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Five Mile Radius creates sustainable furniture from construction waste

Concrete side table on timber floor
Workshop with concrete terrazzo table tops

Founded in 2016, the Five Mile Radius studio is a collaboration between a group of architects, tradespeople and educators who are passionate about exploring waste reuse, closed loop thinking and bioclimatic design. They produce their creations by making use of waste salvaged from the local construction industry.

File Mile Radius team sitting in front of warehouse

The concrete in their Over Pour range is sourced from building sites when more wet concrete is supplied than required. At present builders often have no choice but to dump their excess concrete on site or into landfill. Instead, Five Mile Radius have designed a time critical system to intercept this wet concrete, transport it to their workshop, and pour it into their pre-prepared moulds. To make this table’s pinky hue, they added a touch of natural red oxide to the waste concrete before the concrete sets. After curing, the surface is polished and sealed with a natural beeswax.

The concrete rests on a base of reclaimed steel reinforcing, blackened with linseed oil, and because the base can easily detach from the table top, both can recycled.

Over Pour coffee table in pink
Close up of pink Over Pour coffee table

The Five Mile Radius team have pioneered the use of Waste Terrazzo and they’ve used this gorgeous material to create coffee tables, dining tables, custom furniture, kitchen or bathroom benchtops and retail store fitouts.

Related: Wood Stone by the Natural Brick Co is made from recycled wood chip, glass and rice hulls

Concrete Terrazzo coffee table
Concrete coffee table
Close up of terrazzo concrete

Their Telegraph Stools range are made from recycled timber power poles and are blackened using a natural charring technique to help preserve the surface. Every year 200,000 power poles are replaced across Australia due to a small section of a pole becoming waterlogged. 80% of these poles are sent to landfill because, currently, there is no recycling program to find another use for them. File Mile Radius use the remaining undamaged, beautiful and totally reusable timber pole to create their stools.

Black timber telegraph stool bedside table next to bed
Black timber Telegraph stools

Big believers in building with what you’ve got – they approach each project or product in their range of sustainable furniture using this inspiring list of principles:

• Use Local / Support local industries, economies and cultures.
• Supply Chain Transparency / Understand where things come from.
• Reduce Embodied Carbon / Limit the use of energy intensive materials.
• Build Less/ The most sustainable building is no building at all.
• Construction Efficiency / Reduce wastage on construction sites.
• Use Recycled / Look for ways to use recycled materials over virgin ones.
• Be Healthy / Avoid hazardous materials with harmful health impacts.
• Design For Disassembly / Can your building materials be pulled apart and recycled?
• Don’t demolish / Try to work with existing buildings rather than demolish.

Concrete bathroom floor and bench top
Concrete bathroom bench top and timber vanity
Kitchen concrete bench top
Kitchen sink with concrete bench top

The studio are so passionate about continual experimentation with materials and prototyping that any purchase of their gorgeous sustainable furniture range is used to fund further materials research and to create educational events.

Want to know where you can buy their products? Shop here

Read more about their design solutions for buildings, interiors and installations, education events, and materials consultancy services.

Concrete outdoor table top and bench seat
Curved concrete seat in shoes store seating
Frame for concrete table top
A worker sanding concrete table top
Images courtesy of Five Mile Radius. Photography by Callie Marshall, UAP and Daneil Mulheran.

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