Architectural concrete

Architectural concrete is a fascinating material that combines function with beauty. Its aesthetic and architectural uniqueness, combined with its structural capacity , charm both architect and builder. Concrete is durable, extremely strong and impact resistant. In addition, it has a high thermal capacity, excellent acoustic insulation and is fire resistance.

The benefits

What are the advantages of architectural concrete? As pioneers and experts, we list them here for you:

  • Everything is possible thanks to the pouring of concrete in liquid form into formworks. The flexible material can be moulded perfectly to any idea.
  • Free choice of function: suspended, self-supporting, single skin or sandwich panel elements.
  • Saving time and costs through industrial prefabrication and assembly and by coordinating just-in-time delivery times with the client's logistical requirementss. In addition, production is not hampered by adverse weather conditions
  • Durable material, resistant to environmental pollution, colourfast thanks to the use of natural granulates, easy to care for and impact resistant

Want to know more? Contact us

Building Function

Thermal insulation

Insulated architectural concrete limits heat losses in winter and at night and creates a pleasant and fresh indoor climate in the summer. Concrete has a large heat capacity due to its high Thermal Mass and therefore an important heat retarding effect. The insulation also prevents any condensation or mould growth. A construction method with insulated concrete sandwich elements and heavy inner walls offers the advantage of a stable inner temperature compared to a light weight construction with an insulated light weight façade and light inner walls.

Acoustic insulation

Acoustic insulation is becoming more and more important and the demands of it are increasing. After all, good acoustic insulation is important for human health. Concrete is known as an excellent insulator against sound pollutions.

Water- and Air tightness

Joint sealing provides total water and air tightness. Different types of joint sealant are possible: a closed joint, a type that is frequently used, and an open or multi-stage joint. Both types require a careful application. Elastic joint sealants are kept to a minimum joint width, depending on the supporting structure.

Technical

Architectural concrete is a traditional reinforced concrete consisting of a specific composition. Decomo takes stability calculations into account at every stage of construction with concrete: during the production process, when stripping and handling, during transport and assembly and in the final state of use.   

We offer solutions for architectural façade elements that can accommodate building movements  due to temperature variations.

We offer solutions for architectural façade elements that can accommodate building movements due to temperature variations between interior and exterior structural elements. Outside, the concrete is constantly exposed to the climate, while inside, the temperature is usually constant. In the case of load-bearing elements, the element itself absorbs these stresses, and movements are limited by providing sufficient expansion joints.

In the case of sandwich panels, the inner and outer concrete skin are connected in such a way that differential movement between the two panels is possible.

The supporting structure of the entire building can also cause movement. Façade elements follow the movement at the façade beam or floor edge. This deflection can be limited by providing the panel fixing points as close as possible to the column locations. .

Colours

Architectural concrete is available in a wide range of colours. Your creativity is given carte blanche.

White grey - Retarding

White grey - Acid etching

White grey - Gritblasting

White grey - Polished

Finishing

Architectural concrete is available in acidified etched, washed, grit blasted and polished finishes. The almost unlimited choice of aggregates and/or pigments ensures the aesthetic durability of the concrete. But also the incorporation of materials such as brick slips, natural stone, tiles, ceramics, etc. can give the building an extra touch.

Finishing  -  

Structured

By applying a negative relief pattern to the formwork, a surface with light or strong relief is obtained.

Also visit www.reckli.net.

Washed

A product that slows down or retards the binding process of the cement is applied to the formwork wall. After demoulding, the concrete surface is treated with water so that the sand grains (or in some cases the coarse aggregates) become visible.

Acidi Etched

The element is treated with a hydrochloric acid solution and then rinsed thoroughly. This will give the surface a fine sandy structure.

Grit Blasted

High-pressure blasting with grit exposes the fine aggregates . With heavy blasting, the coarse aggregates also become visible. This type of finish creates a matt, textured surface.

Polished

Polishing is carried out in several stages, the first of which removes approximately 3mm from the product surface.  An ever finer grinding pad is then used to obtain the required gloss finish.

Brick

Brick slips are placed on the bottom of the formwork and thus cast into into the main elements

Natural stone

Natural stone slabs are placed on the bottom of the formwork and a de-bonding layer is placed on top of the stone before the concrete is poured into the mould. The stone slabs are connected to the concrete by stainless steel pins.

Ceramics

Ceramic tiles are placed in the bottom of the mould. Ceramic tiles with a dovetail key will be cast directly into the concrete panel.  Alternativley, larger tiles can be connected to the concrete backing with stainless steel pins.

Maintenance

Any building material, including concrete, can be affected by contamination and graffiti. Specific design recommendations and preventive treatments give contamination little chance. Post applied-treatments can be carried out by specialised companies, or by Decomo. It is advisable to treat all areas that are at risk from contamination.

As far as graffiti is concerned, the façade is in principle, treated with an anti-graffiti product up to a height of approx. 4 m with a water-repellent product. The treatments are as neutral as possible to avoid discolouration. The façade may still become dirty, but cleaning will be much simplified.
One can opt for:

  • Permanent anti-graffiti treatment: after removal of the graffiti with a solvent, the coating retains all its protective properties;

  • Non-permanent anti-graffiti treatment: after removing the graffiti with a solvent, the coating should be reapplied locally.

Finishing

Which finishing type suits your project?