Our ground beam projects are mainly based on reinforced concrete cast on site as opposed to using preformed concrete beams. In situ working has the advantage of forming beams which precisely fit the requirements of the site, and avoids issues of site access for trucks unloading large beams.
The load calculations determine whether the ground beams are installed in an excavated trench or are installed over supporting piles. Where piles are specified, we use our piling expertise to create a permanent supporting structure.
We install reinforcing material to meet the load bearing requirements of the ground beam, using void forming or compressible materials where necessary to withstand the forces which the beam needs to bear. Once the reinforcement has been passed by the inspection authorities, we concrete the beam to form a permanent base for the building.
If the project involves using an existing concrete floor, we will install shuttering adjacent to the floor to provide structural support. The shuttering is three-sided and forms moulds for concrete beams to strengthen the building structure.
For concrete slabs, we use formwork on site to create shuttering for the floor. The shuttering is usually temporary and made with treated plywood, to be removed after the slab is set.
Simple slabs can be built with supporting caps, but more often we use beams to support the load. Beams can be supported on two sides or four sides, depending on the load requirements. We work on slabs which run across the entire base of a building, or smaller slabs used for individual areas. We often form slabs over steel grids with reinforced concrete to provide strength and durability to the floor.
Beam and block floors involve the laying down of lines of concrete beams formed in an upside down T-shape, followed by infilling with rectangular concrete blocks which rest on the beams to create a level floor.
The beams are usually supported by external walls or internal load bearing walls. The floor can be finished with grout to fill in any gaps between the blocks and beams. The floor is then ready for finishing with any flooring material or screed.
We often use poured concrete for laying floors. It is generally a question of preparing and compacting the aggregate under the floor area, installing water resistant membrane and damp courses and calculating the amount of concrete required.
Once the concrete mix is poured over the floor, it needs levelling and finishing, either with flooring material or, in line with modern trends, with a concrete polisher for a smooth shiny surface.