles of glass waste.

In an attempt to simulate a geological formation, a New York/Seoul design agency has cast concrete walls in layers with different properties and mixtures of materials, resulting in a striped façade.

NSW Roads and Maritime Services is inviting tenders from shortlisted construction companies to upgrade the M1 Pacific Motorway at Beresfield.

Cardno (NSW/ACT) has been awarded the design of the 325 m Nelligen Bridge north of the existing Kings Highway Bridge on the Clyde River. Multiplex has been appointed to deliver Stage One of the $2.8b Melbourne Square development. And Jacobs Engineering Group has been appointed by NSW Health Infrastructure as lead architect for the $341m redevelopment of Concord Hospital in Sydney.

Lendlease has been selected to build a new four-storey building for the Shepparton Hospital in Victoria as part of the hospital’s $169.5 million redevelopment. The company has also secured a contract with Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) for the Pacific Motorway Upgrade M1/M3/Gateway Merge in Brisbane.

Image: Dr Johnny Ho, Senior Lecturer with the School of Civil Engineering at UQ, with undergraduate students in the concrete laboratory.

News bulletin 41:
News bulletin 41: 17 Oct 2017

Engineering researchers have developed a new seismic-resistant, fibre-reinforced concrete which will be applied as a seismic retrofit of a primary school in Canada before the end of the year. The team at University of British Columbia have subjected the Eco-Friendly Ductile Cementitious Composite (EDCC) to earthquake simulations as high as magnitude 9.1.

The Gough Group in New Zealand has signed a dealership agreement for SANY concrete equipment in Australia and NZ which will see the creation of a new business unit to accommodate the concrete machinery. This follows a period of change involving the resignation of the company’s long-time CEO and an ownership dispute with the Gough family.

Construction of prototype walls for the US-Mexico border have commenced with four of the eight models made of concrete. They will stand between 5.5 m to 9 m tall and 9 m long and take 30 days to finish.

The first plug-in hybrid electric zero-emission cement truck has been produced which integrates  Efficient Drive Trains’ PowerDrive 8000 PHEV drivetrain and PowerSuite vehicle control software (US) into a Shannxi Automotive Class-8 32-ton cement mixer truck from China.

Concrete 2017 is just five days away, so time’s starting to run out to register. Why not take a look at the extensive technical program, with international speakers and expert presenters of important workshops on 22 October. Don’t be one of the people who miss out - because everyone else in the industry will be there!

The CSIRO is leading a research project in helping the ongoing survival of the Tasmanian Shy Albatross by building artificial nests made from concrete. The specially designed nests are assisting the endangered seabirds in protecting the incubation of its annual single egg.

Image: Two of the eight prototype Trump walls. Source: US Border Control.

News bulletin 40:
News bulletin 40: 10 Oct 2017

Australia’s longest prestressed bridge girders for the Port of Brisbane’s Port Drive Upgrade project have been installed by construction group Seymour Whyte. The Super I-girders, the longest being 46 metres took nine hours each to deliver. They were developed specially. Read more.

Season Two on Europe’s largest engineering project, Crossrail, has commenced on SBS, with the first two episodes now on the website. Episode 1 follows engineers and construction workers racing to meet deadlines before trains start running and follows Linda Miller as she oversees the build of what will be Britain’s busiest station (Farrington), at well over 300 metres long. Episode 2 shows the construction and fitting out of the new underground railway stations at Paddington and Tottenham Court, with convoys of concrete trucks driving down London’s Oxford Street.

The Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has released a research paper on the multi-dimensional hybrid design, engineering and construction of the Raffles City Chongqing cluster of skyscrapers and another on structural design and performance evaluation of a mid-storey seismic isolated high-rise building.

The UK’s Institution of Civil Engineers’ Magazine of Concrete Research has a number of free articles available on Stability and Instability of Foamed Concrete; Communicating Research Impact; and Expanding the Influence of Concrete Research and Application.

Canada’s tallest building is now under construction. Known as ‘The One’ or One Bloor West, it will stand at 85 storeys and more than 300 metres high, it falls into the category of super tall buildings. It is located in Toronto and forecast to be completed in 2020.

Image: Seymour White delivers massive Super I girders for Port of Brisbane project. Source: SW


News bulletin 39:
News bulletin 39: 3 Oct 2017

The world’s first 3D printed, reinforced, prestressed concrete bridge has been opened in The Netherlands. The 8.5 metre cycling bridge has 600 printed layers which are clearly visible and is being monitored with sensors.

A book that sheds light on how reservoirs, dams and bridges were built in the late 19th century has been uncovered in England. The book includes photographs of engineering and construction techniques in the north of the country in the Victorian era.

The University of Sheffield has a free online course on technical report writing for engineers. The introductory course teaches how to communicate ideas through well-written reports.

With the increasing use of concrete bollards in public places globally to protect people from moving vehicle attacks comes the challenge of designing concrete for use in these areas that can be practical, functional, artistic and aesthetically pleasing.

Voting has opened for the people’s choice in the 2017 National Architecture Awards for Australia’s favourite house, many of which utilise concrete as a main feature.

Image: Tamarama House stairwell, one of the entries in the 2017 National Architecture Awards. Source: Australian Institute of Architects.

Our Conference Workshops
Our Conference Workshops3 Oct 2017

We are very pleased to offer not one, but two optional workshops that will aim to kick start the much anticipated, Concrete 2017, on Sunday 22nd of October. 

Cement Chemistry for Engineers

Keynote speaker, Professor Karen Scrivener will deliver this full day course dedicated to boosting your knowledge in cement chemistry. This course encapsulates Professor Scriveners widely acclaimed, more detailed course that is conducted through RILEM. This course has been specifically tailored for engineers, materials specialists and and cement and concrete practitioners. 

Join us for the day to get the most out of the largest concrete conference in the southern hemisphere!

fib Model Code 2020: The World Durability Code - Design Session

Our second course that is available includes a powerhouse of industry leaders answering the question, 'How do we move forward with design of new concrete structures and the through-life care of existing ones?'

This half day course is the perfect platform to hear from international concrete durability experts, with the following topics covered - 
  • Developing the Next World Durability Code
  • Durability Design Overview
  • Durability Planning
  • Durability Exposure Classes
  • Durability Modelling Using Reliability and Probabilistic Approaches
  • Current Deterioration Models
  • Concrete Cracking and Control
  • Durability Testing
For everything Concrete 2017, visit our dedicated conference website here

News bulletin 38:
News bulletin 38: 26 Sep 2017

Concrete buildings in Central America have taken a battering as a result of Mexico’s recent earthquakes. National Geographic reported on the movement of concrete pavements heaving under Mexico City. The LA Times is warning the city of potential risk to its “brittle concrete frame buildings” if a major earthquake strikes.

Structural engineers are keeping a close watch on the Guajataca Dam in Puerto Rico after it cracked following 40 cm of rain from Hurricane Maria. The break in the 316 m dam wall, that is almost a century old and holds back an artificial lake, has caused widespread evacuations.

CPB Contractors has been selected to deliver significant facility upgrades over three years to the Capricornia Correctional Centre, and will generate $145 million in revenue. Parent company CIMIC’s Group CEO Adolfo Valdera believes “Australia’s construction project pipeline remains strong”. CIMIC has also appointed Kate Spargo to its Board of Directors due to her familiarity with infrastructure, construction and engineering sectors.

Many of the Australian Standards for concrete and concrete related materials have been revised or reviewed in recent times, in particular AS 3600 and AS 5100-2017. And there have been other guidelines or codes of practice, such as the Institute’s Concrete Durability Series, which have been introduced. So, the Institute is presenting national seminars in November and December aimed at helping you ‘Cracking the Concrete Codes’. SAVE THE DATE: Perth 6 Nov; Adelaide 8 Nov; Melbourne 29 Nov; Campbell Town (Tas) 30 Nov; Brisbane 4 Dec; and Sydney 5 December.

Austroads has published the results of tests to investigate whether the much faster accelerated mortar bar test could be employed instead of the slow concrete prism test to evaluate supplementary cementitious materials.
Understanding what makes millennials tick may help more mature engineers communicate better with their younger peers, according to US concrete industry commentator Bill Palmer.

Image: A still take from a video of Mexico City’s “breathing” road. Source: National Geographic


News bulletin 37:
News bulletin 37: 19 Sep 2017

CCAA is urging regulators to keep pressure on building product compliance and conformance following the release of an interim Senate report last week. As part of the wider inquiry into non-conforming building products, the Senate committee called for an immediate and total ban on the importation, sale and use of polyethylene core aluminium composite panels.

ACI has taken part in NASA’s 3D Printed Habitat Challenge recently which involved the building of a habitat for deep space exploration. It’s designed to advance the construction technology needed to create sustainable housing solutions for Earth and elsewhere.

A new research article in Advances in Materials Science and Engineering is available to read on ‘Concrete with Improved Chloride Binding and Chloride Resistivity by Blended Cements’. The open access article is by Katalin Kopecskó and György L. Balázs from Budapest University of Technology.

Graphene is being hailed as a positive carbon factor for concrete as scientists work with elements at atomic level which continue to yield promising concrete admixtures. It is thought their impact may one day approach that of polycarboxylate superplasticisers.

The University of Sydney has multiple Masters/PhD opportunities in civil engineering focusing on various research areas involving concrete.

Image: The winner of the NASA 3D Printed Habitat Challenge by a team from South Korea. Source: MoonX


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.

News bulletin 35:
News bulletin 35: 5 Sep 2017

Redland City Council (SE Qld) has engaged Arup to trial several different methods to help prevent canal banks and associated retaining walls from moving, with Mainmark’s Teretek as one option.

Tunnelling as an area of practice is anything but boring to engineers, and innovator Elon Musk feels the same way. One of his recent enterprises, The Boring Company, has its sights set on revolutionising tunnelling by speeding up the process while cutting costs.

Georgiou Group has been selected to deliver Pimlico to Teven stage 3 for the RMS and delivery partner Pacific Complete in Ballina, NSW. Stage 3 is part of the $4.3 billion Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway Upgrade and involves construction of the southbound carriageway, demolition and reconstruction of bridges, earthworks and realignment of a permanent junction with the Pacific Highway.

Arup has been recognised as the Most Outstanding Company in Engineers Australia’s Women in Engineering Gender Diversity Awards. Arup says its female staff represent more than a third of the total workforce, including key management, non-managers, as well as on its board. The firm has set its sights on a much higher target by 2020. And GHD was highly commended in the awards.

Meanwhile, Aurecon CEO Giam Swiegers, a member of the STEM Male Champions of Change group, believes the pace of change is too slow as far as parental shared care goes so the firm has introduced its own policy. Aurecon has also appointed a new Managing Director, Infrastructure.

Japanese architects have released renderings of a four-storey design for a concrete home shaped like an upside down pyramid, wedged into the side of a hill.

Image: Takei Nabeshima Architects making a point with their upside down pyramid-shaped concrete house design.


News bulletin 34:
News bulletin 34: 29 Aug 2017

Researchers at University of Melbourne say finely ground recycled glass in concrete is “a viable replacement” for sand and material like fly ash and ground-down slag from blast furnaces.

CIMIC has appointed a civil engineer as deputy CEO. Michael Wright has been with the firm for almost 20 years and was previously involved in the mining, construction and tunnelling teams at an executive level.

Australian think tank Beyond Zero Emissions has released a (free) report – Rethinking Cement – which outlines a zero carbon cement industry within 10 years. The report forms part of its Zero Carbon Industry Plan. It says the chemical process of transforming limestone into lime cannot continue.

Lendlease has been appointed Official Supporter Property & Infrastructure and Overlay Delivery Partner of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. The company will project manage the delivery of 15 competition venues and has committed to a Reconciliation Action Plan, to provide employment/training opportunities for Indigenous peoples.

Princeton University has announced its researchers may have “cracked” the challenge of making greener concrete and those involved hope to raise the profile of Portland cement replacements.

Image: Damian Crough, Associate Professor Tuan Ngo and Dr Ali Kashani with a block of glass-impregnated concrete. Tuan Ngo is the technical papers guest editor in the September issue of Concrete in Australia magazine. His editorial is focused on Innovations in modern prefabricated concrete construction.


Congratulations to our Award Winners
Congratulations to our Award Winners28 Aug 2017

We are very pleased to announce our recent Awards for Excellence winners, recognised at our Queensland Branch cocktail evening last Thursday. Over 70 delegates were in attendance, to celebrate our award winners, industry colleagues and hear from Department of Transport and Main Roads representative, Ken Jacobs.

The following Queensland projects were recognised and granted an Award for Excellence –
Infrastructure Projects Category
Sunshine Coast University Hospital
By Aurecon and Lendlease

Jubilee Bridge
Residential Buildings Category
Clifftop House
By Built Environment Collective and Joe Adsett Architects
Commercial Buildings Category
1 William Street, Brisbane
By Arcadis and Multiplex
Southpoint Stage B
By Aurecon and Watpac
Adding to the evening, the Concrete Institute of Australia welcomed two significant individuals to our community of Life and Honorary Members. We are exceptionally pleased to announce that Dr Liza O’Moore from the University of Queensland and Mr Tony Thomas from Boral Concrete were presented respectively, with Life and Honorary Membership to the Concrete Institute of Australia.

Our state branch award winners will progress to the National Awards Ceremony, which will be held at Concrete 2017! We wish our Queensland projects the best of luck at here.

To view our full album of images, including award winners and delegates, please visit our Facebook page here

News bulletin 33:
News bulletin 33: 22 Aug 2017

Infrastructure Australia has called for submissions to help it identify infrastructure “problems and opportunities of national significance” for its 2018 Infrastructure Priority List.

An August engineering vacancies report reveals there were more than 2000 vacant engineering jobs in NSW and Victoria in June, with the majority being civil engineering roles.

Austroads has published the findings of a seven year project designed to improve the understanding of pavement surface failures caused by changing configurations and loadings of freight vehicles.

Infrastructure in the Perth region is about to get a boost with three major freeway upgrades, with expressions of interest now open.

A new Chair has been appointed to the Infrastructure Australia Board following the retirement of Mark Birrell. The new Chair has extensive experience from the aviation sector.

Engineers Australia has updated the progress on the establishment of an independent statutory body, Infrastructure WA, similar to those that exist in the eastern states and nationally.

Image: Mitchell Freeway, Perth.


Congratulations to our Award Winners
Congratulations to our Award Winners18 Aug 2017

We are very pleased to announce our latest Award for Excellence in Concrete winners, recognised at our Victorian Branch function on Tuesday evening. Over 60 industry delegates gathered to congratulate winners of significant projects completed in Victoria, an excellent turnout to a celebration of this kind.

We would like to recognise and congratulate the following entrants on their successful projects -

Commercial Buildings Category
La Trobe Tower
Hickory Group
BCM Headquarters
Crosier Scott Architects
BCM (Ballarat Construction Management)
Technology and Innovation
An innovative light weight concrete panel system for high speed modular construction
Associate Professor Tuan Ngo
Professor Priyan Mendis
Professor Jay Sanjayan
Dr Vinh Dao
Mr Nick Scheuer
Mr David Visser
3D Concrete Printing using Cement and Geopolymer Binder Systems
Swinburne University of Technology
Repair and Rehabilitation
Webb Dock East Berths 4 & 5 Rehabilitation
Freyssinet Australia
Hon Wade Noonan – Minister for Industry and Employment and Minister for Resources, delivered a presentation, and assisted Victorian Branch President, Andrew Sarkady in congratulating winners and presenting them with their framed certificates.

The Concrete Institute is also exceptionally pleased to welcome Professor Jay Sanjayan, from the Swinburne University of Technology and Professor Priyan Mendis from the University of Melbourne aboard as Honorary Members of the Institute.

We look forward to recognising our next round of Award winners at our Queensland Branch celebration on the 24th of August.

To view our full album of images, including winners and delegates, please visit our Facebook page here

News bulletin 32:
News bulletin 32: 15 Aug 2017

Arcadis has been appointed by NSW Roads and Maritime Services with its JV partner Jacobs as the lead concept designers on the new M12 Motorway in Western Sydney. The motorway will provide access to the Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek and connect to the existing motorway network.

The International Association for Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM) says a recent survey indicated the average cost of poor contract management can be up to 15% of the contract value for large capital projects. A whitepaper on ‘The 10 Critical Pitfalls in Modern Contract Management’ can be downloaded.

A masterplan for the new University of Tasmania campus in Launceston has been unveiled and being touted as the single largest infrastructure investment in the city’s history.

Christchurch-based manufacturer of concrete technologies Canzac has introduced sensors that can be buried in concrete to measure strength and humidity.

Construction firm BGC Contracting has continued its expansion into NSW by winning a contract to deliver the main civil construction work for a section of the $4.36 billion Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade in northern NSW.

UTAS Launceston campus concept by architects McBride Charles Ryan. Image:  McBride Charles Ryan.


News bulletin 31
News bulletin 31 8 Aug 2017

Construction is about to commence on part of Freemantle’s new $270 million cultural and civic precinct. The new triangular-shaped Kings Square civic building in WA will adjoin the rear of the historic Freemantle Town Hall. Construction on the former Myer and Queensgate buildings is also expected to start between now and the end of the year. Read more.

CPB Contractors has been selected by Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads to deliver a construct-only contract of Stage 1 of the Mackay Ring Road project. Stage 1 includes an 11.3 km highway; multiple bridges and underpasses; and two dual-lane roundabouts. Read more.

The Planning Institute of Victoria has criticised the state government for not following its own guidelines in relation to the West Gate Tunnel project. The project involves a new tunnel and a partially elevated toll road.

The American Concrete Institute (ACI) will award US$50,000 to a team of university students that comes up with a fibre-reinforced concrete bowling ball. The competition is part of its 2018 convention and is designed to encourage creativity in engineering design and analysis.

The NSW government has reached a $140 million in-principle agreement with the City of Parramatta to secure the site for the highly controversial new Powerhouse Museum. The site is a former David Jones car park on the south bank of the Parramatta River. The cost of constructing the new building is estimated to be $600-$800 million. Read more.

Image: An illustration of Freemantle’s Kings Square civic building. Source: City of Freemantle.


Standards Australia Draft for Public Comment - AS 3583.6
Standards Australia Draft for Public Comment - AS 3583.68 Aug 2017

AS 3583.6 has now progressed to public comment with the public comment period closing on 9 October 2017.

You can view the draft and any incoming comments here after entering your Standards Hub login details.
All comments are to be submitted on the Standards Hub. Follow the link above, login and select the “New Comment” button.

News bulletin 30:
News bulletin 30: 1 Aug 2017

Concerns about governance at the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility have been raised by the Productivity Commission and about the scope for political interference in the funding of projects, which include power stations, railways and the Snowy 2.0.

And state governments have been accused by Ports Australia of making short-sighted and politically motivated infrastructure investments that have made Australia’s ports inefficient and cost the economy billions. Ports Australia’s submission to the federal parliamentary inquiry into national freight and supply chain networks was reportedly “a stinging rebuke”.

India’s transport minister has said all roads in the country will be converted to concrete to ensure stability and durability. He has guaranteed they will last for 200 years and spoke out against political leaders, bureaucrats and contractors who have other preferences.

A joint venture of Bam, Ferrovial and Kier (BFK) has pleaded guilty and fined over one million pounds over the death of a contractor spraying liquid concrete in a tunnel in London’s Crossrail project. BFK was also charged over two other incidents on the project.

The US Navy is developing a new device that can quickly identify whether iron sulphide mineral exists in concrete.

Image: London’s Crossrail project. Source: Cross

News bulletin 29:
News bulletin 29: 25 Jul 2017

Probuild has appointed two new State Managing Directors for New South Wales and Queensland. The company is also aiming for a recycling target of 90% to demolition material from Queen’s Wharf Brisbane site. It includes concrete being transported to renewable energy and waste management facilities.

Transport infrastructure construction will underpin broader building and construction activity over the next four years according to Master Builders Australia’s latest Building and Construction Industry Forecast.

Plans for constructing multiple stadiums for the sport of cricket across eight US cities are in the development stage. Global Sports Ventures intends to establish a professional cricket league in the country.

The Concrete Institute has launched a Mentoring Program with the aim is increasing the knowledge and development of Members who may have less experience. But it’s a two-way relationship where Mentors can share and demonstrate their knowledge while having the opportunity to learn from their Mentees.

Did you know eight of the world’s 10 highest bridges are in China? Several of them are in the country’s southwest. This BBC video showcases the Beipanjiang Bridge suspected 565 metres above a mountain range. It took three years to construct and has only been open to traffic for six months.

Image: Demolition material at the Queen's Wharf Brisbane site. Source: Probuild.

Congratulations to our Award Winners
Congratulations to our Award Winners19 Jul 2017

Our NSW Branch of the Concrete Institute of Australia delivered an excellent start to our 2017 Awards for Excellence celebrations, with our breakfast ceremony held this morning.

This special industry event was celebrated by 80 delegates, who were keen to hear from Mark Coure MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Transport & Infrastructure. Mark presented a detailed outline of current and planned infrastructure projects for New South Wales, many of which our delegates are involved in.

We would also like to congratulate our NSW State Award Winners –

Residential Buildings Category
Manly House
K House
MHN Design Union & Partridge
Infrastructure Projects
Barangaroo Reserve
Aurecon & Lendlease
Wynyard Walk
Taylor Thomson Whitting & PSM
Technology & Innovation
Design of Prestressed Concrete to AS3600 – 2009 & Design of Prestressed Concrete to Eurocode 2
Raymond Ian Gilbert & Gianluca Ranzi
The InQuik Modular Concrete Bridging System
Lifting Point Pre Form & InQuik
Commercial Buildings
Orange Regional Museum
Taylor Thomson Whitting
Our judges agreed these project entries each delivered outstanding excellence in concrete, and reinforced the underlying values of the Concrete Institute of Australia – excellence in concrete, best practice research, design and construction.

The Concrete Institute would also like to congratulate our 2017 National Bursary Winner, Ali Amin from the University of New South Wales for his thesis “Post Cracking Behaviour of Steel Fibre Reinforced Concrete: From Material to Structure”, which will be presented at our upcoming National Conference, Concrete 2017!

We would like to thank our delegates who attended this morning, we hope you had an enjoyable experience.

To view our full album of images, including winners and delegates, please visit our Facebook page here

News bulletin 28:
News bulletin 28: 18 Jul 2017

Institute Silver Member Arcadis and JV partner Mott MacDonald, lead designers in the Metron consortium have won the underground station design and technical services contract in stage 2 of the Sydney Metro project. Metron will lead the engineering design of six underground metro rail stations. The consortium also includes Institute Bronze Member Robert Bird Group.

CCAA is the major sponsor of a new national TV program Australia by Design on Channel Ten that is showcasing exceptional architecture projects in Australia. The series runs for nine episodes and looks at each state and territory, with projects of all types rated by an expert panel that includes CCAA CEO Ken Slattery.

Victoria’s Building Authority (VBA) is conducting a review of Building Regulations 2006 and taking submissions on proposed Building Regulations 2017. You’ve got until 5pm today, 18 July 2017, to have your say. Also in VBA news, CEO Prue Digby has announced her retirement by the end of this year.

Institute Bronze Member WGE (Wood & Grieve Engineers) is working with Engineering Education Australia and Open Learning, on a new training module on the management of underground assets or subsurface utilities. It’s aimed at engineers and other practitioners who manage subsurface utilities.

Fulton Hogan has appointed a new CEO for Australia and a CEO for construction. These appointments come in the wake of new CEOs who’ve taken up roles in New Zealand.

Image: An illustration of the future entrance to the new Martin Place station in Sydney’s CBD. Source: Sydney Metro.


News bulletin 27:
News bulletin 27: 11 Jul 2017

The Concrete Institute’s incoming National Vice President, Shan Kumar, of Hickory Building Systems in Victoria, has been listed as one of Australia’s 30 most innovative engineers by Engineers Australia.

Protecting Australia’s vital infrastructure corridors is the focus of a new policy paper released by Infrastructure Australia. It advises state and federal governments to take “urgent action” in the next five years to avoid cost overruns, delays and community disruption when delivering new infrastructure.

Laing O'Rourke has launched a major recruitment campaign targeting professionals with strong technical skills for roles in project management, project engineering, health, safety and quality, quantity surveying, project supervisors and other experienced leaders.
Read the most recent abstracts on concrete and cement research articles from around the world to be published in Cement and Concrete Research.

Engineers Australia has announced Peter McIntyre FIEAust FAICD as its new CEO. He replaced Stephen Durkin who vacated the role earlier this year.

Entries are open for the fib's 2018 Award for Outstanding Concrete Structures (AOS), giving international recognition to structures that demonstrate the versatility of concrete as a structural medium. The 2018 AOS will be presented at the fib Congress in Melbourne next year.

Image: Infrastructure Australia wants to see infrastructure corridors protected. Source: Govt of SA.


News bulletin 26:
News bulletin 26: 4 Jul 2017

The Achievement Award for Young Engineers was presented at the recent fib Symposium in the Netherlands. Patrick Huber (Austria) won the Research Award for his thesis ‘Assessment of shear strength of existing reinforced and prestressed concrete bridges’. Miguel Sacristán (Spain) received the Design & Construction Award for the exceptional array of projects he took part in, both in Spain and around the world. The jury also awarded four Special Mentions for “outstanding” work by Bruno Dal Lago, Fuyuan Gong, Carlo Segato and Alvaro Serrano.
Consultants and contractors are being urged to sign up to the Construction Supplier Register (CSR) by the Victoria Government. The CSR is a prequalification scheme that streamlines the tender process for contractors and consultants interested in obtaining work from the state’s government agencies.

Permeable or pervious concrete has been recommended by the US Environmental Protection Agency as a Best Management Practice for stormwater regulations. Typically containing between 15% and 20% void spaces within hardened concrete, flow rates tend to be 0.34 cm/s or 200 L/m2/minute.

Entries are now being accepted for the fib's 2018 Award for Outstanding Concrete Structures (AOS), giving international recognition to structures that demonstrate the versatility of concrete as a structural medium. The 2018 AOS will be presented at the fib's Congress in Melbourne next year.
The NSW Government has announced budget funding to construct new bridges at Nelligen and Batemans Bay. More than $300 million has been set aside to invest in the new structures.

Cement Concrete & Aggregates Australia (CCAA) has signed off on a rebrand to keep concrete “front of mind” as it’s so ubiquitous that it’s taken for granted. This is an issue the Concrete Institute of Australia understands well. CCAA says it is planning a wave of promotional activity throughout 2018 to reinforce the benefits of concrete, using a new tagline: 'Concrete, Build Without Limits'.

Image: The old Batemans Bay Bridge will be demolished.

News bulletin 25:
News bulletin 25: 27 Jun 2017

Tenders are now open for the Epping to Powranna 11 km upgrade in Tasmania as part of the state’s $500 million Midland Highway 10 Year Action Plan. Tenders close in early July with works expected to commence later this year and be completed in early 2019.

A plan to manufacture cement using millions of waste tyres each year has been announced by the NZ Government. Golden Bay Cement, a subsidiary of Fletcher Building, will receive a multi-million dollar grant.

Fulton Hogan will also conduct a feasibility study into using recycled rubber for sound-proof building products, roads and cycleway construction in NZ. Meanwhile, the company has appointed new CEOs for the NZ Regional Business division and for NZ Construction.

While concrete as a material can be beautiful, brutalist, supportive or protective, it’s the protective aspect that has been employed in recent days across Australian cities. Concrete bollards and barriers have popped up in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and the Gold Coast in a governmental response to terrorism.

A joint venture comprising CPB Contractors (45%), John Holland (45%) and Ghella (10%) has been awarded a $2.81 billion contract to deliver twin 15.5 km tunnels and civil works for Stage 2 of the Sydney Metro project. The tunnels will run under Sydney Harbour from Chatswood to Sydenham and require five TBMs for their construction.

There are polarised views on the NSW Budget for the $73 billion ear-marked for infrastructure over the next four years. Consult Australia says projects are at risk of being delayed or not delivered while Infrastructure Partnerships Australia says it “puts hard dollars behind transport, health and education projects”.

Image: Concrete bollards have popped up overnight at Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station in the CBD. Source: News Corp Australia.


Were You There in Melbourne Last Week? Hot Topics Q&A Event     -
Were You There in Melbourne Last Week? Hot Topics Q&A Event - 26 Jun 2017

We asked everyone to participate by submitting their unresolved questions for discussion.  Our panel of experts then helped answer your concerns about concrete design.  Expert Panel pictured above L-R: Rocco Carinci (Rincovitch Consultants), Prof Priyan Mendis (University of Melbourne) & Prof Emad Gad (Swinburne University)

With the increase in building and infrastructure approvals Concrete design, construction and management is in the forefront of construction industry in Victoria. Engineers and builders are inundated with queries in terms of the use of Australian Standards (AS3600), other related design methods and software used for structural analysis.

For more information or to connect with the VIC Branch, phone Annie Forster on 03 9699 6407 or email 

News bulletin 24:
News bulletin 24: 20 Jun 2017

Civil engineers from Drexel University in Philadelphia are working on a new recipe for concrete, using cast-off products from furnaces that can withstand road salt deterioration.

An American company recently used its 3D-printer to lay down concrete walls on a test home at a site in Russia, printing out a 38 square metre house. The printer resembles a small crane that lays down layer upon layer of a concrete mixture which the company says can last for 175 years. Read about this and watch videos about other developments in 3D concrete printing.

The entire deck of Sydney Metro’s 4km elevated skytrain is now locked in place nine metres up in the air. The construction involves more than 1100 large concrete segments, each weighing between 56 and 147 tonnes. The skytrain deck sits on more than 100 concrete piers.

Beca has appointed a new managing director in New Zealand. Civil engineer Darryl-Lee Wendelborn has been on the senior leadership team since 2011 and is known for her collaborative working style and track record in delivering transformational outcomes.

Image: Sydney Metro Skytrain deck. Source: NSW Government.


2017 Awards for Excellence in Concrete Update
2017 Awards for Excellence in Concrete Update19 Jun 2017

Thank you again to those that submitted their project entry for our 2017 Awards for Excellence in Concrete Program. The Institute is very pleased to announce that a total of 51 project entries were received for judging. This is an excellent outcome, and reflects the active nature of our industry with an array of construction and research projects currently in the mix!

With such a large variety of projects to be showcased, our State Branches are very much looking forward to engaging with the industry at our upcoming Awards for Excellence events. Our Awards events are an excellent opportunity for all Members of The Institute. For established professionals, this is an ideal platform to see the latest and greatest in concrete research, technology, design and application. For our Student Members or recent Graduates, this is an extremely valuable opportunity to build your connections with the wider industry, and hear from high calibre industry experts.

This year there are six categories of entries, which are designed to capture all aspects of the industry.
  • Residential Buildings
  • Commercial Buildings
  • Infrastructure Projects
  • Repairs & Rehabilitation
  • Sustainability & Environment
  • Technology & Innovation
We look forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming Awards events! 

News bulletin 23:
News bulletin 23: 13 Jun 2017

NSW Bronze member Northrop Consulting Engineers has appointed a new CEO to lead the 340 employees of the firm which has an annual turnover of $50 million.

Authors are invited to submit papers for the annual Australian Earthquake Engineering Society (AEES) Conference being held from 24-26 November 2017 in Canberra. Abstracts of no more than 250 are due by Thursday, 15 June, with full papers due 1 September 2017.
Topics may include:
  • Earthquake engineering
  • Engineering seismology
  • Blast induced ground motion
  • Critical infrastructure protection
  • Emergency management and insurance
  • Mine induced seismicity
  • Building codes
  • Earthquake hazard
  • Disaster response
  • Risk modelling
  • Tsunami.
Alternatively papers can also be relevant to the conference sessions on:
  • Australian Ground Motion Hazard Map
  • Damage and Control
  • Australian Earthquake Resistant Building Codes
  • Masonry Buildings.
A highlight of the conference will include a special tour of the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre at Geoscience Australia.
There are many awe-inspiring structural feats around the world but dams, in particular, are intricately designed structures. Here are 12 of the most interesting dams around the globe, including the Gordon Dam in Tasmania.
The New Zealand Government has released further geotechnical guidance developed as a result of the Canterbury Earthquake Royal Commission. NZ Building and Construction Minister Nick Smith says the new geotechnical modules are on methods for improving ground conditions and retaining wall design along with a new field guide to help geotechnical professionals assess and categorise land instability after an earthquake.

Image: Kariba Dam, Zimbabwe. Source: Marcus Wishart/World Bank Group (via Interesting Engineering).

News bulletin 22:
News bulletin 22: 6 Jun 2017

Following the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes in New Zealand after which 15,000 homes had to be demolished, Silver Institute Member Mainmark had a theory that engineered injection resin technology could be used for seismic liquefaction. Now the company has announced an internationally peer-reviewed report on its Resin Injection Ground Improvement Research Trials which it says has been “hailed a success”.
Melbourne’s historic Main Outfall Sewer has undergone a radical transformation due to work by Institute Silver Member GHD. Constructed in the 1890s, it was the largest civil engineering project undertaken in Victoria at that time, GHD’s work involved integrated architecture and engineering.
The contractor has been named for the next stages of The Northern Road (11.5km section) and Bringelly Road (4.3km) upgrades in Western Sydney. The NSW Government said Lendlease will build these as part of the Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan to support the Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek expected to be operational in 2026.

The World Green Building Council has urged business to commit to only operate within buildings that will be net zero by 2050 in a new report. It’s also made calls for certification of all new assets as net zero carbon by 2030, and those existing by 2050, and for governments to develop specific regulations and policies.
Construction has commenced on the $929 million Bruce Highway Upgrade from Caloundra Road to Sunshine Motorway in South-East Queensland. The Fulton HoganSeymour Whyte JV was awarded the contract last year which is due for completion by 2020.

Image: GHD has used integrated architecture and engineering in its work on Melbourne’s historic Main Outfall Sewer.


Farewell and Thank You to Gary Wyatt
Farewell and Thank You to Gary Wyatt 31 May 2017

The Victorian Branch of the Institute said farewell to long standing Committee Member and Past President of the VIC Branch, Gary Wyatt. With over twelve years of service to the Concrete Institute of Australia, and know as a true gentleman of the industry, Gary's shoes will be hard to fill. Seen here with current Victorian President, Andrew Sarkady.

News bulletin 21:
News bulletin 21: 30 May 2017

Following the collapse of part of Highway I-85 in Atlanta in March due to a massive fire underneath, engineers have created 61 beams in record time to reconstruct the missing portion. Standard Concrete Products was contacted while the bridge was still on fire (!) and explain their work, which was completed in two weeks.

The new Indigenous Procurement Policy has been implemented this month at Laing O’Rourke, designed to help boost the capabilities of Indigenous businesses in the construction sector. It follows the Australian Government’s 2016 directive on all Commonwealth and State Government construction contracts but the firm says it is taking its policy further.

John Holland has been awarded a $170 million contract to remove two level crossings in Melbourne in alliance with KBR, Metro Trains and the Level Crossing Removal Authority. The North West Program Alliance will initially remove the level crossings at Camp Road in Campbellfield and Skye Road in Frankston which will involve lowering the rail under Camp Road and building a rail bridge over Skye Road.

Arup has released its quarterly review of innovation, design and ideas. The issue features solving complex fire engineering problems, and the inextricable links between the future of engineering and the future of society.

In addition to the very interesting papers published in Concrete in Australia quarterly, abstracts for the following papers are currently online: Design optimization of embedded ultrasonic transducers for concrete structures assessment; The urban heat island effect, its causes, and mitigation, with reference to the thermal properties of asphalt concrete; and, Laboratory investigation of PCB bake-out from tertiary contaminated concrete for remediation of buildings.

Source: via


News bulletin 20:
News bulletin 20: 23 May 2017

Transport NSW is inviting those who live or visit regional and rural NSW to have their say in a survey on the future planning of infrastructure including road, rail and bridges to 2056.

A $20 million 600-tonne tunnel boring machine has been delivered in Perth to work on the future Forrestfield Station. It’s one of two TBMs that will each dig 8 km of 7-m diameter tunnels that will go under Perth Airport and the Swan River. This is part of the Forrestfield-Airport Link project. You can watch a video here.

Jon Williams, Group Delivery Manager – Technical Practice, at Beca has been appointed as a Chief Specialist with the company. The title recognises his contribution to “the business and wider engineering community”. He joins only four other Chief Specialists appointed by Beca.

SMEC has been engaged by Snowy Hydro to assist with the feasibility study of the proposed Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Scheme expansion project (Snowy 2.0), the first major expansion since its completion in 1974.

Austroads has published a compendium of recent evidence on the relationships between 20 key geometric road design criteria and safety outcomes. Crash modification factors for road design criteria were reviewed such as horizontal curvature, lane and sealed shoulder widths, sag and crest design values and various longitudinal sight distance requirements.

McConnell Dowell Constructors (Aust) has been named as the winner of the 2017 Australian Construction Achievement Award for its Melbourne Port Capacity Project – Maritime Works. The Australian Construction Achievement Award is promoted by the Australian Constructors Association (ACA) and Engineers Australia.

Image: Preparatory works for the TBMs on the Forrestfield Airport Link (May 2017).

News bulletin 19:
News bulletin 19: 16 May 2017

In last week’s Federal Budget, the government announced significant infrastructure spending across Australia with the focus on roads and rail in cities and regional areas. It committed to $75 billion in infrastructure funding and financing from 2017-18 to 2026-27 for critical airport, road, and rail infrastructure projects. You can read a further analysis by law firm King & Wood Mallesons.

The latest industry forecasts released by Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) show the industry is “moving quickly through two peaks in activity with a less fevered period of activity coming”, calling it a “double dip downturn”.

Associate Professor Rebecca Gravina from the Civil and Infrastructure Engineering Discipline at RMIT University has joined the team of co-authors of the fourth edition of Prestressed Concrete (by Warner, Foster, Gravina and Faulkes). The book has been extensively revised, updated and rewritten to take into account the many developments in theory and practice of prestressed concrete construction. It’s aimed at the teaching of prestressed concrete design at university level to civil engineers and is a reference for practising consulting structural engineers, as it refers to the requirements of the Australian Concrete Structures Standard, AS 3600-2009. In this new edition the authors made corrections to the text and extended and improved the treatment of creep and shrinkage effects in Appendix B.

Wallbridge & Gilbert has rebranded to ‘WGA’ (Wallbridge Gilbert Aztec) to represent Wallbridge & Gilbert and Aztec Analysis being integrated multi-disciplinary team. Under the one name, joint managing directors Peter McBean and Nick Lelos say WGA will provide streamlined access to a broader range of services across Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth, Darwin and Whyalla. Its services include structural, civil, maritime, mechanical, geotechnical, heavy lifting, temporary works, project management, electrical and pressure vessels.

Professor Guowei Ma, of the University of Western Australia, has accepted a position at the Hebei University of Technology in Tianjin, a province near Beijing and will continue his ties at UWA as an adjunct professor. He will be the Dean, School of Civil and Transportation Engineering, and also Professor and Vice President of the School. The university is the original technology institute of China and has an international focus and access to top-tier funding. Professor Ma previously served on the CIA WA branch committee.


Steel Cement Slag Mill Site Visit - SOLD OUT!
Steel Cement Slag Mill Site Visit - SOLD OUT! 9 May 2017

If you missed out on our recent site visit to Independent Cement & Lime's Steel Cement Slag Grinding Plant in Yarraville, don't worry as we will be holding this event again due to popular demand. Last month's highly popular site visit quickly sold out so stay tuned to the Victoria Branch home page for furth