IN THIS POST
– Reinforced Brick Concrete Slabs
– Reinforced Cement Concrete Slabs
– RBC vs RCC
One of the biggest mistakes most homeowners make while constructing their house is that they fail to familiarize themselves with the process and its requirements. More often than not, they rely on the contractor to make all the decisions regarding the house they are going to live in. This includes selecting the quality of building materials and so on. Since Evermark Blog strives to provide you with the latest information about the construction and real estate industries in Pakistan, here is a detailed guide on one of the most important materials used in the construction of a house: the slabs. More importantly, we will be discussing the characteristics of reinforced brick concrete vs reinforced cement concrete slabs as well as their differences.
For those who are new to the world of construction, a concrete slab is considered the building material that completes the structure of the floor. It acts as the base for the construction of the floor above and bears its load. Slabs are also used for covering the openings between walls.
Concrete slabs have two main components: structural concrete and steel reinforcements. They are prepared by pouring concrete over steel bars or an extensive wire mesh. If required, you can also buy prefabricated concrete slabs at reasonable prices.
Furthermore, there are two main types of concrete slabs: reinforced brick concrete (RBC) slabs and reinforced cement concrete (RCC) slabs. Up until a few decades ago, most contractors used reinforced brick concrete slabs while building houses. However, over time, reinforced cement concrete slabs have not only become the norm but are also a requirement as per the modern engineering standards.
Before we delve into the reinforced brick concrete vs reinforced cement concrete slabs debate, let’s take a quick look at their characteristics.
Reinforced brick concrete slabs are prepared by pouring concrete mixture over bricks placed inside steel mesh reinforcement
As the name suggests, reinforced brick concrete slabs have an additional factor besides concrete and steel reinforcement – bricks.
The structure of reinforced brick concrete includes bricks that are placed in the empty spaces between the steel pipes or wire mesh. Then, concrete is poured over them to hold the bricks in place as well as completely cover all of the components in the grey mixture.
If you are wondering about the purpose of reinforced brick concrete slabs, it used to be a popular choice due to its low rates. Since brick was relatively cheaper compared to the concrete of the same volume, adding them to the construction of slabs would help bring down the overall cost of the project. Moreover, these slabs have a lesser quantity of steel. This is because the reinforcing bars are placed at a wider gap to make room for the placement of bricks.
However, it is important to mention the price difference between RBC vs RCC slabs has reduced with time.
Meanwhile, don’t forget to take a look at different types of bricks used for construction in Pakistan.
Reinforced cement concrete slabs are only made from concrete mixture and steel reinforcements
When it comes to reinforced brick concrete vs reinforced cement concrete slabs, the latter is the more popular option among contractors as well as the property owners owing to its strength, maintenance and availability.
RCC can be described as a composite building material comprising concrete and steel. No other material is added to reduce the cost or volume of concrete, which adds to its tensile strength. The structure of reinforced cement concrete slabs is quite similar to that of reinforced cement brick slabs. Except, in this case, the concrete mixture is poured directly on the tightly-knit steel reinforcements.
There are two main grades of reinforcing bars available in the market: high yield strength steel and mild steel.
Though they are slightly expensive, the properties of reinforced cement concrete slabs – such as their durability, resistance to weather conditions, and capability to be cast in any required shape – have added to their high demand.
You can also check out our glossary for popular construction terms in Pakistan for further clarification.
Preparation and placement of concrete slabs are the most crucial part of any construction project
Here are the most noteworthy advantages and disadvantages of reinforced cement concrete vs reinforced brick concrete that will help you choose between the two.
Reinforced cement concrete slabs are not only resilient but also have tensile strength. This makes them both durable and easier to work with. On the other hand, RBC slabs have a lower volume of concrete and steel due to the presence of bricks. Therefore, they are not as strong compared to their counterparts. It is also the main reason why structural engineers always recommend RCC slabs.
You can find out about different types of concretes in our detailed guide on the topic.
Though both RBC and RCC slabs can withstand external factors such as harsh sunlight and moisture from rain, the latter survive for a much longer duration without showing any signs of distress.
In addition to that, one of the most important characteristics of reinforced cement concrete is its high resistance against fire. An RCC slab can withstand a blaze for about three to four hours.
It is also important to mention that compared to the reinforced brick concrete slab, the cement one is more likely to have surface cracks. This is because concrete is prone to shrinkage with time. Since RCC slabs don’t have bricks placed inside to hold its shape, the change in the volume of concrete can cause problems. However, this issue can be easily prevented by undertaking proper considerations while designing the slab.
RCC slabs are much easier to be cast in different shapes, compared to the RBC ones.
The reason behind this is that concrete mixture can be poured and cast into any shape. Similarly, steel bars can be structured in different forms depending on the architectural aspects of the project. Meanwhile, reinforced brick concrete slabs can only be cast in certain shapes owing to the presence of solid rectangular bricks.
With steel and concrete being two of the most widely-used construction materials in Pakistan, preparing reinforced cement concrete slabs is rather easy. Even if you opt for prefabricated concrete slabs, you won’t have any trouble finding RCC.
The reinforced cement concrete vs reinforced brick concrete price difference may have reduced significantly over the past years, but the RCC slabs are still about 25 to 30 percent more expensive than their RBC counterparts.
Keeping in mind the RBC vs RCC differences above, it is easy to conclude that reinforced cement concrete slabs appear to be a more suitable option for your construction project.
In case you have any questions or concerns regarding the topic, feel free to post them on Evermark Forum for a quick resolution. You can also share your thoughts and comments with us by dropping an email at email@example.com
If you are planning to construct your house and aren’t sure what to expect in terms of the budget, here a few guides that will definitely help you out.
Moving on, don’t forget to check out the top questions to ask before hiring a contractor, tips on how to ensure timely completion of your construction project and how to buy the best materials for your home’s construction.
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