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 Concrete is vital to our daily lives and our communities. There are concrete products for all types of applications and construction needs.

Concrete is an indispensable part of our communities, from our homes, schools, and hospitals to our rapid-transit systems, bridges, renewable energy, wastewater treatment plants and other vital infrastructure. There are concrete products for all types of applications and construction needs. Each and every one of these products shares concrete’s innate sustainability attributes.

Cast-in-place and ready-mixed concrete

     

 

Cast-in-place (CIP) concrete is transported in a plastic state as ready-mixed concrete and deposited in forms on site, with each batch tailor-made according to the specifications of the designer.

It can be used for nearly all types of concrete elements, including foundations, slabs-on-the-ground, walls, beams, columns, floors, roofs and pavements. Its cast-in-place nature makes it an excellent solution for free-forming concrete into a variety of shapes, spans, and forms. Cast-in-place concrete can be post-tensioned, resulting in thinner structural slabs, material efficiency, and greater flexibility of the interior spaces.

Cast-in-place concrete is also used for insulating concrete forms, tilt-up concrete, and shotcrete. It is always produced in close proximity to its use, typically within 60 kilometers of the job site.

Learn more about cast-in place ready-mixed concrete.

 

Cast stone and stone veneered precast concrete panels

     

Cast stone is a manufactured precast product that gives the appearance of a variety of natural building stones and — when compared to natural limestone — shows many benefits:

• It is easy to customize, which helps limit energy use and waste on site.
• It can contain recycled materials such as supplementary cementitious materials, recycled glass, or other recycled aggregates.
• With care in deconstruction, many cast stone elements can be repurposed and reused.
Applications range from the simplest windowsills to spandrel panels, and to the most complicated architectural elements. Cast stone also helps to mitigate the heat-island effect, typically being manufactured with white Portland cement.
Stone veneer-faced precast concrete panels offer many benefits. These include:
• Veneer can be used in thinner sections since anchoring points to precast panel may be placed closer together.
• Multi plane units such as column covers, spandrels with integral soffit and sill sections, deep reveal window frames, inside and outside corners, projections and setbacks, and parapet sections are more economically assembled as veneer units on precast concrete panels.
• Veneered precast concrete panel systems permit faster enclosure, allowing earlier work by other trades and subsequent earlier occupancy, because each large panel incorporates a number of veneer pieces.
• Veneered precast concrete panels can be used to span column-to-column, thereby reducing floor-edge loading and eliminating elaborate temporary scaffolding.
• Smaller stone inserts can be cast as “highlights” in larger precast panels.

Find out more about  cast stone and stone veneered precast panels. 

Insulating Concrete Forms

     

Insulating concrete forms (ICFs) are an integrated insulated wall form system where the forms stay in place, providing a continuous thermal and air barrier. Since they are used with cast-in-place concrete, they allow for flexibility in design. They are lightweight and can be recycled. Like in other concrete applications, insulating forms are durable and last many years. The foam forms stay in place once the concrete is placed, offering a continuous thermal and air barrier and thus providing significant energy savings. Concrete’s thermal mass reduces the effect of temperature spikes outside a building on the temperature inside the building. The resulting lower demand on the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems means the size of this equipment can be reduced as well. The exposed concrete walls in this application make it ideal for use in passive solar designs.

Find out more about insulated concrete forms.

Interlocking Concrete Pavements

     

Interlocking concrete pavements (ICP) are used in a wide range of applications from pedestrian pavements like residential patios and walkways, municipal sidewalks, plazas, roof decks, driveways, parking lots, municipal streets, ports and airports. ICP is a cost-effective pavement with a wide range of colours and textures to fit into traditional or modern architecture. ICP provides a human scale and character to residential, commercial, or urban street settings while structurally capable of supporting the heaviest loads.

Also closely related to interlocking concrete pavement are concrete slabs and concrete grids. Use of larger concrete slab paving continues to grow in pedestrian load residential, roof, municipal plaza and sidewalk applications. Concrete grid pavements can be used to provide a cool, green surface solution for vehicular access lanes, emergency access areas, and overflow parking areas.

Find out more about interlocking concrete pavement.

Masonry

     

Concrete masonry is used in a broad array of applications from residential foundations to commercial structures to hardscape. It has the flexibility of incorporating high quantities of supplementary cementitious material in its mixture. Concrete masonry is typically produced locally, using locally available materials, reducing energy demands and emissions associated with the transportation of raw materials to the manufacturing plant and the finished product to the job site.

The thermal mass of concrete masonry significantly influences heat transmission. Masonry systems are adaptable to many uses as they have many design variables, one being the thickness of the wall: a variety of insulation products can easily be attached to the walls, increasing the R-value of the product with a naturally high thermal mass and contributing to the flexibility of the wall thickness. Like other concrete products, concrete masonry is durable, resilient, does not burn, and requires very low maintenance — when properly designed and constructed, concrete masonry is virtually maintenance-free for a hundred years or more. The inherent durability of concrete masonry also permits existing construction to be rehabilitated to new uses while reusing much of the original core structure. When a concrete masonry structure has reached the end of its service-life, it can be crushed to create rubble and used in other applications.

Find out more about masonry.

Pipe

     

Concrete is the solution of choice for culverts and pipes. Concrete pipe, boxes, and manholes provide a long service life, resist corrosion and are highly resistant to fire. Precast products help restore natural hydrology of an area and direct water flow to recharge aquifers. They can be used in stormwater management applications, reducing pollutants and storing runoff in irrigation or retention systems and special designs can help control erosion. Due to its structural capacity, concrete pipe and precast structures provide accelerated construction in addition to the ability to utilise native soils thereby reducing the carbon footprint of your project.

Find out more about concrete pipes.

Prefabricated modular precast prestressed concrete

Trent Durham Residence and Academic Building Oshawa, Ontario Photo Credit: Stubbe’s Precast, Ontario

Prefabricated modular precast concrete is a type of concrete that is prepared, cast and cured off-site in a controlled CPCQA certified factory environment, using reusable and sizeable moulds. Precast concrete components like: exterior architectural wall panels, double wythe insulated wall panels, interior wall panels, hollowcore roof and floor slabs, beams, double tees, and solid slabs can be used separately as building elements or joined together to form a complete structure (Total Precast Concrete). Precast prefabricated Accelerated Building /Bridge Construction (ABC) is an advanced construction technology compared to traditional construction. Prefabricated modular components lend themselves to fast, cost-effective and environmentally friendly construction while remaining virtually maintenance free for years to come.

For more information on prefabricated modular precast concrete, visit Learn on Demand, a continuing series of 24/7/365 interactive educational courses or www.cpci.ca.

Samuel de Champlain Bridge Montreal, Quebec Photo Credit: BPDL Precast, Quebec

Industry overview