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New guide for suspended


concrete ground floor slabs

Darryl Eddy
Twintec Industrial Flooring
and writing group chairman
for the new ACIFC working

ollowing previously published
guides Guidance on specification,
mix design and production of con-
crete for industrial floors(1), Dry shake
finishes for concrete industrial floors(2)
and Steel fibre reinforced concrete indus-
trial ground floor slabs(3), the Association ABOVE: Figure 1: A finished
of Concrete Industrial Flooring Contrac- steel-fibre-reinforced pile-
supported concrete slab for
tors (ACIFC) are currently working on fur-
B&Q in Hull, Yorkshire.
ther publications which aim to provide the RIGHT: Figure 2: Piles
construction industry with advice and being installed by two piling
guidance on several other flooring related rigs at the Tesco Distribution
topics. Centre, Thurrock, Essex.
One such publication currently being
produced is intended to provide an intro- ferable to suspended ground floor slabs. the latest developments in steel-fibre-
ductory guide to the design and installa- However, at present, there are no docu- reinforcement, both composite systems
tion of suspended concrete ground floor ments dealing specifically with sus- using custom mesh to create ‘virtual’
slabs. It is intended that the document will pended slabs, nor one that discusses many beams with steel-fibre-reinforced con-
provide expert, wide-ranging direction of the interfacing specialist components. crete and systems where only steel fibres
and impartial information that will enable are used. The guide will also contain a
clients, designers and contractors to fully Guide objectives comprehensive list of technical docu-
understand the processes involved and to To provide assistance in this area, the ments and publications that will provide
select the most appropriate solution for working party felt that the objectives invaluable bibliographical information
their project. with this document should be as follows: for designers and contractors.
• to provide awareness of all potential
Increasing use Ground conditions
solutions when designing, building or
of suspended slabs High on the list of items to be discussed
procuring suspended concrete ground
will be ground conditions. Many contrac-
The guide will be produced because the floor slabs
tor members of ACIFC are reporting an
industry has shown that it requires guid- • to encourage the integration of all spe-
alarming absence of accurate informa-
ance on this topic. As the demand for cialist design elements involved in the
tion regarding the ground conditions on
land to develop increases, and brownfield design and construction of suspended
certain projects, and the guide contains
sites become more viable for redevelop- concrete ground floor slabs
suggestions that will assist those involved
ment, it becomes necessary to take • to provide assistance to engineers when
with this aspect of construction. Also dis-
advantage of the appropriate methods checking proprietary design solutions
cussed will be other options open to
available to achieve good long-term per- and to point them toward support infor-
clients when constructing ground floor
formance of the ground floor slabs within mation when doing so
slabs on poor ground, from piling to
such developments. Currently, it is esti- • to highlight recent and ongoing devel-
ground improvement techniques. For the
mated that 20% of industrial concrete opments in materials technology and
piling section, advice has been sought
floors are pile-supported (see Figure 1). design
from the Federation of Piling Specialists.
Publications such as TR34 Concrete • to provide clients with a realistic under-
Their assistance has been invaluable in
industrial ground floors – a guide to standing of the relative features of all
co-ordinating these trades. Members of
design and construction(4), ITN11 The systems.
the Federation agree that their work on
design of ground-supported concrete
Guide contents site has often been less well integrated
industrial floor slabs(5) and TR550
with the floor slab design than would be
Design of floors on ground(6), deal com- The guide will deal with all of the avail-
ideal (see Figure 2).
prehensively with the design and con- able options; from traditional design
struction of ground-supported floor slabs, solutions, using loose steel reinforcing Design
and much of their content relating to bar, to modern methods of using steel, This section will provide a design
materials and workmanship will be trans- such as custom mesh. It will also include overview of each of the options, including

26 September 2003 CONCRETE

an acceptable approach to analysis. As guide will also comment on matters com- together with a suggested procedural
BS 8110-1: 1997 Structural use of con- mon to flooring work in general, for exam- ‘check list’.
crete: code of practice for design and ple, working in the right environment,
construction(7) and the draft Eurocode detailing, placement, finishing, curing, tol- Concluding remarks
2(8) were not written with such options in erances, programme, remedial works and
Individual sections of the guide are cur-
mind, this section will contain guidance maintenance.
rently being produced by the writing
for engineers responsible for checking
Quality control committee, and the first draft is shortly to
proprietary designs such as those put for-
This section will comment on the type of be sent to several industry experts for
ward by steel fibre suppliers. Readers
testing each design option may require, comment. ■
will also be directed to other publications
for verification.
● Should readers wish to contribute to any of these sections, please e-mail your
Materials comments to Darryl Eddy on or Following a
period of consultation, the ACIFC working party will expect to publish the document
While many other documents deal with toward the end of 2003.
the subject of materials used for con-
structing ground bearing concrete floors,
the materials used for suspended ground
floor slabs need to be different in many CONTRACTORS. Guidance on specification, mix design and production of concrete for industrial floors,
respects. This section will consider all the The Society, Crowthorne, 1998, 24pp.
reinforcement, fibres, joints, membranes, CONTRACTORS. Dry shake finishes for concrete industrial floors – an introductory guide, The Society,
Crowthorne, 2001, 24pp.
dry-shake toppings. CONTRACTORS. Steel fibre reinforced concrete industrial ground floor slabs – an introductory guide, The
Society, Crowthorne, 1999, 24pp
Construction issues 4. THE CONCRETE SOCIETY. Technical Report 34 Concrete industrial ground floors – a guide to design and
As in the materials section, this deals with all construction, The Society, Crowthorne, 2003, 146pp.
5. CHANDLER, J. and NEAL F. ITN11 The design of ground-supported concrete industrial floor slabs,
areas involved in the construction process, Cement and Concrete Association, Slough, 1988, 16pp.
with particular attention paid to the problems 6. CHANDLER, J. TR550 Design of floors on ground, Cement and Concrete Association, Slough, 1982, 22pp.
most often experienced on site by ACIFC 7. BRITISH STANDARDS INSTITUTION. BS 8110-1:1997, Structural use of concrete: code of practice for
members. These will include the working design and construction, London, 1997, 172pp.
8 COMITÉ EUROPÉEN DE NORMALISATION. prEN 1992-1-1 Eurocode 2: Design of concrete structures.
platform, damage to piles, slip membrane Part1: General rules and rules for buildings, Revised final draft, Brussels, April 2002.
and gas membrane/venting systems. The

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CONCRETE September 2003 27