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A Guide to Concrete Building Construction

written by: Tarun Goel • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher • updated: 10/27/2011

Slipform construction is an economical way of working with the concrete. It works well for any kind of construction, be it working with plain concrete, reinforced concrete, or pre-stressed concrete. Accuracy and continual casting for constructing a monolithic structure are its greatest advantages.

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    Concrete is the most widely used man-made material in the world. The whole world is on a construction spree and consumption of concrete is increasing at an exponential rate, which means that the concrete industry is going to expand manifold in the coming years unless a better alternative is invented. The main reason behind the popularity of concrete as a construction material is its workability. Concrete can be poured underwater, gives immense compressive strength to a structure, and can be poured into a form on-site. Over time, engineers have devised numerous methods to improve the workability of concrete. The slipform method is an efficient way of working with concrete because it reduces the overall construction time considerably. Those joints that irritate the field engineers also go out of the picture with slipform construction. Slip forming is most commonly used for tall structures such as chimneys, silos, water towers, and building cores as well as horizontal structures such as roadways.

    This complete guide to concrete building construction lists articles providing detailed information about different aspects of working with concrete and how it has proven to be a boon for construction engineers.

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    The Roman Idea of Concrete

    Before we start digging deep into the world of concrete and slipform construction, we should learn about how our ancestors contributed to concrete technology. The Romans did it long ago and the ingredients in Roman concrete binder were Pozzoulani sand, lime, and water and they started constructing Aqueducts with their concrete. The importance of water-cement ratio in any type of concrete construction was also put forward by the Romans for the first time

    What is the Slipform Construction Method?

    The slipform construction method is popular as a nonstop construction method among the engineering fraternity. You start pouring concrete and do not stop until the full height of your structure is achieved, and that is what makes it one of the most efficient methods of working with concrete. In the case of slipform building, the formwork is erected only once and remains intact until the entire structure is completed.

    Using Concrete Formwork in Construction

    Using concrete formwork in construction positively affects the overall progress of the construction work. The formwork system is reusable with little waste generated compared to the traditional formwork. The assembled units are intended for use throughout the duration of a project without dismantling.

    The Process of Concrete Curing

    Concrete curing means holding water in the concrete so that the concrete sets well and provides desired compressive strength to the structure. Good curing will not only increase the overall concrete strength and abrasion resistance, but it will also ensure that the chances of surface dusting and concrete cracking are reduced considerably. Curing must be observed for a reasonable period of time if the concrete is to achieve its potential strength.

    Concrete Curing in Challenging Conditions

    Working with concrete will require you to adjust to the environmental and working conditions. The underwater curing process of concrete, for example, would be entirely different from the curing process in a desert land. Concrete curing in challenging conditions is a daunting yet interesting task, and this article throws light on various aspects of curing in difficult conditions.

    Working with Self Compacting Concrete

    As the name itself signifies, SCC compacts on its own, under its weight, and does not depend upon external measures for settling down. It is one of the most popular and durable forms of concrete. It was invented in 1998 and since then this technology has improved by leaps and bounds. Earlier it was used only for site works only, but today it is used for the precast works as well. Working with SCC needs a bit more understanding of the terminology and through this article, we try to understand the basics of working with SCC.

    What is Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC)?

    Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) is used mainly as architectural precast concrete. Add high strength glass fiber into a concrete mix and you have GFRC, which is light in weight, available to you. It can be cast to virtually more and better shapes and possesses a very high strength to weight ratio.

    Working with Reinforced Concrete

    Combining the hardness of the concrete with the flexibility of the steel, reinforced concrete makes modern construction possible. The production and working process of concrete involves mixing, transporting, casting, and curing. Through this article we find detailed information on various aspects of working with reinforced concrete.

    Working with Versatile Lightweight Concrete

    Lightweight concrete is very useful for the construction of roofs, walls, vaulted ceilings, and much more. It is widely used in structural engineering works and its greatest advantage is its reduced mass and improved thermal and sound insulation properties. Lightweight concrete has been used in the United States for over fifty years and is gradually becoming popular in other parts of the world, too.

    Working with Prestressed Concrete - Pretensioning and Postensioning

    Prestressed concrete is far better than conventionally reinforced concrete because it can handle tension very well and resists cracking under service loads. Pretensioning and postensioning make working with concrete easier.

    How to Repair a Prestressed Concrete Pipe

    In-situ repair of a prestressed concrete pipe is explained in this article. Prestressed pipes have joints in them and their repair, fault finding, and fixing become easy. Shotcrete, using epoxy adhesives, insulating the exposed surfaces, and cement grouting are some of the most commonly used and effective ways to quickly revamp affected parts of a prestressed pipe.

    Working with Concrete : Types of Concrete Pumps

    Concrete pumps are an integral part of any construction project and without them placing concrete would become a difficult task to accomplish. Depending upon the type of construction work, a concrete pump is selected and the modern technology has offered many solutions like boom mounted concrete trucks, stationary pumps, or specialized usage pumps.

    Using Fly Ash in Building and Highway Construction

    A residual of combustion processes, fly ash finds its use in the construction industry. Nowadays, it is effectively used in the construction of highways and buildings because it is pozzolan in nature, reduces water demand of concrete, and improves its workability as well. Fly ash also offers flexibility in the concrete mixes.

    Comparing Concrete Roads with Asphalt Roads

    Asphalt roads are cheaper than the concrete roads and this is the reason we see asphalt roads being constructed in many parts of the world. In this article, we have a closer look at the characteristic properties of asphalt and concrete roads. Advantages and disadvantages are also discussed in detail, which will help you to understand when to construct which type of the road.

    Using Rubber Modified Asphalt Concrete (RMAC) for Pavement Construction

    RMAC makes the best use of worn out and discarded tires, and it has become a popular and reliable construction material for pavement construction. First it was used in Arizona in 1960. Today RMAC has become a reliable construction material for highway construction and pavement design. RMAC is an environmentally sound solution of bringing discarded tires to a better use and construct cost effective road pavements.

    Concrete: A Sustainable Construction Material that can Help Fight Climate Change

    Concrete can be used as a material in the construction industry to help meet the new building regulations and protect the environment from the consequences of climate change. Concrete is a robust and versatile construction material that can be used in the construction of housing, highways, dams, and ports. Learn how that is possible through this article.

    Construction of Tall Chimneys by Slip Form Method

    The best way to construct your tall chimney without any construction hassles or interruptions is by Slip Form method. For a joint free construction, slip form method is a time saving construction wizard. A complicated system of jacks and radial screws makes this possible in the “slip form method."

    Working with Concrete: Some Useful Calculations

    Concrete calculations ensure that an appropriate amount of cement is consumed in the construction work. Cement costs have almost doubled in the last few years in every part of the world and over consumption will definitely disturb the budgetary aspects of the overall project. The formulas and calculations in this article will help you to find out how to perform some useful concrete calculations.

    Recommended Concrete Mix Proportions for Good Concrete

    The process of determining relative amounts of suitable ingredients of concrete with the purpose of producing a concrete of the required durability and strength is termed the concrete mix design. It involves appropriate determination of amounts of cement, water, coarse aggregate, and fine aggregates. A well-mixed concrete ensures long life of the construction.

    Four Easy Ways to Avoiding Concrete Surface Cracking

    Unexpected cracking of concrete is a frequent cause of complaints and everyone who has worked with concrete knows about it. Concrete contracts and expands before and after setting, and if provisions are not made to accommodate these movements, cracks will appear. This article will discuss the four main reasons for concrete cracking and how concrete surface cracking can be avoided.

    Testing for Cement Content in Concrete Samples

    Cement content in concrete is directly related to its workability, durability, strength, and impermeability. For tests for cement content and other forms of concrete testing, standards have been laid down which need to be adhered to by civil engineers.

    Recycling Concrete: An Eco Friendly Solution

    Concrete recycling is becoming popular across the globe because it saves money and reduces pollution at the same time. Concrete recycling is a viable option to reuse construction wastes effectively. Recycled concrete is used mainly as coarse aggregate in new construction works.

    Preventing Earthquake Failure of Precast Concrete Components

    Precast concrete is easy to work with, but its performance against earthquakes does not live up to the expectations. Precast concrete beam-to-beam and beam-to-column failures are discussed in this article. Remedial measures to avoid structural failure of precast concrete in earthquakes are also discussed in detail.

    Concrete Signs - Making the Footer for a Concrete Sign

    Concrete signs are normally used where the signage is expected to be a permanent affair with no chance of it ever being out of date or out of context. Such signage also requires very little maintenance if it is properly done and at the most may require being cleaned or painted over once in a while.

    Facts about the Cement Industry in the USA

    Do you know that America is the third largest cement producer of the world? The construction industry of the world is largely dependent on the American companies. Only India and China produce and consume more cement than the US. Of late the cement industry is facing problems because of the stringent environment protection norms forced by the government. Through this article learn more about the American cement industry in detail.

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References

  • Linked articles and the author's personal research