26 Jul Your New Build: Why Concrete?
Planning a new build can be a confusing time. With so many building materials available to you, it can be tricky to decide which ones meet your needs in terms of cost, longevity and environmental credentials.
In this article, we take a look at some of the benefits of using concrete as a material for your new build.
History of Concrete
Let’s start by understanding a little background and the history of concrete.
The earliest discovered recording of the use of concrete type material in structures dates way back to 65000BC in the regions of Syria and Jordan. Here concrete was used by Nabataea traders for the construction of flooring, housing and underground cisterns. Romans were the first to adopt the widespread use of concrete, with the majority of their buildings being constructed with blocks made from a mix of volcanic ash, lime and seawater.
The type of cement we commonly recognise today was invented in 1842 by Joseph Aspdin. This was created by burning finely ground chalk and clay until the carbon dioxide was removed.
Environmental Impact of Concrete
Cement is certainly not known as an environmentally friendly material. This is primarily due to the large quantities of CO2 which have been historically produced during its production process.
However, in more recent years cement manufactures have set themselves ambitious targets in cutting the emissions involved in the production and have already come a long way in achieving these targets.
Although concrete is unlikely to ever to lower its CO2 output to less than other eco-friendly building materials, the potential longevity of concrete can mean the lifetime trade-off can make this a reasonably environmentally friendly option. This is especially true when cost is a deciding factor in your new build.
There is also a potential to include the use of waste materials in the production of concrete. For example, cement can be mixed with pulverised fuel ash, which is the by-product of coal-fired power stations.
Using Concrete in Your New Build
Concrete offers a diverse and flexible building material when it comes to creating your new build.
Firstly, concrete can be shaped and moulded to fit a huge variety of purposes when building. This means it can practically be used for any surface. This can add a large element of consistency to your project and opens the door to a wider range of building possibilities.
It also offers an immense amount of strength and durability. This makes it perfect for load-bearing positions or areas where it will be placed under harsh conditions. Using steel reinforcement such as A393 reinforcement mesh provided by suppliers such as https://www.reinforcementproductsonline.co.uk can also drastically increase the tensile strength of concrete, adding durability and longevity even when placed under stresses such as torque and twisting.
A big factor in why so many new builds opt to use concrete is the simple cost-saving implications. Using concrete can be significantly cheaper than other common materials. Due to its durability, it also offers long term costs savings in maintenance and the potential need for replacement.
Finally, concrete offers the style-conscious builder a versatile material that can be finished in ways that create a sleek, modern, clean design. This can lead to further cost savings as it can eliminate the need for further finishing in the building. For example, a polished concrete floor can be a stunning alternative to wood flooring.
Concrete may not appear to be the sexiest building material. However, when you take a step back and look at the many benefits it can bring, it is clear to see why so many use it as a key material in their new build projects.