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    CD Designs Blog

    The Future Of Concrete?

    In the above video, professor Behrokh Khoshnevis of the University of Southern California explains his vision for the future. It expands upon the ideas from this blog in July, where we gave a brief description of the process of 3D printing. The concrete used in todays homes has a usual compressive strength of 3,000 psi (pounds per square inch), but the new fiber composite used for the contour crafting would have a psi of 10,000. It would also set fast enough to be used for arches and domes on-the-fly.

    Going one stage further and imagining even more sophisticated uses for concrete is mechanical engineering student Ben Peters of MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). His idea is for a ’spiderbot’, which is essentially a modified skycam that you might see filming a stadium event or an inventive movie shot. The skycams can be moved horizontally and vertically like a huge marionette, or can have their own motors attached which allow them to traverse a support wire.

    Peters and other researchers in the Mediated Matters lab at MIT, focus on bio-inspired 3D fabrication and are further looking into the example that spiders in the construction process. In the future they hope to use silk-like materials combined with concrete and 3D printing to create quick to build, great looking and environmentally friendly structures.

    You can look at the original article here.


    Wallcrete

    Pattern being applied to a Wallcrete wall

    Pattern being applied to a Wallcrete wall

    Wallcrete is a new, advanced lightweight render that has been specifically designed to recreate the natural products used in traditional methods of walling and construction. It can be used internally or externally, and applied to almost any clean, debris-free surface: wood, concrete, drywall, ceramic, fibreglass, linoleum, glass and many others.

    But the real beauty of Wallcrete is the vast range of effects that can be created by an expert tradesperson experienced in working with this unique and exciting material. With the intelligent use of a wide variety of pigments, the creative application of a ‘design stamper’ and a little judicious hand carving, Wallcrete can be made to look like practically any surface – natural stone, brick, exotic rock, slate, granite, sandstone – in almost any style, from the rough and rustic to the slick and modern. The effects are utterly realistic.

    Some of the typical uses for Wallcrete are:-

    • Internal and External walls
    • External Cladding for Houses
    • Boundary Walls
    • Garden Sheds and Buildings
    • Garden Walls
    • Internal Walls
    • Fireplace Surrounds
    • Fish Ponds
    • Dog Kennels
    • Coping Stones, Lintels, Cornerstones and Archways

    Cost-effective, long-lasting and versatile, the installation techniques are similar to imprinted concrete and the results equally as stunning.

    Case Study – Tannery Way, Gorton

    Pattern Imprinted Concrete Compass Acid Stained Compass

    Pattern Imprinted Concrete Acid Stained Compass

    Installed in September 2012, this landscaped patio and raised patio area featured a variety of interesting features. A pond area was formed and brick walls erected to define the pond area and the raised patio area. Key kerbs were installed to create a series of large half-moon steps leading to the raised patio area and the back patio doors. At the side of the pond a filter was situated and was covered by creating a small decked area, which incorporated a hatch for access to the filter. The use of pacific boardwalk pattern suited the raised area, with the pattern, compass, decking and pond area working beautifully together. The lower patio featured the country cobble print, which with its traditional look completed the whole area perfectly. The lower patio was linked to a cobble pathway which stretched down the side of the house toward the front of the property. Before the job was protected with seal, the compass was artistically stained.

    This week we received an email from the customer saying the following:-

    Hi Tim & Ben

    This email is a thank you for the transformation you made of our garden after a certain company left it in a disgraceful manner. Your whole team of lads are a credit to your company in the way the work & their attitude was carried out.

    As you know the company we first gave the job to absolutely wrecked our garden & damaged our property even though we did our homework to avoid ‘cowboy builders’. We cannot thank you enough for the way you have sorted out all the previous builders mistakes and for your professional aftercare.

    Your workmanship is well worth the money we have spent and all the tea made. We will not hesitate to recommend you to anyone, you have done a fantastic job.

    Thanks

    Paul & Michaela

    You can see other photos from the full case study here.

    Do You Need Planning Permission?

    planning permission

    Many of our customers often ask whether they will need planning permission for work carried out on their home. Here is a quick guide to whether you will need planning permission when improving your home.

    For front gardens, planning permission is not generally needed if your driveway is less than 5 square metres, or you are using a permeable material like gavel, block paving or porous asphalt. For our pattern imprinted concrete installations, which are non-permeable, we will design a drainage system specifically for your needs, so that any rainwater is allowed to drain properly.

    For any patios or side of house parking areas and paths, no planning permission is required as long as there is no significant embanking or terracing built to support a hard surface. When it comes to decking, planning permission is again not required provided it is not raised more than 30cm, and the decking and other external structures don’t cover more than 50% of the total garden area.

    Any walls, fences or gates will not normally need planning permission unless they are over 2 metres high, or over 1 metre tall and next to a highway used for vehicles. Alternatively permission may be needed if you are changing the boundary of a neighbouring listed building. If you live in a listed building yourself, planning permission is usually needed for any indoor or outdoor work on the property.

    If planning permission is necessary, we will provide all the assistance needed to get it. If you would like some no-obligation advice, please contact us here. For more in-depth information, you can look at a handy 3D government guide here.

    The Cost Of Pattern Imprinted Concrete

    New Driveway and Fencing Installed By CD Designs

    New Driveway and Fencing Installed By CD Designs

    Installing a new pattern imprinted concrete driveway is a big decision, so it is important to know what kind of costs are involved. Here is a basic guide to show you how we cost our driveways. More details of this are here on the website.

    Firstly, the main cost relates to the size of the driveway and other areas that will be concreted. The bigger the area that will be filled with concrete the higher cost will be. Next you must take into account the type of finish that you want. Basically the better the finish you get will mean the more expensive the initial installation will be, but the longer it will last before it needs any maintenance. Lastly you will have to add up any extras that you might want. You can choose from imprinted motifs, decorative edges, sunken manholes, acid stained borders and a whole heap of others, all of which will be discussed when designing your installation. Obviously the more features you add the higher the cost.

    We also provide work other than concreting, whether it’s new fencing, extra or improved drainage, walls or decking, it’s all detailed here on the website. If you would like a free no-obligation quote please get in touch here.

    Complete Driveway Designs Ltd

    The Yard, Stubbins Lane, Ramsbottom, BL0 0PT
    E:info@northwest-driveways.co.uk
    T: 01706 827180

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