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Are you often on the hunt for new sustainable building materials? Are you mindful of where your building waste ends up or care about recycling where possible?
Well, you may find what you’re looking for from Australian decorative board and laminate brand, polytec. The HIA member company is on a mission to foster eco-friendly initiatives within its processes to minimise its footprint – and yours – on the environment. The latest scheme recycles any type of timber off cut into reusable particleboard at two collection points in Sydney, helping to reduce wood waste that would otherwise end up in landfill.
‘Sending wood waste to landfill is increasingly expensive and harmful to the environment – reusing and recycling wood products is a much more sustainable option,’ polytec says. ‘There’s a whole stream of waste timbers that are either virgin wood or engineered, which can be collected and recycled back into brand new products.’
polytec incorporates recycled timber waste into several existing product lines, including standard particleboard, decorative products or carcass board, which are suitable for internal joinery applications, such as kitchen cabinetry and benchtops, or commercial applications. polytec explains that using recycled timber waste does not change the product’s composition: it remains durable, long lasting and easy to install.
polytec’s resource management credentials were recognised with the 2020 HIA Hunter Industry and Product Innovation award; the company hopes to increase awareness of the importance of promoting an industrial ecology in the industry.
Builders and joiners can be involved in the wood waste recycling initiative through reDirect Recycling and opting for a particleboard bin at their premises. Enquire about recycling with polytec, and assist in creating a sustainable, closed loop economy.
HIA member Brad Neale is a bricklayer and builder by trade, with an inclination for inventing. The owner of Finite Bricklaying in Sydney and Finite Homes on the Gold Coast understands better than most the ins and outs of bricklaying, and is always looking for ‘new ways to do things’.
Enter the Super Stubbie: a face fix tie developed for timber and steel frames that rapidly reduces the tie installation process in masonry construction.
‘Like any new product that gets invented, there was a need to change the way we do things for speed, quality and safety,’ Brad explains. ‘In my experience as a bricklayer and running my own company, the process for using a face fix tie was to nail it off. I always thought that this wasn’t the best way to do it.’
Brad discovered the benefits of screwing off face fix ties instead of nailing them off.
‘I started experimenting with setting some screws and ties and then discovered it sped up the process of installing ties on a house by 50 per cent,’ he says. ‘For bricklaying – which is a very labour intensive job – that meant a significant saving on labour and getting more bricks laid as well.’
Brad began working on a design and patent in 2018 and had his first container arrive in August 2020. The Super Stubbie face fix tie for timber and steel frames are made with Z600 galvanised steel and galvanised screws for R2 and R4 (stainless steel version), which both adhere to the latest Australian Standard AS/NZS2699.1 Built-in components for masonry construction, released in 2020.
‘It’s an exciting product and it works,’ Brad says. ‘Being part of the trade, I’m always looking for new ways of making things easier for bricklayers and builders.’
Brad adds that others love using the product too.
‘We brick up a lot of houses for builders who all now use the Super Stubbie,’ he says. ‘They love it from the perspective that they pick up a fix tie that’s already got the screw set in. It’s great in that regards because it’s faster and stronger. Even though it’s a simple product, there’s technology in the Super Stubbie that makes life easier.’
For now, Brad is focused on servicing the east coast of Australia where the company and a number of distributors, such as Bunnings, Hudsons and ABC Bricks, are based but is set to soon go nation-wide with the product.
The Super Stubbie is available in a variety of carton sizes, with the company recommending trades allow 100 ties per 1000 bricks.