Fletcher Building’s Concrete Division (consisting of Firth, Golden Bay, and Winstone Aggregates) has stepped up its commitment to developing innovative and increasingly sustainable concrete solutions, with the opening of New Zealand’s first commercial Concrete Innovation Lab, in Christchurch.
The Concrete Innovation Lab has been established to fast track the development of new concrete products and solutions with a particular focus on innovating to decarbonise concrete. The aim being to support customers as their building needs and specifications change in response to the need to build for climate change.
Concrete is a complex material with intricate chemistry involved in every batch. While most concrete labs are designed to assure product quality, what sets the Fletcher Concrete’s Innovation Lab apart is that it is purely dedicated to product innovation.
Dene Cook, Divisional Technical Manager, and all things Concrete mastermind, explains “Concrete is an amazing building material and one that has stood the test of time due to its strength and durability. Yet we know the concrete products we use today are very unlikely to be the ones we are using in 10-20 years’ time. Building for climate change is a huge imperative for generations to come and this requires us to invest in getting the solutions right today.”
“As an industry we have committed to decarbonising concrete, with the Global Cement & Concrete Association (GCCA), detailing a roadmap to net zero by 2050. Fletcher Building is excited by this challenge and the work we will do in the Concrete Innovation Lab will turn this from a paper commitment to a reality.”
“Concrete is a high-volume product meaning that even incremental changes can create significant sustainability benefits at scale. Last year, we launched EcoSure Cement, which is significantly lower in embodied carbon than most cements around the world and certainly the lowest in the New Zealand market. We operate in a very competitive industry and for every step forward we take, others are likely to follow. This can only be seen as a good thing when dealing with the global challenge of climate change.”
Nick Traber, Fletcher Building’s Chief Executive, Concrete agrees: “Prioritising concrete innovation is crucial if we are going to succeed in decarbonising the built environment. We acknowledge that as an industry leader, we have a responsibility to lead the way in innovating for a more sustainable future.”
“We are fortunate to have both the resources and people expertise to focus on improving the performance of this critical building material. Moreover, our Concrete Innovation Lab provides an environment for our team to be bold and creative so we can bring new products to the market quicker than ever before. In short, it represents an exciting opportunity to solve real-world challenges and improve the world around us.”