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Wonder Reef on the Gold Coast the first reef attraction in the world to use Wagners Earth Friendly Concrete®

21 July 2021

Australia’s first floating dive attraction, Wonder Reef on the Gold Coast will also be the first underwater attraction utilising Earth Friendly Concrete® (EFC®) by Wagners, a Queensland construction materials company.

Subcon, the engineering and installation team behind the Wonder Reef project, approached Wagners as the leaders in zero-cement concrete technology to reduce the embodied carbon of the engineered reef structures. Every cubic metre of EFC® saves 250kg of embodied carbon. Using Wagners’ EFC® for the 310m3 of concrete used in this project has successfully reduced the carbon footprint of Wonder Reef by close to 100 tonnes – equivalent to what 95 acres of forest would absorb in a year.

Concrete pour for Wonder Reef anchor pyrimads on a barge on the water against a bright blue sky.

Subcon recognised Wagners’ expertise in this space, with their geopolymer binder system that utilises industry waste products such as blast furnace slag from iron production and fly-ash. This greatly reduces the embedded carbon footprint compared to traditional concrete production while simultaneously generating a superior product with improved durability, lower shrinkage and higher flexural tensile strength.

Wagners EFC® General Manager Jason Zafiriadis said, “The Wonder Reef project exhibits the level of leadership required to bring Earth Friendly Concrete to the mainstream. Not only is the product better for the environment, but it’s also better for construction as it’s a superior product to traditional cement based concretes.”

Subcon Founder and Director Matt Allen added, “Subcon has pioneered the use of geopolymer concrete for engineered reefs. We are now working to roll out Wagners EFC® formula in the majority of our projects moving forward because it is cohesive with our thread of enabling ocean communities to thrive through all of our projects. Working within the Blue Economy means we have a responsibility to refine our construction methods to sustain our oceans for the future.”

Wonder Reef is a fusion of science, art and engineering that empowers nature while bolstering tourism and the local economy. Artist Daniel Templeman designed nine buoyant ‘sculptural reef flutes’ individually tethered to the seafloor by 72-tonne reinforced earth friendly concrete and steel foundation reefs. The sculptures will soar 20-metres above the ocean floor and are designed to attract and sustain a rich diversity of fish and other marine life and achieve positive environmental outcomes.

See Subcon’s project page on the Wonder Reef here.

Daniel Templeman
City of Gold Coast 
Subcon Technologies Pty Ltd 
Core Marine 
Think Structural 
Media enquiries:
Matt Allen | +61 422 267 244 |