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NZ Construction News (Dec 11 / Jan 12) Come Home to the Benefits of Concrete

02 Dec 2011

Rob Gaimster
Cement & Concrete Association of New Zealand (CCANZ)

Designed to raise awareness of the advantages of residential concrete construction, from floor slabs through to fully concrete houses, the Cement & Concrete Association of New Zealand (CCANZ) has launched the Coming Home to Concrete initiative.

CCANZ chief executive Rob Gaimster believes that New Zealand currently has a unique chance to fully explore the possibilities that can be achieved through the use of concrete and concrete products in our homes.

“As we move forward to tackle the challenges posed by the Canterbury rebuild as well as the predicted housing shortage in Auckland, the significant role concrete can play in providing comfortable, stylish and strong homes at affordable prices must be part of everyone’s thinking.

“The Coming Home to Concrete initiative illustrates how we have the opportunity to enhance our residential building stock by utilising the many benefits of concrete, and in turn help achieve resilient and healthy homes for all New Zealanders.”

Central to the Coming Home to Concrete initiative is a short film fronted by Kevin Milne (available on DVD and online) that highlights the candid views of homeowners, architects and builders, during interviews structured around the attributes of concrete.

Typically the answers feature concrete’s ability, through its thermal mass, to deliver a warm home, closely followed by such properties as durability, seismic performance, fire resistance, and a growing appreciation of the aesthetic and acoustic gains achievable with concrete.

Also featuring prominently are two case study short films. The first illustrates how the Madams family of Churton Park (north of Wellington) purchased their home a few years ago and discovered the advantages of living in a modern house built to showcase the versatility, aesthetic possibilities and convenience of concrete construction.

In the second case study, David Bull of the Cabbage Tree Vineyard explains how conventional lightweight building materials couldn’t deliver what he and wife Winifred were looking for in their ambitious building project near Martinborough. Instead, they went down the path of concrete and are looking forward to enjoying many years in a home they shaped using the latest concrete techniques.

Along with the short-films, the Coming Home to Concrete initiative provides a range of reader-friendly print and web-based resources to help all those involved with residential construction make informed choices and optimise the potential of concrete and concrete products.

The recent amendments to the New Zealand Building Code in relation to (reinforced) concrete slab-on-ground are also summarised, with the intention of providing good practice guidance so that a quality slab is more easily achieved.

To find out more about the benefits of Coming Home to Concrete visit: www.cominghometoconcrete.co.nz