Monthly Archives: September 2018


The Importance of Concrete Mix Design

Why a good ready-mix concrete design is necessary

A good concrete mix design creates the foundation of a sound infrastructure.

Concrete mix design involves a process of preparation in which a mix of ingredients creates the required strength and durability for the concrete structure. Because every ingredient in the mix consists of different properties, it’s not an easy task to create a great concrete mix. It is imperative that all ingredients be tested to determine their physical properties and the bearing capacity of the project location.

The ingredients to be tested: water, fine aggregate (sand), coarse aggregate, cement, chemicals, reinforcement, and soil.

The values of the physical properties obtained after testing will be used as the basis for all concrete mix design considerations. This will ensure the structure will be sound and prevent failure of the mix. It is important to note that the ingredients for the mix might vary from one project location to another, so the physical properties must be tested for the requirements specified for each location.

Types of concrete mix

The two types of concrete mix are normal performance concrete and high-performance concrete, and they’re characterized by their compressive strength:

Normal Performance Concrete

A normal performance concrete mix has a performance strength ranging between 20 and 40 MPa. It is the more used mix of the two. Normal performance concrete has good workability if all of the mix ingredients are in accurate proportions. When freshly mixed, the concrete must be plastic or semi-fluid so that it can be molded.

High-Performance Concrete

A high-performance concrete mix has a performance strength above 40 MPa. The main purpose of using high-performance concrete is to reduce the weight, creep or permeability issues, and to improve the durability of the structure. Like the normal performance concrete mix, this mix must be plastic or semi-fluid when freshly mixed so that it can be molded.

Because high-performance concrete has a high cement content, it is often sticky and hard to be handled and placed. However, this does not cause the cement to bleed, an issue that normal performance concrete might run into.

Factors affecting concrete mix design

Strength and durability of the concrete mix design are dependent upon the following factors:

Grade designation: Concrete’s strength is measured in N/mm2 when subject to test after curing in any curing medium. The choice of concrete grade depends on its usage.

Choice of cement: Cement choice varies depending on usage. The cement should be tested for performance required by their usage before being tested in the design mix.

Choice of aggregate size: Aggregates needed for each mix is dependent upon the physical properties needed for the design. All aggregates must be quality sized before use.

Type of water: Any water used for concrete mix design should be tested before use to ensure it is within the range of water required for concrete. Most all consumable water is good for concrete work, but should still be tested.

Water to cement ratio: The ratio of water to cement should be tested for consistency, initial and final setting, soundness of the cement, workability, slump of the concrete and compacting factor.

Workability: This is the measure of ease of mixing concrete without segregation or bleeding. It mostly depends on the designed slump of the concrete.

Durability: This is the measure of the required strength (N/mm2) of any concrete grade after 28 days of curing. Durability should be control tested on site.

A quality concrete mix design is crucial for successful construction. At Concrete Supply Co., we sleep better at night knowing our end-to-end ready mix concrete solution meets the highest quality performance in concrete, and our integrity in doing so is unparalleled.

We offer a guide to help you find your perfect read mix. If durability and quality are what you’re looking for in a concrete mix, take a look at our guide and we’ll be sure to help you create the best mix for your project. 

Contact us if you’re in need of a supplier or if you have questions about our mixes.

concrete supply mixing plant

Material Management: Construction Need-to-Knows

Construction Need-to-Knows for Material Management Success

Material management creates a process for planning, executing, controlling and overseeing all construction activities. Both in the field and in the office. After all, it’s the first step in ensuring that the right materials are available when needed, ordered and delivered at the right time for a reasonable cost.

Likewise, proper material management is a necessary component in improving productivity and cost efficiency. Consequently, construction materials and equipment often make up the bulk of the total cost for a construction project. As a result, this usually amounts to about 70 percent or more of the total cost. That’s why it’s important that they are managed in a way that increases productivity while reducing overall project costs.

Material Management Objectives

As a material manager, your objectives will include:

  • Efficient materials planning
  • Purchasing and receiving inventory
  • Storing and inventory control
  • Materials supply and distribution
  • Good supplier and customer relationship
  • Improved efficiency among the department

Good coordination between employees and departments is necessary to meet these objectives.

Materials Management Functions

As a materials manager, your day-to-day functions will include:

  • Planning for materials requirements
  • Purchasing materials
  • Inventory planning and control
  • Creating and maintaining the flow and supply of materials
  • Quality control of materials
  • Efficiency among the department

The functions of materials management are needed to fulfill your objectives.

Basic Strategies for Improving Construction Project Efficiency

Inventory Organization

Materials that are scattered around the job site or not clearly accounted for. As a result, this leads to a productivity slowdown on the construction site for crews that have to correct these problems. After all, not knowing the exact inventory of your materials or not knowing where they are can lead to over ordering. It’s important to have a system that keeps your materials in a convenient place and delivered on time.

Project Material Planning

Further, it’s important to plan and schedule the delivery of your project materials ahead of time. This way, if the construction crew knows they’ll need certain materials, they will be ordered and delivered on time. Likewise, this decreases the amount of time the crew will have to wait for materials and increases productivity on the site.

Project Material Purchasing

First, select the sources of supply. Second, finalize the terms of the purchase. Next, place purchase order. Then, input your payment and finally, evaluate the supplier and the purchase.

Shipment Planning and Storage

Bulk shipments of materials for different phases of the job, unplanned deliveries and material relocation can drain money and time. Especially when you have to find the items you moved or ordered a while ago. Thus, it’s smart to schedule the materials you’ll need shipped with a specific storage space. You should also be sure to ship materials according to the product manager’s schedule. This way, you’ll know what is being delivered, when and where.

Any significant effort in reducing material costs by management will improve the profitability of the company. As well as productivity and cost efficiency for any given construction project.

Concrete Supply Co. has the material management expertise to provide your construction project with the highest quality concrete products and services.

For more information, contact us on Concrete Supply Co.!

material manager

What Makes Concrete a Sustainable Building Material?

The sustainability of our day to day processes and their impact on the environment is a top concern of society today. And one of the biggest industries in the sustainability spotlight is the construction industry.

Many are asking “how sustainable of a building material is concrete?”. We’re here to answer that question, set the record straight and tell you how we plan on increasing the sustainability of concrete in the future.  

Concrete IS a sustainable building material

There are multiple reasons why concrete is and will continue to be a sustainable building material:

Minimal Waste

Unlike other building materials that must be cut to size, concrete can be produced in the exact quantity needed. It is then poured into exact molds which eliminates excessive leftover material. If there is left over product, it typically goes back to the plant to be molded into large, semi-regular blocks. These are then used to shore up eroding hillsides, among other purposes.

Ability to Retain Stormwater

Pervious concrete is a special type of structural concrete with a high porosity. Because it allows water from precipitation and other sources to pass directly through, it’s mainly used for flatwork applications. When pervious concrete makes driveways, sidewalks, parking lots, and other paved areas, it can help retain stormwater runoff and replenish local water supplies. Paved surfaces tend to be impervious and can prevent natural water infiltration into the soil leading to erosion, flash flooding, water table depletion, and pollution. Pervious concrete is one of the many low impact development techniques that builders use to protect water quality and work towards sustainability in construction.


Light colored concrete pavements and roofs absorb less heat than dark-colored materials like asphalt. They also reflect more solar radiation back into the atmosphere than dark-colored materials like asphalt. This means concrete does not contribute to the urban island effect.

Energy Efficiency

Homes built with concrete walls, foundations, and floors are highly energy efficient. When you build with concrete, you get to the opportunity to take advantage of concrete’s inherent thermal mass. Homeowners and businesses can significantly cut their heating and cooling bills and even install a smaller-capacity HVAC system.  


Other products like wood can rot, mold and burn. However concrete structures are durable, long lasting, and will never combust omitting toxic particles into the air. Life spans for concrete building products can be double, sometimes triple those of other common building materials.

Abundant and Renewable

The predominant raw material for the cement in concrete is limestone. Which just so happens to be one of the more abundant minerals on earth. Marine life remains are responsible for forms Limestone (calcium carbonate). Since there are so many deposits available above sea level, ocean mining may never come into play for manufacturing concrete.

Limestone isn’t the only element of in concrete. There are renewable sources such as fly ash, slag cement, and silica fume. All of which are waste byproducts from power plants, steel mills, and various other types of manufacturing facilities.   

New developments and innovations for sustainability in the concrete industry

In addition to the previously listed points, there are also new developments and innovations being made within the industry. These developments allow for the removal of environmental pollutants and aim for sustainability and construction that is environmentally-friendly.

Any environmentally concerned individual knows that CO2 is a known greenhouse gas, accounting for nearly 84% of global greenhouse gas. Cement production accounts for about 3-5% of the world’s CO2 greenhouse gas emission, creating a concern for the concrete industry!

While it’s true that the production of cement results in the emission of CO2, there are many steps the industry is taking to not only make the process less harmful for the environment but remove CO2 from the air altogether.

CarbonCure technology advances sustainability efforts

One especially innovative technology called CarbonCure has found a way to use CO2 to make better concrete products. The technique works like this:

  • Collect CO2 from smokestacks of large polluters.
  • Purify CO2 and deliver it to a concrete plant.
  • Store CO2 in a liquid state in pressure tanks.
  • Inject liquid CO2 into cement mix (done with a controlled operating system).
  • The CO2 combines with CaO in the mix to form a solid mineral.

What results from the CarbonCure process is permanent CO2 sequestration (the capture and storage of CO2 forever) and a concrete mix that looks, finishes and performs the same as any regular concrete mix.

We acknowledge that cement’s carbon footprint is a significant environmental concern but know that concrete is a sustainable building material. As a result, we are and will continue to take steps towards making the production of concrete more sustainable. The future of concrete and our environment is looking bright!

In order to get the perfect mix for your project, (including a mix that is green and environmentally friendly, such as the CarbonCure mix mentioned above) answer the questions on this checklist to help your ready-mix producer create the best mix for you.

Furthermore, if you’d like your team to learn about the sustainability of concrete and the CarbonCure system we offer, we offer a lunch and learn presentation on the topic. Click here for information on our lunch and learn presentations and how to schedule one.

construction site with concrete truck

Residential Concrete Trends of 2018

Top Residential Concrete Trends of 2018

Today’s homeowner tends to value a home that is not only visually appealing but is structurally safe. They want a home that will stand the test of time. But at the same time, they want a home that is energy-efficient, low-maintenance, and environmentally friendly.

As a result, the concrete industry is always changing to accommodate those desires with new advancements in technology and techniques.  

More and more homeowners are realizing concrete’s potential for beautiful aesthetic and structural capabilities in one, while also being affordable!

We’ve seen a number of concrete trends emerge with residential homeowners this year, both structurally and aesthetically.  

Structural Concrete Trends

Resilient Construction with Concrete

In a time where natural disasters seem to be more common (and destructive), residential homeowners are concerned with resilient construction. Standing up to hurricanes, fires, earthquakes, floods and more–concrete is the answer to resilient construction. In 2018 we’re likely to see an increase in concrete use throughout the residential construction industry because of its resiliency. Leading us to our next trend….     

Insulated Concrete Form Walls

ICFs, or insulated concrete form walls, are becoming a popular option for residential owners and builders. The growing popularity of ICFs is due to the fact that they make the building process quicker, easier. Additionally, they create a structure that is durable, efficient, and safe.

The process of constructing ICFs involves stacking the dual-sided expanded polystyrene units held together by a high-density polypropylene webbing. Steel reinforcement is locked in to place as the wall is constructed and then filled with high-strength concrete to form a solid wall structure.

ICF walls create a structure that is energy-efficient, fire-resistant, and can withstand flying debris. These walls can handle debris from tornadoes and hurricanes with wind speeds of up to 250 mph. ICF construction is quiet, low maintenance, healthy, and has a lifespan that is significantly longer than traditional building methods. Compared to a wood-framed home, ICF walls provide 20 percent or more in energy savings. As well as 10-30 percent less outside air infiltration and three times less noise and a 4-hour fire rating.  

We expect to continue to see the ICF wall system be used throughout the residential and even the commercial construction industry in the future.

Aesthetic Concrete Trends

What was once just a construction material is now a high style decor material for residential homeowners everywhere. There are several advantages to using concrete for decorative purposes:

  • Few seams and the ability to minimize the appearance of seams with the use of a color matched filler.
  • Water and stain resistant with the use of a surface sealer.
  • Infinite color options with integral coloring, staining, or both which gives a homeowner the ability to coordinate or match with any room.
  • Can be cast in any shape and almost any size.
  • The ability to create custom edges or replicate designs using molding products.
  • Can be personalized with unique embedded items like pebbles, recycled glass and, seashells.
  • The appearance will improve with age. Since concrete is not a static material, it will evolve and acquire character over time.

The trend of using concrete for architectural and decorative purposes on the residential level is flourishing thanks to new products, advanced techniques, and designers promoting the look. Achieving a particular decorative or architectural appearance with concrete typically requires special forms, unique finishes, different ingredients, colors, and other variables. Here’s how people are using concrete within their homes:

Concrete Countertops

Concrete countertops are especially trendy today. The demand for concrete countertops is growing as people learn the advantages of using the material in their kitchens. One of the most appealing factors swaying people towards concrete countertops is how easy they are to maintain!

Decorative Concrete Floors

Also associated with the decorative and architectural concrete trend are decorative concrete floors. A range of pigments, stains, stamps, dies and stencil patterns, glass and friction finishes allow you to create a walkable piece of art that fits any location.

Concrete floors are economical when compared to quarried stone, they’re also strong, require little maintenance, are long lasting, and provide you with a variety of decorative options!

Pool, Patio, and Other Outdoor areas

Generally, people look to cover their outdoor surfaces with a material that is strong and durable yet practical. Decorative concrete can add a fresh and unique look to your pool, patio, or other outdoor areas, which is something everyone is prioritizing this year!

Driveways and large walkways

Compared to gravel and asphalt, concrete is a more expensive material to pave your driveway or large walkways with, but less expensive than brick or cobblestone. The incentive to use concrete? It’s strength, minimum maintenance, cooler surface, and longevity. Concrete is strong by its very nature standing up to heavy loads through its ability to disperse those loads evenly throughout the pavement. Concrete requires little to no maintenance and its high reflectivity means that more of the sun’s incoming radiation is reflected back into the atmosphere, lowering the amount of heat absorbed by the pavement and its surroundings.

While these are the current trends in residential concrete use, one thing is for sure, the full potential of concrete as a material is just being tapped into. Trends will continue to emerge, taking the concrete industry to new places.

From small do-it-yourself projects, retaining walls, driveways, walkways, and outdoor living areas, to major home renovations and new home construction, plus everything in between, we’ve got you and your residential concrete needs covered. Get an estimate for your residential concrete project today.

Keep in mind, no concrete mix is going to work perfectly for every project, that’s why it’s important to understand how to get the perfect mix. We’ve created a checklist of questions that can help guide you to the best mix for your application. Click to download your checklist.

residential concrete home