Product profile: Reducing concrete use


Wafflepod slab construction reduces concrete use and helps insulate the slab from the ground, but wafflepods are made from one of the most environmentally damaging plastics known—polystyrene foam. The foam is not easily recycled, especially when contaminated with concrete, so it usually just goes to landfill at the end of the building’s life.

The Cupolex Building System from Australian Urethane and Styrene consists of polypropylene domes that link together to form the base for concrete slabs. They displace a great deal of concrete that would otherwise be needed, as well as base fill—one pallet of Cupolex units eliminates the need for three to four truckloads of fill.

The system also isolates the slab from the ground, eliminating moisture ingress into the slab from the ground, as well as providing a level of thermal insulation. Less reinforcing material (rebar) is needed for a slab as well.

Being polypropylene, the Cupolex units are fully recyclable at the end of the building’s life, further reducing the environmental footprint. The Cupolex domes are available in a range of heights, although only the Australian-manufactured 260 and 350 mm domes are kept in stock by the supplier—other sizes can be imported on a project-by-project basis.

For more information, contact Australian Urethane and Styrene, ph: (02) 9676 8444,,

Read more product profiles in ReNew 136.

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