News bulletin 10 ->
News bulletin 10 -> 16 Mar 2021

Design changes have been made to the future M12 that will provide access to the Nancy-Bird Walton Airport in Western Sydney, with two new connections around Elizabeth Drive. Construction procurement will start soon with the release of Registration of Interest (ROI); major work is expected to commence in 2022.

A recently released report by Victoria found women in semi-skilled roles in construction and trades experience high rates of discrimination and a lack of workplace support. RMIT was involved in the study and stated "without substantial and systemic change, we will continue to see the under-representation of women in the construction industry".

Consultation on the Northern Territory's proposed reforms to building regulations is open until 1 April 2021. Included are establishing a framework for CPD for building practitioners; creating a new category of registration for commercial builders; establishing a 3rd party peer review of structural designs of complex buildings above 3 storeys; increasing capacity to undertake audits on buildings; and increasing penalties for disciplinary action by the Building Practitioners Board.

In the US, 'Space Age Concrete' (pictured) for precast products has been developed which is strengthened by a glass-reinforced rebar and is much lighter than its steel counterpart while being five times stronger.

Meanwhile in the UK, pieces of former wind turbine blades made of glass fibre-reinforced polymer will be trialled for use instead of steel rebar to reinforce concrete in parts of the HS2 project. The Nat­ional Composites Centre is involved in the recycling initiative with the contractor JV Skanska Costain Strabag.

HeidelbergCement's US subsidiary is working with a materials technology to implement a new type of carbon capture and utilisation technology in a pilot installation at Lehigh Hanson's cement facility in California. They expect a 60% reduction in CO₂ emissions per tonne of product at a new commercial plant where CO₂ will be captured from the kiln exhaust and converted into a cementitious material, with the final product suitable for a new low carbon SCM.