What is a Concrete Slab?

Doug EnrightJune 26, 2014

Concrete slabs are one of the most used components of modern building. They consist of horizontal slabs of reinforced steel concrete. They can measure anywhere from four to 20 inches thick. These types of concrete slabs are often used for floors and ceilings, offering a sturdy and secure foundation for buildings as they are erected upwards. Let’s look at what a concrete slab is and what they’re used for in construction in more details.

More About the Concrete Slab

Concrete slabs are often used for foundations of buildings, particularly skyscrapers and high-rise buildings. They can be placed directly on subsoil which allows construction to continue around and above it quicker than other methods. Ground-bearing or suspended concrete slabs are used specifically for high rises and skyscrapers. From there, thinner concrete slabs are used in the building as it gets taller, offering more support and stability floor-after-floor.

One of the issues with concrete slabs comes in the form of thermal performance. Thermal performance is how well building materials will hold in heat. This can be a consideration for high rises and skyscrapers, because they higher its built, the harder it can be to retain heat at the top floors. Concrete slabs directly on a floor surface can drain heat from a room quickly. Insulation is used nowadays to combat this effect.

Insulation allows concrete slabs to be used in order to trap and allow heat to flow and stay within a room. Some buildings utilize underfloor heating pipes in addition to insulation to help heat travel up and down a building, as well as across the floors.

Uninsulated concrete slabs are used for outdoor buildings and construction that doesn’t require on-going heat sources. Outbuildings are a common way for concrete slabs to be used without the accompanying insulation.

Concrete slabs are used for a wide variety of construction purposes. Even the smallest concrete slab can help make a room, building or outbuilding better. Depending on the type of building and construction method employed, concrete slabs may or may not play a big part in how the overall scope of the project goes and is completed.

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