The Elephant In The Room
In situ Architectural Concrete production is a specialist activity where quality is subject to many varying factors both within and outside the direct control of the contractor. Evaluation of the aesthetic quality is widely open to subjectivity making the whole activity rather prone to issues further down the line.
The current status quo (in my opinion) allows for little instruction, scope or understanding of post finishing works, processes and techniques which all in situ Architectural Concrete will be subject to at some point or other. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a specification that goes any further than glossing over the subject putting all the emphasis on expecting such works to be struck and be good enough to be left ‘as struck’.
There is also no attention or understanding as to how integrating post finishing techniques within formwork production, concrete placement and striking can and will save time, money, boost moral and quality. Visual concrete repair should not be relied on to put things right after it has gone wrong. It should be seen as one hugely potential way of getting things right in the first place. Integrating post finishing into the specification will also minimise future issues if they are identified early on and then be able to form a guaranteed insurance policy for quality.
An Architect once described visual concrete repair as ‘The Elephant in the Room’. We all know it’s there clunking about but may be reticent to accept, discuss, plan or cost for it especially when at planning stage nothing has gone wrong. However, without exception, all of the projects I visit and participate on have ended up accepting that the elephant is in the room but only after it’s trampled around, kicked up a huge fuss and dented pockets, egos, moral and concrete.
If you’d like further details on how including post finishing in Architectural fair faced concrete specifications can help please contact me.