July Announcements & Newsletter
Announcement StoneBilt Concepts would like to annou... Read More
Colorado College Cutler Hall
Recently officials at Colorado College in Colorado... Read More
Laying Pavers on Existing Concrete Pavement
We are frequently asked if our wet-cast concrete p... Read More
Architectural Paving Slabs
Release Date: 29-Jul-2010
When the idea of StoneBilt Concepts® came into focus, it began with what we now call our architectural paving slabs. The high quality concrete slabs emulate four different natural stone textures in a variety of dimensionally cut sizes and colors, including sandstone, slate, travertine and old world (limestone).
StoneBilt Concepts paving slabs are produced with the highest quality materials and equipment available. Our polyurethane molds (which are cast from natural stone) and wet cast concrete combine to provide the most natural looking reproductions available in the industry. Integrated color blends add the final details, making it difficult to distinguish StoneBilt Concepts from the real thing.
Natural stone rests atop StoneBilt Concepts Paving Slabs
StoneBilt Concepts concrete paving slabs have several advantages over natural stone, all of which lead to overall cost savings on any project. Material cost is an obvious immediate advantage, with our paving slabs ranging in cost savings from 8%-50% over their natural equivalent. Installation costs can also be cut substantially using StoneBilt Concepts products. Because they are man made, our paving slabs have consistent size and depth, a feature seriously lacking in natural stone. Contractors (or homeowners) can create a level base, set and compact the pavers and have a completed job in a short period of time. Natural stone, on the other hand, often has irregular sizes and depths requiring a substantial amount of time to level and set in a regular pattern. The time saved in installation with StoneBilt Concepts result in money saved at the end of the project.
Uneven natural stone (left) vs. uniform StoneBilt Concepts paving slabs (right).
While StoneBilt Concepts paving slabs stack up well to natural stone, they also have advantages against other forms of flatwork. Stamped concrete for example can provide an inexpensive alternative to natural stone. However, at a similar cost savings, StoneBilt provides excellent benefits. Because there are joints inherent in the StoneBilt design, there will be no possibility of a large crack spreading across an entire slab like a poured in place surface. Also, StoneBilt Concepts colors are fully integrated into the product. If a chip were to appear in stone, the color would remain constant throughout the concrete and not expose a different color below the surface. Maintenance can also be an issue with any poured slab. If damage were to occur, or access were needed below the finished flat work, the repaired stamped concrete will likely not match the original job. StoneBilt paving slabs on the other hand can simply be pulled up, the repair can be made and the same pavers can go back in place.
The list of advantages can go on and on. In the end, StoneBilt Concepts has introduced a high quality locally manufactured alternative to natural stone to the Rocky Mountain Region. The product quality is suitable for commercial as well as residential work and is an exciting alternative to other products that have been available in the past.
For more information on StoneBilt Concepts architectural paving slabs please click here.
When a homeowner at the beautiful Preserve community in Greenwood Village wanted a professional, quality and durable outdoor living space that included patio, outdoor kitchen, firepit and reading area, they called on the team of T2 Construction and Jump Design. The product they selected for the paver flatwork was StoneBilt Concepts®' precast concrete sandstone slabs.
T2 Construction, an experienced and well-respected landscape contractor, and Jump Design Company, a leading landscape architecture firm and expert in both commercial and residential design, presented the Owner a combination of both natural stone and StoneBilt Concepts' Light Buff sandstone. After seeing how well the wet-cast concrete pavers matched the natural stone, and in hearing the price savings over natural stone, the owner selected StoneBilt Concepts' manufactured stone.
"It also tied together well with the sandstone used on the seatwall, both the veneer and wallcap," said Stuart Cameron of T2 Construction. "I've used it before, I really like it. It's easy to work with and uniform in its size."
With the use of StoneBilt Concepts' material comes price savings both in material and labor. Our precast concrete slabs come in Slate, Travertine, Limestone and sandstone and have significant cost savings over the natural stones they emulate. Additionally, there are savings in labor due to the standard thickness in our concrete pavers, rather than the variance found in natural stone; therefore the pavers are placed much faster.
The Light Buff sandstone was specified and installed according to industry standards: compacted road base, sand bed and vibrated pavers. Pattern Six was chosen (from StoneBilt Concepts' Sixteen Patterns) with 12" x 12", 12" x 18", 12" x 24" and 18" x 24" sized pavers, using nearly all the standard sandstone sizes.
"For the existing condition, there was brick on the house and natural stone used in other areas," said Tom Jump of Jump Design. "The design complemented the house by using brick on the outdoor kitchen element and StoneBilt Concepts' pavers throughout the rest of the patio area. What really struck me about the Light Buff slabs was how it complimented the natural stone and brick. Its look and feel was beautiful and just the feel that we wanted."
"The Owner couldn't be happier," says Stuart Cameron.
For more information on StoneBilt Concepts' line of Architectural Slabs, please click here.
"What is that white stuff on my project?" No one in the concrete/construction industry ever likes to hear those words, particularly when they come from an upset owner. The "white stuff" is efflorescence, and unfortunately as much as anyone and everyone in the concrete industry attempt to prevent it, sometimes it just happens.
Efflorescence is caused when soluble salts and other water dispersible materials come to the surface of concrete and mortars. (Concrete Construction Magazine 12-05) Salts can come from cements, aggregate and water, which are the three major ingredients in concrete. During the mixing process some of the salts are left behind and don't become part of the paste that eventually cures and becomes concrete. Water from rain, snow, condensation, etc. may find its way into the pours of the concrete and mix with these salts. As that water makes it's way back to the surface of the concrete, it brings the salts with it. When the water evaporates the salts are left behind, leaving efflorescence or "white stuff."
Efflorescence does not have a negative effect on the structure of concrete. However, cosmetically there is an obvious drawback to the "white stuff", particularly on colored concrete such as pavers or paving slabs.
There are methods available to help prevent efflorescence. Additives can be mixed in your concrete mix; additional mix time helps to promote full hydration, which helps eliminate salts in your mix. Controlled curing conditions can also help prevent the dreaded "white stuff." StoneBilt Concepts® employs all of these preventative steps in our manufacturing process.
As stated above, even though major efforts are made to prevent efflorescence, sometime it just happens. The raw materials that make up concrete come from the earth, and from time to time those materials may be more or less "salty," and therefore more prone to efflorescence.
The good news is that the process will eventually stop when the residual salts have been eliminated from the finished concrete. In the mean time the efflorescence can be removed. If it is a light case, efflorescence may be able to be removed with just plain water. The salts will become solution again when water is added, and thorough rinsing is important (if the salts are left to dry on the surface over and over again they can begin to bond with the concrete and become much more difficult to remove). If thorough rinsing does not do the job there are several companies that make efflorescence removers. These products all contain some sort of acid that will help break down the crystals and remove them from the surface. It is important to try these products in a discreet area to test their reaction with your concrete before applying to the entire job.
After the efflorescence is removed there are several sealers available that can reduce the risk of the "white stuff" making a return. There are penetrating sealers that will not add a glossy finish, but will prevent water from penetrating the concrete. There are also high and low gloss sealers available, which can give the concrete a shiny wet look. If a sealer is used care should be taken to choose a breathable version. Some sealers can actually trap efflorescence below the surface of the sealer and make the stain permanent, but breathable sealers will allow water vapor to escape, taking the salts with it where it can be easily removed.
Efflorescence is an annoyance. However, some basic education and some easy maintenance can keep efflorescence from being a long term problem on your project.
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has recently revised their specifications for Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) Walls. On July 1, 2010, Special Provision 504 for both Block AND Panel MSE Walls were released. Both Special Provisions now include a section on Hybrid MSE Wall Systems. Per the documents,
"Hybrid MSE wall systems shall have a facing area of 3.5 square feet and be stabilized by a counterfort."
StoneBilt Concepts®' LOCK+LOAD™ Retaining Wall System meets CDOT's revised specifications for Hybrid MSE Wall Systems.
In addition, Block MSE Walls are now subject to a lengthy freeze and thaw durability test that could impact construction schedule. Due to StoneBilt Concepts' air-entrained, wet-cast concrete, LOCK+LOAD is waived from this test.
For more information on LOCK+LOAD, please click here.