Monthly constructsteel update

Fire safety and combustible materials

An academic review by researchers from Johns Hopkins University found that the use of mass timber for high-rise structures requires special consideration due to the material’s combustible nature. When timber elements are not shielded from the fire by insulative protection and/or encapsulation, they can contribute to the fuel load, altering the fire dynamics by increasing the duration and intensity of the fire. The construction phase also presents a higher fire risk, as sprinklers and encapsulation may be absent, leaving large quantities of exposed timber at risk of an accidental fire.

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Construction market trends

US | Tentative signs of stabilisation in private non-residential construction. Residential construction output remains strong.

Europe | European construction sector output weak and to remain so till H1 2021.

China | China's booming property sector fueled by strong credit but authorities introduce measures to slow credit growth.

India | India's eight infastructure sectors contracted by the sharpest rate in six months in February amid uncertainty due to the second wave of coronavirus infections.

Sector Innovations – via Steel Australia, Winter 2020

InQuik revolutionises the future of bridge design

Established by Bruce Mullaney in 2015, and run by his sons Logan and Ben, InQuik’s innovative system enables bridges of varying lengths to be built from modular components. These components are manufactured in the Hunter Region and Brisbane, and can then be assembled by local tradespeople trained by InQuik. Gaining rapid momentum over the last few years, InQuik is set to oversee the construction of its 70th bridge, with many more projects on the horizon.

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Technical trends

Laying the foundation for zero-carbon cement

As a key component of concrete, cement is an integral part of our everyday lives. In fact, it is the second-most consumed product globally after potable water, and it is used in almost everything we build—from houses and cityscapes to dikes and dams. At the same time, the cement industry alone is responsible for about a quarter of all industry CO2 emissions, and it also generates the most CO2 emissions per dollar of revenue.

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