Until a few decades ago, structures made entirely of metal or precast concrete were thought to be impossible to build. Now, they are emerging like mushrooms and posing a challenge to traditional construction. Then again, even if this new construction method continues to become popular, concrete will remain a staple building material and on-site pouring and curing will not be removed from the process anytime soon.
On the other side of innovation, years of efforts to find better ways to handle concrete and build safer structures are slowly paying off. What were once mere concepts, such as using special additives to expedite concrete curing or using aluminum for forming system material, are now coming to fruition. Regardless, the factors that influence the success of a construction project remain the same. Here are the major ones that every builder needs to consider.
Weight of the Concrete
One of the biggest mistakes a builder can commit when leading a construction project, especially the concrete pouring process, is underestimating the weight of concrete. Keep in mind that, although fluid in form, concrete contains cement, sand, and gravel, each of which has a significant weight of its own. Together, they can weigh several hundred kilograms per square meter. Mishandling concrete because you miscalculated its weight can lead to fatal accident in the construction site.
Concrete Pouring Process
The quality of the cured concrete depends not only on how the aggregates were mixed but also on the manner by which the concrete is poured into the formwork. You have to make sure that all the aggregates are evenly distributed and no voids exist within the column, beam, or slab. This is why special concrete vibrators are used to eliminate air pockets that can create break points in the structure, which can be dangerous during an earthquake.
Of course, it’s not just the concrete that requires quality control; the concrete forming systems, too. Not only do they have to be made from superior materials, but they have to be accurately designed to carry the weight of concrete until it becomes capable of carrying its own weight. They have to be equipped with sufficient belts and braces to prevent the panels from bursting and causing concrete or even water to leak out.
Thanks to the advancement in construction technology, today’s concrete forms are made of stronger materials. Top providers of concrete wall forms for sale, such as LECO Concrete Forms & Supplies, offer aluminum forms, which apparently are more durable and more flexible than plywood. They even have a smooth surface so the concrete no longer needs additional finish.