Fire retardant: just one very important benefitS of lightweight building materials

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Fire retardant: just one very important benefitS of lightweight building materials

The recent bushfires in New South Wales are a harsh reminder of the challenging environment in which we all live. While scientists and politicians argue over climate changing being the cause, the fact remains; most Australians are living in homes that are not conducive to the extreme conditions they sometimes need to face.

The good news is that the building industry is addressing this problem and there are many alternative methods and materials on the market that not only offer fire retardant properties but also many other benefits.

With building requirements becoming increasingly stringent, lightweight construction is an area seeing rapid growth and its inherent materials provide some extraordinary benefits. 

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For example, materials such as AAC (Autoclaved Aerated Concrete) are noncombustible and are suitable for fire prone areas providing peace of mind for homeowners. 

​Other benefits of lightweight construction for builders and homeowners include:

• Tough as traditional materials – materials such as AAC are strong and significantly easier to manage and lift than their equivalent area in masonry/concrete, yet lightweight.

• Environmental performance – AAC offers good insulation properties and can deliver energy savings, by way of reduced heating and cooling requirements, well beyond those of traditional building methods.

• Faster turn around – lightweight construction can be up to 75% faster than traditional

Construction, so homeowners can begin to enjoy their new home earlier.

• Cost reductions – lightweight construction materials such as AAC and polystyrene are more cost effective than traditional materials such as rendered brick.

• Sound insulation properties – the tiny air pockets that are a feature of most lightweight building products create excellent sound insulation.

• Design versatility – lightweight construction can be sculpted to resemble brickwork, tiles, timber or other decorative features.

• Pest resistance – lightweight construction materials do not attract vermin or termites.

• Good looks – contrary to popular belief, lightweight construction offers a beautiful finish that suits a wide variety of building styles.

Ryan Steyn, Director of Empower Construction – specialists in advising and building in lightweight, says, “Given the many benefits, lightweight is becoming the future of our building landscape. We are seeing more and more developers turn to lightweight and seeing it in a new ‘light’, so to speak.

“Gone are the days of clunky, bland looking, concrete blocks. Today’s lightweight materials are extremely flexible in design so they look great, and they’re so easy and quick to work with. More importantly they offer homeowners protection from extreme conditions, such as bushfires.”

With more and more lightweight materials coming onto the market, it’s important for builders to stay abreast of these products and to consider them, particularly for regional areas where safety is crucial.

For advice on lightweight building systems and products, contact Empower Construction today.


Article by Julia Sampo

February 2, 2018

Julia has over 10 years of experience across the marketing field in the construction industry. Her passions include design, building innovation, as well as travel, and the culinary arts.

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