Even today, concrete is still the single most used construction material you will come across in the construction of new buildings. Its strength and versatility is what makes it so valuable, but as with most things, its only as good as its ingredients and its batching process.
Concrete is far more involved than most of us think. To make sure we get exactly what we need, it’s important to hire a concrete company that makes it their business to know everything there is to know about concrete.
What Makes Concrete So Versatile?
Despite the base ingredients being relatively constant, it is possible to change their ratio to engineer a desired outcome. The strength of concrete required to act as a ring beam foundation for example isn’t necessarily the same strength that will be required for the internal walls.
For this reason, the engineering specification is paramount in determining the quality and strength of concrete required. Whereas there is more margin for ever in non-critical concrete, the important stuff has to conform to specific tolerances.
What Does This Mean for Your Project?
Depending on the type of contract, a structural engineer may have drafted a specification which details exactly the strength and type of concrete required for a particular component of the build. If this is the case, this requirement will need to be passed on to a concrete company who has the expertise to mix concrete to these exact requirements and have it delivered to your site.
Ready Mix Concrete
As the name suggests, ready mix concrete is a generic term for concrete that is batched off site and then delivered when required. The concrete company will have been provided with a schedule which they need to adhere – at this point they will dispatch concrete wagons to your site at the denoted time, unloading it and then returning to their depot.
It should be said that the proximity of a batching plant to your construction site is important; the shorter the distance, the better.
Mixing on Site
The ability to mix on site can be beneficial if it isn’t known exactly how much concrete is required. Whoever is mixing the concrete should have the required level of expertise – if this isn’t possible, speak to your concrete company to see whether they can oversee the process.
Concrete Pump Hire
If you’ve ever wondered how concrete is transported to the top of tall builds; it is pumped via a concrete pump. Concrete is simply fed into the pump where it is then relocated to wherever it is required via the use of a long reach arm and hose.
A pump will almost always be required when casting walls and floor slabs on tall buildings.
Source Your Concrete
You will often find that the best solution is dependent on your individual needs. Larger sites and projects will almost always be able to make better use of the off-site batching process which facilitates timed deliveries. There are several concrete firms providing these services including Abee Hire who operate in and around Greater London. We would suggest getting in touch with at least three for a quotation.
Once you’re familiar with the process, specifying and sourcing concrete becomes second nature.