Manufacture slabs, panels and flooring of floors and coatings
The aim of this article is to highlight the requirements that may exist for a given building project, and indicate how these requirements should drive the designer towards the most appropriate and cost effective choice of floor system. The range of steel based floor systems is presented in general terms, with the advantages and disadvantages of each system identified so that these can be compared against the requirements of a given project. The article does not go into technical detail about the different types of composite , long span , and shallow floor solutions. Different buildings have different requirements, so not surprisingly there is no 'one size fits all' most appropriate solution. Clearly the requirements vary depending on the type of use, but there are also some more subtle issues to consider and these are highlighted below. It should not be forgotten that when considering intended use, it may be appropriate to pay attention to a different use in the future - many steel solutions offer flexibility that can result in high levels of sustainability over the lifetime of a building.VIDEO ON THE TOPIC: ANSWERED: What Floor Coverings Suit Slab Heating
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Strength, stability and performance: The right floor for your build
When building a home, often very little thought is given to the type of flooring and sub-floor structure used. Yet different sites need different materials, with some being far more appropriate for particular sites. The design of the rest of the house will also help determine the type of floor and sub-floor used. Your architect will have good ideas about the best flooring system to use, based on their experience with the type of building system you are using and the site specifics.
But it helps to have a good understanding of the flooring systems available, so that you can consider the pros and cons of different systems and materials, and ensure that your sustainability or other requirements are met. A soil report will be required which will tell you your soil type and how reactive it is. Reactive soils are soils with a high clay content which swell when wet and shrink as they dry.
This expansion and contraction can cause structural cracking, sinking and other site issues. See www. The level of insulation required for your home will also be a factor in the type of floor you select. If you are in a cold climate then you will need a highly insulated floor, so an insulated slab or a floor on stumps that can be insulated underneath will be required. For detached dwellings, noise transfer up through a ground slab is normally not an issue. Downward noise transfer from an upper level through a suspended slab to the lower level can be a problem, and underslab insulation can reduce this.
The same applies to a floor on stumps—underfloor insulation will reduce noise ingress, especially if the insulation is acoustic grade. Thermal mass must also be considered if your house design makes use of it.
A slab provides high levels of thermal mass, although heavyweight walls on the room-side of the insulation tend to provide better thermal mass both in winter and summer than do concrete ground slabs.
Other floor types can have thermal mass added using a number of methods, from thick ceramic tiles or slate, to adding PCMs phase change materials. If you live in a bushfire zone then fire resistance will be an important consideration.
Cost will also be a factor. What generally make floor structures more expensive are structurally challenging architecture, site slope and requirements for thermal insulation. The flooring in any home consists of the sub-floor system, the structural floor layer and any finished flooring material on top. We cover these separately below, but note that, in many cases, the line between the sub-floor and supporting floor can be blurry, and in some cases there is no line at all—they are the same thing.
Slabs are basically large solid expanses of poured concrete containing reinforcing materials such as steel mesh and reinforcing rods commonly called rebar or reo.
The slab can be a sub-floor and floor structure, with other flooring finishes laid on top, or it can be sub-floor, floor structure and floor finish if it is polished and finished with a clear or coloured lacquer of some sort.
In slabs, the footings are generally integral to the slab. There are a number of different designs of slabs, depending on the site and soil requirements. There are many types of on-ground slabs. The simplest type consists of concrete stiffening beams poured into trenches around the perimeter of the slab, with the rest of the slab being at least mm thick.
With such a slab the footings are integral to the slab. The stiffened raft slab is a type of slab on ground, with additional poured concrete stiffening beams in the middle of the slab for extra strength.
This is a common type of slab in Australia, required because of soil type only the most stable sands can support a slab without the internal stiffening beams or to support the house loads.
Waffle pod slabs are suitable for flat sites and are formed by pouring concrete over polystyrene forms. This produces a slab which is fairly well insulated underneath and contains considerably less concrete and reinforcing than a stiffened raft slab. They are usually cheaper and simpler to install than other slab types, and so are popular in Australia. Waffle pod slabs can be used on soils that are moderately reactive, provided they include foundations via in-ground piers at regular spacings.
However, with this requirement, the economy of waffle pods falls away. A variation on the waffle pod slab is the Cupolex polypropylene dome system, which uses an array of interlinking domes made from recycled plastic in place of polystyrene foam see www.
Advantages include a high level of isolation of the slab from the ground, and the voids under the domes allow for utilities such as wiring and plumbing to be run after the slab has been poured. However, Cupolex slabs have only moderate insulation and thermal mass. The space under the domes can be ventilated to eliminate moisture problems, but air flow under the slab will reduce thermal performance both in winter and summer.
Pier and slab construction is used where more stability is needed due to reactive soils. Concrete piers are sunk below the slab—holes are dug at suitable intervals and filled with reinforced concrete before the slab is poured on to the tops of the piers.
Suspended slabs are another variation on the slab theme. They differ in that they use reinforced concrete panels, cast in-situ or made off-site and transported to the site, which are lifted into place with a crane. They usually sit on supporting walls, so are used between storeys in a multi-storey building, or can be used as the ground-floor slab by installing short supporting walls—particularly useful for uneven blocks, as the supporting walls provide a flat and level support for the suspended slab.
Some suspended slabs are solid, while some have hollow sections to reduce weight and allow the running of services through the slab. The level and direction of reinforcing materials in the slab depends on where the supporting walls are located. The primary advantages with slab construction are that slabs provide a solid, robust floor with a high thermal mass, making them ideal where passive solar design is incorporated to collect solar gain during winter.
However, this thermal mass can work against you in several ways, including holding heat in a home once a cool change has pushed through and increasing lag-time of in-floor heating systems. There are some more environmentally friendly options with lower embodied energy, collectively often known as eco-concrete. See the Concrete and Cement Products Guide at www.
Some environmentally friendly concretes do away with Portland cement altogether, instead using other minerals, such as magnesium oxide. Magnesium oxide cement was developed by Novacem which went into liquidation in and was previously available from TecEco, but this company is no longer trading.
Bear in mind that the majority of all Portland clinker consumed in Australia is manufactured here. Magnesium oxide products are entirely imported, so they have a high transport carbon footprint. Slab-edge insulation can be important to reduce heat loss from the slab in winter, as well as heat ingress from direct sun in summer.
The other common sub-floor system is stump-supported. Stump-supported floors usually consist of a sub-floor of horizontal bearers beams used in flooring are called bearers that support joists a smaller, closer spaced beam on which the flooring material rests.
The bearers in turn sit on stumps which are adjusted in length either by being partially buried, cut or even adjusted, in the case of adjustable screw-jack stumps to all be level with each other. This makes such floors particularly useful when building on uneven or sloping ground. A structural floor layer is laid atop this supporting structure. This lightweight approach has the advantages of usually being lower cost and lower embodied energy than a slab, and is easier to build on a steeply sloping or uneven block.
Further, plumbing and other services can be easily run along the joists. The materials used can vary. Bearers and joists are usually wood, steel or a combination of the two. Wood bearers may be solid wood such as hardwood, but these should be avoided as they are almost invariably from unsustainable forestry operations from local native forest.
Better alternatives are sawn plantation pine of the required strength grade or engineered timber such as laminated-veneer lumber e. Some steel systems consist of rolled sheet steel which is formed to make lightweight but strong bearers and joists. A good example of such a system is the Boxspan system from Spantec Systems, which comes complete with pre-punched screw holes, printed bracket locations and printed joist numbers next to each joist bracket, which correlate with numbers on each joist.
Such a system can reduce sub-floor assembly time compared to a measure-and-cut system using standard-length materials. However, the timber for some of these may be imported from unsustainable sources, so check wood sources. All bearer types have both advantages and disadvantages.
Cold rolled steel is light and strong and has a long lifespan, but has a higher embodied energy than sustainably sourced timber. Hot rolled steel is heavy and requires cranes to install; it has a very high embodied energy, although steel is almost infinitely recyclable. Stumps are usually made from either treated timber, cast concrete or galvanised steel. All modern stumps have a long lifespan, and can be expected to last 50 to years, or even longer. Some bearer and joist systems have matching stump systems from the same manufacturer, so if you choose one of those, the stump choice is made for you.
With the trend towards prefabrication of some or all of a home, prefab floors have also started appearing in domestic home projects. Bearer and joist systems can be provided in pre-cut lengths ready to bolt together, simplifying construction and reducing the build time on-site. These can be particularly useful for multi-storey builds. Sitting atop the sub-floor is the structural floor layer, often called the floor substrate. This sits under the final finished flooring material.
For a bearer and joist sub-floor, you will need to add a structural floor layer. This may be tongue-and-groove particle flooring board, fibre-cement sheet, load-bearing wood or bamboo floorboards some thin boards are meant to be supported by other materials underneath or even more unusual materials such as reinforced AAC autoclaved aerated concrete , such as Hebel PowerFloor.
Here you can see how the floor is assembled, with the sub-floor structure over which the PowerFloor is glued, then the waterproof membrane, adhesive layer and final finish layer of tiles or whatever is desired. Even plantation wood both hardwoods and softwoods are available from plantation sources can have serious problems—after all, plantations may be located where a forest once often quite recently stood.
When looking at wood materials for your home, you want the best certified timber you can find, or to use recycled timber. The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification PEFC is also common, but it is less well-regarded on some compliance criteria by environmental organisations such as Greenpeace www.
Check the Mullum Creek guide for an excellent list of more sustainable timber options for both sub-floor and the structural floor layers: mullumcreek. Some bamboo is of lower quality, being harvested too early or processed the wrong way. These issues may make it prone to damage from being too soft, or from warping and splitting due to moisture. Some cheaper bamboos may also have toxic glues that offgas toxic fumes such as formaldehyde.
There has been some concern that bamboo is replacing hardwood forests in some areas of Asia, so make sure to ask for sourcing information for any bamboo products you buy. Also ask about potential VOCs volatile organic compounds from the glues used to bond the bamboo together, as well as from the varnish used on prefinished bamboo products. Similar issues apply for what is arguably the most common structural floor material—tongue-and-groove particle flooring board.
This is available in various grades and thicknesses, but like regular particleboard is a combination of woodchips and a resin binder, all compressed to form a dense, structurally strong board. Check for potential VOCs from your selected material and also check for water resistance, especially if your floor covering may have potential gaps where water may penetrate underneath during mopping, for example.
These sorts of particleboards can soak up water and will expand and become weak. This not only causes the floor to lift which can be fixed by sanding and resealing if the swelling is minimal , but may result in rotting and mould formation.
When building a home, often very little thought is given to the type of flooring and sub-floor structure used. Yet different sites need different materials, with some being far more appropriate for particular sites. The design of the rest of the house will also help determine the type of floor and sub-floor used. Your architect will have good ideas about the best flooring system to use, based on their experience with the type of building system you are using and the site specifics. But it helps to have a good understanding of the flooring systems available, so that you can consider the pros and cons of different systems and materials, and ensure that your sustainability or other requirements are met.
Flooring is the general term for a permanent covering of a floor , or for the work of installing such a floor covering. Floor covering is a term to generically describe any finish material applied over a floor structure to provide a walking surface. Both terms are used interchangeably but floor covering refers more to loose-laid materials. Materials almost always classified as flooring include carpet , laminate , tile , and vinyl.
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- Понятия не имею.
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Он же знал, что Фонтейн в отъезде, и решил уйти пораньше и отправиться на рыбалку. - Да будет тебе, Мидж.
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Мысли его метались. Он, конечно, с легкостью мог набрать код лифта и отправить Сьюзан домой, но она нужна ему. Она должна помочь ему найти ключ в компьютере Хейла. Стратмор пока не сказал ей, что этот ключ представляет для него отнюдь не только академический интерес.
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Соши смотрела на монитор и читала вслух: - В бомбе, сброшенной на Нагасаки, использовался не плутоний, а искусственно произведенный, обогащенный нейтронами изотоп урана с атомным весом 238. - Черт возьми! - выругался Бринкерхофф.
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Мужчины оглянулись. В дверях стояла Росио Ева Гранада.
Беккер старался не обращать внимания на легкий запах перца. Меган сказала, что, если тереть глаза, будет только хуже. Он даже представить себе не может, насколько хуже. Не в силах сдержать нетерпение, Беккер попытался позвонить снова, но по-прежнему безрезультатно. Больше ждать он не мог: глаза горели огнем, нужно было промыть их водой. Стратмор подождет минуту-другую.
Я ведь тебе уже говорил! - взмолился Хейл, не обращая внимания на вой сирены. - Я шпионил за Стратмором. Эти письма в моем компьютере скопированы с терминала Стратмора - это сообщения, которые КОМИНТ выкрал у Танкадо.