CD Designs Blog
The latest World Of Concrete convention is due to take place next week at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event begins on the 5th of February and ends on the 8th, with seminars starting a day earlier on February 4th. It claims to be the concrete industry’s only annual international event, and is “dedicated to the commercial concrete and masonry construction industries showcasing leading industry suppliers featuring innovative products, construction machinery, construction equipment, safety training courses and training, technologies and unlimited networking opportunities to give you new ways to sustain and grow your business”.
Complete Driveway Designs attended the show a few years ago, and we can tell you that it certainly lives up to the the billing. The Las Vegas Convention Center is one of the biggest in the world with 300,000 m2 of floor space, and it will be packed full of exhibits such as new product showcases, training areas, and networking facilities. If that wasn’t enough there are also special shows in the outside lots, like the “toughest tender competition” in which 2 person teams compete to lay the most bricks, with the winners getting to take home a new truck!
The whole convention should be both fun and educational for anyone with even the least bit of interest in the construction and concrete industry. For more information, videos, photos etc the website is here.
31st January 2013
If you missed our Spanish and mainly Barcelona themed blogs last summer like this one on the Sagrada Familia, and this one about Gaudi’s Park Guell, then here is another one that may have you longing for warmer climates.
Researchers at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Barcelona have created a type of concrete that supports and accelerates the growth of microalgae, fungi, lichens and mosses. It consists of four layers, the first being a structural layer, next a waterproof layer which protects the structural layer from water damage, then the biological layer which actually supports the colonisation of the various organisms, and finally a discontinuous coating layer with a reverse waterproofing function, that redirects the flow of water to where it’s needed.
The researchers claim that this new material will absorb CO2 from the surrounding area helping to improve the air quality, as well as capture solar radiation which will help to regulate the temperature inside of the building, making any structure built with this material a great benefit to the local environment. “The biological concrete acts not only as an insulating material and a thermal regulator, but also as an ornamental alternative,” said the research team.
You can see the original article here.
25th January 2013
Steel and concrete are by far the two most used materials in the construction industry, but which is the best material for construction, concrete or steel?
In steel’s case construction time can be significantly reduced, as the steel can be prepared off-site well before construction begins, and it takes relatively little time to put them into place during the construction, which is especially useful when constructing tall buildings. This off-site preparation allows the quality of the material to be controlled better. It is also easily recycled, with more steel recycled each year than every other material combined.
For concrete, the main advantage in construction is its compression strength. It is highly resistant to explosions and impact, which is why the new World Trade Center is being built with a 24-inch-thick concrete wall surrounding the buildings core, which should protect it from fire or terrorist attack. Buildings in high risk earthquake zones are also using a similar design. Concrete can be made to form almost any shape, giving architects limitless possibilities in terms of design.
In reality, it is a combination of concrete and steel that works best in most constructions, and it is the building’s function and requirements that make the most difference in choosing which materials to use.
To see the original article this post was based on click here.
24th January 2013
We have looked through our blogs over the last 12 months and picked out the 5 we think are the most interesting and informative.
In this blog from January, we looked at a job we did at St. George’s Primary School in Barrow-in-Furness. We created a dragon themed pattern imprinted concrete playground, which you can see pictures of in the entry.
In this blog from February, we looked at whether a pattern imprinted concrete driveway requires essential or non-essential maintenance.
In this June blog, we had a quick look at what to do during the installation of your driveway, and how look after it immediately after. The blog entry also has a link to another blog describing how to prepare before we arrive to install your driveway.
In this November blog we gave you a quick guide as to whether you will need planning permission when having a pattern imprinted driveway installed, or any other work done to your home.
In this blog from December, we paid tribute to Oscar Niemeyer, one of the 20th centuries most innovative designers of concrete structures.
21st January 2013
One of the myths we often hear about concrete is that it cracks easily. Like any material it will degrade due to wear and tear over time, and disreputable companies will make this worse by using cheap concrete, not leaving crack control joints and not laying the concrete thick enough. When done properly, pattern imprinted concrete will last a long time and will only require the minimum amount of maintenance.
Historically, concrete has not been used as extensively as asphalt for road construction, as it usually takes longer to install, and the price of asphalt has generally been lower. However the primary raw material in asphalt is crude oil, and with oil prices continually rising, the cost of asphalt long term has now exceeded concrete, and more and more people are looking to concrete in order to cut down on costs.
For example in this Japanese article, although not optimal for dense urban areas due to increased noise, concrete is being used for expressways and arterial roads, which just goes to show that it can handle heavy traffic just as well as asphalt, and it generally last 3-5 times longer, meaning that it offers an estimated 30% cost saving overall.
18th January 2013