Tim Fields, Technical and Development Manager at Anderton Concrete, explores the benefits of using precast concrete shuttering systems to construct resilient retaining walls and basements for high value developments.
The latest research from Glenigan indicates that the volume of private housing project-starts rose 61% between February and April 2021, when compared to the same period in 2020.
With the market currently experiencing such prosperity, particularly when compared to the stagnation experienced last year, it is essential that housebuilders are not only fulfilling this new and increased level of demand, but are simultaneously overcoming any potential backlog in developments due to Covid-19.
To successfully achieve this amplified rate of building and expand potential profit margins, without compromising on the overall quality or resilience of the build, developers should begin by taking an alternative approach to the building fabric itself.
Modular retaining walls are a useful way to extend the area of level ground available for building, particularly where there is limited ground for development. This method of construction can also successfully support the building of basements as an effective method of adding additional square meterage to a property, particularly where horizontal land may be limited.
By choosing a direct alternative to formwork and installing concrete shuttering blocks that are dry laid, housebuilders can significantly increase onsite efficiency, whilst simultaneously reducing overall expenditure.
This is due to concrete shuttering blocks facilitating the construction of single skin retaining walls up to 3.5 metres high, combining the ease of blockwork with the versatility of in-situ concrete. This sets the standards for longevity and quality, whilst also minimising the time spent on building each property.
As the unique construction of each block readily accepts vertical and horizontal reinforcement, the concrete is pumped directly into the inter-connected cavities. The end result is unrivalled strength and resistance to water infiltration, when combined with an appropriate waterproofing system.
This also makes it the ideal solution for swimming pools. In addition, retaining walls can be used to create unique high quality terraces and attractive landscaping, particularly for prestigious developments targeting more affluent individuals where it’s imperative the property stands apart from competitors.
This year, developers have a real opportunity to utilise retaining wall systems, such as Anderton Concrete’s unique Stepoc 325 Concrete Shuttering System, which has been proven to be one of the most cost-effective methods of construction, to capitalise on the current housing boom.
Following independent analysis, the Stepoc system has been found to offer a substantial cost saving of over 30% when compared with in-situ concrete and an approximate saving of 20% against cavity block construction, all without compromising on quality or performance and enhancing the speed and quality of building. Systems such as this provide developers with a real opportunity to transform the construction of high-end developments and set the standard for efficiency and quality of build.