Beyond concrete’s traditional values of strength and durability, modern concrete buildings offer economy, versatility and architectural freedom. Moreover, they meet today’s demands for green or sustainable construction.
Structural concrete: From foundations, columns and floors to load-bearing walls, concrete is at the core of building design and construction. And the key to these structural systems is high-strength concrete. Once limited to low-rise buildings, dramatic increases in strength propelled concrete structures to the tallest skyscrapers.
Architectural Concrete: One aspect of concrete’s versatility is the ability to act as both a structural element and an architectural finish. Beyond its role as a load-bearing material, concrete can take almost any form, texture and color to enhance the appearance of a building.
Green construction: Concrete is sustainable by nature. Its light color reflects heat and reduces the urban heat island effect. It incorporates recycled materials and can be recycled itself. Its thermal mass reduces energy consumption. It’s produced locally to minimize energy squandered in transportation to the job site. And because ready mixed concrete is ordered in specific quantities for specific jobs, there is very little waste.
Self-Consolidating Concrete: Designed to flow into place, self-consolidating or self-leveling concrete achieves exceptionally smooth finishes without vibration or special finishing techniques. It’s widely used for architectural, commercial and precast elements.
Pervious Concrete: When it rains, it drains. Pervious or porous concrete has the unique ability to form a solid pavement that supports traffic, yet allows water to drain through it. Because the water flows through rather than runs off, pervious concrete offers natural infiltration and eliminates the need for a drainage systems, storm sewers or retention ponds.
Polished concrete: Floor slabs can now be finely ground and polished to a high gloss finish that needs no waxing or coatings. For retail, warehouse and office facilities, designers are choosing polished concrete as an alternative to traditional finishes such as tile, stone or vinyl flooring.
Abrasion-Resistant Concrete: Abrasion resistant concrete is designed for high-wear and high-impact applications. A special mix ensures uniform hardness and wear resistance through the full depth of the slab. Commercial and heavy industrial applications include bridges, interchanges, ramps, dams, dykes and spillways.
Lightweight Concrete: Lightweight concrete is ideal for applications where weight is an issue, such as floor toppings, multi-story buildings, rooftop construction and precast sections. Expanded polystyrene replaces normal aggregate to reduce weight. Lightweight concrete also enhances the fire-resistance and insulation qualities of concrete.
Low-Shrinkage Concrete: Low-shrinkage concrete reduces typical drying and shrinkage problems such as cracking and curling. In addition, joint spacing can be increased. It offers lower overall lifecycle costs without special placing or finishing requirements. Reinforcing fibers can also be added to the mix to minimize shrinkage cracks and improve impact resistance.