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Concrete In Australia : December 2013
Concrete in Australia Vol 39 No 4 5 Concrete finishing in the precast factory. PHOTO: WAGNERS in a plenum/services void above the panels. The exposed concrete frame, which supports the precast geopolymer concrete panels, was designed to incorporate the air distribution system, which supplies the plenum. A key aspect of the verification and testing process was the use and satisfaction of the performance requirements of AS 3600’s concrete structure code. Although geopolymer concrete has zero Portland cement content, AS 3600 was justified on the basis that it has been written as a performance specification standard. According to Bligh Tanner, all performance requirements of AS 3600 for the strength grade of the concrete were satisfied. Hassell principal Mark Roehrs, who led the design team, said: “We’ve tried to push the geopolymer concrete’s properties by exposing the precast panels and making them a key design element throughout the building. “In addition, the precast floor panels have internal coils to allow hydronic cooling of the thermal mass at night, and are integral to the building’s comfort control. It’s an example of architects working with engineers to bring about a new product and exploit its design potential.” The EFC mixture also has other important structural and durability properties, which include: • very low shrinkage, typically 350 microstrain when tested to the Australian standard drying shrinkage test • very low heat of reaction which avoids the possibility of thermal cracking in large element concrete pours • 30% higher flexural tensile strength than normal concrete • increased durability – higher acid resistance, higher resistance to sulphate attack and higher resistance to chloride ion ingress, which is responsible for corrosion of the reinforcing steel contained within the concrete. Bligh Tanner told the Institute that geopolymer concrete has gone beyond being simply an emerging technology, and has become a viable structural concrete that can be designed and used in structures and other applications with necessar y verification and testing. “It is hoped that this example may provide a path for others to explore new and innovative approaches to building that improve the sustainability of our built environment. As well as a range of other sustainability innovations utilised in the Global Change Institute, the geopolymer concrete floor panels help to make the building an outward expression of its inner purpose,” Bligh said. 4-16 News.indd 5 4-16 News.indd 5 25/11/13 2:37 PM 25/11/13 2:37 PM