There are numerous benefits associated with the use of precast concrete flooring in residential properties.
Precast concrete floors, with the wide range of products available, enable floors to be constructed for all loading conditions without the bounce associated with timber joists. Drying shrinkage is minimal and precast floors do not creak or squeak in use.
Noise within the home is a major source of concern to occupants. Precast concrete floors, used for many years in the construction of flats, are now widely used in single occupancy housing to produce quiet homes.
Flexibility of design
With their high load-carrying capacity and long spans, house floors in precast concrete allow complete freedom of room layouts, with the option to use block partitions on all floor levels. All Precast Flooring Federation (PFF) members provide a full design service, carried out in accordance with BS 8110:1985 The Structural Use of Concrete.
As the structural elements of the floor are delivered to site ready for use and only simple installation techniques are required, floors are quickly installed ready for the following trades. Typically, a team can complete floors of three houses in one day
Immediate safe working platform
As soon as the precast elements are installed the floor can safely be used as a working platform, allowing the inner leaf of walls and block partitions to commence.
Quality is of prime concern for designers, developers, builders and ultimately home owners. Close control of quality in all PFF members’ factories ensures that quality on site is not compromised.
Precast floors offer a fire resistance ranging from a full half hour to two hours depending on the floor type. Where necessary they can all be simply upgraded.
Services required in houses are normally accommodated within the small ceiling void or the floor finish. Alternatively, unobtrusive box skirtings may be used. Vertical service runs are easily formed by drilling on site or, when larger openings are required, by omitting a block or pot. Large openings in hollowcore units are normally formed in the factory to meet site requirements.
Ceilings and finishes
Direct finishing of the soffit of hollowcore and beam and pot floors is possible but usually precast floors have a ceiling of plasterboard fixed to low cost proprietary metal sections or to timber battens which are secured with simple self-tapping anchors. The floor surface can be either in situ screed or a timber overlay.
MPA Precast is part of the Mineral Products Association, the trade association for the aggregates, asphalt, cement, concrete, dimension stone, lime, mortar and industrial sand industries. www.mineralproducts.org
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