The three types of suspended concrete floor systems suitable for residential construction are insitu concrete, composite concrete/steel and precast concrete.

Insitu concrete has been used for many years but other forms of construction incorporating prefabricated components have become increasingly popular. The prime reason for the use of these prefabricated systems is to significantly reduce the cost of conventional formwork, on-site activity and construction time. The savings essentially result from the following:

No conventional formwork, only minimal time required for the placement and removal of any temporary propping (if needed).

An intermediate, safe working area at slab level is provided. Beneath the slab a secure, weatherproof area is achieved, suitable for possible early fit-out and/or storage.

Only crack-control reinforcement is needed for toppings. This will generally be a light mesh reinforcement.

Excellent dimensional accuracy of prefabricated units, with material properties being guaranteed by the manufacturer.

Floor elements are delivered to site when required, minimising site storage.

The basic features of each system are: Insitu concrete The most flexible type in that such floors can be designed to carry walls of any type anywhere within their span, unrestricted by the position of walls (room layouts) below them.

These floors are individually designed for particular projects. Support may take the form of walls or beams, themselves supported either by beams or columns.

Composite concrete/steel In this type, proprietary steel decking acts as non-recoverable formwork and partial reinforcement for the floor slab. The decking spans one way and will usually be continuous over several supports. Single spans are, however, common and acceptable.

Support is as for insitu floors. Precast concrete. This type uses precast concrete panels or planks, again spanning only in one direction. A concrete topping is usually required, sometimes for structural purposes (and therefore reinforced), sometimes only to provide a level surface for the application of floor finishes. As with insitu floors, support for the planks can take a variety of forms.

We approached MCS Engineers to investigate the cracked walls and brickwork at our home. A couple of builders and underpinners had already inspected the damages and provided me with their quotations to repair the damages and underpin the building. A Geotechnical Engineer had also recommended underpinning. Adam from MCS Engineers attended the property and carried out an extremely thorough investigation of the damages which no one else did, he also examined the building permits and engineering reports and found a series of issues and underlying causes of the damage. He got to the bottom of the issue and found the water leaks that were causing the damages. Had we not engaged MCS to investigate, we could have ended up spending thousands of dollars for the repairs and could have ended up with the same issue again as the underlying causes were not identified. Adam was very professional and he also took the time to explain everything in detail in a language that someone with no engineering/ building background could understand and recommended the most appropriate remedial action required. The fee for the investigation was money well spent as it saved us thousands in repairs that could have resulted in the same issue a few months down the track. It goes to show the importance of professionals and the expertise they carry and will definitely use MCS in the future and highly recommend them.

Suspended Concrete Design

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