While technological adoption is well-known for its impact on the industry, another game-changer is set to rock the very foundation of construction – new materials.
For Australian businesses, it’s important to recognise that materials used to build developments and infrastructure are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and are being used to make the building process itself more efficient.
The creation of innovative building materials has also ensured that project managers and developers are able to build more unique structures due to materials’ improved strength, flexibility and durability.
New developments in the materials industry range from aerated concrete products to ready wall products made from PVC – but the opportunities are endless.
Snap Right in with Rediwall
One innovative material that’s just hit the Australian market is a new type of permanent PVC formwork system. Rediwall by AFS is touted as a “simple, cost-effective answer to conventional concrete and masonry,” by Steve Darwell, General Manager, New Business Development at CSR.
This new system includes a revolutionary 90 degree ezy-fitTM corner panel as well as removable cover sections to allow complete unobstructed access for the installation of reinforcement bars. For builders, this removes the traditional difficulties associated with conventional PVC systems.
Rediwall provides construction companies a more versatile and low-maintenance permanent formwork solution.
In addition, certifying engineers can simply remove the cap to inspect and approve reinforcement placement prior to concrete pouring – a benefit which is not possible with conventional systems. Rediwall then provides construction companies a more versatile and low-maintenance permanent formwork solution – making the building process more efficient.
Concrete as Light as Air
Another new product which has the potential to up-end the construction materials industry is MaxiWall – a unique type of autoclaved, aerated concrete or AAC.
The product offers a more stylish and sustainable alternative to traditional brick and concrete, while still providing that solid feel of traditional bricks. Jim Bindon, Managing Director of Big River Industries (the creator of MaxiWall), says the product provides a more comfortable home living experience due to superior fire protection, insulation, and soundproofing qualities.
“With four times greater thermal resistance than standard house bricks, the amount of energy required to heat or cool is greatly reduced, and provides savings to homeowners.
MaxiWall also has excellent acoustic insulation – up to seven decibels greater per surface area than other solid building materials of the same weight,” he notes. “This is particularly important in multi-residential housing as well as semi-detached and terraced houses where soundproofing is critical.”
“This is particularly important in multi-residential housing as well as semi-detached and terraced houses where soundproofing is critical.”
Fundamentally, the benefits of new types of materials like Rediwall and MaxiWall is that they’re easy to work with, which leads to significantly faster construction times as well as decreased costs in the long-term.
The potential of construction materials is seemingly endless, from paint that can sense cracks in buildings to bamboo that’s stronger than steel, or concrete to wallpaper that can charge devices like phones and tablets. As these materials continue to innovate, so too will the rate of change in cost-savings and sustainability for the construction industry.