Poured in place concrete

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Material analysis

MasterFormat Number: 03 30 00

Traditional uses

  • Traditionally used for foundations, sidewalks, and industrial buildings, and parking garages.
  • Concrete patios
  • Concrete floors
  • Pavers

Emerging uses / trends

  • Polished floors for residential and commercial applications.
  • Sinks, vanities, and countertops in modern homes are pre-cast and poured in place.
  • Can be stained or altered for color variations.
  • Stenciling interior floors
  • Radiant Floor Heating

Finish and aesthetic qualities

  • Concrete can be polished, honed, stained, imprinted with objects or different materials.
  • A wide range of colors are available as surface additives.
  • Homogeneous colors are achieved through a combination of pigmented admixtures and types of aggregate used.
  • Exposed aggregate
  • Rock Salt finish
  • Decorative Engraving
  • Stenciling Interior floors
  • Stenciled Exterior concrete
  • Stamped concrete

Concrete that will be visible, such as slabs like driveways, highways, or patios, often needs finishing. Concrete slabs can be finished in many ways, depending on the intended service use. Options include various colors and textures, such as exposed aggregate or a patterned-stamped surface. Some surfaces may require only strike off and screeding to proper contour and elevation, while for other surfaces a broomed, floated, or troweled finish may be specified. In slab construction, screeding or strikeoff is the process of cutting off excess concrete to bring the top surface of the slab to proper grade. A straight edge is moved across the concrete with a sawing motion and advanced forward a short distance with each movement. [1]

Surface forms / shapes

  • Takes on form of cast or location that it is poured.

Cost analysis

  • Price / CuFt: $75 (minimum)
  • Price / SqFt: $3 to $6 (minimum concrete slab)
  • Integral color adds about 25 percent to the cost; chemical stains, 50 percent.
  • Top-seeded aggregate can boost the cost by 75 percent, while imprinted concrete costs almost twice as much as an unadorned floor.

Material properties

Primary structural use

Material performance

  • PIP Concrete expands and contracts with temperature changes, expansion joints must be cut or tooled into the surface to reduce the chance for cracks when used for flooring. These expansion joints should be about 1/4 of the depth of the floor. Strips of wood can help to absorb the expansion pressure.

Dimensional and opening restrictions

  • PIP Concrete can be poured into various shapes and is limited only by the ability to construct formwork to support the concrete while it cures.
  • If cantilevered should not be more than 6” with 1 1/2” thick counter top.
  • Pre-cast slabs are usually no bigger than 7’ x 3’.
  • For PIP concrete, openings larger than 15” must have additional reinforcing bars around the perimeter.
  • Openings can also be custom cut in existing concrete areas at a premium cost to the owner.

Acoustical properties

  • not available

Manufacturing process and assembly

  • Concrete consists, in its most common form, of portland cement, aggregate and water.
  • Concrete solidifies and hardens after mixing and placement due to a chemical process known as hydration. The water reacts with the cement, which hardens, bonding the other components together and eventually creating a stone-like material.
  • Concrete reaches 100% of its strength after curing for 28 days.

Environmental impact

  • Resource efficiency - The predominant raw material for the cement in concrete is limestone, the most abundant mineral on earth. Concrete can also be made with fly ash, slag cement, and silica fume, all waste byproducts from power plants, steel mills, and other manufacturing facilities.
  • Durability - Concrete builds durable, long-lasting structures that will not rust, rot, or burn. Life spans for concrete building products can be double or triple those of other common building materials.
  • Thermal mass - Homes built with concrete walls, foundations, and floors are highly energy efficient because they take advantage of concretes inherent thermal massor ability to absorb and retain heat. This means homeowners can significantly cut their heating and cooling bills and install smaller-capacity HVAC equipment.
  • Reflectivity - Concrete minimizes the effects that produce urban heat islands. Light-colored concrete pavements and roofs absorb less heat and reflect more solar radiation than dark-colored materials, such as asphalt, reducing air conditioning demands in the summer.
  • Ability to retain stormwater - Paved surfaces tend to be impervious and can block natural water infiltration into the soil. This creates an imbalance in the natural ecosystem and leads to problems such as erosion, flash floods, water table depletion, and pollution. Pervious concrete is a special type of structural concrete with a sponge-like network of voids that water passes through readily. When used for driveways, sidewalks, parking lots, and other pavements, pervious concrete can help to retain stormwater runoff and replenish local water supplies.
  • Minimal waste - Concrete can be produced in the quantities needed for each project, reducing waste. After a concrete structure has served its original purpose, the concrete can be crushed and recycled into aggregate for use in new concrete pavements or as backfill or road base. [2]
  • Health - Allergy relief & better indoor air quality as the need for flooring adhesives is eliminated, and elimination of indoor allergens that typically accompany carpeting
  • Low maintenance - Required only wet mop for cleaning and an occasional resealing or rewaxing.
  • Negative impacts
    • Health and safety hazards in concrete work - “Cement and aggregate both contain trace amounts of various hazardous compounds, all of which can result in serious short-term or long-term health problems.” by Bruce Hacket [3]
    • Is concrete really a green material? - In the US, the dubious manufacturing process churns out over two tons of concrete per person per year with a heavy CO2 burden – in total about 7% of global CO2 emissions come from concrete production. [4]
    • Labor intensive to replace and remove entirely - It’s labor intensive to have it removed in case of changing style, design trend.


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Life Safety & Rating Standards

Flammability rating

  • Concrete is a non-ignitable material.

Coefficient of friction

  • Concrete(wet) = 0,45-0,75
  • Concrete (dry) = 0,6-0,85



  1. http://www.cement.org
  2. http://www.concretenetwork.com
  3. http://www.concretedecor.net/Abstracts/CD306_Safety.cfm
  4. http://www.inhabitat.com/2007/09/10/the-concrete-house

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