Concrete in the Service of Mankind Appropriate concrete by Michael J. McCarthy, Ravindra Dhir, Michael McCarthy

By Michael J. McCarthy, Ravindra Dhir, Michael McCarthy

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The whole emphasis in Figure 3 is still on durability design. However, this would have to be considered alongside the needs of conventional structural design (Table 2) and of buildability. As an example, consider a bridge using precast standard bridge beams. For load bearing and prestressing, probably a Grade 60 concrete would be required. For rapid production, a high early strength would also be required. The structure could be in Zones F or G in Figure 2, with a consequential requirement that the chloride profile should not reach the tendons for (say) 100 years.

Now, this has been raised to 21° Celsius. In 1995, this new figure is still not being achieved. In reality, such requirements can only be recommendations because on several days per year, these figures cannot always be achieved even in Western European countries. In Romania, to even achieve figures of 21° Celsius for the majority of the time is still a major goal. Another perspective on building is what is considered to be their lifespan. Should the philosophy be that buildings are considered as a ‘consumption product’ with a lifespan of 30 years maximum for houses as in America, or should the lifespan be 100 years as was the case with the blocks of flats in Romania.

Low : not critical. Any necessary maintenance or remedial work could be done without inconvenience. The grading is similar to the British Standard idea of classifying components as replaceable, maintainable or lifelong [6]. Any foundation or key structural element might be categorized as ‘high criticality’ or ‘lifelong’, for example. Figure 2 The required performance cube Performance criteria for structural concrete 9 If necessary, life could be defined in years, but the zonal approach forces designers to take early decisions on maintenance/replacement strategy, related to perceived future functional requirements.

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