The superior structural loadbearing credentials of AFS Rediwall made it the product of choice for the three-storey high walls of a large house being built on a sloped site in Illawarra, NSW.
Building a large prestigious residential dwelling on the side of hill in a semi-rural area presents plenty of challenges including logistics, building code compliance, meeting the latest energy efficiency requirements, and providing the ultimate quality in finishes. But Jason Van Overmier, director of Urban Style Building Services had a secret card up his sleeve.
“I’ve used AFS for several years on other projects of mine and then when I showed [my client] the AFS product and what I’d done previously with it, he was really happy to use that on his project.”
Engineered For Success
With the two- and often three-storey high walls being a feature of the build on this sloped site, it was essential that the walling system had the best structural loadbearing credentials.
“From an engineering point of view, our main reasons for going for AFS were to get the strength and rigidity instead of using blockwork or brickwork – (which) just don’t have the strength in it for the heights of the walls that we’ve got on this particular job site.”
AFS Rediwall is an Australian Standard, 3600 Concrete Structures compliant structural walling system and meets the relevant requirements of the NCC that is truly versatile. “On site here, we used Rediwall products from the ground up, from all the retaining wall systems to external wall systems, and any loadbearing components of the walls,” says Jason.
The logistical nightmare of precast concrete and the inherent weakness of blockwork were avoided as the benefits of AFS Rediwall permanent formwork became apparent right from delivery. Arriving onsite cut to size, or in stock lengths, the lightweight panels were easy to handle, readily snapped, or slid into place, and made for rapid installation and core-filling in a variety of applications throughout the build.
The homeowner was impressed with the innovative system; as Jason recalls, “he was so happy with the speed and the ability to get the product up and make it work for all different areas and aspects of construction.”
With all the external and internal loadbearing walls built using the various width profiles of the AFS Rediwall panels, the appropriate engineering strength was achieved, the interior space was maximised, and the thermal insulation properties of the home were enhanced.
“The thermal qualities of the product have helped dramatically to achieve our BASIX ratings,” says Jason.
Building to the NSW mandated Building Sustainability Index (BASIX) reduces water and energy consumption in homes, not only providing a long term financial saving for the homeowner, but also making a valuable contribution to the sustainable future of our communities.
AFS Rediwall Versatility On Display
The walling panels were extensively employed throughout the project as well.
“In the actual pool area, we’ve created an external Rediwall shell as such to go over the footings and engineering that we needed to put in for the structure to carry the loading, and then we’ve actually put in a concrete shell inside of that.”
Jason also seemed quite proud of his team’s terracing work at the rear of the house.
“We’ve created a fire pit area down the rear of the property that overlooks the Illawarra, where we’ve created curved retaining walls with the Rediwall and then also utilised those walls to terrace the area too. So made into quite a nice sitting area that has lovely views as well.”
High End Finishes
Finishing the PVC wall faces was much like any traditional system according to Jason. On the internal walls he explains “we’ve gone with insulation, then acoustic Gyprock plasterboard. We’ve used steel stud, track and also a furring channel to attach the Gyprock plasterboard, and then also limestone external cladding has gone over, and in some cases, actually glued directly to the Rediwall system.”
Jason summarises the project, “The AFS Rediwall system helped get us a good final product over the whole job.”