An important element in building design is the use of architectural concrete. It permits a broad versatility of design that could not be achieved without it. It has the ability to provide an aesthetic finish while still retaining all of the structural properties of the concrete. Whereas the term decorative concrete applies to design features that are used to simply enhance the look of the concrete in areas such as floors, walls, driveways and patios.
Architectural concrete can take on a variety of forms, textures, and colors and uses several different methods to create the desired effect. Formwork systems and form-lining molds concrete into just about any kind of shape or size as well as textures or patterns. The concrete can be simulated to look like brick, stone, or wood and is often used in projects such as retaining walls, exteriors of building, and bridges.
Poured-in-place architectural concrete integrates the structure requirements of the project design in a cost-effective manner. The results can be a modern, finished concrete that offers more precision and control over the process. Since the finished surface is the prominent feature, the type of aggregate, sand, and cement selected are very important as they impact the outcome.
Color can be adding to the concrete using mineral oxide pigments that are put directly into the concrete mix or with chemical stains and varnishes applied to the surface. When a project demands a large quantity of raw materials to achieve a specialized look, it is a good idea to secure the available material in advance so the finish of the concrete remains consistent throughout the job. Beyond adding color, other methods of architectural concrete finishes include surface techniques such as sand-blasting, water-blasting, sanding, polishing, and acid-etching.
For over 50 years, Conco has been providing premium concrete services and is one of the most trusted concrete contractors in Seattle. We partner with clients on every project from the pre-construction stage right through to final completion to maximize efficiency and ensure goals and budgets are met. Our concrete services include commercial, educational, parking and other construction development as well as public works projects.