Modern architecture is unimaginable without fair-faced concrete. For decades priority was given to the unique load-bearing properties and unequaled cost/performance ratio as a structural building material.

In modern architecture concrete is increasingly used as a design feature as well as for its mechanical properties. This means higher specifications for the finish (exposed surfaces).

There are many ways to produce special effects on these exposed surfaces:

  • Select a suitable concrete mix
  • Specify the formwork material and type (the formwork must be absolutely impervious!)
  • Use the right quantity of a suitable mould release agent
  • Select a suitable placing method
  • Use form liners if necessary
  • Colour using pigments
  • Install correctly (compaction, placing etc.)
  • Thorough curing

In addition to all of these factors listed, the following are important for the concrete mix:

Aggregate/Cement/Water

  • Use minimum fines content and a balanced grading curve as used for pumped concrete
  • Cement generally > 300 kg/m3
  • Allow for the effect of the cement on the colour of the exposed surface
  • The water content in a fair-faced concrete requires great care and consistency (avoid fluctuations) and prevent bleeding