BubbleDeck is a revolutionary construction method that eliminates much of the structural dead weight in floor slabs. By removing a significant portion (up to 35%) of structural concrete from the middle of the floor slab, the product significantly reduces the slab’s self-weight. Replacing the concrete with recycled plastic bubbles provides the necessary support for the floor slab and allows for longer spans between support columns.
The overall floor area is divided down into a series of planned individual elements (panels), typically 8ft to 10ft wide dependent upon trucking, weight restrictions of the crane at site and other site conditions, Panels are manufactured off-site using local precast facilities. The panels comprise both the top and bottom reinforcement mesh, sized to suit the specific project, joined together with vertical lattice girders with the bubble void forms trapped between the top and bottom mesh reinforcement to fix their optimum position. This is termed a “BubbleCage” sandwich which is then cast into a bottom layer of 2 ½ inch pre-cast concrete, encasing the bottom mesh reinforcement, to provide permanent formwork within part of the overall finished slab depth. On site, the individual elementpanels are then placed on shoring and‘stitched” together with loose reinforcement (splice bars) simply laid centrally across the joints between elementpanels. The splice bars are inserted loose on top of the pre-cast concrete layer between the bubbles and the welded wire mesh sheets and also tied across the top reinforcement mesh sheets to connect the elementpanels together into a monolithic structure. After the site finishing concrete is poured and cured this technique provides structural continuity across the whole floor slab.
Benefits of the BubbleDeck product include:
- Reduced overall cost - By removing a significant amount of structural concrete, reducing floor thickness and façade, and smaller foundations and columns, the overall material costs can be reduced
- Faster construction - Floor cycles time is up to 20% faster than traditional construction methods
- Lower risk - Off-site manufacturing, lighter building materials, and simple construction methods minimize operation risks
- LEED compatible - Green attributes include: reduced construction materials, the use of recycled materials, lower energy consumption, reduced CO2 emissions
- The product also provides better noise isolation, and thermal and vibration resistance.
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