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Posted by on in Latest News
Fixing Homes After The Insulation Rebate

With the government axing its disastrous home insulation scheme amid a spate of fires and deaths, many home owners are now realising their homes are potential death-traps.

Already just under 100 house fires are being blamed on the scheme and experts warn that as the nights get longer people will use their lights more and this number will soon balloon.

The majority of the fire danger comes from Downlights coming into contact with insulation or ceiling debris, channelled there from insulation. Many installers simply just cut around the downlights or worse, just laid insulation straight over them.

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Foamular Extruded Polystyrene Contains 20% Recycled Content.

Foamular Extruded Polystyrene from Austech External Building Products is now guaranteed to contain a minimum of 20% recycled content in addition to its other green qualities.

The recycled content comes from post production waste. When making the board perfectly flat and trimming of excess product there can be large amounts of wasted produced which normally go straight to landfill.

Foamular now recycles that waste directly back into the product, limiting the waste sent to landfill, but also reducing the raw materials required to produce the product.

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Foamular Extruded Polystyrene used to meet Part J Requirements.

In 2006 there was a fundamental change to the Building Code Of Australia (BCA), with the focus on reducing energy consumption in commercial buildings. This change has caused immense upheaval in the building industry because many traditional ways of construction no longer comply with the building code, so these have to be modified or no longer used.

Part J was introduced with the objective to " reduce greenhouse gas emissions by efficiently using energy". This meant insulation had to be increased in most newly constructed walls and roofs in order to comply with regulations.

Foamular Extruded Polystyrene is a ridged insulation board, with high R-values, high strength and high water-resistance. Foamular has been successfully utilized in a variety of projects, including the Jane Foss Russel Building at USYD, the CDOP4 Building in Brisbane and the Ice House Icerink in Docklands Melbourne.

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Taronga Zoo uses Foamular Extruded Polystyrene to Insulate Heated Slab System.

Taronga Zoo is one of the world's most famous zoo's, showcasing an extensive array of animals and world class views, but with over 1,000,000 visitors last year, it was often a scramble to get everyone in and queue often stretch to the car park on weekends.

The Zoo is currently undergoing a massive restoration program on their main entrance to drastically reduce queue waiting times and give visitors a more interesting place to enter the zoo. The original iconic building is heritage listed, so the zoo has decided to expand the entrance and restore the original building to its former glory.

The new entrance will have a Hydronic Floor Heating System supplied and installed by ComfortHeat Floor Heating Systems. The system will keep the concrete floor slab at a constant temperature year round, reducing the need for other heating/cooling systems and keeping running costs down to a minimum.

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Better Homes And Gardens Features Duratuff Vinyl Cladding

Duratuff Select Vinyl Cladding has been chosen to feature on Better Homes and Gardens in a segment about instant house facelifts. The segment focuses on how homeowners can quickly and inexpensively improve their home while adding thousands to its value.

The Better Homes and Gardens production crew chose Duratuff because it represented exactly what they needed, a cost effective, good looking and low maintenance house cladding. One of the crew even had their own house re-clad with Duratuff a few years ago and insisted that it still looks like new.

Rob Palmer, the Better Homes and Gardens DIY host and builder, was especially impressed by Duratuff, describing it as "Botox for your home" because it doesn't age with time. Vinyl Cladding is designed to keep its colour and shape for a lifetime, with no cracking, peeling, chipping or re-painting, that's why Austech offers a 50 year product warranty on the whole range of Duratuff Vinyl Cladding.

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Hi-Tech Homes Picks Duratuff Select Vinyl Cladding

Hi-Tech Homes have just finished building their latest Display home, the Waratah 1, a compact and stylish 1 bedroom home, ideal for use as a granny flat, holiday home or affordable housing. Duratuff Select Vinyl Cladding in Sage was chosen to clad the home and provide a maintenance free exterior.

Manufactured homes have been using Duratuff Vinyl Cladding extensively for a long period of time. It is a pre-finished product, meaning it never needs painting, sanding or maintenance and it's very quick for them to install. Vinyl cladding also transports very well, it is highly impact resistant and is designed to allow expansion and contractions, so movement during transportation poses no problems.

Duratuff Select Vinyl Cladding offers a 50 year product warranty, which is passed onto all Hi-tech customers, giving them assurance that their home will look like new for years to come.

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Posted by on in Latest News
Austech Opens New Stone Display

Austech External Building Products has unveiled a new external display showcasing its range of Cultured Stone and Craft Stone wall cladding, as well as its new Screen In A Box product.

The new display features 11 different varieties and colours of stone as well as the different colours of Screen In A Box, including the Eurowood Finish. The display is located outside Austech's Blacktown office, so it can be viewed outside office hours by anyone interested in the product. With the display outside, it is exposed to all the elements, so you can see just how well the stone weathers.

Normally stone is displayed on many small portable boards, but Austech wanted to re-invent the way stone is displayed by creating large fixed displays that can truly demonstrate what the finished product will look like. Every sample is at lease 1m², making it much easier to see each unique stone and envisage it in your next project.

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Smart Home Owner Swaps Brick For Vinyl Cladding

A Central Coast couple recently decided to clad over their brick home with Duratuff Viny Wall Cladding, an unusual but smart choice that has breathed life into this once old and dark home.

The house had old and dull bricks that made it look tired and uninviting. The owners were told to render it, but they knew render was very expensive and high maintenance. They were also instructed to just paint the brick, but they didn't want to be locked into years of peeling paint and repainting.

After much deliberation, they chose Cladding & Re-Roofing Pty Ltd to install Duratuff Select Vinyl Wall Cladding to cover their entire house, and chose the colour 'Heather', a soft gray that complimented their existing Colorbond fence. Cladding & Re-Roofing Pty Ltd was also able to provide them with the Dulux colour matched colour for their cladding, so they could paint the remaining footings to match the cladding.

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Posted by on in Latest News
Zero Ozone Depletion Potential Polystyrene

Austech Launches A New Range Of Extruded Polystyrene Insulation With Zero Ozone Depletion Potential.

Austech has been promoting the environmental benefits of Extruded Polystyrene Insulation for years, and has just launched its newest product, an Extruded Polystyrene Board with Zero Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP)

Extruded Polystyrene has impressive thermal properties and superior compressive strength. Polyboard Enviro 300 50mm has an R-value of R1.56 and 75mm has an R-Value of R2.34, making it superior to other forms of insulation, including EPS. It also has a minimum compressive strength of 300kPa, so it can go under slabs and can be walked over easily. Extruded Polystyrene absorbs no water, so it maintains its high thermal performance over a long period of time.

Zero ODP insulation is made by using a blowing agent that has Zero Ozone depletion potential. There are multiple blowing agents that protect the ozone, but some have high global warming potential (GWP). HFC-134a has a global warming potential of 1300, causing considerable damage to the environment. Polyboard Enviro 300 uses a C02 blowing agent, which is the most environmentally friendly option, with a Global Warming Potential of only 1 *. Always make sure you are purchasing Zero ODP insulation with a CO2 blowing agent to avoid environmental damage.

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Posted by on in Latest News
The Signs of An Insulation Scheme Problem

With the demise of the Federal Government's $3.9 Billion Energy Efficient Homes Program came the revelation that as many as 1.1 million Australian homes may be in danger of hazardous installation practices that have already caused countless house fires.

The government will be inspecting some of the homes insulated under the scheme, but this will take months and many won't be inspected, so what can you do to check if your home is safe now?

Some of the most common problems include:

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Downlight Guards Now Included In $1200 Rebate

The government has now approved the use of Austech's Isolite Downlight Guards on insulation installed under the insulation rebate. Isolite downlights guards can be included in the $1200 quote, effectively making them free for homeowners.

The $1200 insulation rebate is designed to insulate 2.9 million Australian homes and reduce the impact of heating homes on the environment. The original plan received criticism for not taking into consideration the wide spread use of downlights and their incompatibility with many forms of insulation, but Isolite Downlight guards let installers bypass this problem.

The current standards for insulation installation require a minimum insulation clearance of 200mm around and above all downlights. Insulation is only as effective as the weakest point, so large clearance holes render the insulation almost useless, but when Isolite guards are installed, insulation can be placed next to the guard, vastly improving thermal efficiency.

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Posted by on in Latest News
11 New Locations To Look At Craft Stone

Craft Stone is a product that has to be seen to be believed. It combines the look and feel of real stone with the cost and simplicity of man-made stone, making it one of the fastest growing stone products in Australia. Austech has partnered with stone and tile suppliers all over NSW to make it easier for customers to get access to this innovative product.

Craft Stone is manmade stone, individually cast from thousands of moulds to give a natural stone look, without the need for extensive structural work. Craft Stone is ideal for feature walls, pillars, fireplaces, retaining walls and anywhere else you would use real stone.

There are many styles and colours in the Craft Stone range. This gives nearly endless design options, but also means you must carefully consider your choice to get the best results. Austech recommends you visit one the locations below to get a real feel of how your design could work.

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Foamular Chosen By Abroboard for Model Yacht Building

Abroboard has been around for over 21 years and have made their name creating surfboard blanks. With increased overseas competition, Abroboard have expanded into model yachts, revolutionising the industry and embracing new technology. Abroboard's director, Graeme Smith, has been sailing for over 40 years, so he definitely knows what makes a good boat.

The physical properties that make Foamular an ideal material for model boat making are the same properties that make it ideal for insulation. Foamular is a closed-cell extruded polystyrene board, this means it does not absorb moisture and still holds its shape, even when wet. Foamular also has high compressive strength, so it isn't misshapen by the odd bump or scrape, hence your boat will look great for longer.

Creating model boats is surprisingly complex, with every model being created from a sheet of Foamular that is computer cut to create precision shaping down to the nearest mm. Foamular is uses because it's very easy to work with but maintains its ridged shape and lightweight properties long after completion.

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Posted by on in Latest News
Austech Launches a New Online Shop

With life getting busier, more and more of Austech's customers where making out of office hours enquiries and asking for products to be delivered to their home or office. Austech has created a new site specifically designed for home renovators and busy builders, who want the simplicity of online shopping.

Austech has branches in every Australian state, but with a country as large as Australia, not everyone can come and visit an office. Austech has already had enquiries from people in regional areas that are happy to finally have access to the same products as their city counterparts.

Austech Online Shop has most of the products offered offline, including;

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Posted by on in Latest News
XPS V's EPS

Austech Investigates The Differences Between Foamular Extruded Polystyrene & Expanded Polystyrene.

There is often a great deal of confusion between expanded (EPS) and extruded polystyrene(XPS), with many people assuming they are essentially the same, but in fact expanded and extruded polystyrene are very different products.

Firstly there is the manufacturing procedure involved in creating the product. Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) is made using small expandable beads that inflate with heat, and then are placed into a mould, where they expand to fit the shape. The expanded beads trap air, which gives expanded polystyrene its insulation properties, but also leaves it venerable to water absorption, reducing the insulations effectiveness over time.

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Foamular Foil Faced Insulates Pharmaceutical Warehouse.

Foamular Extruded Polystyrene has been extensively used in the renovations of GlaxoSmithKline's Ermington warehouse.

GlaxoSmithKline produces consumer products for pharmacies and supermarkets, some of which must be stored below 25 ºC. In order to keep their factory cool and reduce cooling bills, 1100 m² of 50mm Foil Faced Foamular was installed in the roof.

Each year GlaxoSmithKline's Ermington plant produces more than 65 million packs of Panadol, 10 million bottles of paediatric liquids and 25 million tubes of toothpaste. They simply could not afford to shutdown or interrupt production and dispatch, so all Foamular installation was done at night while the factory was closed. Foamular is lightweight and easy to handle, which meant less scaffolding and support was needed, making it much easier to install and minimising the need to move items around the factory.

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Posted by on in Latest News
Foamular Insulates Green Roof Gardens.

Europe and the US have embraced green roof gardens, but Australia in many respects has fallen behind on the trend. Green roof gardens essentially replace ugly, inefficient flat concrete roofs with roof gardens that improve aesthetics, air quality, storm water management and the environment.

Green roof gardens provide good insulation on their own. You only have to step on a concrete path barefoot in the summer, then step onto the grass to feel the difference, but Foamular takes this one step further, combining high thermal properties with guaranteed performance.

Foamular provides the ideal insulation, since it not only has high R-values, but is moisture resistant. Green roof gardens obviously need water, so other insulation products would require extensive waterproofing, blowing out the budget. Foamular is not affected by moisture at all, and is even resistant to soil and bacteria, making it ideal for retrofits, where old buildings need to green up.

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Foamular Extruded Polystyrene Now Available From Austech WA

Austech's Western Australian branch is now stocking all of the most popular Foamular Extruded Polystyrene sizes that are currently available throughout the rest of Australia.

Foamular has had major success along the east coast, with many innovative and original projects, including :

·Jane Foss Russell Building at the University of Sydney, (awarded a 5 Star Green Star rating),

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Insulated Vinyl Cladding Helps Tasmanians Beat the Cold

Despite Australia being the land of beaches and bikinis, Tasmania isn't known for its hot summers and mild winters, in fact the average July low is only 4.5°C, with the mercury dropping below zero regularly. To combat this, Tasmanians must heavily insulate their homes to keep the heat in and control their energy bills.

Austech's range of Duratuff Select Vinyl Wall Cladding comes with a pre-installed expanded polystyrene insulation backing, available in 20mm and 30mm foam. Duratuff Select is an effective way to not only make your home look better, but also improve its energy efficiency.

Tony Caldwell from Austech Tasmania has been installing vinyl cladding in Tasmania for many years and as seen vinyl cladding go from strength to strength as Tasmanians embrace the environmental and aesthetic benefits of vinyl.

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Posted by on in Latest News
Austech's National Conference, 2009

Austech Head Office is situated in Sydney, but has branches all over Australia, including Austech Victoria, Austech Queensland, Austech Western Australia and Austech Tasmania. Austech's major suppliers also attended the conference, flying in from all over the world.

Marty McDonnell from Royal Building Products in Canada came to discuss vinyl cladding. Marty was very interested in the unique ways Australian Vinyl Cladding is insulated. In Canada vinyl cladding is just fixed straight onto the existing house, but Austech's Duratuff Select Vinyl Wall Cladding has an expanded polystyrene backing, making it more ridged, but also adding to a home's energy efficiency, wrapping it with insulation.

Billy Lee from Owens Corning, Foamular Extruded Polystyrene's manufacturer, was pleased to see just how well received Foamular was in Australia and all the innovative ways Australians use it. Billy was especially interested in Foamular surfboards and Austech's new innovative foil board. He did notice a big difference in the EIFS (External Insulation Finishing Systems) market in Australia, where in China most new buildings are made of concrete, with Foamular used to insulate the concrete, in Australia Foamular is also used on wooden frame homes, wrapping all the walls in insulation and minimising thermal bridging.

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