A versatile, sustainable building material, concrete is a popular choice for construction. Concrete is ideal for both home and business projects as it can deliver the results you’re looking for. How else can concrete be used in construction?
It’s eco-friendly to use concrete
Concrete is environmentally friendly, which many people don’t realize. We don’t need to travel long distances, which reduces our carbon footprint. In addition, when concrete is cured, it becomes completely inert, meaning that it will not emit any harmful vapours:
- Toxic compounds
- Volatile compounds
Concrete is 100% recyclable as well. Aggregate can be made by grinding it down into small pieces and mixing it with other materials. Many structures use aggregate to serve as a sub-base, and it is often used to protect shorelines. Keeping waste from landfills reduces the carbon footprint even further, which is good for the environment.
Concrete is a very cost-effective material
Because concrete is incredibly durable and resilient, it is very easy to maintain and often lasts for many decades without requiring reconstruction. In comparison to other, more fragile or combustible materials, concrete is known for its strength, which means that building insurance costs will be relatively low. Despite its low cost, concrete is one of the most popular building materials in the construction industry due to its durability and low cost.
Concrete is very flexible
Throughout the construction industry, concrete is perfect for its strong, durable properties, which make it ideal for a wide range of purposes. No matter what type of project you are undertaking, concrete will provide you with a sturdy, dependable solution.
Structures made of concrete have the ability to withstand the test of time and often require little maintenance over the years. Take the Spaghetti Junction in the UK as an example – Around 75,000 vehicles per day were expected to travel through the spaghetti junction, which connects the M1, M5, and M6 motorways. However, there has been more than 2 billion vehicle passes since it was opened in 1972. The use of concrete in this application has been tested to the limit.
A total of 175,000 cubic yards of concrete were used to build Spaghetti Junction, resulting in the erection of 559 concrete columns that remain today. Today, thousands of motorists still use the bridge to access major motorways every day, almost 50 years after it was built.
Concrete is a very energy-efficient material
The ability of concrete to store energy contributes to the ability to moderate indoor temperatures. As a result, cooling and heating demands (especially for large structures) will decrease, which will result in you saving money.
Various technologies have been combined with concrete due to its energy efficiency, including:
- Floors with radiant properties
- Heating and cooling systems using geothermal energy
- Heat pumps and hydronic heaters
The Versatility of concrete
Concrete can be adapted and molded into several shapes and forms despite being strong, sturdy, and exceptionally resilient when hardened. Furthermore, concrete also comes in a large variety of textures, each with its own finish. Concrete is one of the most versatile building materials, providing you with a smooth or decorative surface.
Concrete versus other construction materials
It’s becoming more and more popular to comparison shop and researches the different building materials available. The material is usually cheaper, more durable, and more sustainable than other materials. To help you determine whether or not concrete is the right solution for you, we’ll compare concrete with a variety of different materials.
Wood vs. Concrete
The advantages of concrete over wood include durability, low maintenance, and non-combustibility. As a natural material, wood is prone to retaining moisture, causing it to rot. As a result, the wood weakens, which means it will require more maintenance.
The combustible nature of wood makes it a dangerous material if a fire breaks out. The concrete bones of your building, on the other hand, will remain intact.
Concrete’s thick, resilient properties ensure noise is kept at a minimum, unlike wood, which is not as effective as concrete when it comes to soundproofing. Concrete is suitable for building particular types of accommodation or for office buildings.
Brick vs. Concrete
Even though bricks are sturdy building materials, they are not as strong as concrete. Brick walls, for instance, can be entirely dependent on the quality of the mortar used. Unlike bricks and mortar, concrete does not require an adjoining material, so it remains more durable and stronger.
In addition to being more versatile than brick, concrete can be shaped and manipulated in any desired shape with minimal effort. Adding brick to a structure often prevents you from coming up with inventive ideas. Use concrete instead and you’ll have endless options.
Brick and mortar are often more expensive than concrete. Unlike bricks, concrete requires minimal raw material usage and does not require bricklayers’ time. Bricks are, therefore, usually 20 percent more expensive than concrete, which means you’ll be getting a good deal when you use concrete.
How is Concrete Made?
A cement powder and water are mixed to form a paste. As the paste is mixed with aggregates, whether large or small, a chemical reaction results, with the aggregates coated by the paste. It is called ‘hydration’ when the mixture hardens, resulting in the strength we’re accustomed to.
The concrete mixture consists of two parts, which we call composites. Binders are made up of cement and water, while fillers, or aggregate, are made up of material. Combining the two produces a bond by hydrating the filler so that it can cure.
Can concrete be made stronger?
Since concrete is so successful, it has remained relatively the same for a long time. It is, however, possible to make stronger concrete. Various ratios of ingredients can be adjusted to create high-strength concrete.
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