Concrete Innovation

construction hats

Through practices such as Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), Petra focuses on staying ahead of trends and industry innovation in construction management methods and delivery.

According to Building Design + Technology, new techniques and products are innovating the concrete industry. Among these innovations, three products are changing the pouring, drying and finishing of concrete to increase efficiency in construction.

The ThermaEZE product enhances thermal insulation in poured concrete walls. ThermaEZE, a system of expanded polystyrene foam panels, are placed within the wall before the pour and are held in place by a web structure which then becomes embedded within the concrete. The system includes fastening strips, found on the exposed face of the wall, which allow for an smoother application of drywall and other finishes.

Concrete drying times can be significantly improved using Aridus Rapid Drying Concrete, a ready-mix product which combines fast drying time, high early strength, compressive strength, and low permeability. The Aridus product was instrumental in adapting to schedule changes on a project at Billy Earl Dade Middle School in Dallas in which the 14-month construction phase was revised to ten months. Using the product to cover 120,000 square feet of floors, the significant increase in drying time enabled the final flooring to be installed 21 days after the concrete was poured, compared to the normal minimum duration of four months.

In the area of concrete finishing products, the SUPERCAP System by Laticrete uses a LEED contributing, GREENGUARD certified, low alkali, self-leveling cement-based technology, combined with a computer-controlled mobile blending unit. Recently used at Swedish Hospital and Medical Office Building, Issaquah, Washington, the concrete system “eliminated concerns about flatness inherent to concrete slab work with structural steel buildings,” enabling the construction team to place about 20,000 square feet per day of concrete, compared to the average 15,000 square feet per day achieved through traditional troweling methods.

Building Design + Technology, Breakthroughs in Concrete Technology:

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