Australia-wide solar fit out means concrete progress for sustainable construction


It is no secret that Australia has been experiencing a construction surge in recent years, no doubt aided by one of the biggest stimulus injections the housing industry has ever seen in the form of the Morrison government’s HomeBuilder program. 

However, as Victorian building materials and hardware business Bowens highlighted in their recent $1.2 million rooftop solar and sustainability investment, business owners have a responsibility to reduce their carbon footprints. According to Bowens, new home builds and renovations are up 33% since 2019 and Bowens chief investment officer, Andy Bowen, said “the world around us has seen a heightened focus on the environmental impacts of corporations and governments both big and small. It is our duty as an industry leader to play a positive role in this movement and do what we can – from recycling waste to reducing our power consumption.”

Humes, a division of Holcim and one of Australia’s biggest concrete suppliers, is following suit, announcing widespread solar installations across ten of its sites over the next two months. 

In a statement, Holcim said the “total annual capacity” of the combined solar systems across the 10 sites amounts to “1,100,000kW”. Since it is highly unlikely this figure is correct, it can be assumed the combined installation is expected to generate 1,100,000kWh annually. 

The various solar systems are set to be installed at Townsville, Rockhampton and Ipswich in Queensland, Tamworth and Blacktown in New South Wale, Laverton and Echuca in Victoria, Pooraka in South Australia, Darwin in the Northern Territory and Welshpool in Western Australia. 

Solar power installation with 99kW capacity at Humes Blacktown in NSW.

Image: Holcim

Humes reports that the installation at Pooraka is already complete and the local team is reporting regularly that it is producing more electricity that the facility consumes. 

“Our solar panels have been an excellent addition to the site,” said Jonathan Dunlop, Humes national manager of maintenance and mould, “benefiting both the environment and our bottom line.” 

Holcim has committed to reach net zero by 2050 for Scope 1 and 2 emissions, with a 90% reduction target for Scope 3 emissions.

“The building sector has an essential role to play to accelerate our world’s transition to net zero,” said Holcim CEO Jan Jenisch. “By setting the first Net-Zero Standard for our industry, we are committed to take science-driven action to win the race to net zero.” 


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