EXPERTISE - High Rise construction

The Steel Reinforcement Institute of Australia
Reinforcing Australian Construction

Reinforced concrete construction is by far the most popular method of constructing high-rise buildings in Australia today. Over eighty percent of tall buildings (those over twenty stories) are constructed in this way.
Reinforced concrete framing systems have been proven to be the most economical form of construction for medium- to high-rise buildings, in Australia.

See Concrete Concepts Costing Study an independent study by WT Partnership in conjunction with Irwinconsult for Cement Concrete & Aggregates Australia.

A summary is available for free download
from the CCAA web site:

See also SRIA Technical Article on Ten Good Reasons Why Concrete is the Preferred Building Frame Material CLICK HERE

In addition to costs, the reasons for this preference are well understood
by the building industry, and include:

Speed of construction - modern concreting methods including the extensive use of prefabricated reinforcement cages and precast concrete elements enables structures to be built with truly astonishing speed. The 47-storey Telecom Corporate building in Melbourne was constructed in record time with an average floor to floor cycle in its office areas of only 3 days!

Lower floor-to-floor heights - SRIA research has shown that reinforced concrete buildings will usually have a significantly reduced floor-to-floor height in comparison to structural steel buildings , averaging 420mm, or put another way, reducing the height of a 40-storey building by 16m by choosing reinforced concrete. This could mean the difference to the developer of an additional 3-storeys of lettable space for a given building envelope.

Flexibility - the fluid nature of reinforced concrete makes changes in structural dimension, shape and direction easy, without the need for expensive and time-consuming pre-fabrication and one-off elements . Providing service penetrations through slabs, beams, walls and columns is also easily accommodated, as reinforcement can be displaced to form openings of any shape.

"Pay-as-you-use" - unlike many other materials which require a lot of money to be spent in the early stages of the contract for prefabrication of structural components, steel reinforcement needs to be paid for only as it is needed- usually the order is made no more than 72-hours before delivery is required!

Fewer on-site trades - allows follow-up work to begin the minute formwork is removed. As concrete teams are generalists there is no reliance on disparate specialist tradespersons who, if one or two are missing, can delay an entire job. Reinforced concrete is also innately fire-resistant, so there are no delays waiting for the structure to be fire-proofed.

High performance concretes - modern concrete technology has provided concrete mixes with properties undreamed of only a few short years ago including concretes which can be pumped with ease to the uppermost floors of tall buildings without clogging hoses and yet still give the properties required for strong, serviceable and durable building structures.
The Australian reinforced concrete industry has a deservedly high reputation for technical expertise and innovation, including pioneering the use of many of the above-mentioned techniques, which has helped make it one of the most efficient industries of its kind in the world.

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