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Go green, keep costs lean

For HASSELL landscape architect Daniel Kallis, using Emesh meant being able to access a greener product than its energy-hungry alternative, traditional steel mesh reinforced concrete, without adding costs to the project.

HASSELL is one of the firms working on the innovative $80 million Science Place project at James Cook University in Far North Queensland. For a material to be used in the project, it must meet strict standards across its environmental impact, technical performance and cost.

Where concrete that features virgin plastic fibres is an environmental improvement on steel mesh concrete, Emesh is greener again as it features 100% recycled plastic fibres.

The energy-efficient Science Place project includes a major new teaching and research centre as well as a landscaped precinct and extensive paving work.

"We used the product in all the pavement around the building and in loading areas to support vehicles," Daniel said.

"When we ran using Emesh past the engineers they were more than happy with its ability to perform just as well as regular reinforced concrete."

"Another advantage is that the product is used in the same way as its conventional competitor, so there are no added technical requirements."

"However, what stands out about the Fibercon product is that it is a cost-neutral swap."

"By using Emesh, we got to keep an environmentally-friendly product in the project without it costing the client any more, which has been a great win for the project."

HASSELL is an international design practice with offices in five Australian capitals as well as in the UK, China and South East Asia. Its experts include landscape architects, architects, interior designers, urban designers, planners and specialist consultants who stay on the forefront of innovation and great design.

Daniel heard about the new Emesh product from JCU scientist Dr Rabin Tuladhar who has been working with Fibercon to make our fibre-based concrete even kinder to the environment.

"That’s how the product came to our attention," Daniel said.

"JCU was very keen to put the product into action and be the first cab off the rank to prove its worth."