South Western Sydney home builder Vogue Homes has embraced a newly designed and engineered concrete slab foundation system (pictured) from Biax Foundations that are easier to install and more sustainable.
The company began using Biax modules (pictured below) to replace waffle pods that support concrete foundations, allowing more accurate specification of concrete quantities, to provide a point of difference for customers.
Waffle pods are made from environmentally undesirable polystyrene, whereas Biax is manufactured from recycled plastics.
Traditional raft slabs are built on footings secured in trenches, while waffle slabs are built directly on the ground.
Vogue Homes Construction Manager Rod Harvey said that using the Biax product had helped Vogue Homes stay ahead of the game.
Harvey said: “The building industry is seeing a strong shift to more sustainable practices and products, and soon enough it will become mandated that we have to use certain products that benefit the environment.
“So we knew we needed to make a change and set ourselves up for the future, especially with our use of waffle pod foundations.”
He said Biax was a clever rethinking of the waffle pod, replacing unsightly, hard-to-manage, environmentally damaging polystyrene blocks with a compact, lightweight and sustainably produced product.
Biax retains the best elements of the waffle pod design, and goes further with the design properties to not only save on concrete and steel, but replaces the bulky styrene blocks with compact, recycled plastic pods.
Harvey said that there are benefits beyond sustainability credentials when it comes to using Biax on building sites.
“Biax is quicker to install, we’re probably saving an hour or two using Biax over waffle pods, as well as a lot of cost savings per build.
“The height of Biax pods compared to waffle pods means we’re saving costs on concrete as well as site excavation costs, and there is also cost savings with the steel as the engineering allows for reduced specifications.
“The rib spacing is closer in the Biax product, meaning there are gains in slab strength.”
Biax and its partner Australian reinforcing steel business Ausreo supplied the Biax system for homes built during the latest series of the Channel 9 reality programme The Block.
Harvey said Vogue had reviewed the slabs poured to date using Biax, and there has been minimal to no evidence of any cracking, including hairline shrinkage cracks.
Vogue is aiming to build 100 per cent of the homes it constructs in the coming year using the Biax system.