SmartCrete's New Victorian Project

02nd July 2021

On Thursday, July 1st, APozA member SmartCrete CRC announced to the public that they will be funding the inaugural project “Recycled Waste in Concrete for Municipal Applications” in collaboration with industry and research partners OPV (Office of Projects Victoria) and RMIT University (Melbourne).

Since its establishment just over a year ago, SmartCrete has been driven by the needs of its industry partners and motivated to promote scientific and engineering research for Australia’s concrete industry. 

SmartCrete stated in their latest press release that this new project aims to investigate and implement new applications of domestic and industrial waste materials (plastics, rubber, crusher dust, industrial by-products) in the concrete construction industry. Additionally, it will provide long term environmental and economic benefits to key stakeholders - supply-chain, government, and asset owners.

The project is a strategic response to the demand-supply imbalance in the Victorian infrastructure and waste recovery sector with a primary focus on councils and local municipalities.

SmartCrete CRC highlights that concrete production in Victoria relies on aggregate and cement sourced from natural and finite sand and rock deposits. With the availability of these materials declining, alternative sources of sands and aggregates are urgently needed to meet the expected future consumption demand.

Dr Warren South, CEO of SmartCrete CRC is “proud” to be backing this project and described it as “the first to “turn the sod” on practical research under the SmartCrete CRC brand and delivers value to both concrete infrastructure and the Australian community”.

Professor Rebecca Gravina from RMIT University highlighted the importance of this project for supporting the circular economy stating, “Finding new uses for our waste is a vital part of the transition to a circular economy. We hope this exciting collaboration will have a lasting impact, by bringing leading-edge materials technologies for concrete construction to address the performance requirements needed by our industry partners.” 

The third contributor to this project, OPV, told SmartCrete that they are “Pleased to support and promote innovation and excellence in construction which is why we are backing this important project. Recycled waste is an untapped resource and its successful application in municipal infrastructure offers a potentially game-changing solution,” said Cressida Wall, Chief Executive of OPV.

This project has been recognised as the first of many research developments by SmartCrete CRC to be funded by the Commonwealth, industry, and research partners to deliver on the organisation’s goal of guaranteeing the long-term viability of concrete infrastructure in Australia. The Australasian Pozzolan Association is proud to be in partnership with SmartCrete and will continue to support them in their endeavours.