Concrete: Is it important?

The answer is YES! Concrete has a number of characteristics that can improve the sustainability performance of a building or structure.

Concrete is great for acoustics, flood prevention, fire prevention and durability, to name a few.

Acoustics

The sound insulation and acoustic performance of homes has grown in importance, primarily due to the rising demand from government for increased density of urban dwellings. Noise complaints have increased due to both the closer proximity and new demands placed on housing (e.g. entertainment systems).

Construction workers or do-it-yourselfers lean more towards good sound installation by walls and floors by using the inherent mass and damping qualities of concrete. The need for additional finishes is minimal, thereby reducing capital and ongoing maintenance costs.

Flooding

New building works within areas of flood risk are only permitted in exceptional cases where the risks are managed and adequate flood defense measures and/or flood resistant construction techniques are adopted.

Flood resilient construction uses methods and materials that reduce the impact from a flood, ensuring structural integrity is maintained, and the drying out and cleaning required, following inundation and before reoccupation, is minimized. Concrete is inherently water resilient and entirely suitable in a construction designed to be waterproof, as required for water barriers.

Fire

Fact: Concrete does not burn! It cannot be “set on fire” unlike other materials in a building and it does not emit any toxic fumes when affected by fire. It also does not produce smoke or drip molten particles. For these reasons, in the majority of applications, concrete can be described as virtually “fireproof.”

If fire occurs, concrete performs well – both as an engineered structure, and as a material in its own right. Because of concrete’s inherent material properties, it can be used to minimize fire risk for the lowest initial cost while requiring the least in terms of ongoing maintenance. Again, another reason why do-it-yourselfers and construction workers go to concrete.

Durability

The full structural capacity of a concrete wall far exceeds design requirements. It is this inherent robustness that has enabled traditionally built houses to cater for increased loads emanating from alterations and adaptation. Their strength also facilitates the introduction of concrete upper floors that provide clear spans between external walls and will support internal masonry walls. All internal walls below become non-load bearing, producing a design where the layout can be altered to cater for future changes in living requirements, which ultimately satisfies the government’s requirement for “lifetime homes.”

Visit www.standleybatch.com to learn more about concrete or call (800) 325-8084.

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