An important part of the original concept for the Global Change Institute (GCI) Living Building was to use recycled, recyclable, and local materials as much as possible.

Did you know that the 33 precast panels incorporated into the GCI's floor plates are not made of standard structural concrete?

In fact, the precast concrete panels in GCI's Living Building – which are part of the ceiling on levels one, two and three and each measure some 10 m x 2 m – are a world-first in situ example of structural geopolymer precast concrete.

It's a special type of concrete that doesn’t require heat during production, doesn’t produce carbon dioxide, and is made from the chemical activation of two common industrial by-products.

The material is made from a combination of blast furnace slag (waste from iron production) and fly ash (waste from coal fired power generation).

Queensland-based company Wagners specialises in production of this product, which they call 'Earth Friendly Concrete'.

According to Wagners, EFC concrete has several 'significant performance advantages' over normal Portland cement concrete, including improved durability, lower shrinkage, earlier strength gain, higher flexural tensile strength and increased fire resistance.

Wagners has recently completed a huge geopolymer concrete project just outside Toowoomba.

The Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport was built with about 40,000 m3 (100,000 tonnes) of geopolymer concrete, making it the largest application of this new class of concrete in the world.

Read more about EFC concrete on the Wagner website.

Connect with us