GemLife’s commercial construction team is set to trial a new ecologically friendly concrete slab system at Palmwoods in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.
Made from 100 per cent recycled materials including car bumpers and battery casings, the system is not only good for the environment but has the added benefits of producing less mess on site than traditional polystyrene blocks, as well as significant cost savings.
Grant Epple, Senior Project Manager of Commercial Construction, said the trial of the foundation system would be carried out in spring during the construction of the GemLife Palmwoods’ managers’ residence.
“Being safe, sustainable as well as economic, the system is a great alternative to the polystyrene blocks currently used in our concrete slabs. The team is optimistic that the test run at Palmwoods will pave the way for rolling out this product across the rest of GemLife’s construction operations,” Grant said.
“In addition to being eco-friendly, the slab system is 100 per cent recyclable which means no wastage, it is quicker to put in place so is less labour intensive, and significantly reduces ground works which means we can reduce the amount of concrete and steel used.
“It’s also adaptable and can be used to manage so-called reactive soils, for example, those that are susceptible to shrinking or swelling, as well as rising damp.”
How it works
Manufactured in Australia, the system by Cupolex, uses intelligent design to create exceptionally strong foundations which are comprised primarily of dome-like structures that sit within the concrete slab.
Each plastic dome, which looks like a cross between an umbrella and an old-school bin lid, measures 59cm by 59cm in width and between 20cm and 35cm in height, interlocking to form the slab’s substructure.
Thanks to the structure’s air spaces, the system also insulates the building’s slab during winter and summer.
The system also reduces site traffic as the domes are stackable and can be packed into a much smaller space than polystyrene blocks, meaning less trucks are needed for delivery and a reduced carbon footprint!