CONSIDERING CONCRETE: CHARACTERISTICS, CAPABILITY & CONSTRUCTION
Whichever way you look at it, concrete is our resourceful and environmentally sound friend in all its various forms – from raw matter, through to manufacture and ultimately, demolition. The primary raw component for the cement in concrete is limestone, which is one of the most abundant minerals on earth. Concrete can also be made with fly ash, slag cement and silica fume, all waste byproducts from power plants, steel mills and other manufacturing facilities.
Concrete is a versatile, durable, cost effective, resilient and safe material, thus making it a natural choice for sustainable construction in commercial, residential and industrial developments. Over the centuries, the inherent integrity of concrete has enabled structures with the ability to withstand both natural and man-made catastrophes, thus providing excellent shelters during emergencies due to the its strength and natural fire resistance. As it strengthens over time, building products made from concrete can significantly increase the life spans of those of other common building materials.
THE CONCRETE ADVANTAGE.
Concrete is an inert construction material which does’t burn, rust, erode, feed rot, inhibit mildew or off-gas any volatile organic compounds. Therefore, its natural ability to withstand water damage and chemicals means the material has an enormous economic advantage when it comes to the reduction of maintenance costs. The material provides one of the most efficient and cost-effective means of constructing energy-efficient structures. This cost saving can be attributed to concrete’s thermal mass, which can absorb and retain natural energy sources such as the sun and can also capture thermal energy from lighting fixtures and other equipment. Thanks to its structural integrity and the benefits of this thermal mass, concrete buildings also provide increased protection against the effects of outdoor temperature swings, which enables consistent room temperatures and a year-round, draft-free interior environment.
From a safety design perspective, residential developments constructed from concrete create a peaceful and quiet space, enhancing the comfort of occupants whilst providing a sense of privacy. When coupled with superior interior construction, indoor air quality is improved and there is an increased prevention of the entry of pollen, dust and other airborne pollutants.
In the life-cycle of concrete, recycling is present from start to finish. Recently, concrete has incorporated recycled elements in its manufacture and targeted improvement in areas such as materials efficiency, storm water management and a reduction in CO2 emissions, with examples including the use of alternative fuel sources during manufacturing as well as the use of industrial byproducts in place of cement. Many wastes and industrial byproducts that would end up in landfills are used in the cement kiln or can be added to concrete mixes to provide desirable characteristics. Used concrete is also recyclable and serves as aggregate in roadbeds or as granular material in new concrete.
When it comes to building materials, the carbon footprint includes not only CO2 emissions associated with manufacturing and construction, but also those associated with operation. Concrete’s longevity, both in buildings and infrastructure and its subsequent savings in terms of repair and replacement, further reduces the material’s carbon footprint. Produced from locally available, abundant materials, concrete’s long lifespan helps make it the most responsible choice for a sustainable future. Concrete buildings help governments and developers meet sustainability goals by reducing the urban heat island effect and supporting “green roof” projects and environmentally-conscious builders are looking for durable building materials that leave the smallest environmental footprint. When it comes to calculating concrete quantities for development, it is relatively easy to estimate how much is required, which ultimately aides in reducing waste. After a concrete structure has served its original purpose, the concrete can be crushed and recycled into aggregate for use in new concrete pavements or as backfill or road base.
Local building codes are encouraging stronger construction methods such as building with concrete and a preference for buildings with long service lives. It is expected that standards will continue to evolve, making such structural enhancements a requirements for not only new construction, but also for the retrofit of existing structures. All in all, when it’s built with concrete, it’s built to last..adding up to a solid investment.
This year, Macrostone have recognised the importance of working with sustainable, architectural products that are not only aesthetically satisfying, but offer the client economical solutions, a point of difference from the norm and to experience space through the artistry of concrete formations.
Say hello to the TONK Project.
TONK Project is a concrete cladding product freshly launched to the Australian market which uses the repetition of geometry and pattern to create a unique style ultimately redefining that way we view architectural cladding.
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Gama has the ability to change its design based on the insertion of metal, timber, stone or even strip lighting inlays.
TONK Nut pattern is conceptually the old nut shape & bolt tops. This retro design has a subtle style that works well as an external wall cladding coupled with greenery, which helps to breathe life into the surface.
Klok is a great option for insigting imagination and creativity. Basic diamond shapes make up the entire pattern, however if you were to use inlays, any design is possible. Create shapes within shapes and patterns within patterns – a true work of art.
Dizzy is the only TONK product that links into itself creating a hook with its partner. At a closer glance, Dizzy has one side thicker than the other, creating another dimensional depth.
Pix is simply a box within a box that provides the illusion of the surface being deeper than it actually is. This style works well with illumination as each side can reflect light differently.
Similar to Nut, Lots is a subtle pattern that uses colour rather than inserts to create an interesting, 3D wall effect. One of the most lightweight TONK products, Lots has a simplistic pattern that can work well as a feature wall.
Vink arrow design allows for various patterns which create a wave of light and shadow. The tiles can be aligned any way and the repetition of this shade will always be the same.
Like Gama, Tilt is one of the most loved patterns from TONK. It is ordered in its design, with a thick and wide top and a smaller and thinner bottom. This tile is elegant and lightweight.
Higg has a triangular design that uses shadow and dimension to create an artwork of interest and elegance on a wall surface.
Moment has the potential to create patterns within patterns as it is quite detailed in design.
The entire TONK Project range is suitable for residential, commercial, corporate, health, government, retail and educational spaces as wall/ceiling cladding or even as an additional feature to furniture. TONK can be found at: TONK PROJECT
To request samples or more information on all the collections within the range, please contact us at Macrostone International.
T: (07) 5562 0076