News bulletin 10:
News bulletin 10: 19 Mar 2019

Funding from Round 3 of the Building Better Regions Fund now sees the proposed $31 million Rockhampton Art Gallery go ahead, with tenders called shortly. Construction is expected to commence later this year.

Identifying the parameters influencing the curling phenomenon and understanding the influence of cement substitution by increasing proportions of NHL on the kinetics and the final curling magnitude are the aims of a recently published paper.

Young women are struggling to visualise themselves pursuing careers in construction and are even being actively discouraged from entering the industry, according to a new paper published by NAWIC. Dr Phillippa Carnemolla of UTS wrote the paper after investigating the perceptions of female high school students throughout 2018-19.

Beijing Daxing International Airport is nearing completion following five years of construction and is expected to open in October. It is the latest megaproject for China with 1.6 million cubic metres of concrete.

View images of brutalist buildings around the world under threat of demolition including the social housing block boxes in The Rocks in Sydney. Yet, concrete is more fashionable than ever, some say, and question why its brutalist relatives don't receive better care.

An onsite solar photovoltaic system is now operation at Cambodia's most advanced cement factory. Built by Singapore-based Cleantech Solar, it is expected to generate 297 GWh of clean energy.

Image: Beijing Daxing international airport, known as 'the starfish', holds 1.6M cubic metres of concrete. Source: Sipa Asia/Rex/Shutterstock (via The Guardian).

News bulletin 09:
News bulletin 09: 12 Mar 2019

Gold Member Boral has announced several changes to its executive team, including its building products and major projects executive general manager in WA becoming president and CEO of Boral Australia. This comes on the back of increased revenue supported by its cement, quarry and asphalt businesses.

In April, phase 2 of more stringent financial reporting standards in Queensland is expected to begin for licensees with revenue over $30M through the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (Minimum Financial Requirements) Regulation 2018. Phase 1 began in January.

Western Australia is set to have its own Infrastructure WA (IWA) office with the appointment of a chair-designate to help establish and operate the new office. Expressions of interest will open in coming months to select other board members.

Adelaide Brighton has released its full-year results to December 2018 saying east coast construction markets were strong while SA and NT were flat and WA was down, for the company. Former CEO Martin Brydon, who retires at the end of March, worked with recently appointed CEO Nick Miller on the results.

Access to the 2018 Professional Engineers Employment and Remuneration Report is available via a free summary, which provides overall results from the Association of Professional Engineers' annual survey.

Image: Boral is supplying quarry materials and concrete for the manufacture of 54,000 precast segments to line Melbourne Metro Railway project's underground tunnels.

Largest continuous concrete pour - Guinness World Record
Largest continuous concrete pour - Guinness World Record 8 Mar 2019

CONMIX Ready Mix Concrete Division has entered the "Guinness World Records" for a Continuous Concrete Raft Pour, supplying 20,246 cubic meters of concrete at the raft foundation of the new Safari Mall in Muweilah area of Sharjah, UAE. A total of 140 Truck Mixers and 12 Mobile Pumps were used to achieve the Milestone concrete pour without any delays and continuous flow of concrete at the site... More

View video of concrete pour here


News bulletin 08:
News bulletin 08: 5 Mar 2019

Nine mid-tier civil construction companies have banded together in the Australian Owned Contractors (AOC) alliance to lobby governments for more opportunities in the delivery of major public infrastructure projects. It says 80% of local infrastructure worth $500M+ is delivered by foreign multinationals.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released the December 2018 figures for construction and details of building approvals as at January 2019.

A Women in Civil committee has been launched by the Civil Contractors Federation South Australia (CCFSA)  as part of a push to attract and retain women in the civil sector in the state.

A new public hospital will be designed and built in Footscray in Melbourne to the tune of $1.5 billion. Community consultation starts shortly, with the tender process commencing around mid-year, and an expected open date of 2025.

The $50 million Frankston train station in Melbourne (pictured) has been completed, having been the clear winner in a 2017 two-stage national design competition. Its architects saw it as a "brilliant white landmark" to act as the gateway to the Mornington Peninsula.

The CEO of Melbourne Airport has indicated there are "ambitious plans" to upgrade the facility to cater for increasing passenger volumes, attract new carriers and services, and expanding runway capabilities.

Image: Frankston Station. Source: Peter Clarke via Architecture AU.

News bulletin 07
News bulletin 07 26 Feb 2019

Under-designed precast panels and their supporting hob beams were partially responsible for the damage to the 36-storey Opal tower in Sydney. The final independent report says this relates to the NCC and AS 3600 in the design and construction of the reinforced concrete tower with post-tensioned concrete floors, which was evacuated in December. Several images are available to view.

The NSW Government will appoint a Building Commissioner to act as the regulator in the state, including overseeing licensing and auditing of practitioners. As part of a major overhaul of building laws, building designers as well as engineers will have to declare plans that specify buildings comply with the Building Code of Australia; they have been constructed according to the plans; and building designers and builders will be required to be registered.

The design of a 58-storey building, to be located at 1 Alfred Street, Circular Quay in Sydney and originally proposed in 2009, is now on public display with minor changes. Two six-storey and one 24-storey residential buildings will feature in the redevelopment of Subiaco's abandoned Pavilion Markets in Melbourne, to be developed by Blackburne Property Group. The design of a 17-storey hotel neighbouring the under-construction Western Sydney Stadium, is before the NSW planning minister as a State Significant DA.

Following the closure of the latest stage in the Federal Government Bridges Renewal Program, successful projects will be announced mid-year.

Australians may soon be driving and walking on roads and pavements made from recycled concrete and other materials, due to a raft of Victorian Government research grants. One of the projects sees Boral Limited and RMIT University developing premix concrete that uses recycled plastics and rubber.

A second contract has been awarded to Georgiou Group for the Warrego Highway Upgrade Program (WHUP) that will include the Dalby to Miles pavement widening and safety upgrade and the Oakey to Miles safety upgrade package 2. The company delivered the Toowoomba to Oakey duplication stage 2. WHUP is a $635 million package of 18 projects.

Image: courtesy of Georgiou Group.


News bulletin 06
News bulletin 06 19 Feb 2019

Snowy Hydro will construct a 3.1 km tunnel and supporting infrastructure, as part of exploratory works for Snowy 2.0 approved by the NSW Government.

Construction has started on a new 74 metre-long wharf at the Rothera Research Station in Antarctica, along with deconstruction of the old wharf.

There are calls from diverse groups, including government bodies and environmental alliances, for an overhaul of planning policies and legislation at both state and national levels in Australia.

Development approval has been granted to Chevron Australia to build its new Australian HQ - a $360 million 30-storey tower at Elizabeth Quay in Perth.

Infrastructure Australia has released its $58 billion pipeline of projects in the 2019 Infrastructure Priority List that includes 25 new infrastructure proposals and 121 which are "nationally significant". IA said the list puts greater focus on the need for nationally co-ordinated action.

A client declared their love of concrete for their house in Melbourne, specifying they wanted "a bunker", now known as The Light Vault.

Image: Construction of the Rothera wharf in Antarctica. Source: BAS.

AS 2550.15:2019 has been published
AS 2550.15:2019 has been published 13 Feb 2019

The following Standards Australia publication has been published. 

Publication Number: AS 2550.15:2019
Title: Concrete placing equipment
Publishing Date: 21-01-2019
Project Committee: ME-091 Concrete placing equipment

News bulletin 05:
News bulletin 05: 12 Feb 2019

Boral, CCAA, and Adelaide Brighton have been cited by the SMH as part of a group of "dozens of concrete and cement suppliers" calling for a review of recent changes to the National Construction Code. In a separate article, the newspaper said Boral has been impacted by extreme rainfall and construction delays on major government projects.

Silver Member Cardno has announced the immediate appointment of a Chief Executive Officer to the company’s Asia Pacific division. Adelaide Brighton also has a new CEO following the announcement that Martin Brydon will retire in March.

A proposal for the final tower in the set of three (pictured) at Barangaroo South in Sydney's CBD has been submitted for planning approval. The 250 metre-tall R4A tower and the 210 metre R4B tower were approved in late 2017. 
David Chandler, Adjunct Professor in Construction Management at Western Sydney University and construction industry advocate, opines on the state of the industry.

Marines in California have completed construction of a usable, 3D-printed concrete footbridge - the first time in the Western Hemisphere a bridge was 3D-printed onsite rather than in a controlled environment like a factory.

Inland Rail has invited landholders in central-western NSW to register their interest to supply suitable building materials to be used to build rail embankments as part of the 1700 km Brisbane to Melbourne rail project.

Image via architects Renzo Piano Building Workshop.


News bulletin 04
News bulletin 04 5 Feb 2019

Expressions of interests are open to design Western Sydney Airport’s terminal that will combine international and domestic travel, with the first stage set to open in 2026. Firms pitching for the project are advised they will have to outline how they plan to involve university students with a link to Western Sydney.

A shortlist of five companies invited to submit designs for the $150 million theatre at the Queensland Cultural Centre has been announced by the state government.

TasWater has announced its alliance partners, one of which is CPB Contractors, to oversee an extensive capital works program over the next four years. CPB has also been chosen by the NSW Government to construct the Coffs Harbour Hospital Expansion Main Works.

Two tenderers have been shortlisted to duplicate a section of the Bruce Highway as part of the $481 million Cairns Southern Access Corridor Stage 3 project. The highway will be widened from two to four lanes and a four-lane bridge will also be built over several creeks.
Increasing interest in the brutalist school of architecture is making New Belgrade a mecca for connoisseurs of concrete buildings.
A new study has examined the adverse effects of the adsorption of natural gas constituents found in our environment - and mixtures of several such gases - into one of the materials that make up concrete: cement hydrate.

Image: Illustration of Coffs Harbour Hospital expansion via CPB Contractors.

News bulletin 03
News bulletin 03 29 Jan 2019

The design and construction contract has been awarded for a 280-metre long skybridge at Perth Airport from the new airport central station to the international terminal forecourt.

The 42 year-old 86 metre-high tailings dam which until recently held 11.7 million litres of mining waste in Brazil was the second dam failure in three years for Vale. The Mariana dam failure in 2015 in Brazil was operated by Vale in a joint venture with BHP Billiton. Many of the victims of the latest dam collapse were subcontractors having lunch in the mine's canteen.

The NSW Roads and Maritime Service has announced the establishment of a Community Consultative Committee (CCC) for the Coffs Harbour bypass project that will involve tunnels, a viaduct etc. Interested stakeholders wishing to join the committee should apply before 18 February.

Pilbara Ports Authority has shortlisted two companies vying for the construction and operation of a new general cargo facility at the port of Port Hedland in WA with a view to have it operational within two years.

The NSW Government has started the procurement process for the construction this year of the duplication of the Prospect Highway at Blacktown and Memorial Avenue at Kellyville in Western Sydney.

The world's largest 3D printed concrete pedestrian bridge has been completed in Shanghai, China. It was designed and developed by a team in the School of Architecture at Tsinghua University.

Image: World's largest 3D printed concrete bridge in Shanghai. Source: Tsinghua University.

News bulletin 02
News bulletin 02 22 Jan 2019

Changes to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 (Qld), introduced under the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2018 (Qld) mean engineers can be held liable for non-conforming building products, according to lawyers.

Infrastructure Australia has appointed a new CEO following the departure of Philip Davies in 2018. The new chief executive will not begin her new role until April 2019, however, there is an acting CEO in place.

Melbourne's two-year-old Tanderrum Bridge (pictured) has been recognised by the American Institute of Architects' New York Chapter with an urban design award, the latest of many accolades for the bridge made from a flat steel girder structure encased in concrete and wrapped in a 'filigree' skin.

n Sydney, the Concord Road Bridge has been completed and forms part of the Concord Interchange in the WestConnex project, which will soon open along with the new M4 tunnels.

The Tasmanian Government is planning to deliver a $400 million investment in stormwater and sewerage infrastructure in Launceston. Part of TasWater's 10-Year Infrastructure Plan is to spend $320 million by 2025-6.

The NSW Government has ear-marked almost $470 million for regional infrastructure projects through a new contribution scheme paid for by developers. The Hunter Region Special Infrastructure Contribution draft is open to the community.

Read about some of the latest materials in concrete research, including cost-effective engineered cementitious composites; fire-safe affordable lightweight cladding; curved concrete shells using an industrial knitting machine; and wooden nanoparticles to boost concrete's strength.

News bulletin 01
News bulletin 01 15 Jan 2019

Controversy continues to surround the Opal Tower in Olympic Park, Sydney, found to have cracks in its walls. The Daily Telegraph has published an article outlining that Silver Member Cardno says "concrete investigation required". Cardno has also been working for three years on an artificial lake, undertaking the civil and structural engineering design (see image).

ABC News recently published a long article on Australia's construction sub-contractors calling them the "human face of a construction industry in crisis".

What will be Australia's largest timber-framed structure in regional Australia has begun construction in Ballarat and it will contain 75,000 tonnes of concrete.

Professor Jay Sanjayan, whom many of you would know, published an article in The Conversation late last year titled '3D Printing Could Free the World from Boring Buildings'.

The principal structural designer on the construction of the Sydney Opera House's iconic roof sails, Jack Zunz, passed away last month, aged 94.

Late in 2018, CCAA revealed new figures for concrete in the previous calendar year. Strong demand for high rise residential buildings contributed to a record production year (30 million cubic metres of pre-mixed concrete) across Australia for the industry.
Image: Stockland's artificial lake lock. Source: Cardno.

Newly developed concrete absorbs CO2, insulates and is also a vertical garden…
Newly developed concrete absorbs CO2, insulates and is also a vertical garden…11 Jan 2019

It is not only a medium for growth and a construction material, but a means to regulate temperatures indoors while removing CO2 from the atmosphere.  The surface of the concrete grows mosses, lichens, fungi and other biological organisms…More

Designing climate-friendly concrete, from the nanoscale up
Designing climate-friendly concrete, from the nanoscale up11 Dec 2018

Recognizing the critical need for concrete, Pellenq and his colleague Franz-Josef Ulm, professor of CEE and director of the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub (CSHub), have been working to reduce its environmental footprint. Their goal: to find ways to do more with less. “If we can make concrete stronger, we’ll need to use less of it in our structures,” says Ulm. “And if we can make it more durable, it’ll last longer before it needs to be replaced.”...More

News bulletin-49:
News bulletin-49: 11 Dec 2018

The concepts and aspirations behind the design of the North Queensland Stadium have been explained in a behind-the-scenes video featuring Concrete Institute of Australia Silver Member, ARUP.

Construction activity levels dropped at the fastest rate in nearly four years last month. The Australian Industry Group’s (Ai Group) Performance of Construction Index (PCI) fell to 44.5 points in November.

Expressions of Interest are invited by 14 December for the principal design consultant contract for a $150 million performing arts theatre in Brisbane.

A 22-storey residential building in Sydney's Waterloo, named Emblem and designed by BVN, has received an Award of Excellence for Best Tall Building 100 metres and Under from the Council on Tall Buildings  and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), putting it in the running for the Best Tall Building Worldwide in 2019. BVN also designed the new Sydney Fish Market area which will involve a substantial amount of concrete (pictured).

Central Darwin is set to become the home of a number of educational and civic institutions, including a new campus for Charles Darwin University, a fine arts gallery, and a major library.

Kane Constructions has been awarded a design and construct contract for the $64.6 million State Netball and Hockey Centre (SNHC) Redevelopment in Victoria.
Image: The proposed design of the new Sydney Fish Markets area. Source: BVN.

AS 3850.2:2015 Amd 1:2018 - Published
AS 3850.2:2015 Amd 1:2018 - Published11 Dec 2018

The objective of this part of the Standard is to provide requirements for the materials, components and equipment used in the manufacture of prefabricated concrete elements. 

Publication Number: AS 3850.2:2015 Amd 1:2018 
Title: Prefabricated concrete elements - General requirements 
Project Committee: BD-066 : Prefabricated Concrete Elements
:Publishing Date 11-12-2018

News bulletin-48:
News bulletin-48: 4 Dec 2018

Rob Kilgour, WSP Principal Engineer for Materials Technology, explores the balancing act required in defining requirements for tunnel material durability performance to help extend the life of tunnel assets. And in other news, WSP has won the 2018 Global Road Achievement Award for Design for the Waterview Connection in NZ (pictured).

Belgian construction giant BESIX Group SA has acquired a controlling interest in Watpac of more than 50%, with the intent to grow Watpac's earnings and shareholder value.

Westkon Precast in Melbourne has installed a Universal Concrete Extruder with eight different tube and mould sets for the manufacture of hollow core slab 1.20 m in width and 15 to 50 cm in height.

Building contractor, Halikos, has been announced as the successful tenderer for the $12.6 million first stage Northern Territory public school at Zuccoli which will support 120 construction jobs over the coming year.

Austroads has published a report that outlines a framework to help assess the value of maintenance and renewal works, consistent with capital investments. The organisation has also released its 2017-18 annual report.

This concrete house has much more than meets the eye, according to CCAA, with the choice of concrete's chief characteristic that formed the choice for the building.

News bulletin-47:
News bulletin-47: 27 Nov 2018

Industry groups, including cement producers, are lobbying against a new 2019 import tax, the Biosecurity Imports Levy, alleging the new tariff will increase costs by 3000 - 5000% on the inputs for cement, steel and aluminium production.

An Adelaide contractor has been named National Specialist Contractor of the Year at Master Builders Australia's national awards for the first of eight bridges over the Southern Expressway, part of the $620 million Darlington Upgrade Project. And Multiplex was awarded as National Commercial Builder of the Year for its construction of Perth’s Optus Stadium.

Arcadis has appointed a new CEO of its Australia Pacific business. The new chief takes over from Greg Steele who was recently made Group Executive APAC.

Fletcher Building has revealed its Golden Bay Cement plant in Auckland, NZ, was forced to stop its cement mill for four weeks in September which is likely to impact its financial year earnings by millions. It also says it is up against challenging conditions in Australia.

Developers are invited to submit expressions of interest for the construction of a unit complex containing 70 residential units by NT Health for Alice Springs Hospital staff accommodation.

An over-station development at Waterloo, Sydney, that includes three towers of 23, 25 and 29 storeys.
A concept DA has been submitted that includes 700 dwellings, along with almost 4000 m² of retail/entertainment space, 8700 m² of office space/recreational facilities, and at least 2000 m² for community use.


News bulletin-46:
News bulletin-46: 20 Nov 2018

SMEC ANZ has appointed a new CEO following the appointment of CEO SMEC and CEO International earlier in the year. The company will also celebrate its 70th anniversary next year and has just completed a year-long feasibility study that includes the potential for a 2100GL dam in Queensland, which could lead to 12,000 jobs.

An international design competition for the controversial new Powerhouse Museum in Parramatta has been announced, ahead of its launch in December. A London-based competition organizer has been appointed to manage the two-stage competition process, with the winning design to be announced later in 2019.
A survey of 100 civil engineers in the UK has found, among other things, that a third of engineers who regularly design steel to concrete connections struggle because there is no software to design the different elements of a steel to concrete connection.
A NSW Roads and Maritime Services Director of Bridges and Structure has been awarded the NSW Premier’s Award for Infrastructure Delivery.

The inaugural 2018 NZ Bridges Summit and Awards Dinner has been held in Auckland, with delegates taking part in workshops, presentations and discussions in bridge design, asset management and recent engineering developments. Beca bridge engineers won the Large Structure Award for their work on the Great North Road Interchange Ramps.

Researchers at Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research, Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institute in Germany, have replaced carbon/glass-fibre fabrics in textile reinforced concrete with eco-friendly natural fibres that rival conventional concrete performance, with a smaller carbon footprint.

Image: Steel and concrete connection. Source: via New Civil Engineer.


Final design for new Sydney Fish Market unveiled
Final design for new Sydney Fish Market unveiled16 Nov 2018

Danish practice 3XN said that its approach to the project would be to create a major cultural facility that was more than just a fish market.
“This building will be many things when it is done: a working fish market, an amenity for the city, a cultural destination, an urban connector, and an inspiring icon along the world-renowned Sydney Harbour,” said 3XN founding partner Kim Herforth Nielsen. “The natural value of the water’s edge should not be underestimated and should be accessible to everyone.”... More


News bulletin-45:
News bulletin-45: 13 Nov 2018

Concrete paving is underway on South Australia’s first major concrete road as part of the $885 million Northern Connector project.

Victoria University’s long-planned 32-storey vertical city campus will soon be built at 364-378 Little Lonsdale Street in the Melbourne CBD, with ISPT signing on as developer. Its DA was approved six years ago.
A number of sustainability related jobs have been featured by The Fifth Estate that may interest readers.

This residence in Lisbon, Portugal, features concrete throughout and features a parabolic roof.

The longest suspension bridge in Africa has just been completed, connecting three nations, and built for US$700 million. It was a joint construction and management project by China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) and the government of Mozambique.

You are welcome to read abstracts from Elsevier's latest concrete and cement research articles.

Huge concrete blocks are being used to harness potential energy via a 'skyscraper-sized battery' in the Energy Vault system, to be deployed in India for the first time in 2019.

Image: The Maputo-Catembe Bridge in Mozambique.

AS 5100.5:2017 Amd 1-
AS 5100.5:2017 Amd 1- 12 Nov 2018

AS 5100.5:2017 Amd 1 follows the release of AS5100:2017

AS(/NZS) 5100:2017 Series Bridge Design represents international best practise for design of new bridges, rehabilitation of existing bridges and the assessment of the structural capacity of older bridges for current traffic loads.

This Standard was prepared by the Australian members of Joint Standards Australia/Standards New Zealand Committee BD-090.

Draft Number: AS 5100.5:2017 Amd 1
Title: Australia Bridge design, Part 5: Concrete
Project Committee: BD-090 Bridge Design
Publishing Date: 12-11-2018

News bulletin-44:
News bulletin-44: 6 Nov 2018

A development application for a 49-storey tower to rise out of Sydney's heritage-listed City Tattersall's Club on Pitt Street has been lodged with the City of Sydney. This is ICD Property's second proposal for the site, the first rejected by council and the court due to heritage concerns.

Master Builders Association of Victoria has announced it has a new CEO, replacing Radley de Silva who has retired after five years at the helm and 17 at the MBAV.

Tony Shepherd, a former managing director – construction for Lend Lease and chairman of the WestConnex board, has been appointed inaugural Chair of Infrastructure South Australia. The state government says its "approach to infrastructure planning is [being] overhauled to deliver better, more strategic outcomes and projects".

Researchers from the Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) in Lithuania say they are developing methods of producing concrete without cement, with the final product as strong as traditional concrete and more resilient to acid, heat and cold.

CPB Contractors has been awarded a $170 million construct-only contract by NSW's RMS as part of the $1.6 billion Northern Road upgrade project in Western Sydney.

A double-curved concrete shelled pavilion, constructed using a 3D-knitted formwork, has gone on display in Mexico City. It is an homage to Spanish-Mexican engineer and architect, Félix Candela.

Image: the proposed 49-storey tower to emerge from the Tattersall's Club in Sydney. Source: FJMT.

News bulletin-43:
News bulletin-43: 30 Oct 2018

A public review will be held into the collapse of two major construction companies in Queensland that the government says left hundreds of subcontractors and suppliers unpaid.

And a South Australian home builder will be liquidated by court order after losing its construction licence and failing to pay concrete and steel contractors.

Part of a concrete jetty on Rottnest Island collapsed late last week, injuring three people. The Premier of Western Australia, Mark McGowan, said Rottnest Island Authority will assess the jetty and other infrastructure on the island.

Over the next year, expect to see Smart Site Hubs that are set to redefine construction as on-site workplaces change to incorporate more off-site fabrication, according to David Chandler from the Centre for Smart Modern Construction (c4SMC) at WSU. C4SMC also says the Australian construction industry has among the lowest rates of investment in R&D in the economy.
When bridges, dam walls and concrete foundations form cracks, alkali-aggregate reaction is often the culprit, according to the Swiss National Science Foundation. SNSF is part-way through a four-year project with Empa to study the concrete disease, with first results already in.

Infrastructure Australia’s 2017-18 annual report has been published on its website.

Georgiou Group has been awarded the Bruce Highway – Cairns Southern Access Corridor Stage 4 project which involves upgrading 2.6 km from four to six lanes between Kate Street and Aumuller Street for Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads.

Image: Rottnest Island jetty. Source: ABC News.

News bulletin-42:
News bulletin-42: 23 Oct 2018

Perth-based concrete-maker Eden Innovations has had to answer queries from the ASX three times this month as the company’s shares continue to surge. The company also has a couple of jobs open: a concrete technician and an engineering technician.

AECOM, whose Queensland office is an Institute Member, has signed a contract with the Victorian Government as design partner for the Melbourne Metro Tunnel Project. The company is part of the Rail Infrastructure Alliance that also includes CPB Contractors and John Holland.

Researchers at Purdue University, Illinois, have 3D-printed cement paste that gets tougher under pressure like the shells of arthropods such as lobsters and beetles. The technique could eventually contribute to more resilient structures during natural disasters, the team says.

Contract employment in the engineering sector appears to be on the rise, according to two recruitment firms. Around a quarter of all engineering hires done under contract and half of all managers expect to grow their employee numbers on this basis.

Micron-sized calcium silicate spheres could help create stronger, more environmentally-friendly concrete, according to researchers at Rice University in Texas. The team formed the spheres in a solution around nanoscale seeds of a common detergent-like surfactant, with the spheres able to be prompted to self-assemble into strong solids.

The first world-wide, large-scale casting using recycled tyre polymer fibres has taken place at Sheffield University’s Civil Engineering Department to research the recycling of tyre steel and polymer fibres for use in the concrete construction industry. Special machines have been developed to ensure they are dispersed uniformly in concrete, which is now being tested for strength, durability and fire resistance.

Image: Packed, micron-scale calcium silicate spheres are a promising material that could lead to stronger and more environmentally-friendly concrete, according to researchers at Rice University. Source: RU Multiscale Materials Laboratory.

News bulletin-41:
News bulletin-41: 16 Oct 2018

Wood & Grieve Engineers (WGE) has signed a letter of intent to integrate with global consustancy firm Stantec. WGE is a Bronze Member of the Concrete Institute of Australia in Western Australia.

Specialist contractor, Marine and Civil Maintenance, has appointed a new general manager, engineer Nick Critchley, and established an office in Melbourne to continue the business’ growth.

A team at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University has developed a technology, known as swarm printing, where two robots can work in unison to 3D-print a concrete structure. They say it paves the way for a group of mobile robots to print even larger structures in the future.

Australian architects Woods Bagot and Peddle Thorp NZ will design and build a NZ$200 million 180-metre-tall 50-level mixed-use tower adjacent to Auckland’s Sky Tower, which is currently the tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Engineering School of Far Eastern Federal University in Russia has developed a new type of concrete designed for airport runways. The developers say its composition is 46% stronger than known types of concrete and has improved static compressive strength and high shock endurance.

Boston Dynamics’ construction robot, Spot, has been field-tested on real construction sites in Japan. The dog-like model autonomously navigated two sites in Tokyo and used a specialised payload for surveying work progress. With an additional camera in its limb, the robot is able to complete even more detailed onsite inspection work and will be ready for commercial applications next year.

Image: An illustration depicting part of the design of the 50-level Auckland tower. Source: Woods Bagot.

News bulletin-40:
News bulletin-40: 9 Oct 2018

The University of Sydney has published a study showing that 50% of work related spinal injuries happen in the construction industry – 21% higher than in vehicle crashes. The study calls for “increased local surveillance of safety systems and stricter enforcement of relevant legislation” to reduce these.

Watch a time-lapse video that shows the full concrete pour of 3300 cubic yards over eight hours into the foundation mat of a new office building that will stand 800 feet tall in Chicago.

In New Zealand, over the next 10 years, 7000 houses are expected to be built in Auckland along with major infrastructure including wastewater mains and pump stations, stormwater management, and arterial roads with bus and cycling lanes.

A planning application has been lodged for a 124.2 metre tall and slender tower in the Adelaide CBD. If built, it will be among the world’s tallest towers designed specifically for student housing.

Experts in the future of construction say 3D printing will eventually transform the sector, helping to introduce robotisation into construction and tackle waste reduction.

The shortlist for the Architectural Photography Awards 2018 is out, with entries from 47