Australia’s construction sector is set to benefit from the introduction of rigorous new standards for post-tensioning – the method of reinforcing concrete with high-strength steel strands or bars.
Post-tensioning is widely used in commercial buildings, infrastructure and residential apartment blocks as it provides greater design flexibility and speed of construction.
It also reduces the amount of concrete or other materials required in construction processes, representing a more economical and environmentally friendly solution.
The new standards, which are specifically designed to provide greater assurance in construction supply chains nationwide, are backed by an independent certification scheme – providing complete transparency and clarity for manufacturers and contractors.
To develop the scheme, not-for-profit certification body, CARES, engaged with a range of stakeholders including structural engineers, major contractors, clients, the Post-Tensioning Institute of Australia (PTIA) and the Australasian Certification Authority for Reinforcing and Structural Steels (ACRS).
The new product certification scheme includes both safety-critical installations as well as products entering the supply chain covered by ACRS certification.
Along with enhancing industry expertise, the scheme will complement ongoing activities by State and Territory governments to enhance quality control in built structures through digitalisation of supply chains and proven assurance measures.
The PTIA and CARES are now engaging with structural engineers, major contractors, clients and other key stakeholders, including ACRS, to build awareness and engagement in the local market.
PTIA CEO, James Woods, and CARES CEO, Lee Brankley, said the scheme is expected to lead to ongoing improvements in the consistency of construction nationwide, following two years of detailed discussions between the organisations.
“Our overriding goal has been to secure continuing improvements in product standards, materials specification, design and on-site installation,” Mr Woods said.
“We are delighted to have been involved with CARES on this, and I am confident our members and the wider industry will seize the opportunity to tap into the vast experience and knowledge that CARES is bringing to Australia.”
“The scheme will bring much-needed certification and independent regulation to the industry, and is a workable solution at a time of increased scrutiny on building quality,” he commented.
Mr Brankley said the scheme is already a proven success in the UK, and as well as Australia is also now being adopted in several other countries.
“We expect colleagues will quickly see improvements in quality through transparency in supply, installation and performance, and much greater clarity around the provenance of critical materials sourced for Australia’s built environment.”
The new scheme covers contractors installing post-tensioning systems, producers of prestressing anchors and prebagged grout, plus firms that carry out remedial grouting of post-tensioned tendons.
About the Post-Tensioning Institute of Australia
The Post-Tensioning Institute of Australia (PTIA) was formed to represent the post-tensioning contracting industry in Australia, seeking to maintain a viable and competent industry with high standards in design and construction of post-tensioning systems for the benefits of its members, their employees, and their clients. For more information visit www.ptia.org.au
CARES is an independent, not-for-profit certification body, established in 1983, to provide confidence to the users, purchasers and specifiers of reinforcing steel through a regime of regulation, testing and inspection.
It operates for the benefit of the construction industry offering certification schemes for companies that produce materials, components or offer services, primarily to the reinforced concrete industry.
Clients can specify CARES approved companies and products with confidence that they will comply with the relevant product or system standards and without the need for verification testing by the purchaser or contractor.
There are over 100 producers of reinforcing steel in more than 40 countries around the world already approved by CARES. For more information visit www.ukcares.com