Australian Catholic University

Client

Abi Group

Address

81 Victoria Parade, Fitzroy
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Status

Complete

ABI Group came to us with a problem: they needed a smooth, concrete finish on the external edges of the Australian Catholic University building.

Concrete was too heavy so we replicated the desired look using GRC, showing how the material is a durable concrete alternative that can be used both structurally and as a finish.

How we answered the brief

GRC Environments knew that concrete was too weighty to use in this project and went one step further, making this particular batch of glass reinforced concrete even lighter than usual. We sprayed GRC onto a polystyrene core for lightness and then used a machine to grind it flat. The result was a smooth finish on the outward-facing edges of concrete balcony slabs at the uni, as well as 95 glass reinforced concrete blades for the side of the building.

How and why GRC was used

Each slab was made from two individual pieces of GRFC. To make sure the connector pins in each lined up, GRC Environments made a frame to hold each half in position so that holes could be drilled in the exact same place. That was the easy part – next we had to install them. GRC Environments built a galvanised steel cage with rollers that lifted onto a crane, allowing us to slot the GRC blades between two floors on the balconies. Using concrete for this job would have made each slab up to seven times heavier than the final outcome. GRC Environments also made 750 lineal metres of slab edge formwork. Then we set one on fire and watched it burn with a couple of beers to test its fire resistance. That was the fun part.

The team involved

  • Steve Fennell

    Managing Director

  • Gino Giacobbe

    Director

  • Sam Dawes

    Boiler Maker

  • Paul Dennis

    Supervisor and Mould Maker

  • John Farley

    Mixer

  • Luke Giacobbe

    Robot Guru

  • Billy Nicholson

    Floor Manager

Our principals have worked in the building industry since 1995 and are leaders in GRC/GFRC use in Australia. Meet the crew

Our project partners

Thanks to our partners, Charles Rickard Engineers and Woods Bagot for their help in this project.