Reduce construction vibration with Expando

As the building and construction industry faces escalating urban density, natural environmental concerns and proximity to cultural heritage areas such as schools and hospitals, controlling construction vibration can be a nightmare.

Complaints from neighbours, council restrictions, crippling project budgets, and damage to adjacent buildings are some of the common impacts from vibration issues.

Now an innovative product called Expando has provided a solution for these difficult sites. Expando – a non-toxic expansive mortar is the  ideal solution to crack rocks and concrete without the headache of vibration issues typical of traditional demolition and rock removal methods.

Expando is a non explosive demolition agent with an impressive 14,000 PSI expansive strength that will simplify the process of cutting and breaking rocks or concrete and takes the risk out of difficult excavation, trenching or demolition work.

By using Expando, you can save thousands of dollars and achieve your demolition objectives without having to hire expensive experts or specialised equipment like excavators, jackhammers, concrete saws or use explosive blasting.

Why is vibration an important issue?

Construction vibration levels are set by regulatory authorities such as each state’s Environment Protection Authority (EPA), Standards Australia and local councils*.

The need for such regulation arises as construction equipment (including pile drivers, jackhammers, dump trucks, dozers, excavators and concrete saws) can operate in very close proximity to residential and commercial premises, sometimes for extended daily hours and for some projects, in excess of two to three years. If vibrations are a potential problem, councils may require a dilapidation report on neighbouring properties as part of DA approval.

If vibration levels from construction are too high, then people residing or working nearby may take action or involve councils to restrict construction activities, especially if it can be demonstrated that levels exceed acceptable limits set by relevant standards and regulations. As such, construction vibration can threaten a project’s schedule and budget if not adequately addressed – controlling construction vibration issues is critical.

Vibration – Some of the impacts


Neighbour Complaints due to Human Disturbance

Vibration can potentially impact on an individual’s quality of life or work efficiency. This is especially true for project sites within close proximity to residential or cultural heritage areas such as schools and hospitals.

The vibration criteria for human disturbance tends to be more stringent than for effects on building contents and building structural damage. The table below shows vibration limits for normal construction activities to protect human comfort based on NSW EPA’s guidelines. These human comfort limits are intended to minimise annoyance and are below levels required for the prevention of structural damage to buildings (because people can feel vibration at lower levels than what is required to cause damage to buildings and contents)and as such, are considered suitable for use in general assessments.

Table 1 – NSW EPA Vibration Limits to Protect Human Comfort (rms)*



Continuous Vibration

Intermittent Vibration

























Below are some commonly used indicative minimum buffer distances to avoid human discomfort during the day. However, please note that as vibration level depends on many factors and is site specific, these should be used as a general guide only.

Table 2: Suggested Minimum Bugger Distances to Avoid Human Discomfort*

Activity/ Equipment Type

Min. Distance

Rock breaker  (small – large)

5m – 15m

Pulverisor 30 tonne




Vibratory rollers (light – heavy)

5m – 25m

Truck movements


Sheet piling



Structural damage to buildings

Construction in dense urban settings can result in damage to adjacent structures. Even the most careful planning and implementation can result in damage if adjacent buildings are fragile or especially susceptible to vibration due to demolition and other construction activities.

Currently no Australian Standard exists for assessment of building damage caused by vibrational, however as a guide, the German standard DIN 4150 – Part 3 Structural vibration in buildings – Effects on Structures provides “safe limits” up to which no damage due to vibration effects has been observed for particular classes of buildings.

Table 3: Minimum Safe Limits of Vibration to Reduce Likelihood of Building Damage (rms)*

Building Type

Intermittent Vibration

Commercial & Industrial




Sensitive Structures (eg. historical with preserve orders, etc)


British Standard BS7385: Part 2 Evaluation and measurement of vibration in buildings also sets standards for assessing the likelihood of building damage from vibration.

Control construction vibration – Buy Expando today

When controlling construction vibration is an issue for demolition and excavation work in residential settings or sites within close proximity to cultural heritage areas such as schools and hospitals, Expando is the ideal solution for you.

Expando is a non explosive demolition agent that cracks rocks and concrete without the need for blasting or heavy equipment like excavators, jackhammers or concrete saws.

Buy Expando now via our secure online shop, delivered anywhere around Australia. For more information on Expando expansive mortar please contact us.

There’s No Such Thing as a Good Vibration

Difficult sites and issues with vibrations are now a thing of the past thanks to an innovative product called Expando – it’s a non-explosive demolition agent, suitable for difficult sites where vibrations and noise are an issue and those with a high concentration of rock, or for confined spaces. Expando is your difficult construction site solution.

Expando, owned by local Australian company, No Blast, was used to excavate a site in Linley Point, NSW, that became one of Sydney’s largest and most innovative homes.

Terrible terrain and a huge amount of rock

The development began with the demolition of two neighbouring waterfront homes that were situated on a steep precipice of rock descending to the waterline at the southern point of the bay. The terrain the houses were built on and the sheer size of the development meant the removal of a momentous amount of rock. Excavation was set to take 15 weeks before it was cleared, levelled and ready for phase two.

So with a project of this magnitude, where do you start? Stephen Johnson, owner of SJ Constructions, who has taken on the planning, design and development of the home, begins: ‘For the first few weeks we went about the dig in the traditional way using an excavator but the noise and vibrations from the continuous thump of the excavator was affecting neighbouring properties so we stopped the dig and went about finding a less intrusive excavation method.’

Finding the solution

‘When water freezes, it expands – that’s why when water that collects in road cracks turns to ice in winter it enlarges those crevices into gaping potholes. I knew there had to be a man-made solution out there that behaved in a similar way so I started a Google search and found a non-explosive expansive mortar called ‘Expando’ from a local Australian supplier.’

‘The owner of Expando, John Rothwell, delivered the first load and demonstrated how to use it. It’s idiot proof really, easy to mix, non toxic so there’s no license requirement for careful handling and no OH&S issues.’

‘Because of the enormous scale of the project we wanted to make sure we had the best and most cost effective technique before we commenced, so we began experimenting with the size and spacing of the holes before we were satisfied we had the best method down pat.’

‘We started by drilling the holes and then we filled them at different times of the day so the rock cracked in sequence. We filled the holes at the face of the rock in the morning and worked our way backward. The face cracks and falls, then the next level back goes and so on. We then used an excavator once a day for final removal offsite; this reduced the impact noise and vibrations had on the neighbours and allowed us to continue working on the dig throughout the day.’

‘We used 20 kgs of Expando per seven 1.6 metre holes, 38 millimeters in diameter – that’s 2.3 cubic metres of rock removed per 20 kg box.’

This case study is a great example of why Expando is your difficult construction site solution.

Buy Expando now via our secure online shop, delivered anywhere around Australia. For more information on Expando expansive mortar please contact us.

Tunnelling a horizontal shaft through Sydney Sandstone

Expando came to the rescue in this small residential tunnelling project in North Sydney. The owner is in his early 70s and knows that in the future the 38 steps from his gate to his door are going to become a really big obstacle. The project involved tunnelling a horizontal shaft through sandstone to the rear of the garage under the front lawn and then under the existing lounge room, where a small elevator shaft was to connect the vertical shaft to the horizontal tunnel under the front lawn. The project was a hobby for the former mining engineer.

Due to the cost and time taken to excavate the first five metres of the tunnel, we were engaged to help. The challenge was to fill horizontal and vertical holes using the chemical solution Expando. We initially used a grout pump to fill the horizontal holes but the hire cost was too expensive for this residential job so we came up with an alternative method.

We filled long skinny bags with the chemical Expando and forced the bags into the horizontal holes using a PBC pipe and timber ream. The effect was the same as if we had poured it into the holes from the top.

Expando enabled tunnelling a horizontal shaft to proceed far enough under the house to start cutting in the vertical shaft. Holes were drilled up from the lower tunnel and as the rock was removed from the top it was simply dropped down the hole to be cleaned out through the garage. Success!

Buy Expando

Expando is a non explosive demolition agent that cracks rocks and concrete without the need for blasting or heavy equipment like excavators, jackhammers or concrete saws.

Buy Expando now via our secure online shop, delivered anywhere around Australia. For more information on Expando expansive mortar please contact us.

Breaking granite boulders using Expando

Case study: Breaking granite boulders using Expando

This case study describes how Expando was used for breaking granite boulders in a project managed by Pan Civil to widen the road and remove boulder hazards from the road shoulder in the Moonbi Hills region of NSW.

The rock was granite and extremely hard. Some of the boulders were up to 200 tons.

Neil Champion, director of Pan Civil said: “It was uneconomical to break these rocks using the hammers on our excavators. So we turned to Expando.  Drilling was done by hand and by machine. The splitting was taking between 24 and 72 hours depending on ambient temperatures”.

Neil’s photos are great examples of what can be done using Expando.

Expando is a non explosive demolition agent that cracks rocks and concrete without the need for blasting or heavy equipment like excavators, jackhammers or concrete saws.

Buy Expando now via our secure online shop, delivered anywhere around Australia. For more information on Expando expansive mortar please contact us.