Category Archives: Books

Why is Concrete a Good Material?

Building owners won’t have to worry about constant repairs or maintenance with concrete as a construction material. A cost-effective, sustainable option for both residential and commercial buildings, concrete is versatile, long-lasting, and durable.

DURABLE

When concrete is used in construction, it will last a lifetime.  Concrete is a material that gets stronger over time. Concrete’s 100-year service life conserves resources by reducing the need to rebuild. The durability, resistance to weathering, erosion, and natural disasters of concrete make it an excellent investment. It also requires little maintenance and little repair on the building, resulting in a solid return on investment.

SAFE

In addition to being safe and secure, concrete is also healthy. Concrete does not burn since it is an inert building material. Moreover, it is not a breeding ground for rot and mildew. A low-emission product with excellent indoor air quality that doesn’t emit volatile organic compounds. Airborne pollutants such as pollen, dust, and other pollutants are prevented by good construction.

For designers, engineers, and contractors, concrete is a known quantity. Contrary to new materials or systems that could compromise health and safety, concrete resurfacing techniques have been refined over time and are well understood.

Concrete’s structural integrity provides additional protection against earthquakes and severe weather. The solid construction of concrete and its thermal mass provides superior protection from the effects of outdoor temperature changes, resulting in a draft-free interior environment and consistent room temperatures throughout the year.

It is important to have a peaceful and quiet building so that the occupants are comfortable and feel private – good walls and floors make a big difference.

 

ECONOMICAL

Over a building’s lifecycle, operations typically consume 85% of all the energy a building consumes. Building energy-efficient structures with concrete is one of the most efficient and cost-effective methods available.

 

Over 20% of the total building cost can be saved through a sustainable concrete building. In concrete buildings, most of the energy can be captured from solar energy and lighting fixtures, for example. Also, thermal energy from the building can be captured.

 

SUSTAINABLE

Those who are environmentally conscious look for durable building materials that leave the least environmental impact. A long lifespan and the availability of locally available, abundant materials make concrete a responsible choice for a sustainable future.

 

From beginning to end, recycling is an integral part of the concrete life cycle. The cement kiln and concrete mixes can be altered by using wastes and industrial byproducts that would otherwise end up in landfills. The recycled material can be used to make new concrete by being ground down or used as aggregate in roadbeds.

 

By using supplementary cementing materials and heating the cement kilns with waste products, 210 kilograms of CO2 are avoided during conventional concrete production. In addition, the carbon footprint of concrete is further reduced thanks to continued research and development. Portland-limestone cement (PLC) is referred to in the 2010 National Building Code. The manufacture of PLC reduces CO2 emissions by about 10% compared to portland cement, and the resulting concrete is as strong and durable as conventional cement. Another recent development is the development of new photocatalytic cement, which binds nitrogen and sulfur oxides in the air into insoluble salts, reducing urban smog. Additionally, these properties reduce the need for exterior cleaning of buildings significantly.

 

The optimal use of concrete for energy efficiency

The thermal mass of a concrete structure can reduce heating and cooling energy requirements by more than 29% when combined with active radiant heating and cooling systems.

 

Cobalt Engineering reports that heavy frame buildings (concrete) produce energy savings ranging from 20 to 25% compared to light-frame buildings (wood) in various locations across Canada.  A Stantec Consultants report compares the energy use of a building constructed in the 1960s with one built using modern energy-efficient thermal mass concepts. The  University of British Columbia studied the effects of this type of concrete building on energy consumption, comparing it to older designs of similar buildings without active energy systems.

Governments and developers use concrete buildings to meet sustainability goals. “Green roof” projects can be easily supported because they reduce urban heat islands.

Do you need a quote for a precast concrete project? Contact Concrete resurfacing Wichita KS today to start the conversation.

 

The 10 Most Surprising Concrete Facts You’ve Never Heard Of

We get excited about helping project managers, supervisors, and owners complete their concrete construction projects. Moreover, it is gratifying to see how very simple concrete walls can achieve so much.

Throughout this article, we are going to share 10 surprising facts that you’ve probably never heard before. By providing you with this information, we want to make you aware of the many benefits concrete provides that most people take for granted or do not realize at all.

Modern life would be impossible without concrete. Concrete is used in some way in all of the buildings we live and work in. Concrete construction is used for a wide range of purposes, including kitchen counters and skyscraper foundations. Moreover, concrete was used as a building material in antiquity as well. It has been estimated that some of these walls lasted over 2,000 years before going into decay. Concrete walls are strong and durable and can last for several decades if they are properly designed, manufactured, and engineered.

The 10 Surprising Facts about Concrete

After learning the historical importance of concrete, here are some facts you may not know:

#1. Reinforced concrete is fire- and water-proof

Concrete is one of the most widely used building materials today. Due to its slow thermal conductivity, concrete does not move heat well, so it serves as a good fire shield. Consider the image of a large building on fire. The foundation and concrete structure is mostly what’s leftover.

Aside from that, concrete is highly water-resistant. Certain types of concrete mixes and membranes can make concrete virtually waterproof. In light of this, concrete easily fits at the top of the list for being the best material for building.

#2. The best highway building material is concrete

Concrete is an effective material for building roads, highways, and thruways. It’s a strong, durable, and some might say flexible material that can be shaped and formed to fit almost any need. In the United States, nearly 30% of all highways are made from concrete. Concrete, though more expensive than most other materials, lasts a lot longer than asphalt and requires much less maintenance.

More importantly, concrete mixes can be customized to fit the needs of the project, making it a popular choice for building roads, highways, and thruways.

#3. Concrete highways were constructed for the first time in 1909

Construction began on the first mile of the concrete highway in Detroit, Michigan. Concrete was used to construct this part of the highway for the first time in the United States. Woodward Avenue now lies within northwest Detroit. Road construction for the mile-long road cost under $14,000, and it was built by the Wayne County Road Commission. Can you guess who was a part of this commission? It was Henry Ford who founded Ford Motor Company. Until this section of highway was built, roads were made of dirt, brick, cobblestone, or a mix of stone and tar.

#4. The history of concrete in Antiquity

Since ancient times, concrete has been used in a variety of building applications. Everything from roads to skyscrapers. An interesting fact is the Romans used a mix of concrete that allowed their buildings to stand for thousands of years. The interesting thing is that Vitruvius, a Roman civil engineer, described the different types of “pozzolana” as black, white, grey, and red. These were the types of concrete pastes used to bind the materials in concrete mixes. Greeks discovered this useful blend, but Romans are attributed with introducing it at scale.

#5. Concrete Listening Ears

The British Army designed, developed, and deployed what is called listening ears during World War II. As an alternative to radar, parabolic acoustic mirrors were used to locate incoming aircraft, before Sir Robert Watson-Watt invented radar. The British Army relied on these listening ears to prepare and respond to incoming aircraft so that they could do their best to deal with them.

#6. Cement and concrete are different

During the mixing process, 60-65 percent of the mixture will aggregate such as sand, gravel, and crushed stone, 15-20 percent of it will be water, and the remaining 10-15 percent will be cement. Cement and water harden, which binds the other ingredients, resulting in the concrete we know today. The idea that sidewalks are made of “cement” has been perpetuated for years. Realistically, cement represents only a small percentage of a mixture’s binding capabilities.

#7. The indoor use of concrete

You probably envision buildings, roads, and dams when you think of concrete. Structures are constructed primarily from concrete. In addition to all this, concrete can also be used for interior remodeling. Concrete can be used for countertops, sinks, fireplaces, and more to create a modern, sleek look. The surface can also be customized with texture, so you aren’t left with an uneven surface because of the texture.

#8. Reinforced Concrete Is Used Underwater

In addition to being virtually waterproof, concrete mixtures can also be powdered. Concrete with cement as an aggregate performs amazing things, such as not deteriorating underwater. As a result, piers, tunnels, sewer works, and more can be built. How does concrete come out on top of steel and wood underwater? Mixing pozzolanic concrete, similar to the way the Romans mixed cement. In this mixture, water is highly resistant (waterproof).

 #9. Concrete Is Impressively Strong In Compression

A concrete’s compression strength is impressive compared to that of other materials. As an example, wood has a PSI strength of approximately 1,000. Between 2,500 and 7,000 PSI are the strengths of concrete mixtures. That’s more than two to seven times stronger than the average wood. As high as 20,000 PSI can be achieved in some cases by concrete compression.

#10. The most popular material in the world is concrete

You might be surprised to learn concrete is the most commonly used material on the planet. Materials are available nearly everywhere for their simple mix. Globally, almost 20 billion tons are used annually.

Do you need a quote for a precast concrete wall project? Contact Concrete Contractor Greensboro NC today to start the conversation.

A Guide To Choosing A Construction Company

Approximately 120,0000 new homes are built annually in the United States by thousands of home builders and construction companies, according to figures from the National Association of Home Builders.

In their quest for a trustworthy construction company that can complete their project with minimal hassle at an affordable price, both first-time homeowners and individuals building their homes often face the same challenge.

No matter how large or small your home building project is, selecting a construction company is a very important decision that should be carefully considered.

In general, construction companies provide a one-stop service, which means they oversee your building project from start to finish. All phases of your building project will be handled by them, including obtaining building permits, hiring and supervising subcontractors, working with designers and architects, and scheduling inspections and examinations.

Construction companies aren’t all created equal, so keep this in mind. These tips will help you pick the right construction company:

  1. The construction company should provide you with paperwork and samples of their work as proof of their professionalism. Bills, bids, and contracts must be clear and detailed.
  2. Learn how the construction company handles communication efficiently. Call them and see if they return your calls promptly.

Construction companies or contractors should be readily available when you need them. The use of pagers, radios, home phones, and mobile phones is a good accessibility indicator.

  1. When building or remodeling, find out if you can see the current work in progress. Consult with the homeowner to learn if the service and work of the contractor are to their satisfaction.
  2. Inquire about the number of construction projects similar to yours that they have completed to determine if they are experienced in the field.
  3. Ensure that all employees are covered by workers’ compensation insurance as well as a minimum of 1,000,000.00 dollars in contractors’ general liability insurance.

As homeowners, you must obtain this insurance to protect you from any liability. Examine their insurance certificate.

  1. Ensure your prospective construction company is able to handle and complete the project. Still, having a great deal of work is an indication of success. Ensure that they have the time to work on your project and are not overbooked.
  2. Make sure that you are clear about your expectations and that you are honest about your budget when you choose a construction company. It is important to communicate constantly. Meetings should be scheduled in advance.
  3. Decide what you want, then put it in writing. You have to remember that anything that is not clearly defined can always be manipulated and disputed.

Outlining your project in writing allows you to discover any phases you may have missed in addition to having a clear expectation and definition for your construction company to refer to.

  1. Don’t give your contractor a large payment upfront because they will no longer be motivated to finish the project or even begin it. As a rule, you only need to pay 10 percent for a down payment.

Contract

  1. Be sure to include all aspects that the building project involves, such as the specifications, quantities, thickness of the materials, costs, as well as the exact date of completion.
  2. Make sure you fully understand all terms of the contract, including warranty and guarantee obligations.
  3. Your construction company should be insured, licensed, bonded and their address and company name should be displayed clearly on your contract.
  4. If for any reason you aren’t sure about anything, have an experienced individual study the contract so that they can give you further guidance.

Through your process of searching and investigating, comparing one element with another, you keep returning to Concrete Contractor Lincoln NE, because all of their information is clear and forthright, their pricing matches your budget and their design plans match what you have told them.

The Care and Maintenance of a Septic System

Maintaining a septic tank is not just for those who live on a farm. You might be surprised to learn how many city dwellers need septic tank maintenance as well. Septic systems are in use across the nation, even among rural residents who typically have no sewer connection.

It’s not hard to maintain your septic system, because even upgraded systems function efficiently when you follow a few basic guidelines. 

Installing properly

Install your septic system properly to avoid problems down the road. You will be asked to conduct a soil and percolation test when you apply for a building permit to verify that your site is suitable for a sewage system.

Your building site will also be inspected by inspectors to ensure that the property meets the requirements for a non-problematic septic system.

Keep it from getting overloaded

Septic tanks and systems can be kept in good shape by performing a few regular maintenance procedures. Make sure the toilet and faucets are not leaking and that any necessary repairs are made. Look for additional leaks by crawling under your house periodically or by checking your basement, if you have one.

Utilize aerators on faucets, flow-reducing showerheads, and reduce the amount of laundry you do by lowering the water level. In addition, you might want to buy energy-efficient appliances. When running your dishwasher, wait until it is full or do a shorter cycle to use less water.

You can reduce the water required to flush the toilet by using a displacer, such as a brick. Alternatively, upgrade the toilet to a modern low-flow model.

Garbage should be disposed of properly

Garbage disposals can double the number of solids added to a septic tank. Do you really need garbage disposal? To scrape plates into a plastic bag, tie it up, and throw it outside is not much more difficult or time-consuming. Replace your disposal with a top-of-the-line unit that grinds food into smaller particles that are easier for your septic system to digest.

Reduce the use of heavy-duty cleaners

When heavy-duty cleaners are used unnecessarily, they kill the beneficial bacteria in a septic tank, so there is less breakdown of solids. It is best to avoid them or use them as little as possible.

Make sure the system is protected

Do not drive over the drain field, build a structure on top of it, cover it in concrete or asphalt, or allow livestock to roam over it. It should be planted with grass. Soil erosion will be minimized.

Keep trees at least 100 feet away from septic systems to prevent root damage. Willows, for example, have very aggressive roots and should be placed even farther from the system.

Liquid waste won’t be neutralized by a soggy drain field either. It’s important to plan landscaping, roof gutters, and foundation drains in such a way that excess water is diverted from the septic field.

Maintain your equipment regularly

Septic Service Tulsa OK is a prime example where the old saying that prevention is better than cure is particularly relevant. Pump your lungs regularly.

There will always be a time when solids must be pumped from the tank. A family of four with a 1,000-gallon septic tank is advised to pump the tank after three to five years of full-time use. Don’t rely solely on the calendar to decide when to pump. Other experts suggest you can wait months between pumping operations.

It’s time to clean when the bottom of the scum begins to collect within three to twelve inches of the outlet. Ensure the situation is checked once a year at the very least.

What to do if there is a problem

Even if you put in diligent care and efforts, your system might still go toes up. It’s pretty hard to ignore the signs. Observe the drain field and keep your nose to the ground. Whenever there is sewage bubbling up, you will definitely smell it. There is no need to be repulsed by all signs of system failure. There may also be something wrong if your grass and weeds are suddenly growing like crazy.

Of course, you’ll know there’s a problem if you experience plumbing backup. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a complete logjam, either. A slowdown in draining and gurgling sounds can be clues, too. Keep accurate records of each time you have your system serviced and when there’s a problem. It will come in very handy the next time you have to call a professional for help.

Never attempt to open a septic tank yourself if this isn’t your area of expertise. It contains dangerous gases and bacteria.

 

A Termite Barrier Brisbane Installers Set Up Helps Keep Your Home Safe

A Termite Barrier Brisbane Installers Set Up Helps Keep Your Home Safe

Out of all the pests that can infest a home and cause damage, termites happen to be one of the worst. In fact, you can make a case for them being the worst. There are bed bugs and a few other ones that wreak havoc on a home and its inhabitants, but think about the structural damage that termites can cause. There are effective termite treatments, but a focus on prevention is key when it comes to these pests. The reason for that is by the time you realize your home has a termite problem, the critters could have left behind much damage to your home already.

When focusing on termite prevention, you might want to consider termite barriers. When it comes to a termite barrier Brisbane installers want you to know that it can help keep the termites away. It’s an effective part of treatment and prevention. If you are talking with a pest control company about termites and these barriers aren’t mentioned, bring them up. When it comes to a termite prevention, the pest control company should be discussing all of your options with you.

If you decide to opt for a termite inspection Brisbane installers can handle the job quickly and easily. It’s about doing everything you can to keep the termites away. The foundation of your home and many other parts of your home could be at risk if you don’t take termites seriously. You might as well look at every option you have.

Have you seen any termites lately? Maybe you thought you saw one, but you’re not sure. You don’t want to play the guessing game with these critters. If you’re not sure and haven’t had a pest control company inspect your home for termites, then maybe you better get some answers. It’s better to be safe than sorry, right?

Brisbane termite inspections

#TermiteBarrierBrisbaneInstallersSetUpHelpsKeepYourHomeSafe

Solar Energy In Western Australia For Libraries – Finding Installation Companies

If you are currently located in Western Australia, and you are thinking about installing some type of solar panel or solar array, this is something that many companies in the area can do for you. Whether you are living in a large city like Perth, Albany or even Kalgoorlie, there should be companies that will be willing to come out to your location to help you out. You will want to call several different businesses to get estimates from each one, making sure that you are getting the lowest price. Price, however, is not the only factor to consider. You need to consider their longevity in the community, how long they have actually been in this industry, and what type of guarantees they offer. Let’s look at how you can find Western Australia solar power companies that can come out to your location to help you start generating free electricity from the sun.

Why Libraries Should Go Solar

One of the reasons that people are moving more toward solar energy is because of the efficiency at which these solar panels now operate. In the past, it was very difficult for a business or individual to justify the cost of solar panels because they simply did not produce enough electricity. Today, these photovoltaic cells have become much more efficient, and it is even possible to generate more electricity than you need, selling it back to the electric company. This is actually something that many electric companies bank upon, hoping to have enough energy to supply their customers during the peak season, which people with solar panels can often help them with. Not only do they supply them with additional electricity, but they also help with offsetting how much is needed in the community. You can actually find great financing options using certain companies, a great way to start paying less on your utility bills.

Locating The Best Company

The easiest way to get a company to provide you with the best deal is to take advantage of the sales that they are often running. Most people don’t understand how easy it is to save hundreds or thousands of dollars on an installation, and once they have their solar array in place, the will wonder why they never had one before. Solar energy in Western Australia is becoming more popular, and therefore the prices for installations are definitely going down. Take advantage of the savings that you can get, not only on the installation price, but in the cost of running all of your electrical appliances at your home or office by getting solar panels installed.

Another solar panels installation in Perth WA

The Best Novel to Read

Are you looking for a good read? Little Women is the best novel to read. It was written by Louisa May Alcott, who was an American novelist in the 19th century. Published in 1868, Little Women is a classic historical fiction novel, which is just as popular today as it was back then. In Little Women, Alcott whisks us away almost 200 years ago to the Civil War. We journey with her back in time when there were no modern conveniences. Social graces and manners were instilled at an early age. Hard work and determination were the means of survival. Injustices like poverty, sickness, and civil rights were prevalent.

Many things were different back then, but the underlying issues are still the same. The life experiences in Little Women are relocatable to us in our present day, which makes it one of the most timeless books ever written. Louisa May Alcott based Little Women on some of her own life experiences with her parents and three sisters in Concord, Massachusetts at their lovely home called Orchard House. She chronicles the lives of Jo March and her three sisters, Meg, Beth, and Amy. These adoring characters share a home with their father Robert, who has recently gone off to fight in the Civil War, and their mother Margaret, whom they affectionately call “Marlee”.

The March Parents encourage their daughters to utilize their intelligence and stand up for social injustice. They instill family values, self-worth, and integrity. They nurture a passion and love for other people. Even today, parents can aspire to be like Robert and Margaret March. The March Sisters mirrored the personalities of the Alcott Family. Louisa was much like Jo March, the main character in Little Women. Like Louisa, Jo has a passion for writing, drama, and justice. Her parents encourage their daughters to utilize their intelligence and stand up against social injustice. Meg is the typical oldest child. She is next in charge when Marlee is away, caring for the home and family. Beth is a gentle, selfless soul, whose compassion for others is like none other. Amy is the typical youngest child, a bit spoiled and at times selfish, but the most determined to reach her dreams.

There are many other interesting characters in Little Women. The March Sisters befriend an orphan boy, who is the grandson of their neighbor Mr. Laurence. They become close friends with Teddy “Laurie” Laurence, and he plays a large role in their lives throughout the novel. Great-Aunt March is a colorful character in the novel. She is a wealthy widow, who is all to generous with her opinions on how Marlee raises her girls. The March Sisters meet many people throughout the novel, like the Hummer Family, John Brooke, and Friedrich Haber, who dramatically affect their lives and touch their hearts. Little Women will take you on a heartwarming journey of laughter, grief, friendship, tears, defeat, triumph, heartbreak, reconciliation, joy, and family. It is the best and most cherished novel of all time.

The best book to read – The Shining by Stephen King

One of Stephen King’s best works, and among the all-time scariest books, The Shining is the best book to read in the horror fiction genre. The book published in 1977, is King’s bestseller that cemented his place as the king of horror. From the introduction of the central characters – the specially gifted child Danny, his father – the obsessive, recovering alcoholic and struggling writer Jack Torrence, the strong but worried mother Wendy Torrence, Stephen King shines in every page.

There is suspense, anticipation and raw fear – each feeling overpowering the other that makes the book a compulsive page turner! On Jack’s job assignment as the caretaker of the Overlook Hotel in Colorado, their family moves to the hotel for the off season when it is deserted and cut off from the world. The child Danny has the exceptional psychic ability called “the shining” – the gift of visualizing the Overlook Hotel’s horrific past and his father’s violent overtures in the future. The book makes even the most rational of readers to rethink about paranormal forces and extrasensory perceptions.

But what strikes one most while reading this book is the brilliant inter-twining of the surreal with the very real problem of alcoholism. The father’s alcohol addiction combined with his all-consuming ambition to become a phenomenal writer makes him scarier than the ghosts in the Overlook Hotel – the perfect setting where the horror unfolds. Whether Jack succeeds in his struggle against alcoholism and writer’s block or does the liquor get the better of his senses forms the crux of the plot.

Stephen King’s intelligent use of a child’s extrasensory power in expressing views about marriage, divorce, career and alcoholism gives simple but lucid insights into these complex issues. A child’s world is one where words are few and filled with visuals, sounds and imaginary characters. Through the child’s eyes, King presents each element of the Overlook Hotel in detail, painting a mental image of what Danny feels and sees in his mind.

When Danny sees the word RE DRUM repeatedly in his dreams without knowing its reference to alcohol (Red Rum) – the monster that is about to destroy his family, we can’t help but feel his angst and helplessness that we almost want to shout out to Danny what it means and help him out! Such is the overpowering effect of the horrors that King inflicts upon this young child. If you’re looking for an arresting read, this is definitely one!