Designed for a 200 year life, Australia’s New Parliament House was opened in January, 1988 to coincide with the bicentenary of European settlement. This important public building required the use of sound durable concrete free from the risk of cracking and spalling. It is entirely clad in galvanized precast concrete panels manufactured to exacting architectural standards – which have performed since without problem.
In one (of three) precasting contracts, 1800 cladding and window units containing over 2500 t concrete and 600 t of galvanized reinforcement were supplied. The contract value was $A4.5 m of which $A60k (or 3.5%) was spent on galvanizing the steel. Compared to the $A1.2b final cost of the building, this was a miniscule premium to pay.