For the past 12 years Independent Cement and Lime’s Ecoblend range of cement products have been tried and tested in Australian conditions and widely used in a range of major road and civil projects. These projects include the Bolte Bridge, EJ Whitten Bridge, EastLink and the Beacon Cove Marine works.
“It’s a well-matured product and well known in the road stabilisation industry – it’s used by all the big players,” says James Howard, Independent Cement’s Group Marketing Manager.
Products such as Ecoblend are finding their way back into the limelight as sustainable construction methods, environmentally conscious material procurement and an overall ‘green’ culture have progressively emerged in the Australian roads and civil industries.
Organisations such as the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia with its unique Infrastructure Sustainability Rating Scheme are helping to facilitate the growth of sustainability in these sectors.
Mr. Howard agrees there is a cultural shift towards achieving sustainable and environmentally friendly outcomes in the road construction industry, particularly as the road stabilisation sector continues to grow.
“Road stabilisation is very sustainable and a lot more environmentally conscious than some of the deep lift asphalt out there,” he says.
He asserts that not many people would see the roads industry as a green one, but the unique processes involved in stabilisation are helping to change that mindset.
For Independent Cement and Lime, the emphasis on eco-friendly practices and sustainability in the road construction sector has helped to highlight the benefits of its Ecoblend range.
“What makes it unique is that it’s got a cement replacement in it called slag, which is the byproduct of steel manufacturing,” he says. “It’s a product that would usually go to landfill and this is finding another use for it.”
The Ecoblend range contains a minimum of 30 per cent supplementary cementitious materials, which include slag or fly ash.
Mr. Howard says that by using slag, the demand for general purpose (GP) cement decreases, which, in turn, saves on carbon dioxide emissions. In using Ecoblend, approximately 500 kilograms of carbon dioxide for each tonne of slag used as a GP replacement, is saved.
Because of its environmental considerations, Ecoblend has held the Good Environmental Choice declaration, offered by the Environmental Labelling Association, for 10 years. The approval is recognised by Green Star, the voluntary sustainability rating system for buildings in Australia.
The environmental savings associated with the Ecoblend range are also complemented by the technical quality and cost-effectiveness of the products.
“Compared with GP cement, Ecoblend gives you more time to work with the binder on site,” says Mr. Howard. Thanks to its high percentage of slag, Ecoblend is more durable – it has increased chloride and sulphate resistance – which helps the impermeability of the final product.
The reduced demand for virgin resources by using industrial waste, such as slag, exemplifies the cost benefits of using Ecoblend both to the individual contractor and the wider industry. “It’s sold at a discount to the industry as compared to GP cement,” he adds.
Mr. Howard anticipates that the use of eco-friendly products that minimise the use of virgin resources and adhere to sustainable practice, such as Ecoblend, will eventually become a requirement for contracts in the Australian road construction sector in the future.
The Ecoblend range of products is available throughout New South Wales and Victoria in bulk or bagged form.