New materials to solve the concrete conundrum

16 August 2023
By Chris Sheedy, Create Digital

Entirely new engineering challenges arise when buildings are designed using materials other than concrete. The solutions to these challenges will not just help reduce the volume of concrete used, but will also make buildings more modular.

When designing a school building ten years ago, there would have been little to no discussion around the material from which the building was to be constructed, according to Engineers Australia Fellow Paul Easingwood FIEAust, Director, Structures and Facades at Bligh Tanner.

“Every day of the week it would have been a two-storey concrete frame,” Easingwood told create. “But now, there’s a heavy momentum to steer the construction industry toward different paths.

“We’re doing a number of school projects in New South Wales which are modular. It’s a mandate from Schools Infrastructure NSW. A lot of those systems are using timber, timber framing or cross-laminated timber.”

Just as timber in its various forms is becoming a more frequent selection, so is steel framing, particularly for the potential modularity such materials can offer.

But engineering challenges arise with new materials around construction methodologies, tolerances, procurement, accuracy and more.

Full article


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