Role of Concrete in the Construction Industry
The construction industry serves as one of Australia’s key economic sectors, constituting about 8% of the country’s GDP and making up its largest non-service industry. This statistic is mostly influenced by steady population growth, which has fueled rising demand for commercial and residential structures. As a result, construction work and projects continue to increase annually, so employment and work are expected to grow more in the future.
Despite advances in technologies and the rise of more innovative features, concrete in Australia continues to be one of the most used materials in the construction industry. It serves as a foundation for most structures, such as buildings, bridges, flooring, and others. Concrete is made up of a combination of materials that solidify after some time to serve as a sturdy foundation. Aside from its versatility, concrete also comes with desirable physical properties and advantages that easily make it the most used man-made material on earth.
Now, you may be wondering: what makes concrete such an essential part of the construction industry? While the point above may have lent you some insight, it still does not fully explain why the material is so commonly used for nearly all construction projects. To help you understand it more, here is a more comprehensive explanation detailing concrete’s role in the construction industry.
Concrete contains a mixture of aggregates and pastes that contain gravel, sand, water, and Portland cement. Through the process of hydration, it starts in liquid form and gradually hardens after application, allowing one to tailor it to any construction need. One of the most significant reasons why concrete is often used for buildings is its strength and durability despite being low in cost. Using concrete also requires less energy than using steel, making it more energy-efficient yet equally effective.
Furthermore, concrete in Australia possesses physical properties that make it suitable for buildings and structures. First, it is known to be more water-resistant than other conventional materials, so it is ideal for underwater applications or those that require the material to be submerged. Second, concrete is extremely workable since handling and transportation are easy to do. Third, the material has high-temperature resistance in case of fires or similar situations. Finally, concrete buildings can last many years and decades, averaging 60 years or more as long as the building is made correctly.
Innovations in Concrete
Technology has dominated several industries today, and the construction sector is no exception. One of the latest innovations includes 3D printing with concrete, which allows builders to explore more creative projects not limited to geometric shapes and structures. Scientists are also looking into the possibility of creating a more eco-friendly concrete to help support the growing awareness of sustainability. As a result, many companies have come up with their versions of a greener concrete that has the same benefits but lower environmental impact.
Indeed, technology is revolutionising the construction industry, the same way it has transformed other industries. Given the significant role of concrete in this industry, it is no surprise that more innovations will come in the future. Likewise, concrete will continue to be a top choice for many builders because of its flexibility, versatility, and durability. This way, builders can continue to utilise the amazing advantages and properties of concrete and reap additional benefits along the way.