The benefits of early design input for concrete floor slabs?

Published on 01 March 2022

Warehouse image - Planning

With the demanding pace of change seen by logistics and distribution warehouse users/operators, use of new technology, increased scales of throughput and futureproofing for business variations, it highlights the importance of specialist concrete floor slab solutions.

Twintec explains why the specialist flooring contractor’s role doesn’t start with a tender for the project but with early design engagement way before the invitation to tender is sent out, saving time and money for all project parties.

How often does an end-user client identify issues in their new warehouse facility design which culminates in architect/engineer variation instructions? This often leads to late design changes, project programme delays and ultimately increased costs, however, many of these new requirements could have been identified by a specialist flooring contractor’s early engagement in the design stage of the project.

Design Build - Guarantee diagramOver 35 years of experience by Twintec Industrial Flooring Group has seen this situation time and time again and was the initial foundation stone for the total offer concept of “Design-Build-Guarantee”.   With early end-user client involvement Twintec provides advice, specifications and design detailing to ensure the slab is fit for purpose and personalised to the end-user's specific needs long before a spade is in the ground.

One size doesn't fit all.... 

In some less mature markets worldwide, tender requests are received directly from a general contractor showing a simple plan, section drawing and limited specification, which lacks detail of racking positions, type (VNA or others), slab loadings and doesn’t consider future racking/operational needs, interchange areas, robotic handling or possible change of building use.  Often accompanied by a traditional mesh reinforced, saw-cut, 200mm thick concrete floor slab design with an FM2 finish that might not be an economic or the technically best solution, but often an engineer's choice based on limited experience and previous use.

Following detailed discussions to understand completely the end-user client's operational needs, it may be that a totally seamless (Twintec® ULTIMATE) or large bay ‘jointless’ steel fibre reinforced (Freeplan®) slab will better suit the client's present/future needs, extend the building's versatility and often save money.

What else to consider?

Has the environmental sustainability of the concrete floor slab been considered in the project calculations? Design optimisation is the key to reducing embodied carbon, ongoing maintenance costs and life cost of the building.  View Twintec Sustainability Presentation

Has the ongoing maintenance of the floor slab and MHE been factored into the project cost?   Future repairs due to poor initial floor slab design will have a direct impact on both business profitability and efficiencies. Early design input will save the end user client money in both early and long-term stages.  Learn more

design-and-eng-top-image

Examples:

If an end-user client needs to add a mezzanine level on an existing floor slab it can lead to considerable additional construction costs which might have been avoided if considered at the early design stage. If it was discussed with a specialist flooring contractor early enough this costly revision might have been avoided by adjusting the original loading capability of the floor slab and thus mitigated the requirement for high additional costs for slab alteration and support.

Ground beams wrongly detailed will lead to MHE operational limitations, business inefficiencies and severe ongoing maintenance costs. Quickly identified in the early stages will prevent long term problems.

Do you need an epoxy floor finish on your warehouse floor slabs? Discussions on specialist concrete floor finishes and alternatives which perform to the client’s needs can significantly reduce costs compared to original proposals.  Further information available

It is imperative to consider the present floor requirements but also what the client expects within the next 5-10-15 years. Of course a crystal ball approach is not always possible but if you consider logistic trends, technology advancement and futureproof your floor slab in the early design stages it will enhance the concrete floor slab's long term performance and contribute significantly to a reduction in life cost of the building.

Connect with a specialist

Consider your concrete floor slab as a key component of your facility's operation and speak to Twintec as a specialist design & build concrete flooring contractor early in the project design process.

  • It will save you time.
  • It will save you money.
  • It will give you the right concrete floor slab for your personalised needs.

www.twintecgroup.com 

Posted by Jeremy Francis
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Topics: Twintec Ultimate, "specialist"