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Harlene Joy Abdon

Maria Shiela Acuzar

Miguel Montealto

Margie Ocampo
ADJ. - another, different, second, possible, substitute, replacement

N. - option, choice, other possibilities


- normal, regular, standard, typical, traditional, common, ordinary

- orthodox, established, accepted, mainstream,, accustomed, customary

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Material Framework Product

Brief Definition

Cast-in-place: Cast-in-place concrete, also known as poured-in-place, is a concreting

technique which is undertaken in situ or in the concrete component’s finished position. Cast-in-
place concrete is the preferred choice for concrete slabs and foundations, as well
as components such as beams, columns, walls, roofs, and so on.

The concrete is typically transported to site in an unhardened state, often using a ready
mixed concrete truck. A chute extends from the back of the truck to place the concrete either in
the required location or into a dumper or pump.

An alternative concreting technique is precast concrete which is prepared, cast and cured off-
site, usually in a controlled factory environment, using reusable moulds. For more information,
see Precast concrete.
While cast-in-place concrete can allow for greater flexibility and adaptability, it can be difficult
to control the mix particularly if weather conditions are not favourable. Cast-in-place
concrete will also require a strength test and time for curing, which makes it slower to
construct than precast concrete. However, there are fewer joints in the structural system not as
much handling equipment is required.



Concrete is one of the most widely used construction materials, thanks to its exceptional
properties. However, to create building elements with concrete, it must be poured into a
specially designed mold. This is known as formwork or shuttering.
Formwork can use temporary or permanent molds, which hold the poured concrete in shape
until it hardens and achieves enough strength to support itself. Formwork can be classified in
many ways:
 Type of material used
 By the concrete element supported
 Removable or permanent
Formwork has a fundamental role in concrete construction. It must have enough strength to
bear all the loads present during casting operations, and must then hold its shape while
concrete hardens.

Which Are the Requirements for Good Formwork?

Although there are many formwork materials, the following are general performance features
to meet the needs of concrete construction:
1. Capable of withstanding dead and live loads.
2. Retaining its shape with adequate props and braces.
3. Joints must be leak-proof.
4. If formwork is removable, the process must not damage the concrete.
5. Reusable material.
6. As lightweight as possible.
7. The formwork material should not warp or distort.
When selecting formwork it is important to consider the type of concrete and the pouring
temperature, since both affect the pressure exerted. Also, formwork must be capable of
resisting the loads of wet and dry concrete.
Formwork requires structures such as poles and stabilisers to avoid movement during
construction procedures, and these are called falsework. To ensure high quality when working
with concrete, a qualified workforce and adequate supervision are necessary.
The following sections provide an overview of some common formwork materials.

Timber Formwork

Timber formwork was one the first types used in construction industry. It is assembled on site
and is the most flexible type, bringing the following advantages:
 Easy to produce and remove
 Lightweight, especially when compared with metallic formwork
 Workable, allowing any shape, size and height
 Economical in small projects
 Allows the use of local timber
However, before using timber its condition must be checked carefully, making sure it is free of
termites. Timber formwork also has two limitations that must be considered: it has a short life
span and is time consuming in large projects. In general, timber formwork is recommended
when labor costs are low, or when complex concrete sections require flexible formwork.

Plywood Formwork
Plywood is often used used along with timber. It is a manufactured wooden material, which is
available in different sizes and thicknesses. In formwork applications, it is mainly used for
sheathing, decking and form linings.
Plywood formwork has similar properties as timber formwork, including strength, durability and
being lightweight.

Metallic Formwork: Steel and Aluminum

Steel formwork is becoming more popular due to its long service life and multiple reuses.
Although it is costly, steel formwork is useful for multiple projects, and it is a viable option
when many opportunities for reuse are expected.
The following are some of the main features of steel formwork:
 Strong and durable, with a long lifespan
 Creates a smooth finish on concrete surfaces
 Waterproof
 Reduces honeycombing effect in concrete
 Easily installed and dismantled
 Suitable for curved structures
Aluminum formwork is very similar to steel formwork. The main difference is that aluminum
has a lower density than steel, which makes formwork lighter. Aluminum also has a lower
strength than steel, and this must be considered before using it.

Plastic Formwork
This type of formwork is assembled from interlocking panels or modular systems, made of
lightweight and robust plastic. Plastic formwork works best in small projects consisting on
repetitive tasks, such as low-cost housing estates.
Plastic formwork is light and can be cleaned with water, while being suitable for large sections
and multiple reuses. Its main drawback is having less flexibility than timber, since many
components are prefabricated.

Fabric Formwork
Fabric formwork is also known as flexible formwork. This system uses lightweight and high-
strength sheets of fabric, designed to adjust to the fluidity of concrete and create interesting
architectural forms.
This formwork type uses less concrete than rigid systems, which yields savings. It is an emerging
technology in the shuttering industry, especially suited for constructions of irregular and
complex shapes.
Stay-In-Place Formwork
This formwork is designed to remain fixed after the concrete has set, acting as axial and shear
reinforcement. This formwork is made on-site from prefabricated and fibre-reinforced plastic
forms. It is mainly used in piers and columns, and also provides resistance against corrosion and
other types of environmental damage.
Another type of stay in place formwork is called coffor, which can be used in any type of
 It is composed of two filtering grids, reinforced by stiffeners and linked with articulated
 Thanks to its construction, it can be easily transported from a factory to the point of use.

Permanent Insulated Formwork

This is one of the most advanced formwork systems, offering permanent insulation. It may also
include thermal, acoustic, fire-resistance and rodent-resistance properties. Insulating concrete
forms (ICF) are the most common type of permanent insulated formwork, where concrete
structures are insulated with polystyrene boards that stay in place after concrete has cured.
Permanent insulated formwork offers energy efficiency and sustainability, contributing to a
lower environmental impact from the building sector.
Classifying Formwork Based on Structural Components
In addition to being classified by material, formwork can also be classified according to the
building elements supported:
 Wall formwork
 Beam formwork
 Foundation formwork
 Column formwork
All formwork types are designed according to the structure they support, and the
corresponding construction plans specify the materials and required thickness. It is important
to note that formwork construction takes time, and it can represent between 20 and 25% of
structural costs. To mitigate the cost of formwork, consider the following recommendations:
 Building plans should reuse building elements and geometries as much as possible to
allow formwork reusing.
 When working with timber formwork, it should be cut into pieces that are large enough
to be reused.
Concrete structures vary in design and purpose. Like in most project decisions, no option is
better than the rest for all applications; the most suitable formwork for your project varies
depending on building design.

Cast-in-place (CIP) concrete walls are made with ready-mix concrete placed into removable
forms erected on site. Historically, this has been one of the most common forms of building
basement walls. The same techniques used below grade can be repeated with above-grade
walls to form the first floor and upper levels of homes.

Early forays into this technology were done more than 100 years ago by Thomas Edison. He saw
the benefit of building homes with concrete well before it was widely understood. As
technology developed, improvements in forming systems and insulation materials increased
the ease and appeal of using removable forms for single-family construction. These systems are
strong. Their inherent thermal mass, coupled with appropriate insulation, makes them quite
energy efficient. Traditional finishes can be applied to interior and exterior faces, so the
buildings look similar to frame construction, although the walls are usually thicker.

Thomas Edison with model of a concrete house (circa 1910). Photo courtesy of U.S. Department
of the Interior, National Park Service, Edison National Historic Site.

The technology for casting concrete in removable forms—the beginning of the reinforced
concrete construction industry—dates back at least to the 1850s, not long after portland
cement was patented. The predominant use of removable forms for single-family homes was
for below-grade (basement) walls. Thomas Edison was one of the first to recognize the
potential for above-grade applications and do some demonstration projects, several single-
family homes made entirely of concrete.

Since that time, advancements in forming and placing technology, concrete mixtures, and
insulation strategies have made construction of concrete homes using removable forms a well-
accepted building technique.


Cast-in-place provides benefits to builders and building owners alike.

Owners appreciate:

 strong walls
 safety and disaster resistance
 mold, rot, mildew, and insect resistance
 sound-blocking ability
 for insulated systems, energy efficiency and resultant cost savings

Contractors and builders like:

 familiarity
 expands business to include more than basements
 cost effective building technology
Components, Including Insulation

Cast-in-place (CIP) concrete systems are relatively straightforward. Steps required include the
placement of temporary forms and placing fresh concrete and steel reinforcement. Although it
is possible to batch concrete on site, ready mixed concrete is widely available and is usually
delivered by a ready mix supplier. And in 2011, the average distance to most project sites from
a ready mix plant was just about 14 miles.

Although uninsulated walls were common in the past, changing energy code requirements are
more or less eliminating walls without insulation in most climates. This is the case with all types
of systems, including concrete, wood, and steel. Energy is simply too important in terms of its
cost and environmental impact. Concrete’s thermal mass helps moderate temperature swings,
but cannot provide the improved energy performance mandated by codes unless the wall
system contains insulation. In the past, therefore, insulation may have been an optional
component of a cast-in-place system, but it is increasingly included in contemporary

The most common formwork materials for casting concrete in place are steel, aluminum, and
wood. Many wood systems are custom manufactured and may be used only once or a few
times. Steel and aluminum forming systems, on the other hand, are designed for multiple
reuses, saving on costs. Metal panel forms are usually two to three feet wide and come in
various heights to match the wall. Most common are eight and nine foot tall panels.

Installation, Connections, Finishes

Casting concrete in place involves a few distinct steps: placing formwork, placing
reinforcement, and pouring concrete. Builders usually place forms at the corners first and then
fill in between the corners. This helps with proper alignment of forms and, therefore, walls.
Reinforcement bars (“rebar” for short) can be erected before either form face as a cage or after
one side of the formwork is installed. Once both form faces are tied together and braced,
concrete is placed in the forms via truck chute, bucket, or pump. Forms should always be filled
at an appropriate rate based on formwork manufacturer recommendations to prevent
problems. Although blowouts are uncommon with metal and wood forms, misalignment could
potentially occur.

For single-family residential construction, wall thicknesses can range from four to 24 inches.
Uninsulated walls are typically six or eight inches thick. Walls with insulation are generally
thicker when they contain an internal layer of insulation: either the inner or outer wall layer has
to serve a structural function. Cast-in-place walls are generally thicker than frame walls (wood
or steel).

Reinforcement in both directions maintains the wall strength. Vertically, bars are usually placed
at one to four feet on center, and tied to dowels in the footing or basement slab for structural
integrity. Horizontally, bars are typically placed at about four foot spacings in residential
applications. Additional bars are placed at corners and around openings (doors, windows) to
help control cracking and provide strength.

Openings for doors and windows require bucks to surround the opening, contain the fresh
concrete during placement, and provide suitable material for fastening window or door frames.

Floors and roofs can be concrete or wood and light-gauge steel. Ledgers are anchored by bolts
adhered into holes in the concrete. For heavy steel floors, weld plates are installed inside the
formwork so they become embedded in the fresh concrete. This provides an attachment for
steel joists, trusses, or angle irons.

Basement wall form used as deck form in new rib floor system. Adjustable rib form supports
deck form and can span from 12 to 16 feet.
Finishes on CIP systems are dependent on the presence of insulation and on the formed face.
Finishes can alternately be attached with furring strips. Almost any type of finish can be used
with removable form concrete wall systems. Wallboard remains the most common interior
finish. Exteriors are much more varied and depend on customer preference. Form liners
attached to the exterior form face can impart any type of texture; alternately, other traditional
finishes such as masonry or siding can be attached to the wall following form removal.

Insulation can be placed on inside or outside faces or in the center portion of the wall. To place
the insulation on the face, plastic fittings are inserted into the foam board and become
embedded in the concrete. These are flanged to hold the foam and the flanges provide an
attachment for finishes and fixtures. Face insulation can also be applied after the formwork is
stripped. If foam is embedded in the formwork prior to concrete placement, composite fittings
are used to tie together the two concrete faces (through the foam insulation layer). The inner
wall is usually the structural layer, so it’s thicker and contains the rebar, whereas the outer
concrete layer has the finish applied. Foam insulation is most often expanded polystyrene (EPS).
It can be extruded polystyrene (XPS), which is stronger, but also more costly.

Sustainability and Energy

A major appeal of insulated cast-in-place walls is reduced energy to heat and cool the building.
Insulation, thermal mass, and low air infiltration contribute to the energy saving. Typical R-
value for EPS and XPS foams are, respectively, four and five per inch. Thermal mass acts like a
storage battery to hold heat or cold, moderating temperature swings. Cast-in-place walls have
10 to 30 percent better air tightness than comparable framed walls—because the concrete
envelope contains few joints. In addition to saving energy and money associated with heating
and cooling, concrete walls also provide more consistent interior temperatures for occupants,
increasing their comfort. Cast-in-place systems are also suited to the use of recycled materials.
Concrete can be made using supplementary cementing materials like fly ash or slag to replace a
portion of the cement. Aggregate can be recycled (crushed concrete) to reduce the need for
virgin aggregate. Most steel for reinforcement is recycled. Some polystyrene is made with
recycled material as well. Some of these techniques contribute toward achieving points in
certain green rating systems such as LEED®.
Pre-cast: Precast concrete is a form of concrete that is prepared, cast and cured off-site,
usually in a controlled factory environment, using reusable moulds. Precast
concrete elements can be joined to other elements to form a complete structure. It is typically
used for structuralcomponents such as; wall
panels, beams, columns, floors, staircases, pipes, tunnels, and so on.

Structural steel frames can provide an alternative for pre-fabricated structural components,
but precast concrete can be more economical and sometimes more practical.
Many buildings now include a mixture of both construction techniques, sometimes
incorporating structural steelwork, in-situ concrete and precast concrete elements.

Advantages of using precast concrete include:

 It is manufactured in a controlled environment where greater accuracy and better quality

control are possible.
 Reusable factory moulds mean it is economical to produce repetitive units.
 There is generally less waste.
 On-site assembly can be very fast and is generally weather independent,
reducing sitedelays and ensuring the construction programme can be maintained.
 Precast concrete is very durable.
 There are fewer local environmental impacts such as dust and noise pollution.

Manufacturing process

The production of precast concrete elements takes place under controlled conditions in
enclosed factories. This means that tolerances can be accurately controlled, waste can be
minimised, and that a denser, stronger and better quality concrete can be produced.

Concrete is cast into forms and left to cure. Precast forms are normally made
of steel or plywood. Whereas plywood forms are usually limited to about 20-50 castings
depending upon the complexity of the form, a virtually unlimited number of castings can be
made by precasting using steel forms.

Precast elements generally incorporate steel reinforcement to resist loading stresses. A

common cause of the deterioration of concrete structures is the corrosion of
this reinforcement. It is important therefore, that they are properly designed and embedded in
the concrete.

During the manufacturing process, admixtures can be included in the concrete. These can
be water-reducing, air-entraining, retarders and accelerators (for faster curing time). The
purpose of admixtures is to improve concrete quality in both its fresh and hardened
state. Colourpigments can also be added, such as iron oxides (red and brown), chrome oxides
(green) or cobalt oxides (blue).

An alternative form of precasting is prestressed concrete, where stresses are introduced into
the structural member during fabrication as a way of improving both its strength
and performance. For more information, see Prestressed concrete.


The on-site installation of precast components can be a high-risk activity involving the use of
heavy plant, cranes and personnel working at height. Consideration should be given therefore
to safeguarding against risks when receiving delivery, moving, and placing units.

Consideration should be given to:

 The method and sequence of assembly and erection.

 The method of providing temporary supports.
 Structural connections and joint details.
 Tollerances.
 Handling and rigging requirements.
 Site accessibility for delivery and storage.
 Crane capacity and working clearance for hoisting.
 Sample measurement to confirm the accuracy of critical dimensions.
 Visual inspection of concrete finishes for defects.
 Locations and conditions of lifting inserts for hoisting.


action of forces (e.g. tension, shear, compression) that takes place at the interface between two
(or more) structural elements.


action of forces (e.g. tension, shear, compression) and/or moments (bending, torsion) through an
assembly comprising one (or more) inter-faces.
4 Types Of Precast Connections

(1) beam-to-slab connections

(2) beam-to-column connections
(3) wall-to-frame connections
(4) column splices, including to foundations.

The 4 rules for satisfactory joint design are that:

(1) The components can resist ultimate design loads in a ductile manner.
(2) The precast members can be manufactured economically and be erected safely and
(3) The manufacturing and site erection tolerances do not adversely affect intended
structural behavior, or are catered for in a ‘worst case’ situation.
(4) The final appearance of the joint must satisfy visual, fire and environmental

Difference between Precast & Cast-in-situ Concrete

This post is also available in: हिन्दी (Hindi)

Nowadays, the construction industry is growing more and more with new technics. Various
researches and development programs are held by researcher and national association to find
economic and time-saving technics for construction. Precast concrete is one of them. Do you
know precast concrete?

Precast concrete is the new construction technic that makes construction speedy and
economical on the large construction projects. It has many advantages over the cast-in-situ
concrete method for construction. Cast-in-situ concrete is the easy and conventional method
that we have been seeing for past decades.
Precast & cast-in-situ concrete are the product produced by casting concrete in a mould or
formwork cured to get the strength of RCC elements. The precast concrete is transported to the
construction site, lifted and positioned at the predetermined place. The cast-in-situ concrete is
a standard concrete which is poured into the specific formwork on the site and cured to get the
strength of RCC elements.
Here, we will discuss the differences between the precast & cast-in-situ concrete.

01. Definition
Precast Concrete

 According to ‘Precast Concrete Institute, U.S.A’ (Published in: Designing with Precast and
Prestressed Concrete), precast concrete is cast into a specific shape at a location other than
building site like factories. The concrete is placed into a form, typically wood or steel, and is
cured. These components are then transported to the construction site for erection into place.
Precast concrete can be plant-cast or site-cast.
Cast-in-situ Concrete
 According to ‘Edward Allen and Joseph Iano’ (Author of Fundamental of Building Construction
Materials & Methods), cast-in-situ concrete is cast into forms on the building site. It offers
unlimited possibilities to the designer for any shape formation with a limitless selection of
surface textures.
02. Casting
Precast Concrete
 In the precast concrete, elements are manufactured in a controlled casting environment and
hence it is easier to control mix, placement and curing.
 Elements can be cast in advance and held until the hour you need them, thereby saves time.
 Weather condition has no effect on casting work.

Precast Concrete Elements

Cast-in-situ Concrete
 In the cast-in-situ concrete, column, slab etc. elements are casted on site in the open
environment and hence it is difficult to control mix, placement and curing.
 Elements cannot be casted in advance.
 Weather condition can delay the casting work.
Cast-in-situ Concrete Construction of Slab
03. Quality Control
Precast Concrete
 Quality can be controlled and maintained easily.
Cast-in-situ Concrete
 Quality control and maintenance is difficult.
04. Cost
Precast Concrete
 Precast concrete is cheaper form of construction if large structures are to be constructed.
 Maintenance cost of precast concrete structure is higher.
Cast-in-situ Concrete
 In situ concrete is cheaper form of construction for small structures.
 Maintenance cost of cast-in-situ concrete structure is less compared to the precast concrete
05. Requirement of Worker & Machinery
Precast Concrete
 Less labours are required.
 Skilled labours are required at construction site.
 Skilled and technical contractor is required for construction of the precast concrete structure.
 Precast concrete requires heavy machinery and cranes for handling i.e. lifting and installation of
heavy elements
Cast-in-situ Concrete

 More labours are required.

 Skilled labours are required at construction site.
 Local contractors can also build the structure.
 Cast-in-situ concrete does not require such handling equipment.

06. Strength
Precast Concrete
 Precast concrete construction is quick as it can be installed immediately and there is no waiting
for it to gain strength.
 Increase in strength can be achieved by accelerated curing.
 On site strength test is not required.
 High strength concrete can be used because it is in controlled condition.
Cast-in-situ Concrete
 In situ concrete construction is slow as gaining of strength requires time.
 Increase in strength at situ by accelerated curing is a difficult task.
 On site strength test is required.
 It will difficult to use high strength concrete as it depends on site condition and resources
07. Time of Construction
Precast Concrete
 Total construction time is less as compared to cast-in-situ.
 Speedy construction is possible.
Cast-in-situ Concrete
 Total construction time is more as compared to precast.
 Speed is less as elements are casted at site.
08. Technical Points
Precast Concrete
 Large number of joints in structural system.
 Less resistant to Earthquake and wind forces not recommended where seismic loads are
 In precast concrete construction, details at the joint become very critical and needs careful
 The elements have to be designed for handling stress or loads during handling, which may or
may not increase steel.
 Elements of varying lengths and shape can be developed.
 Precast concrete does not offer a monolithic architectural character.
Cast-in-situ Concrete
 Less number of joints present in structural system.
 More resistant to earthquake and wind forces.
 Elements cannot be casted in advance.
 Elements are not to be designed for any such loads or stress.
 There is constraint in length and shape of element.
 In situ concrete offers a monolithic architectural character.
Also Read: The Basic Guide to Precast Concrete Stairs

09. Surface Finishing

Precast Concrete
 According to ‘Bulletin of American Concrete Institute‘ (1993), precast concrete gives smooth
interior finish hence they need minimum preparation before paint, wallpaper etc. or the other
wall coverings can be applied directly.
Cast-in-situ Concrete
 In the cast-in-situ concrete construction, you have to do plaster for the smooth finish and also
requires pre-preparation for a paint like wall putty etc.
10. Points to Be Taken Care of
Precast Concrete
 One has to meticulous during work with precast concrete because the precast unit can be
damaged during transportation and handling.
Cast-in-situ Concrete
 In the cast-in-situ concrete construction, be careful about following points:
01. During the concreting process like mixing, transportation, placing, finishing etc.

02. Curing of concrete for certain time etc.

Flat Slab Floor System : Definition &
What is Flat Slab?
The flat slab is a two-way reinforced concrete slab that usually does not have beams and
girders, and the loads are transferred directly to the supporting concrete columns.

The column tends to punch through the slab in Flat Slabs, which can be treated by three

1. Using a drop panel and a column capital in flat slab

2. Using a drop panel without a column capital in flat slab
3. Using a column capital without drop panel in flat slab
Uses of column heads :

 Shear strength of flat slab is increased by using column heads.

 Column heads reduce the clear or effective span, and therefore, reduce the moment in
the flat slab floor

Uses of drop panels :

 Drop panels increase the shear strength of flat slab floor.

 Drop panels increase flat slab's negative moment capacity.
 Drop panels reduce deflection by stiffening the flat slabs.

Flat slab is a reinforced concrete slab supported directly by concrete columns without
the use of beams. Flat slab is defined as one sided or two-sided support system with
sheer load of the slab being concentrated on the supporting columns and a square slab
called ‘drop panels’.

Drop panels are the rectangular portion provided above the column and below the slab in
order to restrict slab from getting sheared and undergo rupture. ... In the region between the
column and the slab,drop panel is installed. It represents increase in stability and efficient
manner of load distribution to column.

Drop panels play a significant role here as they augment the overall capacity and sturdiness of
the flooring system beneath the vertical loads thereby boosting cost effectiveness of the
construction. Usually the height of drop panels is about two times the height of slab.
Flat Slabs are considered suitable for most of the construction and for asymmetrical column
layouts like floors with curved shapes and ramps etc. The advantages of applying flat slabs are
many like depth solution, flat soffit and flexibility in design layout.

Even though building flat slabs can be an expensive affair but gives immense freedom to
architects and engineers the luxury of designing.

Benefit of using flat slabs are manifold not only in terms of prospective design and layout
efficacy but is also helpful for total construction process especially for easing off installation
procedures and saving on construction time.

If possible, try to do away with drop panels as much as possible and try to make the best use of
thickness of flat slabs. The reason is to permit the benefits of flat soffits for the floor surface to
be maintained, ensure drop panels are cast as part of the column.

To utilize the slab thickness to optimum level, the essential aspects that should be kept in
mind are:
1. Procedure related to design

2. Presence or absence of holes

3. Significance of deflections

4. Previous layout application experience

Types of Flat Slab Construction
Following are the types of flab slab construction:

o Simple flat slab

o Flat slab with drop panels

o Flat slab with column heads

o Flat slab with both drop panels and column heads

Uses of Column Heads
o It increase shear strength of slab

o It reduce the moment in the slab by reducing the clear or effective span
Uses of Drop Panels
o It increase shear strength of slab

o It increase negative moment capacity of slab

o It stiffen the slab and hence reduce deflection

Advantages of Flat Slabs

It is recognized that Flat Slabs without drop panels can be built at a very fast pace as the
framework of structure is simplified and diminished. Also, speedy turn-around can be achieved
using an arrangement using early striking and flying systems.
Flat slab construction can deeply reduce floor-to –floor height especially in the absence of false
ceiling as flat slab construction does act as limiting factor on the placement of horizontal
services and partitions. This can prove gainful in case of lower building height, decreased
cladding expense and pre-fabricated services.
In case the client plans changes in the interior and wants to use the accommodation to suit the
need, flat slab construction is the perfect choice as it offers that flexibility to the owner. This
flexibility is possible due to the use of square lattice and absence of beam that makes
channelling of services and allocation of partitions difficult.

Thickness of flat slab is another very attractive benefit because thin slab provides the
advantage of increased floor to ceiling height and lower cladding cost for the owner. However,
there is profound lower limit to thickness of slab because extra reinforcements are needed to
tackle design issues. Besides this, added margin must be provided to facilitate architectural
alterations at later stages.
Types of Flat Slab Design
Multitudes of process and methods are involved in designing flat slabs and evaluating these
slabs in flexures. Some of these methods are as following:
o The empirical method

o The sub-frame method

o The yield line method

o Finite –element analysis

For smaller frames, empirical methods are used but sub-frame method is used in case of more
irregular frames. The designs are conceptualized by employing appropriate software but the
fact is using sub-frame methods for very complicated design can be very expensive.
The most cost effective and homogenous installation of reinforcements can be achieved by
applying the yield line method. A thorough visualization in terms of complete examination of
separate cracking and deflection is required since this procedure utilises only collapse
Structures having floors with irregular supports, large openings or bears heavy loads,
application of finite- element analysis is supposed to be very advantageous. Great thought is
put into choosing material properties or installing loads on the structures. Deflections and
cracked width can also be calculated using Finite- element analysis.

Areas That Require Attention in Design of Flat Slab

1. Deflections-Usually at the center of each panel deflections are maximum. Foreseeing

deflections can be very tricky and will engage some form of elastic appraisal. While designing
structure layout and during implementation using sub frame method, one way to evaluate mid-
panel deflection is to use at least two parallel column strips.
2. Proprietary punching sheer reinforcement systems- In case of thin flat slab construction
punching sheer reinforcements are indispensable.
4. Optimization of Main reinforcement- In certain design procedures, especially in yield
line output is better optimized than in other design methods.


Benefits of Using Flat Slab Construction Method
o Flexibility in room layout

o Saving in building height

o Shorter construction time

o Ease of installation of M&E services

o Use of prefabricated welded mesh

o Buildable score

Flexibility in Room Layout

Flat slabs allows Architect to introduce partition walls anywhere required, this allows owner to
change the size of room layout. Use of flat slab allows choice of omitting false ceiling and finish
soffit of slab with skim coating.

Saving in Building Height

o Lower storey height will reduce building weight due to lower partitions and cladding to façade

o Approximately saves 10% in vertical members

o Reduced foundation load

Shorter Construction Time

Use of flat slabs requires less time for construction by the use of big table formwork.
Single Soffit Level

Ease of Installation of Flat Slabs

All M & E services can be mounted directly on the underside of the slab instead of bending
them to avoid the beams.

Use of Prefabricated Welded Mesh

Use of prefabricated welded mesh minimizes the installation time of flat slabs. These mesh are
available in standard size and provides better quality control in construction of flat slab.
Buildable Score
This allows standardized structural members and prefabricated sections to be integrated into
the design for ease of construction. This process makes the structure more buildable, reduce
the number of site workers and increase the productivity at site, thus providing more tendency
to achieve a higher Buildable score.

Disadvantages of Flat Slab System

 Although there are multi-dimensional advantages of flat slab system but there are certain areas
in which one must be watchful and cautious.

 Usually during design the middle strip or middle of the slab, critical deflection exists while
designing the layout of the structure one must be sure about the anticipated deflection to be as
accurate as possible.

 Generally flat slab system is not suitable for supporting brittle (masonry) partitions which make
them vulnerable in case of seismic activity.

 Drop panels sometimes interfere with larger mechanical ducting so this may also to be

 Vertical penetrations need to be avoided in areas around columns.

Flat Plate
The flat plate is a two-way reinforced concrete framing system utilizing a slab of uniform
thickness, the simplest of structural shapes.

Flat Plate System Introduction

A flat plate is a one- or two-way system usually supported directly on columns or load bearing
walls. It is one of the most common forms of construction of floors in buildings. The principal
feature of the flat plate floor is a uniform or near-uniform thickness with a flat soffit which
requires only simple formwork and is easy to construct.
SOFFIT - refer to the underside of any construction element, such as an arch, architrave, stairs
or projecting cornice.
- Inside buildings, the term soffit may refer to any portion of a ceiling that is lower than
the rest of the ceiling.
- This can be used as an accent in rooms for decorative reasons, or in rooms with
high ceilings to make the room feel smaller.
- They can also be required to conceal structural
beams, plumbing elements, heating/cooling ducts or light fixtures.
The floor allows great flexibility for locating horizontal services above a suspended ceiling or in
a bulkhead. The economical span of a flat plate for low to medium loads is usually limited by
the need to control long-term deflection and may need to be sensibly pre-cambered (not
overdone) or prestressed.

Burj Khalifa Copyright Imre Solt 2007 (2) Small

An economical span for a reinforced flat plate is of the order of 6 to 8 m and for prestressed flat
plates is in the range of 8 to 12 m. The span ‘L’ of a reinforced concrete flat-plate is
approximately D x 28 for simply supported, D x 30 for an end span of a continuous system, to D
x 32 for internal continuous spans.
The economical span of a flat plate can be extended by prestressing to approximately D x 30, D
x 37 and D x 40 respectively, where D is the depth of slab.

Flat plate floor system

Advantages of System:

1. Simple formwork and suitable for direct fix or sprayed ceiling

2. No beams—simplifying under-floor services
3. Minimum structural depth and reduced floor-to floor height.

Burj Dubai Flat Plate System – Copyright Imre Solt 2007

Disadvantages of System:

1. Medium spans
2. Limited lateral load capacity as part of a moment frame
3. May need shear heads or shear reinforcement at the columns or larger columns for shear
4. Long-term deflection may be controlling factor
5. May not be suitable for supporting brittle (masonry) partitions
6. May not be suitable for heavy loads.
flat plate construction
Prestressed concrete
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Comparison of non-prestressed beam (top) and prestressed concrete beam (bottom) under
1. Non-prestressed beam without load
2. Non-prestressed beam with load
3. Before concrete solidifies, tendons embedded in concrete are tensioned
4. After concrete solidifies, tendons apply compressive stress to concrete
5. Prestressed beam without load
6. Prestressed beam with load

Prestressed concrete is a form of concrete used in construction. It is substantially "prestressed"

(compressed) during its fabrication, in a manner that strengthens it against tensile forces which
will exist when in service.[1][2]:3–5[3]
This compression is produced by the tensioning of high-strength "tendons" located within or
adjacent to the concrete and is done to improve the performance of the concrete in
service.[4] Tendons may consist of single wires, multi-wire strands or threaded bars that are
most commonly made from high-tensile steels, carbon fiber or aramid fiber.[1]:52–59 The essence
of prestressed concrete is that once the initial compression has been applied, the resulting
material has the characteristics of high-strength concrete when subject to any
subsequent compression forces and of ductile high-strength steel when subject to tension
forces. This can result in improved structural capacity and/or serviceability compared with
conventionally reinforced concrete in many situations.[5][2]:6 In a prestressed concrete member,
the internal stresses are introduced in a planned manner so that the stresses resulting from the
superimposed loads are counteracted to the desired degree.
Prestressed concrete is used in a wide range of building and civil structures where its improved
performance can allow for longer spans, reduced structural thicknesses, and material savings
compared with simple reinforced concrete. Typical applications include high-rise buildings,
residential slabs, foundation systems, bridge and damstructures, silos and tanks, industrial
pavements and nuclear containment structures.[6]
First used in the late-nineteenth century,[1] prestressed concrete has developed beyond pre-
tensioning to include post-tensioning, which occurs after the concrete is cast. Tensioning
systems may be classed as either monostrand, where each tendon's strand or wire is stressed
individually, or multi-strand, where all strands or wires in a tendon are stressed
simultaneously.[5] Tendons may be located either within the concrete volume (internal
prestressing) or wholly outside of it (external prestressing). While pre-tensioned concrete uses
tendons directly bonded to the concrete, post-tensioned concrete can use either bonded or
unbonded tendons.

Pre-tensioned concrete
Pre-tensioning process

Pre-tensioned bridge girder in precasting bed, with single-strand tendons exiting through
the formwork

Pre-tensioned concrete is a variant of prestressed concrete where the tendons are

tensioned prior to the concrete being cast.[1]:25 The concrete bonds to the tendons as it cures,
following which the end-anchoring of the tendons is released, and the tendon tension
forces are transferred to the concrete as compression by static friction.[5]:7
Pre-tensioning is a common prefabrication technique, where the resulting concrete element is
manufactured remotely from the final structure location and transported to site once cured. It
requires strong, stable end-anchorage points between which the tendons are stretched. These
anchorages form the ends of a "casting bed" which may be many times the length of the
concrete element being fabricated. This allows multiple elements to be constructed end-to-end
in the one pre-tensioning operation, allowing significant productivity benefits and economies of
scale to be realized.[5][7]
The amount of bond (or adhesion) achievable between the freshly set concrete and the surface
of the tendons is critical to the pre-tensioning process, as it determines when the tendon
anchorages can be safely released. Higher bond strength in early-age concrete will speed
production and allow more economical fabrication. To promote this, pre-tensioned tendons are
usually composed of isolated single wires or strands, which provides a greater surface area for
bonding than bundled-strand tendons.[5]
Pre-tensioned hollow-core plank being placed

Unlike those of post-tensioned concrete (see below), the tendons of pre-tensioned concrete
elements generally form straight lines between end-anchorages. Where "profiled" or "harped"
tendons[8] are required, one or more intermediate deviators are located between the ends of
the tendon to hold the tendon to the desired non-linear alignment during tensioning.[1]:68–
73[5]:11Such deviators usually act against substantial forces, and hence require a robust casting-

bed foundation system. Straight tendons are typically used in "linear" precast elements, such as
shallow beams, hollow-core planks and slabs; whereas profiled tendons are more commonly
found in deeper precast bridge beams and girders.
Pre-tensioned concrete is most commonly used for the fabrication of structural beams, floor
slabs, hollow-core planks, balconies, lintels, driven piles, water tanks and concrete pipes.

Post-tensioned concrete

Forces on post-tensioned concrete with profiled (curved) tendon

Post-tensioned tendon anchorage; four-piece "lock-off" wedges are visible holding each strand

Post-tensioned concrete is a variant of prestressed concrete where the tendons are

tensioned after the surrounding concrete structure has been cast.[1]:25
The tendons are not placed in direct contact with the concrete, but are encapsulated within a
protective sleeve or duct which is either cast into the concrete structure or placed adjacent to
it. At each end of a tendon is an anchorage assembly firmly fixed to the surrounding concrete.
Once the concrete has been cast and set, the tendons are tensioned ("stressed") by pulling the
tendon ends through the anchorages while pressing against the concrete. The large forces
required to tension the tendons result in a significant permanent compression being applied to
the concrete once the tendon is "locked-off" at the anchorage.[1]:25[5]:7 The method of locking
the tendon-ends to the anchorage is dependent upon the tendon composition, with the most
common systems being "button-head" anchoring (for wire tendons), split-wedgeanchoring (for
strand tendons), and threaded anchoring (for bar tendons).[1]:79–84

Balanced-cantilever bridge under construction. Each added segment is supported by post-

tensioned tendons
Tendon encapsulation systems are constructed from plastic or galvanised steel materials, and
are classified into two main types: those where the tendon element is subsequently bonded to
the surrounding concrete by internal grouting of the duct after stressing (bonded post-
tensioning); and those where the tendon element is permanently debonded from the
surrounding concrete, usually by means of a greased sheath over the tendon strands
(unbonded post-tensioning).[1]:26[5]:10
Casting the tendon ducts/sleeves into the concrete before any tensioning occurs allows them to
be readily "profiled" to any desired shape including incorporating vertical and/or
horizontal curvature. When the tendons are tensioned, this profiling results in reaction forces
being imparted onto the hardened concrete, and these can be beneficially used to counter any
loadings subsequently applied to the structure.[2]:5–6[5]:48:9–10
Bonded post-tensioning

Multi-strand post-tensioning anchor

In bonded post-tensioning, prestressing tendons are permanently bonded to the surrounding

concrete by the in situ grouting of their encapsulating ducting (after tendon tensioning). This
grouting is undertaken for three main purposes: to protect the tendons against corrosion; to
permanently "lock-in" the tendon pre-tension, thereby removing the long-term reliance upon
the end-anchorage systems; and to improve certain structural behaviors of the final concrete
Bonded post-tensioning characteristically uses tendons each comprising bundles of elements
(e.g. strands or wires) placed inside a single tendon duct, with the exception of bars which are
mostly used unbundled. This bundling makes for more efficient tendon installation and grouting
processes, since each complete tendon requires only one set of end-anchorages and one
grouting operation. Ducting is fabricated from a durable and corrosion-resistant material such
as plastic (e.g. polyethylene) or galvanised steel, and can be either round or rectangular/oval in
cross-section.[2]:7 The tendon sizes used are highly dependent upon the application, ranging
from building works typically using between 2 and 6 strands per tendon, to
specialized dam works using up to 91 strands per tendon.
Fabrication of bonded tendons is generally undertaken on-site, commencing with the fitting of
end-anchorages to formwork, placing the tendon ducting to the required curvature profiles,
and reeving (or threading) the strands or wires through the ducting. Following concreting and
tensioning, the ducts are pressure-grouted and the tendon stressing-ends sealed
against corrosion.[5]:2
Unbonded post-tensioning

Unbonded slab post-tensioning. (Above) Installed strands and edge-anchors are visible, along
with prefabricated coiled strands for the next pour. (Below) End-view of slab after stripping
forms, showing individual strands and stressing-anchor recesses.

Unbonded post-tensioning differs from bonded post-tensioning by allowing the tendons

permanent freedom of longitudinal movement relative to the concrete. This is most commonly
achieved by encasing each individual tendon element within a plastic sheathing filled with
a corrosion-inhibiting grease, usually lithium based. Anchorages at each end of the tendon
transfer the tensioning force to the concrete, and are required to reliably perform this role for
the life of the structure.[9]:1
Unbonded post-tensioning can take the form of:

 Individual strand tendons placed directly into the concreted structure (e.g. buildings,
ground slabs), or
 Bundled strands, individually greased-and-sheathed, forming a single tendon within an
encapsulating duct that is placed either within or adjacent to the concrete (e.g. restressable
anchors, external post-tensioning)
For individual strand tendons, no additional tendon ducting is used and no post-stressing
grouting operation is required, unlike for bonded post-tensioning. Permanent corrosion
protection of the strands is provided by the combined layers of grease, plastic sheathing, and
surrounding concrete. Where strands are bundled to form a single unbonded tendon, an
enveloping duct of plastic or galvanised steel is used and its interior free-spaces grouted after
stressing. In this way, additional corrosion protection is provided via the grease, plastic
sheathing, grout, external sheathing, and surrounding concrete layers.[9]:1
Individually greased-and-sheathed tendons are usually fabricated off-site by
an extrusion process. The bare steel strand is fed into a greasing chamber and then passed to
an extrusion unit where molten plastic forms a continuous outer coating. Finished strands can
be cut-to-length and fitted with "dead-end" anchor assemblies as required for the project.
Comparison between bonded and unbonded post-tensioning
Both bonded and unbonded post-tensioning technologies are widely used around the world,
and the choice of system is often dictated by regional preferences, contractor experience, or
the availability of alternative systems. Either one is capable of delivering code-compliant,
durable structures meeting the structural strength and serviceability requirements of the
The benefits that bonded post-tensioning can offer over unbonded systems are:

 Reduced reliance on end-anchorage integrity

Following tensioning and grouting, bonded tendons are connected to the surrounding
concrete along their full length by high-strength grout. Once cured, this grout can transfer
the full tendon tension force to the concrete within a very short distance (approximately 1
metre). As a result, any inadvertent severing of the tendon or failure of an end anchorage
has only a very localised impact on tendon performance, and almost never results in tendon
ejection from the anchorage.[2]:18[9]:7
 Increased ultimate strength in flexure
With bonded post-tensioning, any flexure of the structure is directly resisted by
tendon strains at that same location (i.e. no strain re-distribution occurs). This results in
significantly higher tensile strains in the tendons than if they were unbonded, allowing their
full yield strength to be realised, and producing a higher ultimate load capacity.[2]:16–17[5]:10
 Improved crack-control
In the presence of concrete cracking, bonded tendons respond similarly to conventional
reinforcement (rebar). With the tendons fixed to the concrete at each side of the crack,
greater resistance to crack expansion is offered than with unbonded tendons, allowing
many design codes to specify reduced reinforcement requirements for bonded post-
 Improved fire performance
The absence of strain redistribution in bonded tendons may limit the impact that any
localised overheating has on the overall structure. As a result, bonded structures may
display a higher capacity to resist fire conditions than unbonded ones.[11]
The benefits that unbonded post-tensioning can offer over bonded systems are:

 Ability to be prefabricated
Unbonded tendons can be readily prefabricated off-site complete with end-anchorages,
facilitating faster installation during construction. Additional lead time may need to be
allowed for this fabrication process.
 Improved site productivity
The elimination of the post-stressing grouting process required in bonded structures
improves the site-labour productivity of unbonded post-tensioning.[9]:5
 Improved installation flexibility
Unbonded single-strand tendons have greater handling flexibility than bonded ducting
during installation, allowing them a greater ability to be deviated around service
penetrations or obstructions.[9]:5
 Reduced concrete cover
Unbonded tendons may allow some reduction in concrete element thickness, as their
smaller size and increased corrosion protection may allow them to be placed closer to the
concrete surface.[2]:8
 Simpler replacement and/or adjustment
Being permanently isolated from the concrete, unbonded tendons are able to be readily de-
stressed, re-stressed and/or replaced should they become damaged or need their force
levels to be modified in-service.[9]:6
 Superior overload performance
Although having a lower ultimate strength than bonded tendons, unbonded tendons' ability
to redistribute strains over their full length can give them superior pre-collapse ductility. In
extremes, unbonded tendons can resort to a catenary-type action instead of pure flexure,
allowing significantly greater deformation before structural failure.[12]

Tendon durability and corrosion protection

Long-term durability is an essential requirement for prestressed concrete given its widespread
use. Research on the durability performance of in-service prestressed structures has been
undertaken since the 1960s,[13] and anti-corrosion technologies for tendon protection have
been continually improved since the earliest systems were developed.[14]
The durability of prestressed concrete is principally determined by the level of corrosion
protection provided to any high-strength steel elements within the prestressing tendons. Also
critical is the protection afforded to the end-anchorage assemblies of unbonded tendons or
cable-stay systems, as the anchorages of both of these are required to retain the prestressing
forces. Failure of any of these components can result in the release of prestressing forces, or
the physical rupture of stressing tendons.
Modern prestressing systems deliver long-term durability by addressing the following areas:

 Tendon grouting (bonded tendons)

Bonded tendons consist of bundled strands placed inside ducts located within the
surrounding concrete. To ensure full protection to the bundled strands, the ducts must be
pressure-filled with a corrosion-inhibiting grout, without leaving any voids, following
 Tendon coating (unbonded tendons)
Unbonded tendons comprise individual strands coated in an anti-corrosion grease or wax,
and fitted with a durable plastic-based full-length sleeve or sheath. The sleeving is required
to be undamaged over the tendon length, and it must extend fully into the anchorage
fittings at each end of the tendon.
 Double-layer encapsulation
Prestressing tendons requiring permanent monitoring and/or force adjustment, such
as stay-cables and re-stressable dam anchors, will typically employ double-layer corrosion
protection. Such tendons are composed of individual strands, grease-coated and sleeved,
collected into a strand-bundle and placed inside encapsulating polyethylene outer ducting.
The remaining void space within the duct is pressure-grouted, providing a multi-layer
polythene-grout-plastic-grease protection barrier system for each strand.
 Anchorage protection
In all post-tensioned installations, protection of the end-anchorages against corrosion is
essential, and critically so for unbonded systems.
Several durability-related events are listed below:

 Ynys-y-Gwas bridge, West Glamorgan, Wales, 1985

A single-span, precast-segmental structure constructed in 1953 with longitudinal and
transverse post-tensioning. Corrosion attacked the under-protected tendons where they
crossed the in-situ joints between the segments, leading to sudden collapse.[14]:40
 Scheldt River bridge, Melle, Belgium, 1991
A three-span prestressed cantilever structure constructed in the 1950s.
Inadequate concrete cover in the side abutments resulted in tie-down cable corrosion,
leading to a progressive failure of the main bridge span and the death of one person. [15]
 UK Highways Agency, 1992
Following discovery of tendon corrosion in several bridges in England, the Highways Agency
issued a moratorium on the construction of new internally grouted post-tensioned bridges
and embarked on a 5-year programme of inspections on its existing post-tensioned bridge
stock. The moratorium was lifted in 1996.[16][17]
 Pedestrian bridge, Charlotte Motor Speedway, North Carolina, US, 2000
A multi-span steel and concrete structure constructed in 1995. An
unauthorised chemical was added to the tendon grout to speed construction, leading to
corrosion of the prestressing strands and the sudden collapse of one span, injuring many
 Hammersmith Flyover London, England, 2011
Sixteen-span prestressed structure constructed in 1961. Corrosion from road de-icing
salts was detected in some of the prestressing tendons, necessitating initial closure of the
road while additional investigations were done. Subsequent repairs and strengthening
using external post-tensioning was carried out and completed in 2015.[19][20]
 Petrulla Viaduct, Sicily, Italy, 2014
One span of the viaduct collapsed on 7 July due to corrosion of the post-tensioning
 Genoa bridge collapse, 2018. The Ponte Morandi was a cable-stayed bridge characterised
by a prestressed concrete structure for the piers, pylons and deck, very few stays, as few as
two per span, and a hybrid system for the stays constructed from steel cables with
prestressed concrete shells poured on. The concrete was only prestressed to 10 MPa,
resulting in it being prone to cracks and water intrusion, which caused corrosion of the
embedded steel.

Prestressed concrete is a highly versatile construction material as a result of it being an almost
ideal combination of its two main constituents: high-strength steel, pre-stretched to allow its
full strength to be easily realised; and modern concrete, pre-compressed to minimise cracking
under tensile forces.[1]:12 Its wide range of application is reflected in its incorporation into the
major design codes covering most areas of structural and civil engineering, including buildings,
bridges, dams, foundations, pavements, piles, stadiums, silos, and tanks.[6]
Building structures
Building structures are typically required to satisfy a broad range of structural, aesthetic and
economic requirements. Significant among these include: a minimum number of (intrusive)
supporting walls or columns; low structural thickness (depth), allowing space for services, or for
additional floors in high-rise construction; fast construction cycles, especially for multi-storey
buildings; and a low cost-per-unit-area, to maximise the building owner's return on investment.
The prestressing of concrete allows "load-balancing" forces to be introduced into the structure
to counter in-service loadings. This provides many benefits to building structures:

 Longer spans for the same structural depth

Load balancing results in lower in-service deflections, which allows spans to be increased
(and the number of supports reduced) without adding to structural depth.
 Reduced structural thickness
For a given span, lower in-service deflections allows thinner structural sections to be used,
in turn resulting in lower floor-to-floor heights, or more room for building services.
 Faster stripping time
Typically, prestressed concrete building elements are fully stressed and self-supporting
within five days. At this point they can have their formwork stripped and re-deployed to the
next section of the building, accelerating construction "cycle-times".
 Reduced material costs
The combination of reduced structural thickness, reduced conventional reinforcement
quantities, and fast construction often results in prestressed concrete showing significant
cost benefits in building structures compared to alternative structural materials.
Some notable building structures constructed from prestressed concrete include: Sydney Opera
House[21] and World Tower, Sydney;[22] St George Wharf Tower, London;[23] CN Tower,
Toronto;[24] Kai Tak Cruise Terminal[25] and International Commerce Centre, Hong
Kong;[26] Ocean Heights 2, Dubai;[27] Eureka Tower, Melbourne;[28] Torre Espacio,
Madrid;[29] Guoco Tower (Tanjong Pagar Centre), Singapore;[30] Zagreb International Airport,
Croatia;[31] and Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi UAE.[32]
Concrete is the most popular structural material for bridges, and prestressed concrete is
frequently adopted.[33][34] When investigated in the 1940s for use on heavy-duty bridges, the
advantages of this type of bridge over more traditional designs was that it is quicker to install,
more economical and longer-lasting with the bridge being less lively.[35][36] One of the first
bridges built in this way is the Adam Viaduct, a railway bridge constructed 1946 in the UK.[37] By
the 1960s, prestressed concrete largely superseded reinforced concrete bridges in the UK, with
box girders being the dominant form.[38]
In short-span bridges of around 10 to 40 metres (30 to 130 ft), prestressing is commonly
employed in the form of precast pre-tensioned girders or planks.[39] Medium-length structures
of around 40 to 200 metres (150 to 650 ft), typically use precast-segmental, in-situ balanced-
cantilever and incrementally-launched designs.[40] For the longest bridges, prestressed concrete
deck structures often form an integral part of cable-stayed designs.[41]
Concrete dams have used prestressing to counter uplift and increase their overall stability since
the mid-1930s.[42][43] Prestressing is also frequently retro-fitted as part of dam remediation
works, such as for structural strengthening, or when raising crest or spillway heights.[44][45]
Most commonly, dam prestressing takes the form of post-tensioned anchors drilled into the
dam's concrete structure and/or the underlying rock strata. Such anchors typically comprise
tendons of high-tensile bundled steel strands or individual threaded bars. Tendons are grouted
to the concrete or rock at their far (internal) end, and have a significant "de-bonded" free-
length at their external end which allows the tendon to stretch during tensioning. Tendons may
be full-length bonded to the surrounding concrete or rock once tensioned, or (more commonly)
have strands permanently encapsulated in corrosion-inhibiting grease over the free-length to
permit long-term load monitoring and re-stressability.[46]
Silos and tanks
Circular storage structures such as silos and tanks can use prestressing forces to directly resist
the outward pressures generated by stored liquids or bulk-solids. Horizontally curved tendons
are installed within the concrete wall to form a series of hoops, spaced vertically up the
structure. When tensioned, these tendons exert both axial (compressive) and radial (inward)
forces onto the structure, which can directly oppose the subsequent storage loadings. If the
magnitude of the prestress is designed to always exceed the tensile stresses produced by the
loadings, a permanent residual compression will exist in the wall concrete, assisting in
maintaining a watertight crack-free structure.[47][48][49][50]:61
Nuclear and blast-containment structures
Prestressed concrete has been established as a reliable construction material for high-pressure
containment structures such as nuclear reactor vessels and containment buildings, and
petrochemical tank blast-containment walls. Using prestressing to place such structures into an
initial state of bi-axial or tri-axial compression increases their resistance to concrete cracking
and leakage, while providing a proof-loaded, redundant and monitorable pressure-containment
Nuclear reactor and containment vessels will commonly employ separate sets of post-
tensioned tendons curved horizontally or vertically to completely envelop the reactor core.
Blast containment walls, such as for liquid natural gas (LNG) tanks, will normally utilise layers of
horizontally-curved hoop tendons for containment in combination with vertically looped
tendons for axial wall prestressing.
Hardstands and pavements
Heavily loaded concrete ground-slabs and pavements can be sensitive to cracking and
subsequent traffic-driven deterioration. As a result, prestressed concrete is regularly used in
such structures as its pre-compression provides the concrete with the ability to resist the crack-
inducing tensile stresses generated by in-service loading. This crack-resistance also allows
individual slab sections to be constructed in larger pours than for conventionally reinforced
concrete, resulting in wider joint spacings, reduced jointing costs and less long-term joint
maintenance issues.[53]:594–598[54] Initial works have also been successfully conducted on the use
of precast prestressed concrete for road pavements, where the speed and quality of the
construction has been noted as being beneficial for this technique.[55]
Some notable civil structures constructed using prestressed concrete include: Gateway Bridge,
Brisbane Australia;[56] Incheon Bridge, South Korea;[57] Roseires Dam, Sudan;[58] Wanapum Dam,
Washington, US;[59] LNG tanks, South Hook, Wales; Cement silos, Brevik Norway; Autobahn A73
bridge, Itz Valley, Germany; Ostankino Tower, Moscow, Russia; CN Tower, Toronto, Canada;
and Ringhals nuclear reactor, Videbergshamn Sweden.[51]:37

Design agencies and regulations

Worldwide, many professional organizations exist to promote best practices in the design and
construction of prestressed concrete structures. In the United States, such organizations
include the Post-Tensioning Institute (PTI) and the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute
(PCI).[60] Similar bodies include the Canadian Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute
(CPCI),[61] the UK's Post-Tensioning Association,[62] the Post Tensioning Institute of
Australia[63] and the South African Post Tensioning Association.[64] Europe has similar country-
based associations and institutions.
It is important to note that these organizations are not the authorities of building codes or
standards, but rather exist to promote the understanding and development of prestressed
concrete design, codes and best practices.
Rules and requirements for the detailing of reinforcement and prestressing tendons are
specified by individual national codes and standards such as:

 European Standard EN 1992-2:2005 – Eurocode 2: Design of Concrete Structures;

 US Standard ACI318: Building Code Requirements for Reinforced Concrete; and
 Australian Standard AS 3600-2009: Concrete Structures.

Flat Plate Flooring Systems: The “Win-Win” Solution

September 18, 2013


A flat plate floor system is a two-way concrete slab supported directly on columns with reinforcement
in two orthogonal directions (Figure 1). Primarily used in hotels, multi-family residential buildings, and
hospitals, this system has the advantages of simple construction and formwork and a flat ceiling, the
latter of which reduces ceiling finishing costs, since the architectural finish can be applied directly to the
underside of the slab. Even more significant are the cost savings associated with the low-story heights
made possible by the shallow floor system. Smaller vertical runs of cladding, partition walls, mechanical
systems, plumbing, and a large number of other items of construction translate to large cost savings,
especially for medium and high-rise buildings. Moreover, where the total height of a building is
restricted, using a flat plate will result in more stories accommodated within the set height. The
thickness of a flat plate is controlled by the deflection requirements given in Sect. 9.5.3 of ACI 318-05.
Minimum slab thicknesses for flat plates with Grade 60 reinforcing bars, are laid out in ACI 9.5.3 and it is
a function of the longest clear span between supports. Flat plate systems are economically viable for
short to medium spans and for moderate live loads. Up to live loads of about 50 psf, the deflection
criteria usually govern, and the economical span length range is 15 ft to 25 ft. For live loads of 100 psf or
more, punching shear stresses at the columns and bending moments in the slab control the design. For
these cases, the flat plate is economical for spans between 15 ft and 20 ft. A flat plate floor with a live
load of 100 psf is only about 8% more expensive than one with a live load of 50 psf, primarily due to the
minimum thickness requirements for deflection. Floor panels with an aspect ratio of 2 would be about
30% more expensive than panels with an aspect ratio of 1; the thickness of the rectangular panel is
governed by the greater span length, resulting in a loss of economy. On average, the formwork costs for
flat plates represent approximately 46% of the total floor cost. Concrete material, placing, and finishing
account for about 36% of the cost. The remaining 18% is the material and placing cost of the

The advantages of the flat plate system are thin structure, simple formwork, and flat soffits. The
integral interaction of 2-way slab allows for wider distribution of moment capacity and
therefore a large effective width for carrying moment. This results in the ability to use a thin
structure to support the required loads. The simplicity of a flat concrete slab with repetitive
bays lends itself well to construction efficiency. Flat soffits are of particular advantage to
construction of an apartment building or hotel where ceiling finishes will be applied directly to
the underside of the slab. This allows for a reduction in story height and ease of construction.
Due to the nature of the building being a research facility there is an extensive amount of MEP
Thus, a large amount of plenum space is necessary making ceiling finishing not of particular
advantage. However, the flat soffit also means there is are no complexities when hanging or
installing MEP fixtures due to uniformity of the supporting structure.

The flat slab has overcome all the drawback of the traditional system of beams framing into
columns and supporting slabs spanning between the beams. Though the relatively deep beams
of traditional floor system provide a stiff floor which is capable of long spans, and which is able
to resist lateral loads, yet the complications of beam formwork, co-ordination of services, and
overall depth of floor have led to a decrease in the popularity of this type of floor.

Benefits of using Flat Plate Floor System

(A) Larger Span Length Achieved

The span ‘L’ of a reinforced concrete flat-plate is approximately D x 28 for simply supported, D x
30 for an end span of a continuous system, to D x 32 for internal continuous spans. The
economical span of a flat plate can be extended by prestressing to approximately D x 30, D x 37
and D x 40 respectively, where D is the depth of slab. Whereas for the traditional reinforced
concrete beam-and-slab floor has an economical span ‘L’ of D x 15 for a single span and D x 20
for a multi-span, where D is the depth of the slab plus beam. The depth of slab between the
beams can be initially sized using the span-to-depth ratios for a flat plate.

(B) Flat Soffit i.e. Flat Ceiling

The main and unique feature of this system is that it provides a way for the architect to achieve
the concept of high and completely flat ceiling with no beam protrusion. The services can be
installed within or below the slab and there are flexibilities in relocating vertical small
penetrations. The soffit is often flat and high ceiling height can be achieved. Whereas
traditional beam column slab system, the ceiling is not flat and hence many locations it is
required to use false ceiling to get a flat ceiling, which is again going to increase the cost of
construction. Moreover the lifespan of false ceiling few years and hence it needs to be changed
several times in the lifespan of the structure. This problem can be avoided with flat plate
system. As already the soffit of the slab is flat, there is no need of providing false ceiling.
Because of this flat plate slab system has found immense use in hotels, malls, public buildings.
The difference can be very easily made out from Figure 3 and Figure 4.

(C) Savings in Shuttering Cost

Shuttering/ Formwork constitutes a major cost of construction of reinforced concrete structure.

In a traditional beam column slab system, the need of shuttering area is more and so the cost of
formwork is also more. Whereas flat plate system requires only soffit shuttering of slabs, which
makes flat plate slab system very popular amongst the builders as it has many fold benefits.
(D) Savings in Construction Time

As formwork and stagging time is reduced, the overall construction time also gets reduced
considerably in flat plate slab system. Keeping in mind of the tight schedule of the projects
these days, if construction time can be saved in some means, it will give the builder/ owner
early commissioning time of the project, which in turn will reward them with early revenue

(E) Prestressing

Prestressing is not possible in traditional beam column system, whereas post-tensioned flat
plat/slabs are a common variation of the conventional plate structure where most of the
reinforcement is replaced by post-tensioned strands of very high strength steel. The structural
advantage of post tensioning over conventional RCC is that the slab is nearly crack free at
fullservice load. This leads to a smaller deflection compared to conventional RCC because of the
higher rigidity of the uncracked section. Hence reduction in thickness of the slab compared to
conventional RCC is the rationale for using post-tensioning system for spans over 10m and
above. Further the lack of cracking leads to a watertight structure. Flat plat/slab design and
build contractors in India claim a 20% cost reduction compared to conventional RCC.

(F) Building Height

Traditional beam column slab system produces building/ structure higher than flat plate slab
system. The reason behind is absence of beams in the flat plate slab system. Which is very
much beneficial for malls, theaters, hotels etc. . In malls, theaters, hotels, because of higher
span requirement, the depth of beam is very high, which adds to the floor height making the
overall height of each floor more. This again has cost impact as well as aesthetic impact on the
structure. This problem can be avoided by adopting flat plate floor system. Also by adopting to
suitable prestressing system, it is possible to do construction of higher span slabs, without any
increase in floor height which is a major concern with beam column slab system.

(G) Service

In traditional beam column slab system the penetrations through beams for large ducts difficult
to handle. This is a common need in hotels, malls, public buildings, as the service lines are more
in these time of buildings. Since making holes in large size beams is not feasible the service lines
needs to be taken through longer routes, which again increases the cost of installation and
effects the aesthetics by a great deal. With the adoption of flat plate slab system, the large and
bulky sized beams are avoided and service lines can be very easily taken through the slab by
keeping suitable and required sized openings in the slab. Figure 6 shows one such work, where
service lines were routed through the openings in the slab.
Drawbacks of Flat Plate Floor System

Though Flat plate slab system promises a world of benefits over the traditional beam column
slab system, still all is not well with this kind of system too. The main disadvantages of the flat
plate system are deflection control, punching shear at columns, and future core drilling. The
relatively thin slab of the structure makes it susceptible to excessive deflections and floor
vibrations, in a laboratory facility such as the MSC this could be an issue. The uniformity of the
flat plate system may lend itself to an ease of construction, however, it is not very efficient at
resisting shear forces at critical locations, namely columns. If the slab is found to be inadequate
to resist punching shear, certain measures can be introduced to strengthen these locations.
These include increasing the depth of the slab over the entire panel, increasing the column size,
adding a shear capital, or adding shear reinforcement. Furthermore, in a research facility
experiments and equipment is often changing to meet the needs of the current industry. This
often results in retrofits to the structure involving core drilling of the slab. In a 2-way system
this can be problematic because it significantly lowers strength capacity of the floor system. The
most dominant failure type in flat plate slab system is brittle failure caused by shear failure. But
it does not mean that these drawbacks will limit the use of flat plate floor system. These
limitations and drawbacks can be overcome by adopting suitable design practice.

General Consideration for use of Flat Plate Floor System

The following are the key factors to be considered before adopting the use of the concrete flat
plate with steel/concrete column system:
– Architectural layout should be well planned to fully enhance the main area where high flat
ceiling with neatly arranged steel/concrete columns are required in the design
– Spacing of columns
– Punching shear checks at column areas
– Long term deflection of the flat plate
– Early planning of routing for M&E services, opening for voids and location of staircase
The design of flat slab structures involves three steps
– Framing system
– Engineering analysis
– Reinforcement design and detailing

Framing System

Initial framing system formulation provides a detailed geometric description of the column
spacing and overhang. Even though the architect provides this part of the design, the
engineer should emphasize on the following
– Three continuous spans in each direction or have an overhang at least one-forth times
adjacent span length in case of only two continuous spans.
– Typical panel must be rectangular
– The spans must be similar in length i.e. adjacent span in each direction must not differ in
length by one-third

Engineering Analysis

Flat plate/slab may be analyzed and designed by any method as long as they satisfy
the strength, stiffness and stability requirements of the IS 456:2000 or ACI-318 codes. A
typical flat plate/slab can be analyzed by direct design method or equivalent frame method as
prescribed by the code. However, if the flat plate/slab is atypical with unusual geometry, with
irregular column spacing, or with big opening then the designer may have to use finite element
method model analysis using computers. The design of flat plate/slabs irrespective of the
methodology used must first assume a minimum slab and drop thickness and a minimum
column dimension to ensure adequate stiffness of the system to control deflection. The IS
456:2000 code is not clear on these minimums. However ACI specifies empirical formulas to
arrive at these minimums. Refer to Table 1 for minimum slab thickness.

Once the slab thickness and column dimensions with boundary conditions are selected, the
structure is loaded for different load cases and combinations prescribed by the code. The
computed forces and moments in the members should be used for reinforcement design.

Critical reactions for the load combinations are used for the design of the supporting columns
and foundations.

Seismic Design of Flat Plate/Slab

Seismic design lateral force is based on the provisions of Indian Standard IS 1893 (Criteria for
Earthquake Resistant Design of Structure), however due to non-clarity of IS1893 designer, in
addition may have to use, other codes like UBC-2000 (Uniform Building Code) to design an
effective lateral system. Based on these codes a common practice is to determine lateral force
by either using static or a dynamic procedure.

Reinforcement Design and Detailing

Reinforcement design is one of the critical parts of flat plate/slab design; maximum forces from
the analysis shall be used in the design of the reinforcement. Reinforcement required for
flexure by using minimum slab thickness per table 1 typically will not require compression
reinforcement. The tension steel area required and detailing for appropriate strips can be per IS
456:2000 or ACI-318, both being similar. However design for punching shear force (including
additional shear due to unbalanced moment) per IS 456:2000 is 32% conservative compared to
ACI-318, because Indian code underestimates the concrete two-way shear strength by 32%
compared to ACI.

Flat Plate slab system often provide the most economical solution for high-rise residential/
commercial construction. The system’s low floor height, compared to traditional beam column
slab system results in overall reduction of building height which further results lesser dead load,
leading to lower foundation costs. Flat plate/slab construction is a developing technology in
India. Flat plate/slab can be designed and built either by conventional RCC or Post-tensioning.
Design of conventional RCC flat plate/slab in India, utilizing Indian codes, has many
shortcomings, which have to be addressed and revised soon. Until then Indian engineers will
continue to use Indian codes in combination with other standards like the ACI, BS or Euro Code
to design and analyze Flat slabs/plates.


Ribbed slabs (One-way joists) Introducing voids to the soffit of a slab reduces dead weight and
increases the efficiency of the concrete section. A slightly deeper section is required but these
stiffer floors facilitate longer spans and provision of holes. Economic in the range 8 to 12 m. The
saving of materials tends to be offset by some complication in formwork. The advent of
expanded polystyrene moulds has made the choice of trough profile infinite and largely
superseded the use of standard T moulds. Ribs should be at least 125 mm wide to suit
reinforcement detailing. The chart and data assume line support (ie. beam or wall) and bespoke

• Medium to long spans

• Lightweight

• Holes in topping easily accommodated

• Large holes can be accommodated

• Profile may be expressed architecturally, or used for heat transfer in passive cooling

• Higher formwork costs than for other slab systems

• Slightly greater floor thicknesses

• Slower
Waffle Slab or Ribbed Slab
What is Waffle Slab or Ribbed Slab?
Waffle slab or ribbed slab is a structural component which is plain on its top and contains grid
like system on its bottom surface. The top of ribbed slab is normally thin and the bottom grid
lines are generally ribs which are laid perpendicular to each other with equal depth. Waffle slab
has two directional reinforcement.

All the ribs are directed from column heads or beams. The depth of ribs maintained is as same
as depth of column head or beam. Because of the ribs and double reinforcement, it is more
stable and recommended for larger span slabs or foundations.
Characteristics of Waffle Slabs

o Waffle slabs are generally suitable for flat areas.

o Volume of concrete used is very less compared to others.

o The reinforcement in the waffle slab is provided in the form of mesh or individual bars.

o Separate excavation for beams is not required in case of waffle slab.

o The bottom surface of slab is looks like waffle which is obtained by using cardboard panels or pods etc.

o The thickness of waffle slab recommended is 85 to 100 mm while the overall depth of slab is limited to
300 to 600 mm.

o The width of beams or ribs provided in waffle slab are generally 110 to 200 mm.

o Spacing of ribs recommended is 600 to 1500 mm.

o Reinforced waffle slabs can be constructed for the span up to 16 meters while beyond that length
prefabricated waffle slab is preferable.

o Waffle slab is good against shrinkage and it is lower than stiffened rafts and footing slabs.

o Waffle slab requires only 70% of concrete and 80 % of steel from the concrete and steel used for
stiffened rafts

Waffle Slab Construction Procedure

The construction of waffle slabs can be done by three ways as follows.




In-situ waffle slabs are constructed by pouring concrete in the site or field with proper arrangements. In
case of precast waffle slab, slab panels are casted somewhere and they are joined together with proper
reinforcement and concrete is filled.

The third case, prefabricated waffle slab is costliest than the other two methods. In this case,
reinforcement is provided in the slab panels while casting with some tension. Hence, they do not need
internal reinforcement in the site.
To construct a waffle slab in-situ conditions, formwork should be necessary to support the slab. But
some special tools are required for the form work in case of waffle slab.

Formwork tools required in the construction of waffle slab are:

Waffle pods

Horizontal supports

Vertical supports

Wall connectors

Cube junctions

Hole plates


Steel bars

Horizontal support and vertical supports are arranged first and they are fixed in position by the
connectors. At the edges wall connectors are used to provide connection between wall and slab. The
horizontal beam supports are connected by small beam connectors which form square like shape in
which pods are going to be placed.The pods are generally made of plastic and they are available in
different sizes and different shapes. Size selection of pod depend upon the requirement and span
length. For longer span large number of pods are required. Same size should be used for one complete
Similarly beam connectors and cube junctions are also available in different sizes based on the suitability
of pod sizes.

Cube junctions are used to fix the corners of pods with the frame work. After fixing the formwork,
reinforcement is placed in the two directions of the slab and then concrete is poured in the gaps which
are called as ribs after hardening.

Thin concrete slab is provided on the top and after its hardening pods and frameworks are removed
from the bottom. Thus, the waffle like shape appears at the bottom surface.
Benefits of Waffle Slab Construction

-Waffle slabs are used for larger span slabs or floors and used when there is limited requirement for
number of columns.

-The load carrying capacity of waffle slab is greater than the other types of slabs.

-They provide good structural stability along with aesthetic appearance. Hence, it is constructed for -
airports, hospitals, temples, churches etc.

-The waffle slab can be made of concrete or wood or steel among those concrete waffle slab is preferred
for commercial buildings and other two are preferred for garages, decorative halls etc.

-It has good vibration control capacity because of two directional reinforcement. So, it is useful for
public buildings to control vibrations created by movements of crowd.

-Waffle slabs are lightweight and requires less amount of concrete, hence it is economical.

-Construction of waffle slab is easy and quick with good supervision.

-Concrete and steel volume required is small, hence, light framework is enough for waffle slab.
-Several services like lighting, plumbing pipes, electrical wiring, air conditioning, insulation materials etc.
can be provided within the depth of waffle slab by providing holes in the waffle bottom surface. This
system is called as Holedeck.
Drawbacks of Waffle Slab

- Formwork tools required are very costly because of large quantity requirement of pods and
some special tools.
- The floor height should be more hence number of floors are reduced.
- The services provided in the waffle arrangement without proper maintenance may causes
damages to the slab.
- Skilled workers are required during its construction.
- They are not suitable for sloped areas. If there is slope area, the area must be leveled with filling
or by excavating. For soil filling, good soil should be used.
- They are not suitable against high winds or cyclonic areas because of their light weight.

REFERENCE: https://theconstructor.org/structural-engg/waffle-slab-ribbed-slab-construction/20546/

- The slab are lifted by jacks, operating on the top of each column, which lift a pair
of rods attached to each lifting collar in the slab being raised.
- A central synchronizes the process for uniform lift from all directions.
- Lifting collars are cast into slab around each column.
- The first slab is cast inside edge formwork on the top of the ground floor slab and
when it is mature it is in turn coated or covered with a separating medium and
next floor slab in cast on top of it.
- The casting of the other slabs continues until all the floor and roof have been cast
on on the other on the ground.


Hydraulics Jacks – this jack is a hydraulic piece of equipment which has positive safety
devices on it. The jack can lift slabs on columns loaded up to 100,000 pounds at speeds
or up to 14 feet an hour.

Lifting Collars – are cast into each slab around each column providing a means to lift the
slab and also providing shear reinforcement, they are fixed to a columns by welding
shear blocks to plate welded column flanges and to the collar after the slab has been
raised in the position.

Shear Blocks - is a component used to hold the lifted slab in it’s final elevation.

Bond Breakers - the main function of bond breakers is to minimize dynamic loads
during lifting or stripping of precast members and permit their complet, clean
separation from casting slabs or molds. Bond breakers include wax dissolved a volatile
spirit, polythene shhet or building paper may alaso used as alternative.

- This method eliminates the need for redundant formwork as only shuttering required
on the edges, therefore casing concrete slabs is the simplest stage in whole construction
process of lift-slab method.
- Lift-slab method may be employed with ribbed slabs not only flats slabs with some
compromise of the ease of casting.
- Reduced handling and hoisting of materials and supplies that can simply be placed on
top of the slabs and lifted with them.

- This method not to be used for multistory building,only use for 15-16 storey building.
- No large span slab are constructed in this type of construction.

REFERENCE SITES: https://www.slideshare.net/tivarrose/lift-form-slab-construction


Floor Slab is a structural slab, usually concrete, used as a floor or a subfloor.

Floor systems are the horizontal planes that must support both live loads – people,
furnishing, and movable equipment – and dead loads – the weight of the floor construction
itself. Floor systems must transfer their loads horizontally across space to either beams or
columns or to loadbearing walls. Rigid floor planes can also be designed to serve as horizontal
diaphragms that act as thin, wide beams in transferring lateral forces to shear walls.
Prestressed Concrete
Prestressed concrete is a form of concrete used in construction. It is substantially
"prestressed" (compressed) during its fabrication, in a manner that strengthens it against
tensile forces which will exist when in service.

Prestressed concrete is used in a wide range of building and civil structures where its
improved performance can allow for longer spans, reduced structural thicknesses, and material
savings compared with simple reinforced concrete. Typical applications include high-rise
buildings, residential slabs, foundation systems, bridge and dam structures, silos and tanks,
industrial pavements and nuclear containment structures.

Advantages and disadvantages

The advantages of prestressed concrete include:

- The inherent compressive strength of concrete is used to its fullest.
- The special alloy steels used to form the prestressing tendons are used to their fullest.
- Tension cracks are eliminated, reducing the risk of the steel components corroding.
- Shear stresses are reduced.
- For any given span and loading condition a reduction in weight can be achieved from
using a component with a smaller cross section.
- A composite member can be formed by joining individual precast concrete units

The disadvantages of prestressed concrete include:

- A high degree of workmanship and control is required.
- Special alloy steels are more expensive than traditional steels used in reinforced
- Expensive equipment is needed and there are complex safety requirements.
Span Stress Floor System

Stresscrete offers four standard types of flooring units, Unispan, Interspan, Hollowcore
and Double Tee. Each has it's own unique characteristics and advantages, but which one is right
for your project?

The Unispan flooring system consists of a series of 75mm thick precast, prestressed
concrete slabs with a reinforced concrete topping. This composite construction allows clear
spans of up to 8.0 metres.

Simple: Most contractors agree that Unispan is a simple form of construction. Slabs are
typically 1200mm or 2400mm wide.

Flexible: Unispan is easily adapted to any floor plan and individual slab widths can be custom
made to suit individual requirements. Service holes can be allowed for in the slabs .

Maintenance: The Unispan flooring system is truly maintenance free. The slabs are cast on a
steel mould and the soffit is flat. This means that Unispan may be left untreated, painted or
decoratively sprayed to match colour schemes. Painted surfaces may require a thin plaster

Sound Transmission: A major practical benefit of a concrete floor is its ability to reduce noise
transmission. Unispan concrete floors are quiet and do not creak with temperature and
moisture changes. The table below shows sound the transmission ratings achieved by Unispan.

Cantilevers: Balconies and decks can be created by cantilevering the slab up to 2000mm, while
including a weather step at the building line.

Transport: Unispan slabs must be handled and stacked at two points, by, or directly beside, the
lifting eyes.

Erection: It is recommended that Unispan slabs be seated 75mm onto the supporting
walls/beams and bedded on wet mortar or plastic bearing strips to ensure an even bearing at
the correct level first.

Fire Resistance Rating: Standard Unispan can provide up to a 1.5 hour FRR.

Materials: Unispan slab strength = 42 MPa at 28 days. Topping = 20 MPa at 28 days.

Interspan Floor Slab

The Interspan flooring system consists of 200mm wide precast prestressed concrete ribs
spaced generally at 900mm centres with timber infills placed between them. The ribs have
variable depth to suit the projects load/span requirements. This multi piece system is tied
together with a 75mm in situ concrete topping and mesh reinforcing. This system has the
benefit of being suitable for those tricky sites where access is a problem or poor foundation
conditions dictate the use of a comparatively lightweight floor.

Flexible: Interspan is easily adapted to circular floor plans, where the use of other suspended
flooring systems is difficult. Large floor openings of up to 700mm between ribs are easily

Timber Infills: Timber infill planks are merchant grade rough sawn timber. Timber infills should
be dampened prior to placing the concrete topping. Alternative timber types can be left with an
exposed underside finish to create an architectural feature, e.g. polyurethaned macrocarpa or

Sound Transmission: One of the major features of a concrete floor is the low sound
transmission. The table below shows sound transmission ratings achieved by Interspan.

Transport: Interspan Ribs must be handled and stacked at two points, at, or directly beside
the lifting eyes.

Erection: It is recommended that Interspan ribs be ideally seated 75mm onto the supporting
walls/beams, and bedded on wet mortar, vinyl or plastic bearing strips to ensure an even
bearing at the correct level.
Fire Resistance Rating: Standard Interspan provides a 1 hour fire resistance rating. An increased
fire rating can be achieved with specific design.

Alternative Flooring Systems: Hollowcore and Double Tee’s, are available for longer spans,
and/or heavier loads.

Materials: Rib Strength= 42 MPa at 28 days Topping strength = 20 MPa minimum at 28 days

General: Topping thickness =75mm

Propping = from 1-4 props
Rib centres = 900mm
Fire rating 60 minutes

Hollowcore Floors

Hollowcore is a 1200mm wide extruded, pre-stressed, voided slab unit with a reinforced
concrete topping. Standard unit depths are 200, 300 and 400mm. Units are cut to a c
Hollowcore is a 1200mm wide extruded, prestressed, voided slab unit with a reinforced
concrete topping. Standard unit depths are 200, 300 and 400mm. Units are cut to a customized
length and may have raking ends. Hollowcore is ideally suited for large floor spans with
commercial loading customized length and may have raking ends. Hollowcore is ideally suited
for large floor spans with commercial loading.
Sound Transmission: There are very high requirements for sound insulation in modern multi-
storey residential buildings in many countries. Hollow-core slabs meet this requirement well,
especially against airborne sound transmission. With standard hollow-core slab solutions, the
requirement R’w ≥ 55 dB against airborne sound transmission can be easily achieved.

Lifting and Handling: Hollowcore floor slabs must be handled and supported near their ends at
all times. Fabric strops, purpose made clamps or lifting forks are recommended for installation.
Chains or wire strops can be used but may cause some edge damage. Safety chains must always
be used under units where clamps are used.

Erection/End Seating: A seating length of 75mm is recommended. Top surface of support

should be packed using either damp mortar or a plastic bearing strip. Slabs must be positioned
in contact with neighbouring units (unless otherwise noted). It is recommended to start
placement working from the centre of the building out (where possible) as any construction
tolerance can be spread over both sides of the slab area.

Props: End props must be provided where they are required for stability of edge loaded beams.

Fire Resistance Rating: A standard fire resistance rating of Hollowcore units in the load span
tables is 2 hours. Fire resistance ratings are unrestrained ratings and are based on minimum
strand cover and equivalent concrete thickness requirements.

Shear Capacity: The shear capacity of extruded floor slabs is adequate for the uniformly
distributed loads given in the load/span graphs. Concentrated loads near supports may result in
high shear or strand bond stresses. Extruded slabs are not recommended for highway loadings,
in truck docks or similar areas with high shear loads.

Fastenings and Suspensions: Light fastenings can be fixed in the area between strands by
means of different anchors, bolts and screws. No fastenings must be attached within a 30mm
radius of the pre-stressing strands. Heavier fastenings can be attached either in the joint
between slabs or through the slab itself. The extra load due to suspension must be taken into
account in the design calculations. A suspension point can be made at the joint between slabs
by anchoring a steel rod into the joint concrete using a hook or welded steel piece on the end
of the rod.
Penetrations: Small holes and recesses between strands at the position of the voids are usually
made on the building site. Holes may be circular or rectangular, and up to three are permitted
in the same cross section (two for 300mm and 400mm units). Holes are considered to be in the
same cross-section if they are less than 750mm apart in the longitudinal slab direction. When
making holes, great care must be taken not to damage the slab. It is particularly important that
the pre-stressing strands are not cut or exposed.

Water in Cores: Some construction practices and weather conditions can result in water being
trapped in the cores. Holes may be drilled in the ends of all units to drain this water.

Materials: Strand - Stress relieved 7 wire strand to BS 5896

Topping strength = 20 MPa minimum at 28 days.

Unit strength = 42 MPa at 28 days minimum.

Hollowcore may be designed for other uses such as wall cladding, and retaining
wall structures.
Double Tee Floors

Double Tee flooring units consist of two pre-stressed ribs and a connecting top slab. The ribs
can vary in depth from 200 to 500mm.The connecting slab is 2400mm wide x 50mm thick.
Double Tees are ideally suited for larger spanning floors with a wide variety of services
suspended from the flooring system. Double Tees can easily accommodate large floor
voids/penetrations through the slab region.

Sound Transmission: A major practical benefit of a concrete floor is its ability to reduce noise
transmission. Double Tee concrete floors are quiet and do not creak with temperature and
moisture changes. The table below shows sound transmission ratings achieved by Double Tees.

Material: Double Tee concrete strength = 42 MPa.

Topping concrete strength = 20MPa.
Topping thickness = 65 mm

Fire Resistance Rating: 2400 wide unit = 90 minutes.

Bearing Capacity: Where high shear loads are combined with support beams or walls of low
material strength, a bearing capacity check according to NZS3101 should be made; e.g. masonry
bearing walls.

Lifting: Lift Double Tees only at the lifting points provided. Chains or strops must be of correct
length to carry equal load and must not be more than 300 off vertical.

Storage: Double Tees if stored on site must be supported at their ends on firm ground. Bearers
between layers in a stockpile must be vertically above each other and units of varying length
should not be stacked upon each other. Ensure the bottom bearers are not pushed into the
ground, resulting in the bottom unit being supported near mid span.

Seating: Flange supported Double Tees must be bedded on a sand cement mortar (the
consistency of block laying mortar). This must be evenly spread just prior to the unit being
placed. Double Tee legs should be placed on cement mortar or on plastic bearing pads.

When choosing the right flooring unit for your project, you may need to consider the

Ceiling Profile: Unispan and Hollowcore have a flat unit profile, which may be left uncovered
eliminating the need for a suspended ceiling to achieve a flat look.
Interspan and Double Tees have a stepped profile and are easily fitted with a
suspended ceiling to achieve a flat look. A stepped profile has the advantage of being able to
run services parallel between the vertical ribs.

Floor Loading And Design Services: Each floor unit is individually designed to comply with the
requirements of the New Zealand standards and Building Code. To ensure best practice, our
staff maintains contacts with international professional groups and industry leaders.

Overall Floor Depth: The overall depth of the flooring system will vary depending on the
concrete topping thickness (typically a minimum of 65 mm), flooring unit depth (dependant on
span and load) and the ceiling cavity depth. For residential construction, Unispan is typically the
shallowest flooring unit followed by Interspan. For commercial construction, Hollowcore is
typically the shallowest flooring unit followed by Double Tee's.
Floor Penetrations / Openings: Interspan and Double Tee's can easily accommodate large floor
penetrations. Most penetrations, both large and small can be allowed for in the flooring units
with forward planning and specific design. It is more difficult to accommodate large
penetrations in Unispan and Hollowcore because of the number and location of the pre-
stressing strands in the units. Our designers are able to offer you advice on how best to deal
with each situation.

Floor Finishes: All of the flooring units are typically designed to have a cast in situ concrete
topping. The quality of finish and treatment of the concrete topping surface should be specified
and be compatible with any secondary finishes.

Transportation: Individual flooring units vary in weight and size and normally require trucking
and craneage

On Site Installation And Handling: All of our units require some form of on site mechanical
handling. Crane capacity and site access should be considered when choosing a flooring unit.
Interspan is the easiest and lightest unit to install, followed by Unispan, Hollowcore and Double

Durability: Our standard flooring units can be designed for interior and exterior use. We should
be made aware of the particular conditions at time of placing order. Fire Resistance Flooring
units require different fire ratings depending on their utilisation and location within the
structure. We should be made aware of any special fire rating requirements and our design
team will incorporate these requirements into our design.

Precamber: All of the flooring units are pre-stressed concrete elements. The pre-stressing force
causes the unit to have an upward (positive) precamber. Once the topping concrete is placed,
the precamber will normally reduce to a more level (neutral) position.
Slip Form Method

Slip forming, continuous poured, continuously formed, or slip form construction is a

construction method in which concrete is poured into a continuously moving form. Slip forming
is used for tall structures (such as bridges, towers, buildings, and dams), as well as horizontal
structures, such as roadways. Slip forming enables continuous, non-interrupted, cast-in-place
"flawless" (i.e. no joints) concrete structures which have superior performance characteristics
to piecewise construction using discrete form elements. Slip forming relies on the quick-setting
properties of concrete, and requires a balance between quick-setting capacity and workability.
Concrete needs to be workable enough to be placed into the form and consolidated (via
vibration), yet quick-setting enough to emerge from the form with strength. This strength is
needed because the freshly set concrete must not only permit the form to "slip" by the
concrete without disturbing it, but also support the pressure of the new concrete as well as
resist collapse caused by the vibration of the compaction machinery.

Slip form is similar in nature and application to jump form, but the formwork is raised
vertically in a continuous process. It is a method of vertically extruding a reinforced concrete
section and is suitable for construction of core walls in high-rise structures – lift shafts, stair
shafts, towers, etc. It is a self-contained formwork system and can require little crane time
during construction

This is a formwork system which can be used to form any regular shape or core. The
formwork rises continuously, at a rate of about 300mm per hour, supporting itself on the core
and not relying on support or access from other parts of the building or permanent works.
Commonly, the formwork has three platforms. The upper platform acts as a storage and
distribution area while the middle platform, which is the main working platform, is at the top of
the poured concrete level. The lower platform provides access for concrete finishing.

In vertical slip forming the concrete form may be surrounded by a platform on which
workers stand, placing steel reinforcing rods into the concrete and ensuring a smooth pour.
Together, the concrete form and working platform are raised by means of hydraulic jacks.
Generally, the slip form rises at a rate which permits the concrete to harden by the time it
emerges from the bottom of the form.

In horizontal slip forming for pavement and traffic separation walls concrete is laid
down, vibrated, worked, and settled in place while the form itself slowly moves ahead. This
method was initially devised and utilized in Interstate Highway construction initiated by the
Eisenhower administration during the 1950s.

•Careful planning of construction process can achieve high production rates

•Slip form does not require the crane to move upwards, minimizing crane use.

•Since the formwork operates independently, formation of the core in advance of the rest of
the structure takes it off the critical path – enhancing main structure stability.

•Availability of the different working platforms in the formwork system allows the exposed
concrete at the bottom of the rising formwork to be finished, making it an integral part of the
construction process.
•Certain formwork systems permit construction of tapered cores and towers.

•Slip form systems require a small but highly skilled workforce on site

•Working platforms, guard rails, ladders and wind shields are normally built into the completed

•Less congested construction site due to minimal scaffolding and temporary works.

•Completed formwork assembly is robust.

•Strength of concrete in the wall below must be closely controlled to achieve stability during

•Site operatives can quickly become familiar with health and safety aspects of their job

•High levels of planning and control mean that health and safety are normally addressed from
the beginning of the work.

Other considerations:
•This formwork is more economical for buildings more than seven storeys high.

•Little flexibility for change once continuous concreting has begun therefore extensive planning
and special detailing are needed.

•Setting rate of the concrete had to be constantly monitored to ensure that it is matched with
the speed at which the forms are raised.

•The structure being slip formed should have significant dimensions in both major axes to
ensure stability of the system.

• Standby plant and equipment should be available through cold jointing may occasionally be


Research paper in Alternative Building Construction by Jaballas, Ragene S. (June, 2013;

Sampaloc, Manila)