Cast Concrete Surfaces + Formed Concrete Finishes


The course will cover the key requirements of visual concrete, the essentials of the concrete mix, the selection of form face materials, good formwork practice, site workmanship in handling and compaction of concrete, and how to cast worktops, floors and paving slabs. It will provides know how, guidance and expertise on how to source materials, mix concrete, prepare and assemble formwork, place and finish concrete, use texture and colourfor both domestic projects and public buildings and spaces.

The course will be of benefit to architects, structural engineers, project managers and construction specialists who wish to be updated and briefed on all aspects of formed architectural concrete.

What you will learn:
• The essentials for drafting a visual concrete specification.
• How to cast and ensure the quality of an insitu concrete finish.
• The key assembly details in architectural concrete construction.

Speaker: David Bennett, Architectural Concrete Consultant and Low Carbon Advisor
David is an expert in visual concrete construction and has a wealth of knowledge and practical experience to share with you.


1.30 - 2.00pm Registration

2.00 - 3.00pm CONCRETE BASICS

Part 1
Concrete Mixes for Worktops and DIY Projects
Selecting Materials: cement, aggregate and correct size, recycled glass, cement, pigments, admixtures.
Hand Batching: shovels, buckets, mixing tray, wheel barrow, scoops, batching of dry materials then adding water.
Concrete Mortar Mixers: petrol / electrical types, dry batching, adding pigment and water Typical Mix Design - cement, fine and coarse aggregate, water, pigment, admixture using bagged material with a choice of white or grey cement.

Part 2
Concrete Mixes for Walls, Columns and Suspended Slab
Truck Mixed Concrete - choice of colour limited by supplier materials, choice of grey OPC blended with GGBS or PFA, strength, workability, pump or skip mixes
Visual Concrete Specification - a review of the requirements of the visual concrete mix, concrete workmanship, striking times, sample panels.

Part 3
Forming and Finishing
Formwork tips, reinforcement mesh, floor joints, placing and compacting, curing surface finishes - smooth polished, terrazzo, exposed aggregate, tamped, textured, dry dashing, retarders, grit blasting, acid etching.


Selecting Form Face Materials, Detailing Layouts, Some Common Defect and how to prevent them.
Selecting materials for finishes, vertical poured in place and cast flat surface finishes, layout and joints, tie bolt holes, common defects, blemishes and how to prevent them.
Examples and Illustrations.

3.40 - 4.00pm Tea and Coffee


Concrete Management
• Concrete Slump Checks
• Correct Compaction
• Placing and Finishing
• Minimising Rust Stain on Slab Soffits
• Using The Correct Cover Spacers
• Care of the Form Face
• Applying Release Agent
• Wall Assembly Tips
• Tie Bolts and Tie Cone


Case Study: Swains Lane, Highgate, London
The full height glazing to the perimeter of the house was enabled by the use of flat concrete slabs with long cantilevers back to the four central columns supporting each floor. The concrete supporting internal and external areas was kept separate to provide a thermal break between inside and out. In contrast to the smooth fair-faced finish of the concrete columns and soffits and the smooth stone flooring, the concrete walls facing the street and adjoining property to the north have a strong horizontal pattern from the timber boards used for shuttering. The use of a concrete frame with a high quality exposed finish internally also allows a more sustainable environmental strategy for the house to be developed than the lightweight construction of the original house

Summary of key points
* sketch details of board marked form face
* casting sequence
* formwork construction
* concrete mix and color
* finished buildings - wall, soffits and staircase

5.30 - 5.45pm Final Discussion and Close

All relevant course material will be given to attendees.

Cost: £100+VAT or £75+VAT to students