When it comes to concrete slab installation, there are a few different options available for forming the structure. Polystyrene has been the go-to material due to its lightweight nature and low material cost, however in recent years, plastic pods have emerged as a superior alternative. In this article, we will explore the benefits of using plastic pods over polystyrene and why QPOD® is the way to go.


New Zealand has made significant progress in promoting sustainable construction practices, with a focus on reducing the environmental impact of the industry and increasing the use of renewable materials. This trend, driven by both government policies and consumer demand for environmentally friendly buildings, has seen growing interest in using recycled materials to reduce waste and conserve resources.

QPOD is manufactured from 100% recycled, repurposed plastic waste. The plastic pod system addresses one of the biggest environmental hazards of traditional polystyrene forms, that is when it’s cut, it produces small airborne beads that contaminate our environment and waterways. With QPOD, cut-offs are virtually non-existent and 100% recyclable, making this a great option for companies who want a clean work site and are committed to reducing their carbon footprint as they produce zero landfill waste.

Faster Installation

When it comes to construction projects, time is of the essence. Unlike polystyrene, QPOD has a unique interlocking system that ensures the product stays in place during the concrete pour (even in windy conditions). This feature allows slab installers to work quickly and efficiently by eliminating the need for manual adjustments. Installers can expect to lay 180m2 of pods in a morning, leaving the afternoon to install steel & mesh.

QPOD is also the only system on the market that features the patented built-in 40mm barchair, which ensures accurate placement of the mesh, providing a stable foundation for the concrete slab. This unique feature not only improves the overall quality of the finished product but also saves time and reduces the risk of errors during the construction process.

No Mess and No Waste

Cutting and shaping polystyrene is a time-consuming task that not only creates styrene flyaways that are hazardous to workers and the surrounding environment, but also results in a worksite contaminated with off-cuts. QPOD plastic pods are pre-formed and ready to use. Slab installers can simply place the pods and components forming a grillage of pods ready to receive the steel & mesh placement.

By taking advantage of our engineering and foundation drafting services you can further optimise material usage with a fully customised slab plan. Be it a specific engineered design suited to varied ground conditions, or a simple foundation to meet CodeMark conditions. Our expert team will help you determine the most efficient layout for your slab and the exact amount of product required to complete the build.

Efficient Delivery

The New Zealand Building Industry has been facing major challenges when it comes to the cost and supply of building materials, and with the Government’s fuel relief scheme set to end in June 2023, businesses are now preparing for a 36% increase in RUCs. This impending expense has many construction companies looking for ways to enhance transportation efficiencies to reduce the costs associated with material delivery.

QPOD is locally manufactured in Hawke’s Bay. Its lightweight and compact design maximises space by allowing up to 50m2 of product to be neatly stacked on a single pallet. In contrast to polystyrene pods which require large truck & trailer deliveries, the QPOD required for a standard residential floor build can be delivered on a single axle trailer or back of a ute. This streamlined approach to transportation will minimise the impact of rising fuel costs.

H1 Energy Efficiency Driven

In 2021, MBIE announced increases to roof, window, wall and underfloor insulation requirements in an aim to reduce the energy needed for heating residential homes by 40%. These were the biggest energy efficiency changes to the Building Code in over a decade, and have prompted the question “does QPOD meet the new H1 standards?”

The answer is yes, QPOD meets and exceeds the new H1 insulation requirements. The minimum construction R-values (a measure used to determine a material’s ability to resist the transfer of heat) vary from 1.5-1.7 depending on your climate zone, and factors such as the shape of your foundation and whether or not underfloor heating will be applied will impact your rating.

To determine QPOD Compliance to H1/AS1 use our online calculator.

It is clear that QPOD® is a smart and sustainable choice for construction companies across New Zealand. Today’s market is crying out for a more eco-friendly solution to replace the polystyrene convenience we are so used to, and the QPOD® system that and so much more.

Get in touch to learn more about using QPOD for your next project.

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