Having established a cost-effective alternative to insitu concrete
floor slabs, SNS BUILDING SYSTEMS developed wall elements to complement
Hollowcore floors. Initially traditional Precast techniques were used.
cladding was developed to combine the maximum freedom of architectural
expression with the economies of mass production of repetitive precast
elements. This concept functions most effectively when architects consult
with local precast concrete producers in the early design stages, and
through the complete development of the contract documents.
With this precast-specialist
help, proper functional, structural and mechanical features can then be
detailed. The results will accurately reflect material characteristics,
manufacturing and erection efficiencies, cost factors, quality control
standards, and local trade practices. A continuing dialogue between
designer and precaster will ensure the optimum quality of the product, and
its economical, efficient installation at the construction site.
concrete can be cast in almost any colour, form, or texture (within budget
guidelines) to meet aesthetic and practical requirements. Special
sculptured effects can provide such visual expressions as strength and
massiveness or grace and openness. The long-term effects of weathering
often enhance the appearance of properly designed shapes.
Design flexibility is
achieved by varying aggregates and matrix colour, the size of aggregates,
finishing processes, and depth of exposure. Combining colour with texture
accents the natural beauty of aggregates.
Panel geometry (shape
details) has a major influence on fabrication economy and engineering
requirements, with overall size and configuration being the most important
elements. Generally, the smaller the elements, the higher the cost.
Surface textures range
from smooth, through a variety of ribbed, sandblasted and exposed
aggregate finishes. Texture allows the natural concrete ingredients to be
expressed, provides the mass with scale, expresses the
plasticity of the material and improves its weathering characteristics.
freedom of aesthetic expression and economic features achievable with the
use of architectural concrete, are a number of other important functional
and construction advantages.