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Concrete In Australia : September 2009
Environmental features that make for an outstanding building • Cimitiere House has been designed to be a healthy building with clean, fresh air, helping staff stay happy, alert and more effective at work, increasing productivity and reducing sick days and staff turnover. • The development has been registered as a Five Star Green Star development under the Green Building Council of Australia's Green Star rating tool (Office Design). • The Green Star assessment process evaluates building projects or existing buildings against eight environmental impact categories (management, indoor environment quality, energy, transport, water, building materials, land use and ecology, emissions). The assessment process also takes innovation into consideration. • The atrium and a series of outdoor spaces are available to share and mingle with clients and adjacent businesses. • The building uses natural light, recycled water, solar-generated heating and Tasmanian recyclable building materials. • There is a low level of power usage and reduced air emissions, making use of natural cross-flow ventilation. No air- conditioning is needed. Glenn Smith, the architect behind Cimitiere House, found that building green office space can be more economical than building conventional office spaces. "Although Cimitiere House wasn't the first environmentally aware building we have designed, it is the first opportunity we have had to design a building specifically aimed at Green Star registration and to meet all the criteria. By working with local consultants and contractors, we were able to meet the Green Star criteria at a cost equal to or better than conventional office construction here in Launceston. At around $1600 a square metre it proves that it is affordable to build green and attract a larger number of quality tenants, " Mr Smith said. NATIONAL PRECASTER NUMBER 53 • AUGUST 2009 ...Using Precast for Sustainable Construction story continued from page 5 Recycling of concrete waste The Australian Greenhouse Office encourages and rewards builders and designers to give due attention to the use of a significant recycled content in building construction or refurbishment. Concrete waste can be processed to produce roadbase/fill material, recycled concrete aggregate and recycled concrete fines. Extensive research has been undertaken to increase the use of recycled concrete worldwide. The primary use of recycled concrete in Australia is for roadbase material, which not only reduces the need for natural fill but is also commercially viable. Use of supplementary cementitious materials The quality and properties of concrete can be improved by replacing a portion of the cement with industrial by-products known as supplementary cementitious materials (SCM) such as fly ash, blast furnace slag and silica fume. Use of these materials also reduces both mining of natural resources and greenhouse emissions associated with cement production while disposing of a waste material previously destined for landfill. Fly ash is commonly used to replace between 20--25% of portland cement in a blended cement, although higher percentages are possible and could be adopted where appropriate for a greater impact. Increase the use of recycled water in concrete Recycled water has been successfully used in concrete for many years. Its use, quality and limits are assessed under AS 1379. In addition, finishing processes such as polishing and honing can use recycled water. Improving building design and specifications This involves: 1. Developing low-energy, long-lasting yet flexible buildings and structures; 2. Exploiting the thermal mass of concrete in a structure to reduce energy demand; 3. Considering innovative or alternative design that incorporates de-materialisation such as using materials that have undergone an energy-saving process or action during manufacture or sourcing such as a filler component in cement manufacture. Specific examples of where sustainable design using precast construction, can make a considerable environmental impact can be found in the second edition of the Precast Concrete Handbook, on sale soon from SAI Global -- register at www.nationalprecast.com.au to be notified of availability. Precast's sustainability benefits come from every angle... • Lean manufacture, superior vibration and curing, steel casting beds, special mixes and recycling of waste means a higher quality product with minimal production waste. • Moulds are often used repeatedly. • Local materials are used, transportation is minimised. • Recycled materials (eg fly ash, slag, silica fume, recycled aggregates, grey water) can be incorporated. • Precast construction creates less air pollution, noise and waste (exact elements are delivered to site). • Precast can be left exposed, maximising thermal mass benefits. • Precast has a long life expectancy and maintenance and operating costs are low. • Precast structures can be retained and refitted internally. ... story continued from page 3