Transitions Polishing and Grinding (TPG) installed 2435 sq. ft. of environmentally friendly, mechanically polished and honed concrete into a 6-star energy rated, internationally acclaimed and multi-award winning private residence. This included all internal living areas, bathrooms, theatre room, study, and gymnasium, as well as an outdoor entertainment area, pool surround, staircase, concrete garden tiles, and bench seats.

With sustainability at its core, the aim of this project was to produce “the greenest house possible.” The concrete floors were an integral part of achieving this goal.

In planning the floors, TPG was first consulted on the composition of an environmentally friendly concrete mix. The result was a specially formulated mix containing a reduced percentage of cement, substituted with waste byproducts slag and fly ash.

In finishing the concrete floor, TPG had to factor in the following environmental elements - energy savings, water efficiency, reducing CO2emissions, VOC levels, product lifecycles, and improving indoor environmental quality. These elements presented challenges, as traditional grinding methods had to be adjusted.

TPG was required to utilize onsite solar power to run equipment and grind the floors dry. This not only saved water consumption but also reduced CO2emissions, as there was no requirement to transport waste materials or operate a combustible generator. Also, all waste created from dry grinding was used as landfill onsite.

All sealers and additives had to be environmentally friendly and low-VOC. External finishes were UV-stable, to withstand the harsh Australian sun, and were also slip-resistant.

The strategic design of this residence took full advantage of the concrete’s natural ability in being green. The concrete was white with light aggregate. Light colors and a high gloss finish were chosen to enhance light reflectivity in the rooms, reducing the need for powered lighting during the day.

The internal polished concrete floors are in direct line of the sunlight, providing fantastic energy generation and conservation for the house. This was achieved by reducing the overall need to utilize electronic heating and cooling systems as temperature control. Instead, the concrete’s natural thermal mass abilities take care of this, generating ~500W/m2 in winter and ~1,000W/m2 in summer.

Mechanically polished concrete floors are highly durability and are low- maintenance, which in the long-term provide fantastic environmental benefits. The residents are likely to experience an environmentally friendly floor for years without sacrificing aesthetic appeal or functionality.