Post-Tensioned Buildings

Buildings with monostrand unbonded tendons post-tensioned slabs are becoming a widely used application of prestressed concrete. This method achieves performance and construction improvements over other construction methods. However, in order to reap the benefits of this method, proficiency is required in both structural design and construction. Post-tensioned slabs is a preferred method for industrial, commercial and residential floor slab construction. The increasingly extensive use of this method is due to its advantages and its nature of easy application to a wide variety of structure geometry and design solutions. Prestressed floor systems using monostrand tendons may be designed as either one or two way slab systems, and may be flat plate, flat slab waffle slab, or other slab sections. The prestressing is achieved by individually tensioning tendons, placed within internally greased protected plastic sleeves, arranged in the slab prior to casting. Compressive stresses are applied to the concrete via tendon anchors. Prestressing is performed within three to seven days of casting. Unlike the multi-strand system (which is primarily suited for beams and girders) the monostrand method allows prestressing of slabs as thin as 15cm. while maintaining vertical optimal curvatures for the structure. The monostrand system is also simpler, requires less in site organization, and is more forgiving to construction variances.

I. Stern - Y.D.E. Engineers, LTD , 15 Gershon Street, Tel Aviv 67017, Israel. Phone: 972-3-5611150, Fax: 972-3-5611087, Email: Website:

Advantages afforded by unbonded slab prestressing as compared with alternative designs include:
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Increased speed of construction as prestressing allows for faster stripping and reuse of formwork. Thinner slabs resulting from post-tensioning by virtue of improved deflection behavior and improved section utilization. Improved economy due to reduced slab thickness and associated concrete costs, reducing building weight with the corresponding foundation reductions, reduced building height with the corresponding decrease in building skin area, and a reduced amount of mild reinforcing rebar. Large area slabs can be maintained with no control joints. Simpler coordination between consultants due to a flat slab underside, the design and installation of utilities systems is simpler (heating, air conditioning, sprinklers, etc.) Increased design flexibility allows simple solutions even for structures with irregular geometry, without the need for transverse or longitudinal beams. Longer spans can be achieved improving the architectural structure flexibility. Long-term deformations due to creep, which are usually significant in concrete slabs, are almost nonexistent in unbonded tendons prestressed slabs. Longer building life cycle due to the uncracked nature of the prestressed concrete. This advantage also creates slabs more resistant to water penetration, and the structure behaves monolithically. Post-tensioned slab on grade – by post-tensioning, large area of slab on grade for any propose, can be designed without any joint, improving performance of the slab, increasing life span and reducing maintenance cost.

Typical projects: IBM Building, Petach Tikva

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The company has designed the building's slabs as post-tensioned slabs for the contractor. The unique geometry of the structure has demanded a special spatial analysis of the influence of the post-tensioning on the whole structure, and a unique geometrical layout of the cables. The slabs were designed so they will enable lengthening the building in the future with monolithical connection.

Industrial Building in Kibbutz Yakum

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A complex of office and high-tech industrial buildings in the industrial park in Kibbutz Yakum. The company has designed the slabs in this complex, as post-tensioned slabs with unbonded tendons. The slabs have different spans and loads up to a span of 13 meters with loads of heavy vehicles. The roof of the building is made of inclined cast in place plates, and they are also post-tensioned. It is a complicated and unique system of structures. The total area of the building's slabs is about 40,000 square meters, which were designed and constructed simultaneously in a period of six months. The entire plaza in front of the building is also post-tensiond long span slab over parking garage.

Blue Laguna – Marina Herzeliya

Residential building with post-tensioned slabs.

Slab for a commercial center underneath a landscaped public area

Part of the slab before placing the concrete
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In Tel Aviv Towers in Tel Aviv, the Company has designed the post-tensioned slab above the commercial center. Spans up to 16 meters carry heavy loads of landscaped area. A fire broke out a short time before the commercial center was scheduled to open. The fire caused spalling of the concrete cover on the tendons in a 300 square meter area. Part of the tendons broke and most of the mild reinforcement bars fell or bended. Steel rebars were hanging exposed. The company has designed the restoration of the slab to its original strength. The design and the construction were accomplished in a short time frame in order to shorten the delay in opening the commercial center. The strengthening included reconnecting and post-tensioning broken tendons. A lecture about the restoration method was given by Izhak Stern in the fib congress in Osaka, Japan, 2002.

Office building, Tel-Aviv

Post-tensioned slabs, no columns between the core and the exterior envelope.

Be'erot Izhak - Commercial center

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12-meter spans, 28 cm thick slab with drop panels. Long structure with no joints.

Yeshiva in Sderot

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Unique structure, 29×20 meters clear span slab carrying 15×15 meters floor above. Analysis accomplished by 3D finite elements model.

Junior High School, Oranit

The structure is architecturally complicated, made of post-tensioned slabs with 12-meter spans, 27 cm thick.

Post-tensioned transfer slab - Jerusalem

50 cm thick, carrying concentrated loads up to 160 tons. The slab's area is 2500 square meters.

Wastewater Pool - Wastewater Treatment Plant, Ra'anana

Pool floor before placing the concrete
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The pool's dimensions: 80×50×7 meters. The pool is spatially post-tensioned floor and walls. The whole structure is monolithic without joints neither in the floor nor in the walls. Floor thickness: 22cm, walls thickness: 30cm. Other pools built for a similar purpose using the more conventional methods are built with joints, causing severe maintenance problems.

Slab over a hall underneath a public area in Belz Center Plaza, Jerusalem

Spans - 26×22 meters, 50 cm thick, additional loads - 2000 kg per square meter.

Vierendeel truss - Belz Hassidic Center

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Concrete Vierendeel trusses, post-tensioned horizontally and vertically. The open span is 28 meter long, carrying a residential building above an open hall.

Intermediate post-tensioned slabs in an existing building - Amdocs building, Ra'anana. Converting an existing structure, designed as a commercial center, to an office building by placing intermediate slabs between existing floors. Sport Center - Ganey Tikva Spans up to 13 meters, two way joists slab, 35 cm thick. Slabs above service areas - Camery Theatre, Tel Aviv Spans up to 15 meters, two way joists slab 55 cm thick, additional load 1200 kg per square meter. Warehouse floor for heavy loads - for Acmasan company, Ashdod 6.2 meter spans, slab 35 cm thick, additional load 4500 kg per square meter.
I. Stern - Y.D.E. Engineers, LTD , 15 Gershon Street, Tel Aviv 67017, Israel. Phone: 972-3-5611150, Fax: 972-3-5611087, Email: Website:

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