Design and Construction of Concrete Floors

Design and Construction of Concrete Floors

Concrete floors lie all around us. Every building has a floor, and in most
industrial and commercial buildings that floor is made of concrete. Many
houses also have concrete floors.
Regrettably, many of those floors fail to do their job. Floors are responsible
for more user complaints than any other building element except roofs.
Good floors exist, but they seldom appear by accident. They require
good design, which requires a philosophy, by which I mean a coherent,
integrated way of looking at a subject. Too often, a floor design is a jumble:
a list of national standards, some clauses borrowed from the last project
manual and a few heavily promoted, proprietary products. That is no way
to do the job.

This chapter sets out the philosophy on which the rest of the book is
based. The essential ideas are these:
● A floor has a dual role. It is part of a building, but it is also part of the
building user’s equipment.
● A floor must be designed around the user’s needs and wishes.
● Floor designers should not focus narrowly on structural strength, but
must consider other important properties of the floor.
● Good design requires equal attention to five factors: floor usage; structural
strength; properties of the concrete itself; cracks and joints; and
properties of the floor surface.
● Performance specifications usually work better than method specifications.
● Single-course floors usually work better than double-course floors.
● National standards should be used with care.
● Lessons from roadbuilding should be applied to floor construction.
● Remedies for bad work should be specified before the bad work occurs.


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