Concrete Structure Design

Prioritize compressive structural integrity on your building facility with a wide plethora of concrete applications.

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Reinforced Concrete

Partner the high compression of concrete with the tensile strength of steel to neutralize load forces on your building structure.

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Design Versatility

Utilize the advanced concrete technology for fabrication of your precast panels, flat slabs, volumetric or modular construction.

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BIM Technology

Enhance communication among project stakeholders when you streamline concrete, design, fabrication, logistics and construction workflow.

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Understanding the Basics of Concrete Structure Design

Concrete is the world's most widely-used construction material, tracing its history back from its traditional presence in the period-style eras to its advanced applications in the modern landscape of AEC industry. Enter roads, dams and bridges—concrete structure design has played a vital role in the progressive field of civil engineering. Even better for a much concrete-specific scope, you can lean onto the iconic architectural landmarks that defy the structural limits through towering heights or complex designs.

Before we begin to understand the wide breadth of concrete applications for the building industry, we must understand the basics first such that concrete and cement are often used interchangeably, but in technical terms, cement is a part of the concrete structure design where mixtures of portland cement, water, sand and aggregates undergo hardening and curing through hydration. Our expert civil engineers clue you in on the different ingredients needed for your building's recipe to success, including common admixtures or additives such as:

  • Accelerators speed up the hydration process, rendering them useful for colder temperatures near or below zero point to decrease the cost-intensive labor induced from longer waiting time of placing and finishing the concrete
  • Retarders work oppositely from accelerators in such a way that they slow down curing on hotter climates to mitigate low moisture levels and quick setting of concrete where full compressive strength is not yet achieved
  • Air-entraining agents operate from their core functionality of distributing air bubbles on the concrete surface to counteract the cracking and damage from freeze-thaw cycles
  • Plasticizers improve the workability of the concrete during its liquid state for easier pouring and setting on formworks, while reducing the need for higher water-cement ratio
  • Pigments change or alter the aesthetic style of your concrete structure design through colors and hues

Knowing the intrinsic working principle of concrete structure designs can serve as a good foundation. However, with site-specific conditions comes the need to meet demanding challenges for every unique building project. At New York Engineers, we defy the limits head-on by delivering flexible concrete solutions through expert admixture integration.

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Concrete and Steel Partner for Reinforced Concrete Structure Design

As experienced engineers in the field, New York Engineers can't emphasize enough how massive the contribution of reinforced concrete is in the civil engineering realm. Concrete is a compressive material feat on its own, but lacks the tensile strength provided by steel. Steel, on the other hand, lacks what concrete can provide. When combined together, this powerful duo called reinforced concrete design paves the way for advanced methods on the structural integrity of your building project.

In a reinforced concrete structure design, a compressive-tensile strength balance is achieved through the optimal merger of concrete and steel, respectively. Where before concrete already cracks in the beam's midspan at signs of tension, reinforced concrete structure enlists the tensile strength of steel to mitigate this concrete structural failure. As such, steel compression should also be neutralized through the help of concrete since steel works best in a flexible tensile state. Here are a few design studio principles that you can take on-site during the build of concrete structure design:

  • Both concrete and steel have the same thermal coefficient, thus each material moves similarly in accordance to the expansion and contraction from temperature changes
  • Concrete reinforced with steel makes way for a stronger structural bond due to the attachment of the former to the latter's surface deformations
  • Cement paste envelopes the steel reinforcing bars (rebar) with a non-reactive surface film, providing corrosion protection for the rust-prone steel
  • Simple beams, slabs and footings utilize rebars on the bottom tensile side, while continuous beams spanning a long distance on top of columns place rebars at the top for tension support

Placing more steel reinforcement bars than what's needed would overthrow the balance provided by the compressive strength of concrete, and since steel is more expensive than concrete, achieving the optimum balance of compression and tension would mean economic savings for you. At New York Engineers, we avoid overengineering at all costs, for your cost-saving measures.

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Dealing with Construction Methods of Concrete Structure Design

Moving your concrete structure from design to construction means that you should conduct a pre-construction virtual constructability review. Doing so can help you assess which construction methods can yield you competitive advantages on the cost, time and quality constraints. Such situations that need your technical and financial evaluation revolve around construction site logistics, method statements and intrinsic material specifications where our experienced civil engineers explain them in clear details below:

  • Site Logistics

When you employ concrete structure design for your building project, you can choose any of the three logistical methods: ready-mix trucks, concrete batch plants or on-site mixing. Ready mix-trucks often set standardized cement mixtures imposing efficient results as one of its pros, but cons include logistical challenges on projects with cost, quality and time-sensitive constraints especially if you have a remote site location.

Concrete batch plants operate from the same function as ready-mix trucks, but without the worry of logistical measures such as mixing, transport, delivery and handling—rendering them suitable for your mid-scale to large-scale complex construction projects where value-engineering is a priority item. On the other hand, small-scale residential and commercial projects can utilize on-site mixing using concrete mixers to redirect costs from logistics to labor. However, quality control comes at a cost in the form of unreliable measurement, inaccurate cement-water ratio and insufficient concrete moisture levels.

  • Method Statements

You have two options when it comes to your concrete structure design: choose the traditional route of cast-in-place or go modern with prefabrication. Cast-in-place concrete can be cheaper in construction costs, but this method can eat up much of your fast-track project timeline as opposed to the efficient prefabrication, although this methodology comes at a higher price inversely.

  • Material Specifications

Utilizing concrete structure design for your building project means you need to take reference from the international and local building codes for structural compliance, as each building occupancy has its own specific material specifications on the cement mixtures. Take for instance, structural dams which are in need of more intensive structural capacity garner higher concentration on cement mixtures as opposed to the medium-scale concrete requirements of residential structures down to the lax concrete plant boxes.

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Testing the Structural Integrity of Your Concrete Structure Design

After deciding on the initial critical points of your concrete structure design, the next proactive step that you should take is to test the structural integrity of your concrete materials at the point of delivery and placement. We drill you in on the standard tests New York Engineers conduct for your building's optimized structural performance.

  • Slump Test

Designed to measure the workability of your concrete mixture, slump test places wet concrete on a steel cone then lifting it off to measure the slump of your mix design. It's important that you achieve a workable state, since workability allows your concrete mixture to seep right into the very corners of your formwork, eliminating undesirable voids in the form of honeycombs. Here are the specific data that you should consider for your concrete slump test:

  • Dry mix: 1" to 2"
  • Normal mix: 4"
  • Plastic mix: 6" to 7"
  • Cylinder Compression Test

Over time, concrete increases in compressive strength—rendering them as desirable structural components. For a uniform baseline point on compressive strength testing procedure, cylinder compression test was standardized to a 28-day period in the AEC industry, through which our civil engineers provide detailed breakdown for your structural phasing evaluation:

  • 28 days: actual compression strength should be above the engineer's specified strength
  • 7 days: compressive strength should be 75% of the 28-day strength, giving you earlier insights on prospective structural problems
  • 3 days: compressive strength data determines the safety of formwork stripping on your slabs, columns and beams

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How Formworks Play a Critical Role in Cast-in-Place Concrete Structure Design

Without formworks, your cast-in-place concrete structure design will never be materialized. In a layperson's eyes, formworks only serve as an afterthought, but for experienced civil engineers such as in our case, we know how crucial formworks are for the success of your building's structural aspects.

To start with, formwork materials can range from timber, steel and plastic—where the last two items fare better than the first if we are considering economy and quality. Timber formworks can only be repeated to so much extent as they are prone to bulging and warping, and these labor-intensive formworks require prior oil installation before mix pouring for non-adhesion of the concrete during stripping.

Steel is also economical in use with repeatability factor in place, but is prone to corrosion. Plastic offers you the best value for your money, as its lightweight feature can account for structural load capacity, smooth surface finish, easier installation and stripping, water and rust resistance, recyclability and non-deformation. Below is an exhaustive list of the in-depth technical factors that you need to consider when specifying formworks for your concrete structure design:

  • Take scaffolding, ledger beams and shoring into account when choosing the best formwork material for your concrete structure design
  • Load factors for formworks consist of vertical, lateral, horizontal and special loads
  • Lateral tie bracing and supports should be intact to avoid formwork bulging, leakage on joints and honeycomb voids
  • Rebar splicing and construction joints should be incorporated on the formwork design
  • Formwork can be built-in into the Revit software to factor in the additional loads aside from the concrete flow rate and pressure coefficient themselves
  • Modular dimensions of formwork design should be in place for decreased material wastage and repeatability on-site and future projects
  • Formwork should be plumb and level for quality concrete results
  • Quality formwork delivers efficient results from assembly, erection, placement of steel reinforcement, concrete pouring, curing, and stripping

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Streamline Design to Construction Workflow for Advanced Concrete Structure Design

The underlying difference between traditional and modern concrete structure design is innovative digital facilitation, where BIM plays a critical role in streamlining the process from design studio, to fabrication, and construction. Our civil engineers go beyond the traditional build of cast-in-place concrete, to more advanced and cutting-edge concrete structure design solutions, such as:

  • Precast flat panel system
  • 3D modular or volumetric construction
  • Flat slab construction
  • Glass-fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC)
  • Pre-stressed concrete panels
  • Parametric concrete shells

At New York Engineers, there's no such thing as impossible, especially when we combine our structural concrete expertise with technology.

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Increase Efficient Logistics on Your Concrete Structure Design through Technology

Since virtual design and construction makes everything accessible now through a 1:1 visualization, we can utilize live BIM-ready models to add dimensions such as 4D visual scheduling and 5D construction cost estimation on your project. Building your concrete structure to life should mean you can take these on-site logistical factors into account, such as:

  • Real-time monitoring and inventory management of concrete and steel delivery
  • Deployment of sufficient construction labor for assembly, installation, concrete pouring and formwork stripping for cast-in-place concrete
  • Construction equipment for excavating foundation design and hoisting prefabricated panels

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Experience an Innovative Take on Concrete Structure Design with New York Engineers

Through industry disruption, concrete structure designs have come a long way in the aesthetic, functional and structural scale. From cubic-shaped structures to parametric concrete shells, innovation transforms impossible to possible.

Comb through our concrete-specific portfolio and learn how New York Engineers can reinvent your concrete structure design through our civil engineering expertise and advanced technology.

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