IN THE MIX - THE LATEST CONCRETE NEWS

2014 READY MIXED CONCRETE ASSOCIATION AWARDS 20 Jul 2014

The 2014 NZRMCA Awards were presented recently at the combined Concrete Industry Conference held at the Wairakei Resort near Taupo. This year’s event held particular significance as the wider concrete industry came together to celebrate 50 years of activity across various associations.

The evening’s formalities, conducted by Jesse Mulligan, included the Plant Audit Scheme Supreme Award, an Outstanding Achievement Award, as well as the Technical Excellence and Extra Distance Awards. As has become customary, the judges had to select from a range of exceptional projects and initiatives that embodied the knowledge and resolve of those who work in the ready mixed concrete industry.

PLANT AUDIT SCHEME SUPREME AWARD
Allied Concrete - Rotorua Plant

Quality control was the primary reason for the establishment of NZRMCA and the development of the Plant Audit Scheme many decades ago. The independent Scheme remains the cornerstone of the Association. The judging criteria for this Award acknowledge consistently high performance over an extended period of time.

In producing large quantities of concrete to a reliably high quality across a number of years Allied Concrete’s Rotorua plant has demonstrated continuing excellence in performing to NZS3104 Specification for Concrete Production.

Judges’ Comment
The judges highlighted the fact that this plant had received Excellence Awards in each of the last 5 years, which is indicative of the attention to detail shown by the concrete production management team. The plant is an example to all other ready mixed concrete producers across New Zealand.

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Allied Concrete, Atlas Concrete and Firth Industries - Marsden Point Oil Refinery CCR Platformer Pour

Every so often a project is undertaken that is worthy of special recognition. The Continuous Catalyst Regeneration (or CCR) platformer pour at Marsden Point Oil Refinery, with its incredible technical and logistical challenges, is one such project. Over a 16 hour period a convoy of 60 concrete trucks delivered 550 separate loads (2,746m3 of concrete) to form the base for Refining NZ’s $365 million CCR platformer.

The pour - believed to be one of the largest single-day off-site batched concrete pours in the country - started at 3:30am on a Saturday morning and continued through until 9:00pm at night. Concrete truck deliveries were required from 5 batch plants owned by Allied Concrete (pour project manager), Atlas Concrete and Firth Industries across Whangarei and Ruakaka.

At any one time there were 15-20 trucks on the refinery site, with a truck delivery to the concrete pour about every 90 seconds. United Civil Construction oversaw the undertaking with assistance from the three NZRMCA members, along with Golden Bay Cement, Winstones, Marsden Industrial Solutions (formerly MPCL), Stan Semenoff Sand Supplies, Opus Laboratories and Sika (concrete admixtures). Special assistance was provided by the NZ Police and the NZTA.

Judges’ Comment
The judges felt that the successful delivery of this project without quality, mechanical or health and safety incident was a tribute to the professionalism of all those involved, as well as a demonstration to the wider construction industry that ready mixed concrete companies can work co-operatively to overcome technical and logistical challenges on behalf of the client.

 

TECHNICAL EXCELLENCE AWARD - WINNER
Firth Industries - Ribraft TC3 Foundation Solution

In April 2012 MBIE produced guidelines outlining the parameters and design cases that need to be allowed for when dealing with Technical Category 3 land in Christchurch. TC3 is the land identified as being susceptible to liquefaction in an earthquake, but still able to be built upon.

The solution developed by Firth Industries to satisfy MBIE requirements evolved from the existing range of Ribraft® solutions.

The system is called Ribraft® TC3, which incorporates RaftJacks™ throughout the slab.

Following a settlement inducing earthquake, RaftJacks™ are activated using a hand-held tool, raising the top foundation slab and entire house to the level position.

Due to the strength and stiffness of the Ribraft® system, development to make it easy to be re-levelled was a quick process. This involved real-world trials of the crucial RaftJacks™, the construction of a near full-scale house floor/foundation slab, and the completion of a design manual.

The fast tracked development program by Firth Industries for the Ribraft® TC3 solution has ensured concrete remains an effective solution for residential floors in Christchurch.

Judges’ Comment
The judges wanted to acknowledge Firth Industries’ ability to react swiftly in engineering an innovative solution that met an immediate problem. From a wider perspective Ribraft® TC3 demonstrates that the concrete industry has the technical and design capability to quickly adapt its products and ensure home builders, even on TC3 land, continue to enjoy the benefits of New Zealand’s most popular residential foundation material.

TECHNICAL EXCELLENCE AWARD – HIGHLY COMMENDED
Holcim Concrete - Architectural Facade at 27 Nugent Street, Auckland

Under the oversight of Dominion Constructors, the unappealing street frontage of this Auckland site is in the process of being rejuvenated through a series of polygon shaped openings in the façade, achieved through the use of the Voronoi Tessallation formwork system.

Due to the unique architectural design, it was necessary to have a concrete mix that could flow inside closed formwork, as well as have the ability to cover the congested reinforcing. 

As standard concrete was not a feasible solution, Holcim Concrete developed an innovative mix to meet the unique requirements. The specially designed concrete was placed in the formwork using two pumps, with the flow of the concrete controlled by valves at the base of the pour. These enabled the concrete to be pushed from the bottom up, to ultimately achieve the look desired by the architect (Jasmax, Auckland) and client (Aspect Furniture).

“Given the complexities and sheer design of the Voronoi Tessallation formwork, it was vital the supplier of concrete was a reliable and innovative partner, thus based on the performance and technical advice supplied by Holcim, we were able to achieve and overcome unusual challenges. We greatly appreciate Holcim Concrete’s willingness to step up and work closely to overcome significant challenges.”

Charlie Sucich, Project Manager, Dominion Constructors Ltd, 2014

Judges’ Comment
The judges noted that the challenges overcome by Holcim Concrete were complex in designing a mix that would flow easily into the confined spaces of the formwork, without segregating and requiring vibration. A willingness to help realise the design concept of the architect and client is a testament to Holcim Concrete’s expertise in pushing the boundaries of mix design.

EXTRA DISTANCE AWARD - WINNER
Allied Concrete - EPD for Ready Mixed Concrete Using Holcim Manufactured Cement

Allied Concrete applied for an Environmental Product Declaration (or EPD) in 2014 based on analysis of its 2013 production.

Using Life Cycle Assessment tools courtesy of Holcim New Zealand’s membership of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, a huge data collection process was undertaken across energy and material inputs for a range of concrete strengths.

The system boundary declared in the EPD includes raw material supply, transport and manufacturing up to the batching plant gate. This covered:

  • Cement manufacturing
  • Admixture production & delivery
  • Cement distribution by sea & land transport
  • Water consumption
  • Aggregate production
  • Waste volumes generated & associated disposal costs
  • Aggregate delivery to the plants
  • Energy use at the plants (electrical, fossil fuel)

The declared unit is 1 cubic metre of pump and standard grade concrete from 17.5 to 50 MPa produced in accordance to NZS 3104. The data collection process took 10 months to complete, with BRANZ managing document preparation, and Studio Fieschi & Soci of Italy as EPD verifier. The completion of possibly the first EPD in Australasia for ready mixed concrete has enabled Allied Concrete to benchmark its environmental performance and examine potential efficiencies.

Judges’ Comment
The judges were impressed by the courage shown by Allied Concrete in obtaining an EPD and in so doing leading the way forward on behalf of the concrete industry. Not only was the time and resource expended significant, but the foresight in openly acknowledging the environmental impact of their product to accurately assess efficiencies is very responsible.

 

Taken from the November 2014 NZRMCA Newsletter