Concrete is engineered stone. It’s a material that is a necessity in modern buildings and infrastructure. Concrete slabs form the structural base of each floor in most commercial buildings. There’s a concrete slab acting as a strong, consistent barrier between the ground and the lowest floor of most houses. Everywhere vehicles are stored, including residential garages, there’s normally a concrete slab, and concrete pavement is the longest lasting surface for roads and driveways.
From the point of view of sustainable construction, concrete has its advantages and disadvantages. However, functionally, there is no substitute for it when it comes to performance and ease of construction. Concrete surfaces are already ubiquitous, and they’re going to continue to be building industry staples.
Sustainability is partly about the efficient use of materials. Each material that’s added to a building needs to be extracted from the Earth, manufactured into its final form and transported to each of its destinations. Each step of that process uses energy and results in greenhouse gas emissions. That’s why the efficient use of materials is an important consideration in green building. Using polished concrete as a finish material means that there’s no additional flooring needed: no wood, no carpeting and no tile requiring replacement every 10 to 20 years. In most interior applications, a concrete floor will last almost indefinitely. Polished concrete floors save energy and emissions because they allow a structural material to double as a finished floor.
To learn more about the many options for polished concrete floors, take a look at the gallery and the articles on the Concrete Rejuvenating Company’s website, which can be found at http://crcconcretepolishing.com.au/. CRC is a Melbourne-area business with almost 20 years of experience making both new and existing concrete surfaces into beautifully finished floors that will last for many decades with no waste and no new materials.
Concrete polishing sounds like a dry and specialised topic, but in fact, it’s the gateway to a myriad of exciting concrete design possibilities. Think about a concrete surface. Maybe a garage floor comes to mind, or the surface of a paved street. Roughly finished concrete is grey, rough and often cracked. It is not considered by most people to be a beautiful surface. However, a concrete surface that has been finished by grinding and polishing is another matter altogether.
The most straightforward polished concrete finishes simply take advantage of the material’s subtle natural beauty. A clean and smooth grey concrete surface polished and finished to perfection looks efficient and impressive. This type of floor is often used in automotive showrooms and high tech factories. However, it’s only the simplest of the many design options offered by polished concrete.
The most striking examples of polished concrete are based on exposed aggregate and/or the use of dyes and other finishes that add colour and gloss. An aggregate is a material that is embedded in the concrete itself; ordinary concrete is made from Portland cement, sand, water and aggregate. Usually, the aggregate is simply gravel or another hard, local material. When concrete is polished, the aggregate can be exposed. Of course, a stone like marble or granite can make an attractive exposed aggregate. However, more imaginative choices like metal components and coloured glass can turn a concrete floor into a work of art. Similarly, concrete dyes and colorants can mimic other materials and create pictures and patterns in the surface of the slab.
For more information on the design potential of polished concrete, refer to http://crcconcretepolishing.com.au/. The Concrete Rejuvenating Company is a Melbourne business that specialises in polished concrete. They can design new concrete surfaces and make existing slabs look beautiful. Their gallery shows examples of many design options, and they are always looking for creative new projects.