Concrete became the most popular building material in the world – not just because of its durability – it’s also incredibly versatile and inexpensive. This makes it the number one choice for many different construction projects. From a building’s structure to its design, concrete can be a great choice of a material!
Concrete’s most well-known usage is acting as the skeleton for buildings, and it makes sense: concrete is an inert material, meaning it doesn’t burn, cultivate mildew, or feed structural rot. When mixed properly, concrete’s compression strength actually increases over time (though this slows down considerably after roughly four weeks).
Concrete is also able to accommodate steel reinforcements in the building of gates, electrical controls, tunnels, and other important infrastructure. If you want it built quickly without sacrificing strength, concrete is the best choice!
When building a basement and foundation, pretty much the only choice will be concrete. A concrete basement is one of the best budgetary choices in the building process, because not only does it provide an important foundational service to the top floors in shifting Canadian climates, but it can almost double the living space of a home. Whether you finish it or not is up to you, but you’ll always have that valuable extra storage space thanks to the wonders of concrete.
Concrete has been used to prepare communities that face an imminent natural disaster. Concrete is resistant to strong winds and, more importantly, fire, making it safe in the face of extreme heat and high flames. But it’s durable too, making it a good building material for areas known to receive a great number of earthquakes. Precast concrete, designed and created in accordance to building codes in earthquake-prone New Zealand, was shown to be much more durable in the face of seismic activity than pre-fab frame houses.
Concrete is also a material that is constantly being improved. Researchers at the University of British Columbia have created a fiber-reinforced concrete that can be sprayed on to retrofit buildings made before certain codes were updated!
In this area, concrete doesn’t really get the recognition it deserves, but here’s the harsh truth: concrete lasts longer than asphalt. A concrete parking area requires less maintenance and fewer repairs, which translates into lower costs over the life cycle of a project. If a company has a lot of regular truck traffic coming in and out, concrete is the best option.
It’s a material which is getting more respect in parking buildings, especially because it’s much more reflective than asphalt. The higher albedo of the surface reflects more sunlight, absorbing far less heat and keeping the area cooler during the summer.
Concrete flooring can be stamped and coloured to create attractive surfaces that simulate many other types of materials. Driveways, walkways, patios, basement flooring – you name it, concrete can create an entirely new look for the interior or exterior of a building. It just goes to show the incredible versatility of concrete, and how you can get the look of another material while still relying on this mixture of cement, aggregate, and water to stand up to the elements. Contact us to learn more!