Concrete

Concrete is a popular choice for large-scale structures. Bridges, tunnels, roads and buildings are all built from the stuff. But, as a construction material, it's not without its problems. Every year billions of pounds are spent maintaining, fixing and restoring concrete structures, £40 billion in the UK alone. We round-up a range of articles looking at concrete as a construction product.

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21 August 2017 | by
Last amended on 23 August 2017

How can we cut the environmental impact of one of construction's most prevalent building materials?

23 February 2017 | by

Typical concrete comprises cement, water, gravel and sand. While this mixture makes the substance hard and strong, it does not promote flexibility. Thus concrete is brittle and prone to cracks if too much weight is applied. What if it could be more bendable?

09 September 2016 | by

A new generation of materials and structures will address concrete damage at various length and timescales.

17 June 2016 | by

Guy Keulemans, Associate lecturer at UNSW Sydney, explores the problem of steel reinforcement, known as rebar, concealed within concrete structures.

The urbanisation process itself is one of the major causes of urban flooding. Here we explore ways of mitigating the impact and show how design and specification choices can make a significant difference.

19 November 2013 | by

This programme will be of benefit to architects, structural engineers, project managers and construction specialists who wish to understand how concrete can be used on walls, columns, slabs and ceilings as a specified architectural finish.

02 September 2013 | by

As well as looking at the properties of rammed earth, or pise, this programme asks whether concrete should be added as a stabiliser, the issue of cost, and along the way we look at some high-profile failures and successes.

17 July 2013 | by

Ronan Point, a tower block in east London which suffered a fatal partial collapse in 1968 due to a gas explosion, was a critical event that changed the way UK engineers considered robustness. This programme, in the context of modern construction practice, takes a look at the relevance of Ronan Point today.

01 June 2013 | by

Pavement lights first appeared in London in the late 1880s in the form of cast iron frames glazed with cut squares of glass.

20 February 2013 | by

Renzo Piano's Shard is the tallest building in Western Europe. This programme looks at how engineers WSP helped the architect realise his design in one of the most constrained sites imaginable. The programme focuses on three main areas: top down construction, the building's hybrid concrete and steel structure and construction of the building's 60m tall spire.

07 October 2011 | by

Whether the ground floor of a house is suspended or filled, it will include either a solid slab or an oversite layer of concrete laid on compacted hardcore directly on the ground. Both hardcore and soil are potential sources of sulfates and other chemicals harmful to concrete. This programme investigates the hardcore components and soil conditions likely to contain sulfates, explains how concrete is affected by sulfate attack and looks at methods used to prevent such damage.

17 July 2011 | by

Eurocode 2 is the new standard for the design of concrete structures. It has been hailed as a robust and rigorous design code, taking a less prescriptive approach to design.

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