Green Concrete – RMIT University

November 16, 2019 0 By Kody Olson


Sujeeva Setunge: The aim is to develop a concrete
product which utilises more than 50% fly ash as replacement of cement without an additional
cost and without any additional procedures or major changes to the actual production
process. Dr Indubhushan Patnaikuni: Fly ash, actually,
is a waste material which comes out of the coal fired power stations. So here, in this project, we are mainly looking
at using the fly ash as replacement cement replacement in concrete. Cement is a pollutant
because when we produce one tonne of cement the industry emits about one tonne
of carbon dioxide. At the moment, the global cement production
is more than three billion tonnes. That means three billion tonnes of carbon
dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere. Martyn Hook: The really interesting about
fly ash is that somebody has discovered that when you add it into a concrete mix, it actually
improves the thermal performance it improves the ability of the plastic nature of concrete
to sit into a form. The ability for fly ash as a completely recycled
waste product that’s been brought into a brand new material actually, helps in the
way in which it improves the performance of that material. So effectively, the concrete is better
with the fly ash in it rather than it not being in it. And I suppose the work that’s being done
at RMIT is bound within the kind of chemical composition and the ways in which this performance
might be assessed. We have solved some of the immediate barriers
that were inhibiting the use of the material
widely. So we have
figured out a way of using unrefined fly ash
so that we could produce concrete using normal production
processes with high volumes of fly ash. So recently, in Docklands, it was a condition
that 20% fly ash is used in concrete. Fly ash was used in this project because,
I guess, it was part of the suite of options under the Green Building Council rating tool. The Gauge, in itself, is a commercial office
building. It’s the first building in the country to achieve a 6 Star
design: a 6 Star As Built and a 6 Star fit out
9,000 square metres of commercial office liveable area and a
number of attributes that … have helped it get to its 6 Star rating. And the fly ash, itself, is a waste product
and we worked with a number of different partners within industry to try
and work out how we could actually use it. Now, with people like Clinton
and the C40 Conference recently we’re beginning to see the way in which
both legislators and big business are embracing the ability for
sustainability to not only promote their brand but begin to, actually increase the
quality of life in significant cities. President Bill Clinton: I thank the property
developers and the local governments that are involved in this.
Individually, these projects are going to transform their communities
but collectively, they will set a new global benchmark that can change the world. Andrew Staedler: There was a lot of myths
in the industry that said that building green cost extra and that you … to build a green
building, you paid a premium. We were very, very clear about the fact that
we wanted to achieve a 6 Star result
at a commercially viable rate but, I guess, that’s comparing it to, perhaps,
a 3 or 4 or 4½ Star building. The research will benefit the industry, mainly. Cement is more expensive compared to fly ash
so industry, I believe, would be very happy to use this product. I think
this collaborative act between industry, government and
the everyday person where the everyday person makes particular demands of
their elected representatives to enforce the ability for buildings and spaces
and cities to grow in a sustainable manner
which goes beyond the kind of throw away, strap on
gimmick and starts to get really down to the core of how these places are good places to
be.