When a client wishes to express their imagination and artistic flair
in creating a truly stimulating or unique flavour, Stresscrete is
able to offer an outstanding range of quality, durable, building components.
From the simplicity of various colours, shades and textures of exposed aggregate
finishes to curved panels and intricate inlays, Stresscrete’s experience
is second to none. Panels can be created in virtually any shape with
axis on different planes, irregular cut-outs or sophisticated curves, designs
and textures. Almost anything is possible, limited only by your imagination.
Glass fibre reinforced cement (GRC) is the generic term for a new composite
material which consists of a matrix of cement and fine aggregate reinforced
with alkali resistant glass fibres. GRC has already found many applications
in the construction and allied industries, where it has been used as an
alternative material to precast concrete, sheet metal, cast iron, timber
and plastics. Many existing products make use of the inherent advantages
and manufacturing flexibility which, combined with the fact that GRC is
noncombustible, rot, corrosion and fire resistant, make it an ideal material
for many engineering applications.
The properties of GRC are influenced by factors such as fibre content
and distribution, type of matrix and method of manufacture, the properties
can therefore be tailored to meet the design requirements of particular
GRC IN ACTION
On a tiny site in downtown Wellington, an 18-storey apartment building
was erected in just 16 weeks. This includes everything from piling to finish
painting and cladding. And all it took was just six men on site. The use
of GRC panels for the cladding played a major part in the achievement. The
size of the site and its narrow frontage onto a busy inner city street dictated
the form of construction. A small crane had to be used to avoid any illegal
intrusion into the airspace of the adjacent building. Hence the need for
lightweight panels which could be lifted by a small crane.
Modular design and construction processes were developed that simplified
panel production and standardised frames. Key to reducing the on-site time
was the careful planning, which took longer than the actual construction.
The building consists of a steel frame clad in GRC panels with precast concrete
floor slabs and steel fibre reinforced concrete topping. The floor area is
240m2 per level.
Glazed windows were installed and sealed at the precaster’s yard, and
panels received an undercoat and first coat of paint before arriving on
site. Spanners and wrenches were then used to bolt and fix the panels into
position on the building. Unnecessary scaffolding and craneage charges were
eliminated, and the requirements of other trades did not have to be accommodated,
resulting in significant advantages in cost and time, as well as quality.
The mould may have intricate patterns and shapes, to give a wide range of
options for architects. Stresscrete incorporated deep reveals and chases
within the GRC panels to create shade lines to break up the smooth expansive
surface. The finish quality far exceeded code requirements, and minimal preparation
was needed prior to final painting.