InfraBuild Construction Solutions, Australia’s leading manufacturer and supplier of steel reinforcing, has recently announced the launch of Viribar®750, an innovative new range of high-strength steel fitments. The fitments are 33 per cent lighter than standard 500N fitments – and simple to substitute. Use of the fitments can unlock significant sustainability and other benefits for reinforced concrete construction projects.
The ease with which Viribar®750 high-strength steel fitments can be substituted for traditional 500N fitments has been proven at a new residential facility in Sydney.
Structural engineering firm SCP Consulting specified InfraBuild’s new Viribar®750 fitments in its design for the new facility and found the product to be a straightforward replacement for the 500N standard fitments specified in original drawings.
Brad Wooster, Structural Engineer at SCP Consulting, said incorporating Viribar®750 into the design was a seamless process.
“InfraBuild was able to provide us with several documents showing the testing they’d done, the endorsement [that Viribar®750 had received] from Professor Stephen Foster of the University of New South Wales, and a step-by-step guide through each clause in the Australian Standards showing we had compliance in our designs,” he said.
The fitments conform to both AS/NZS 4671:2019 Steel for the reinforcement of concrete and AS 3600:2018 Concrete structures, as well as the Building Code of Australia (and hence the National Construction Code).
Brad said the decision to swap Viribar®750 in place of the standard fitments was made easy by the simplicity of the substitution process.
“We use finite element analysis software to determine design actions on the structure, and from there we are able to look at designing individual elements such as the columns,” he said.
“The software provides an output for the size of fitments required and I was able to do a direct swap to the Viribar®750 fitments based on the diameter of the bar needed.
“We knew there would be considerable benefits in making the substitution,” Brad said. “Viribar®750 is a product that can slot straight in – and that’s a good thing.”
Less raw material and energy to produce
With 33 per cent less mass than its equivalent 500 MPa fitment, Viribar®750 uses less raw material and energy to produce.
According to InfraBuild Construction Solutions Chief Engineer, Graeme McGregor, the use of less steel in the manufacture of Viribar® 750 means a reduction in carbon emissions of 25 to 35 per cent per tonne.
The reduced weight also brings other benefits in transport, craneage and handling.
“The product is more efficient to warehouse, freight and handle, and the customer and end users enjoy the benefits of a more sustainable product,” Graeme said. “It’s a win-win.”
Viribar®750 is recognised by both the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) and the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) as offering sustainability benefits to projects that meet certain eligibility criteria.
A more sustainable option
Ultimately, it’s the sustainability benefits offered by Viribar®750 fitments that Brad said are its major attraction.
“As an engineer, I’m always looking to implement sustainable ideas where possible,” he said. “For example, when designing a structure, this means providing the most efficient structural system specific to that project, with the solution not only giving what is best for both client and architect, but also reducing the environmental impact of the structure through the reduction of material used.”
As for what the future holds, he said he hopes to continue to champion sustainability as a core concept on any project he is involved with.
“It’s an easy one for me; I’ll most definitely be specifying Viribar®750 when we next work with InfraBuild,” he said.
“It’s exciting to see innovation like this happening within our industry and I’m hopeful that InfraBuild will continue to introduce products like this in future.”
While Viribar® 750 has been launched in the Sydney Metro area, InfraBuild Construction Solutions plans to commence manufacturing and distributing Viribar® 750 in Melbourne and Brisbane in the future. Contact the nearest InfraBuild Construction Solutions branch for further details.
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