Lightweight concrete offers many benefits for building owners, contractors and construction engineers. It is a cost effective alternative to ordinary concrete, which is made up of large amounts of cement, aggregates and steel. Several factors affect the price of lightweight concrete. However, when making the decision to use it, you will need to compare its total design costs with normal weight concrete, and weigh the benefits of each.
Lightweight concrete can reduce the dead load of a structure, which means less stress on the supporting members. This helps to reduce inertial seismic forces and greenhouse gasses. Also, the number of trucks needed to deliver concrete is reduced. The reduction in the weight of the structure will lower the physical demands on masons and labor.
Lightweight concrete is also more fire resistant than ordinary concrete. As such, it can be used in higher-rise buildings. In addition, the reduced weight of a structure allows for a smaller foundation.
The cost of lightweight concrete depends on the type of structure you plan to build. A high-rise building such as the Renzo Piano’s The Shard in New York City is a good example of its use. With its 95 floors, it took four years to construct.
Thousands of bridges across the country are functionally obsolete. Many of them lack adequate traffic lanes and load capacities. To fix this, structural lightweight concrete has played an important role. Several hundred bridges have been built using lightweight concrete masonry units.