Most of it is due to the tremendous technological breakthroughs in the concrete advancement.
With such great opportunities there becomes a time, when everyone – Engineer, Contractor, Manufacturer, the Owner must stop and analyze what gigantic steps the concrete as a material made in the last 10 years.
Well, let’s start with obvious: The concrete of Today can be utilized in many ways that it was never dreamt of years ago: we can create a mix that will flow with ease, but will set up a few hours and take a structural load; we can put the concrete to “sleep” for many hours; we can substantially lower the labor cost of concrete placement; we can waterproof the concrete integrally; we can create a mix that will make concrete the strongest construction material in the world.
All of these “new” characteristics and more could be achieved by changing the concrete ingredients, but it also changes the approach of addressing the different ways concrete behaves. The mason, the finisher, the pumping operator should know the very basics of the concrete, but also know what changes are made in the concrete they handle, so they don’t treat it as one and the same.
Increased Rate of Consistency
Reducing Environmental Impact
Decreased Material and Labor Cost
Increased Workability and Profits
How many people today in the concrete contractor’s office can identify the exact mix that is needed by reading the specifications on the project in the bid stage, create the proper mix without overlooking the most important characteristics of the concrete and not overload it with unnecessary products?
How many people in the same office can pick up the phone and call the Design Engineer and ask the questions regarding the properties of concrete specified?
Many ways concrete can be either enhanced by the pump operator, mason and the superintendent on the job, and can be wrecked by the same people. Keeping the concrete on the job for too long, adding more water than the mix requires, over finishing the slab, etc. can eventually make the contractor a liable party for non-conformance.
And, as long as we are on a conformance issue of concrete on the project, who evaluates the people that are inspecting and testing that concrete? I am confident to say, that there are far and few between people representing the contractor in the field in a professional matter, assuring the contractor that all regulations and codes are met.