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Rocla® tilted columns help solve construction challenge

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Rocla® steel-reinforced spun concrete columns helped simplify a difficult structural challenge for Queensland builder Adco Constructions.

The design of the new Port of Brisbane Corporation's headquarters, Port Office, called for a cluster of four inclined columns at one corner of the building. The striking architectural feature was also a major load-bearing structure, the 11-metre columns running from the ground up to the underside of the third level.

Rocla manufactured the four columns with cast-in base plates supplied by Adco's structural steel fabricator. The integrally cast plates and special connectors simplified connection of the columns on site, while the top ends of the columns were tied into the concrete slab reinforcement.

Adco contract administrator, Jared Hart, said the main problem, apart from the difficulty of forming inclined columns, was meeting the high specification tolerances and finishes required. "Pre-casting was the quickest and easiest method of solving the problem," he said. "Other precasters make round columns but they have to be spun to have a perfectly round off-form finish."

Port Office, due for completion in mid-2010, is a green building and Adco had to comply with a 5-star Green Star rating, including the Rocla® columns that were the only pre-cast for the site.