Concrete floors are all around us. Every building has a floor, and in most industrial and commercial buildings, that floor is made of concrete. Many residential buildings also have concrete floors.
Un fortunately, many of these floors do not fulfill their function. Floors are the cause of more user complaints than any other building element, with the exception of roofs.
Good floors exist, but they seldom appear by accident. For this to happen, good design is necessary, and it requires a philosophy. Too often, floor design is a jumble of enumerated national standards, clauses borrowed from previous project manuals, and a few proprietary products that have been heavily advertised. That doesn’t get the job done.
Since floors are used for a thousand different purposes, every floor should be designed with the needs of its users in mind. Few would dispute this advice, but how many designers really follow it?
In many cases, what is called user-oriented design is merely examining floor loads and designing a floor that will structurally support them. While that is an essential step, it is only part of the job.
Floor users have a long list of complaints, most of which have nothing to do with structural failures. On some floors, joints break and must be repaired repeatedly. Design and Construction of Concrete Floors 4As surfaces wear out, other floors become unusable. Huge ware houses were closed for repairs because the floors were not flat enough for certain vehicles. On non-industrial floors, moisture complaints are probably at the top of the list. For industrial floors, jointing problems dominate.
About the Book
This book is based on that. The essential ideas are as follows:
- The floor has a dual role. The floor is both part of the building and part of the building user’s equipment.
- Floors must be designed around the needs and desires of the users.
- Rather than focusing on structural strength, the floor designer must also consider other important characteristics of the floor.
- Good design requires equal attention to five factors: floor application, structural strength, properties of the concrete itself, cracks and joints, and floor surface characteristics.
- Performance specifications are usually more effective than construction method specifications.
- Single course floors are usually more effective than double course floors.
- Care should be taken in the use of national standards.
- Lessons learned from road construction should be applied to floor construction.
- Remedies for bad construction should be specified before the bad construction occurs.