Defining and Refining Polished Concrete

Hiperfloor premium reflectiveHC550-0142

French-American architect Paul Philippe Cret once said, “Of the many doorways we pass in a short walk, most are fulfilling their purpose, most of them are well-enough built. [But] how many are worth a second look?” Cannot the same be said about architectural polished concrete? Are your floors meeting your design intent or did you settle? Do you know how to distinguish between the floor you asked for, and the floor being presented to you during the punch list?

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Selecting Polystyrene Foam Where Moisture Exposure Occurs


The purpose of building insulation is to reduce heating and cooling energy consumption, contribute to durability, and provide comfort for occupants. However, there are numerous locations where significant exposure to moisture—which severely affects a material’s thermal performance—occurs, such as in protected membrane roofs, vegetative assemblies, below grade, and frost-protected shallow foundations (FPSFs).

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Out of Sight, Not Out of Mind: Specifying thermal insulation below-grade and under-slab

All photos courtesy Insulfoam

Balancing performance and cost for insulation installed on below-grade foundation walls and under floor slabs can require specifiers to rethink common assumptions about rigid foam insulation. Misperceptions about the moisture absorption of expanded polystyrene (EPS) compared to extruded polystyrene (XPS) may be limiting more cost-effective choices. Test results demonstrate the long-term durability and moisture resistance of EPS insulation and the stability of its thermal performance. In many applications, substituting a strong and adequate, yet lower compressive resistance insulation, can result in significant cost savings.

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Specifying ‘Greener’ Concrete Infrastructure

All photos courtesy CTS Cement Manufacturing Corp.

The use of rapid-setting calcium sulfoaluminate (CSA) cement reduces the amount of energy and carbon dioxide emissions associated with portland cement production. It also requires less limestone—the primary source of carbon dioxide released during the chemical sintering process. Consequently, the material can play a significant role in improving the sustainability of construction materials by simply reducing the quantity of non-renewable resources used during manufacturing. The use of resources is just one part of the equation. Durability—or lifecycle—is the other.

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