Commercial concrete is used to develop and enhance business facilities – from industrial buildings and warehouses to retail stores and car parks. It can be found in almost every structure, including the walls, floors, exterior walkways and even within architectural details.

The advantages of concrete for commercial buildings

Providing a strong and long-lasting structure, concrete is the most widely used commercial material in the world. It’s a versatile and adaptable material that can be altered and changed simply within the changing demands of a commercial building.

1. Create longer spans
2. Reach an effective thermal mass
3. Excellent fire resistance
4. Achieve airtightness
5. Optimise acoustic performance
6. Build-in your security

Key commercial concrete applications:

Flat slabs: slabs supported directly on columns without any beams. They will be supported by cast in-situ or precast columns and in-situ walls. Flat slabs are highly versatile and widely used in construction, providing minimum depth, fast construction and flexible column grids.

Post-tensioning: a method of prestressing flat slabs that offers the thinnest slab type as concrete is worked to its strengths, whilst mostly being kept in compression. Longer spans can be achieved due to prestress, which is also used to control deflections.

An economic solution for long span situations greater than 12m is a post-tensioned band beam – shallow, wide beams that minimise the overall structural depth. Prestressing maximises the performance of the concrete and controls deflection. Typically this beam is 550mm to 600mm deep.

Double-tee floor units: ribbed precast prestressed concrete units – produced in a variety of depths ranging from 200mm to 500mm. The connecting slab is approximately 2400mm wide x 50mm thick. Double tees are suited for larger spanning floors with a wide variety of services suspended from the flooring.

Hollowcore: 1200mm wide extruded, prestressed and voided slab unit with a reinforced concrete topping. The name is derived from the voids or cores which run through the unit, reducing the self-weight of the slabs, and maximising structural efficiency.

Standard unit depths are 200mm, 300mm and 400mm. Hollowcore is suited for large floor spans with commercial loading.

Hybrid concrete construction (HCC): makes use of precast and in-situ concrete together, combining the benefits of both to give a robust, durable construction which is fast on site with an excellent finish. There are many different forms of HCC, but a popular option for commercial buildings is to use hollowcore units which are prestressed to maximise the floor span.

Tilt-Up construction: a popular method of construction that puts together the exterior frame of a building. What makes Tilt-Up so effective is its combination of affordable cost with low maintenance work requirements, durability, and fast construction.

Tilt-Up panels are cast horizontally on-site, then tilted into position. This method casts pre-fabricated steel plates with lugs into the panel – allowing an attachment to footing, other panels, or roofing. It’s popular to impart a pattern or texture to the face of Tilt-Up panels to allow external cladding to be cast in the same process for maximum efficiency.

Industrial and commercial concrete for flooring

Commercial and industrial concrete floors and pavements require high strength and durability – for abrasion resistance of the surface, or the type of environment the concrete is subjected to

There are a number of different design options available in addition to conventional reinforced concrete floors to enhance commercial buildings.

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