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MECLA Spotlight on Myth Busting

Low embodied carbon materials continue to be clouded by “myths”, which prevent large-scale uptake in the built environment. Some of these so-called myths claim that low embodied carbon materials substantially drive up construction costs, are inferior or not technically comparable to standard products, difficult to work with or simply not available in Australia.

The MECLA Spotlight on Myth Busting demonstrates that these barriers are often perceptions rather than real barriers to uptake. Our speakers address these perceptions, presenting case studies and using their experiences in the current market to assess what is and isn’t possible right now and the in the foreseeable future when it comes to the use of low-carbon building materials and deviating from specifications and standards. To put it another way, they blowing up a whole bunch of embodied carbon myths.



 Key Takeaways:

  • Products for lower emission construction exist, the challenge now is educating the supply chain and getting comfortable using these new products
  • Holcim’s EcoPact is a low carbon concrete solution with 30-60% less carbon than a reference case AusLCI. It cures in the same amount of time, is pumpable for tall towers, has no variable creep, shrinkage or thermal properties and is as durable as standard mixes.
  • You can still achieve early age strength with low carbon concrete using HySustain, which is a 50% CO2e reduction. 
  • It is a misconception that you can’t use higher SCM concrete mixes, you have to engage government departments and ask
  • LocAL from Capral is the same cost, but half the emissions as normal aluminium for window and door frames.
  • All different types of specifications offer flexibility, it is important to identiy key stakeholders, learn about the concession process within the organisation, and act early to deviate from material specifications.