Concrete has long been a material of choice for both commercial and residential buildings, with the sector well poised to meet the growing trend towards high-density living, says Rob Gaimster, chief executive of the Cement & Concrete Association of New Zealand (CCANZ).
“The choice of material for the structural frame of a high-rise building has a significant impact on its build time, cost and performance. Reinforced concrete has a range of inherent performance benefits, giving it many competitive advantages over other structural options.”
Apartment living is on the rise, particularly in Auckland, with multi-unit dwelling consents representing around 30 percent of all residential consents in 2015.
“As people live in closer proximity issues such as soundproofing, fire resistance and thermal performance all come under scrutiny. Concrete, with its many benefits can tick all of these boxes for developers and residents.”
Rob says concrete offers a range of cost-effective options for large commercial developments with both in-situ and pre-cast construction solutions, and a ‘whole host’ of seismic concrete foundation solutions such as raft flooring and base isolation technology available.
“The speed of erection provides time and cost savings for the contractor and their client, with the durability of concrete a major benefit for building owners. Concrete structures won’t rot and require minimal maintenance.”
“With its high mass, concrete can reduce the low frequency noise that may occur with high density living. It also has inherent fire safety properties and excellent thermal performance, absorbing heat during the day and releasing it at night. This creates a more comfortable climate for the residents and helps them to save on energy costs.”
With the skylines of our major cities being filled with more high-rise, multi-tenanted buildings, the inherent benefits of reinforced concrete will continue to make it a popular choice.