Archives for Commercial Concreting

Commercial Landscaping Naturalistic Gardening.

Commercial Landscaping of Public Spaces.

Commercial Landscaping of Public Spaces provides quality open green and accessible places for the community. From walkable shady streets to the commercial landscaping around libraries, museums and community centres, these landscaped areas form the heart of local communities. It is through these areas that many people in local communities connect, play, walk or cycle. In these ways, the commercial landscaping supports the health and well being of local communities as well as providing essential environmental habitats for indigenous species. The design of the commercial building landscape has a significant impact on the success of these public spaces.

Commercial landscaping with a children's play area.

Commercial landscaping with a children’s play area. Design by Angelo Carrafa Landscape Architects (ACLA)

The History of Public Spaces

Many of the public spaces we see in cities today are reflections of ancient public spaces. Public spaces for democratic political discussion have their roots in the ancient Greek Agora of the Polis and were extended to ancient Roman Fora. The Romans also were instrumental in spreading the Greek peristyle courtyard garden, which later evolved into the cloistered abbey garden and courtyard, throughout Europe.

Public Space Ancient Agora Athens.

Victorian engraving of an ancient view of the Agora at Athens. Note the peristyle building in the background.

Ancient public spaces were primarily functional market places, thoroughfares and meeting places and as such were social spaces.

The Persians, Babylonians and Assyrians

Going back even further, Persian gardens are described in the old testament as pleasure gardens. The gardens were designed to enable cool water and shade to be enjoyed in private.  The landscaping also included man made hills with terraces planted with shrubs and trees.

Greek Gardens of the Classical Period

Sport and public places were both big parts of Greek culture. Sports grounds developed into the academy and the lyceum and people gathered in these places.  The public spaces in Greek life included groves of shade trees which is essential in a Mediterranean garden. Also included were some porticoes, spectator seating and the exercise ground itself. It was around this time that a courtyard garden design with rows of columns supporting roofs over covered walkway became part of the urban lifestyle. This garden design became known as “peristyle” from the Greek word “peri” meaning around (as in perimeter) and “style” which means column. It is thought that this style of architecture originated in temples like the Temple of Hera at Samos and was then adopted for domestic buildings.

Greek Gardens of the Hellenistic Period

The death of Alexander the great was the start of a new age in Greece where the country was less Athens centric. New luxurious gardens or pleasure grounds had sprung in the Greek colonies. Notable amongst these were the gardens at Syracuse and Alexandria. These gardens were more influenced by gardens in the east. Under Alexander the great Macedonia had formed a huge empire stretching from Macedonia to parts of India. Within the empire the spread of people brought architecture and landscaping to different cities. After the death of Alexander, the empire was divided, and the various kings spent money on gardens and architecture to impress their guests.

Pleasure Gardens

According to historian John Plumb, the 1700s in London was an age of commercialised leisure. This was largely due to rising incomes and the growth of the middle class in Britain. New ideas emerged about how people could converse and socialise with each other one of these being the pleasure garden. On the rural outskirts of eighteen century London, pleasure gardens sprang up in places like Hampstead, Ranelagh and Vauxhall.

The Cremorne Gardens on the banks of the Yarra

The Cremorne gardens on the banks of the Yarra near Richmond  was Melbourne’s first Amusement park. The concept of the gardens was based on the Cremorne Gardens in Chelsea London.

Cremorne Gardens Melbourne

Cremorne Gardens Melbourne was based on English Pleasure Gardens.

 

Botanical Gardens

Botanical Gardens such as the Royal Melbourne Botanical Gardens, have formed important public spaces for communities for hundreds of years.

Public Space Ornamental Lake Botanical Gardens Melbourne.

 

The Commercial Landscaping Goals in Public spaces

The aim of the commercial landscaping design of public spaces should be to make the public space a welcoming and inclusive place for the enjoyment of people of all ages and abilities. This will necessitate the landscape architect designing in wheelchair access, bridges and ramps. The designers and urban planners need to consider the users as the primary focus of the landscape design.

Public Space Ramp for Wheelchair access Balwyn Community Centre.

Public Space Ramp for Wheelchair access Balwyn Community Centre. Design by Angelo Carrafa Landscape Architects (ACLA)

Commercial Landscaping Design

Well designed commercial landscaping should also enhance the opportunities for socialising, recreation and relaxation and along with the aesthetic goals, contribute to the local character of the neighbourhood.

Commercial landscaping Melbourne Balwyn

Commercial Landscaping at Balwyn Community Centre

To these ends, the commercial landscaping and the facilities should where possible include a diversity of activities. Some examples of these include tennis courts, barbeques, scooter tracks, outdoor gyms as well as tranquil areas like urban wetlands. It is essential that these are community facilities that are often available for a wide range of users at different times of the day.

Commercial Landscape Installation. Durable outdoor furniture for parks and public spaces

The provision of comfortable and durable seating is also an essential part of the commercial landscaping design. People in the public space need areas for relaxing and recovering as well as just having a chat with friends.

(Design by Angelo Carrafa Landscape Architects (ACLA) Commercial Landscape Architects )

Seating is particularly important for elderly members of the local community. Where possible curved seating will enable people to chat and hear and see each other better. This curved furniture design will benefit the hearing impaired when chatting with friends.

Commercial Landscaping using Seating using recycled materials.

Commercial Landscaping using Seating using recycled materials. (Photograph by Botton and Gardiner)

Landscaping Infrastructure

Much of the cost of commercial landscaping of public spaces is in the hardscaping infrastructure. This includes structures such as flowing insitu concrete retaining  walls, agricultural drainage, irrigation systems and concrete paths.

 

Commercial Landscaping with insitu concrete retaining walls

Commercial Landscaping with insitu concrete retaining walls. Design by Angelo Carrafa Landscape Architects (ACLA)

 

Commuter thoroughfares and Size, Location and Important Interfaces

Some other important factors for the success of the commercial landscaping of public space include size, location and interfaces with adjoining properties. Ideally, pathways will provide a commuting thoroughfare for walking or cycling as well as a pleasant stroll for exercise.

The sustainability of Commercial Landscaping Designs

Modern commercial landscaping makes extensive use of drought tolerant Australian Native plants and drip irrigation systems. Attractive Australian native grasses are used in both mass planting and individual planting schemes. Where planted as individual plants, it is expected that they will naturally spread to fill an area. Much more use of rainwater harvesting is happening in commercial landscaping as well as the use of rain gardens, permeable concrete and permeable paving to filter and retain storm water in commercial landscapes as well as apartment blocks. There is also a trend in commercial landscaping towards much greater use of recycled materials for construction of asphalt roads and paths as well as the use of eco-concrete.

 

Commercial Landscaping for Active Living

The university of South Australia conducted a study in 2009 on the relationship between active living and the provision of public open space. Amongst the key findings of the study were that attractive commercial landscaping lead to a higher likelihood of people being physically active. This is just one more way that the aesthetic design of commercial landscaping contributes to the health and wellbeing of the community. Another key finding was that “High quality open space design and amenities are crucial.”

Outdoor Gym Installation Balwyn Community Centre

Outdoor Gym Installation Balwyn Community Centre. Design by Angelo Carrafa Landscape Architects (ACLA)

 

 Commercial Landscaping to attract visitors

Well designed and constructed commercial landscaping will serve to attract visitors to the public space by providing important street appeal. When attractive vistas are available from the interfacing properties and thoroughfares, the public space becomes a people magnet. Commercial landscaping through the provision of trees, shrubs and other greenery will create an aesthetic that people will want to visit. One important factor in Melbourne commercial landscaping is the provision of shade trees over seating areas and car parks. As with residential landscaping, kerb appeal of a public space is important.

 

 

Tennis court repair Balwyn

Tennis court construction Balwyn Design by Angelo Carrafa Landscape Architects (ACLA) – Commercial landscape architects

 

 

What makes a great public space?

 

What makes a Public Space Great?

What makes a Public Space Great? An explanation from the Project for Public Spaces.

To quote from the Project for Public Spaces; “Great public spaces are those places where celebrations are held, social and economic exchanges occur, friends run into each other, and cultures mix. They are the “front porches” of our public institutions – libraries, field houses, schools – where we interact with each other and government. When theses spaces work well, they serve as the stage for our public lives.” – Project for Public Spaces

Related Commercial Landscaping information from Red’s Landscaping Melbourne

 

Commercial Construction and Landscaping

 

Balwyn Landscaping – Commercial Project

 

Commercial Landscaper Melbourne

 

Melbourne Landscaper – Mill Park Leisure

 

© Red’s Landscaping Melbourne – Quality Landscapers Melbourne

 

More information on Public Spaces and Commercial Landscaping

Public Space at the Crossroads of everything.

 

A glossary of Road Diet Stratergies.

 

What is Public Space and Why does it need protecting.

 

Landscape Australia. The Politics of Public Space

 

Urban design guidelines for Public Space

 

Melbourne Parks and Public spaces

 

Victorian Walks and Public Spaces

 

Landscape Design Credit ACLA

 

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Concrete Path in Exposed Aggregate Concrete

3 Best Concrete Path Construction Techniques

Concrete Path Construction makes use of one of the world’s most versatile materials.

Concrete is world’s second most consumed product for a reason. Concrete and construction come hand in hand. It is used not only in buildings, irrigation projects, artificial reefs, energy production projects but in pathways too.

"Exposed

Concrete – due to its simplicity – is one of the most used construction product for residential pathways and patios. Concrete pathway can be made with different techniques. They can include large size stones with concrete used as a cementing material to give them a simple yet artistic look. Or, can be as easy as pouring mixed concrete and levelling them. A simple google search about concrete path would result in a plethora of images which we can use for concrete pathways design ideas. Similarly, if you are looking for commercial concreters in a certain place, ‘Commercial Concreters Melbourne’ or ‘Concrete Paths Melbourne’ are the keywords you’d probably want to type on search engines.

3 Best concrete paths and their construction techniques and Features.

 

Although we are generally talking about concrete path construction for a small section, this can applied to laying concrete path around the house or even a concrete backyard patio. Concrete pathways for residential projects usually don’t experience high loads and therefore reinforcement wouldn’t be necessary. This is also a good application for the use of permeable concrete.

Following are the three best types of Concrete Paths based on their simplicity of construction and their aesthetics.

1.   The poured Concrete Path

This type of construction is pretty simple and requires almost zero technicality and could be concrete path DIY project for you and family. A mix for concrete path can be obtained ready made from market or can be prepared at home.

pouring a concrete path

Pouring a Concrete path from a mixer

Generally, a mix of 1:1.5:2.5 @ 0.5 water-to-cement ratio – this translates to 1 part of Cement, 1.5 parts of Sand and 2.5 parts of aggregate with water half the amount of cement – works fine and gives more or less a strength of 20 MPa ( M20 Grade/ 3000 psi).  Concrete path thickness is usually from 75 mm to 100 mm (3 in to 4 in).

Pouring a concrete path

Pouring a concrete path into the prepared formwork.

 

In case one wants to get a readymade concrete path mix from market, it can be selected based on Concrete Grades/ Strengths that are usually mentioned on the bag along with the amount of water to be used.

Reference: https://nmreadymix.com/concrete-supplier-and-six-diy-concrete-home-projects/

Commercial Concreting is also a viable option which is easily available through commercial landscaping companies. In this case, one just has to mention the desired Concrete Grade/ Strength and the usage of concrete – such as concrete for path construction – and leave the rest on the company. They have all the equipment and technology used for concrete.

Concrete Path Construction steps

  1. Scrape off the loose soil
  2. Compact the layer of soil using a Plate Compacter or using other means.
  3. Lay a layer of aggregate/ crushed stones – around 20 mm in size.
  4. Pour the Concrete
  5. Screed the Surface
  6. Provide the expansion joints*.
  7. Let it harden. Concrete hardens by chemical reaction known as curing and not simply by drying out.

*Concrete tends to expand during hot days. Allowing it to expand freely by providing joints at suitable intervals would allow it to avoid concrete cracks.

Screeding the surface of the concrete

Screeding the surface of the concrete

 

 

2.   Concrete Mould Pathways

Concrete Mould pathways, although a little demanding as compared to concrete poured pathways, are aesthetically the most pleasing ones. Concrete Blocks are easily available from different companies online. Or, concrete path mould can also be purchased after which it is as easy as pouring concrete and levelling the surface.

Concrete path cost does increase by a little amount in case you’d want to spend extra for the moulds, but the results justify the extra cost. A similar effect can be created by concrete stencilling, which will create a much more durable path.

Reference: https://www.lowes.com/n/how-to/building-walks-and-patios-with-walk-maker

DIY Construction of the concrete path

  1. Scrape off the loose soil
  2. Compact the layer of soil using a Plate Compacter or using other means.
  3. Lay a layer of aggregate/ crushed stones – around 20 mm in size.
  4. Place the mold
  5. Pour the Concrete
  6. Screed the Surface
  7. Remove the mold and place it nearby for the neighboring patch
  8. Let it harden

3.   Exposed Aggregate Concrete Path

Exposed Aggregate Concrete Path or simply called Aggregate Concrete Path is very similar to the Poured Concrete Path only with the difference of mix ratio and aggregate used. The mix ratio is designed in a manner that the aggregate is exposed to the surface. The texture is an important consideration here. The exposed aggregate renders a rough finish which increases the friction and is much easier to walk on. This makes it an ideal surface for commercial concreting or for landscaping around swimming pools.

 

"Exposed

This friction reduces the chances of people slipping while walking or moving things with wheels specially when the surface is wet This is a very practical consideration in Melbourne commercial concreting.

Since the aggregate is exposed here, it is not recommended to use crushed stones. Natural Stones of different colours with decorative uses are preferred in this type of construction which can increase the cost.

Another method of making exposed aggregate is simply mixing the conventional concrete, pouring it then seeding the decorative natural stones on top of the surface. This reduces the cost of the pathway and is much simpler and therefore easier for DIY path construction.

(Reference: https://www.customconcrete.biz/2014/08/26/broom-finished-concrete-vs-exposed-aggregate-concrete/)

DIY Exposed Aggregate Concrete Path Construction

  1. Scrape off the loose soil
  2. Compact the layer of soil using a Plate Compacter or using other means.
  3. Lay a layer of aggregate/ crushed stones – around 20 mm in size.
  4. Pour the Concrete
  5. Screed the Surface
  6. Seed the decorative stones
  7. Provide the joints
  8. Let it harden

 

 

Commercial Landscaping of Public Spaces

In Commercial concreting steel reinforcement and high quality concrete is always used. The steel reinforcement minimises the risk of micro-cracks appearing and increases the path’s strength. To achieve this the steel reinforcement must be in the top 1/3 of the concrete. The reinforcement is held in position be plastic saddles during the concrete pour.

If there is any possibility of vehicular traffic on your path, then it needs to be designed and built to the standards of a driveway. If you have any doubts, consider using a commercial concreting contractor for the important parts of the concrete path construction.

 

 

Related Landscaping Ideas from Red’s Landscaping and Civil Pty Ltd

Concreting Melbourne

 

3 Best Types of Concrete Retaining Wall

 

7 Great Reasons to choose Permeable Concrete

 

Concrete – 9 things you need to know for better concreting.

 

Exposed Aggregate

 

© 2020 Reds Landscaping and Civil quality commercial landscaping Melbourne

 

References and Further Reading on Concrete Path Construction.

Handy Man

 

Exposed Aggregate Concrete

 

Home Guides Backyard Projects

 

 

 

 

 

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In-situ concrete retaining wall with native grasses at Balwyn Community Centre

3 Best Types of Concrete Retaining Wall

A Concrete Retaining wall can be described as a structure that retains the lateral pressure – usually formed due to soil. In simple terms, it is nothing but a wall that holds the soil on one side of it so the desired changes of the ground level elevation can be achieved. A difference of Elevation levels can be seen on the either side of the retaining wall in the illustration.  A basement wall, for instance, is a retaining wall.

Concrete retaining wall terminology.

Concrete retaining wall terminology.

Retaining Walls

Retaining walls can be made up of materials like stone masonry, timber, steel etc. However, the most common material is concrete for retaining walls construction owing to its durability, adaptability and availability. It can be moulded in to any shape and size, can be ordered from concrete plants or made on the site – also called insitu concrete retaining walls.

 

commercial retaining wall contractors stripping the formwork off the commercial retaining walls.

Commercial retaining wall contractors stripping the formwork off the walls.

Concrete Retaining Walls

Concrete retaining walls can be of different types based on their working methods and type of construction. These include, but are not limited to, Gravity Wall, Cantilever wall, Piling Wall and Anchored Wall. On a smaller scale of retaining walls, which is where smaller lateral loads are applied, block retaining wall and sleeper retaining wall – made of concrete retaining wall blocks and concrete retaining wall sleepers respectively – are also common.

Gravity Retaining Wall

A gravity retaining wall uses its self-weight to counter the lateral loads coming from soil. For this reason, the gravity walls are usually big and therefore heavier as compared to other retaining walls. It can be used for retaining walls as high as 3 metres.

 

Gravity Retaining Wall

Gravity Retaining Wall with design guidlines.

 

 

Construction is pretty simple and can be done with plain concrete only. A proper drainage system should be provided to avoid the lateral pressure caused due to the water in soil.

Commercial Concreting

Although Concrete can be prepared on-site it is better to use the services of Commercial Concreting companies. The concrete provided is designed in a proper manner keeping the right amount of water, cement, fine and coarse aggregate along with any additives, if needed. They provide concrete based on Concrete’s compressive strength which is usually difficult to know when concrete is prepared on-site, unless very strict precautions are taken and a sample has already been checked in the lab.

Generally, the use of Commercial Concreting makes the construction of concrete structures much easier and more reliable.

Cantilever Retaining Wall

A cantilever retaining wall, as the name suggests, is based on cantilever technique where a slab is put underground to support the stem (see illustration).

cantilever retaining wall

The cantilever design of retaining wall enables the use of a thinner wall stem. The wall usually uses in-situ reinforced concrete with a toe section and a heel section running under the earth fill. The instillation of the steel reinforcement is critical for this type of wall.

 

Since the cantilever retaining wall is of a smaller section as compared to gravity walls, reinforcement is provided in normal conditions. Alternatively, Pre-cast concrete and Pre-stressed concrete can also be used for the construction. It can used for retaining walls up to 10 meters of height.

Construction, however, is not as simple as compared to gravity retaining walls. And, a suitable drainage system is provided to avoid to extra lateral pressure that would be caused due to the water available in soil.

Piled Retaining Wall

Piled retaining wall is nothing but reinforced concrete piles driven next to each other in the ground up to a certain depth that is enough to counter the lateral earth pressure. A gravel fill is usually provided for the drainage of water.

piled concrete retaining wall

Construction site on the edge of a river to protect riverbank collapse with concrete pile foundation and concrete pipeline for water flow.
Retaining wall construction.

 

 

Sheet pile retaining walls are also used in a similar manner. These kind of piles can be used for the retaining walls which are up to 6 meters in height. The construction requires heavy machinery for the drilling or driving of piles in the ground. Construction is complex and therefore requires technical knowledge.

Anchored Retaining Wall

Anchored retaining walls are usually provided where a high retaining wall with a thin cross section is required. Wires or deep cable rods are driven deep sideways and then anchored by pouring concrete on to them. These tiebacks or anchors act against the sliding and over-turning of the retaining wall.

Similar to other methods, a drainage system is provided to avoid excess lateral pressure caused due to the water.

 

anchored concrete retaining wall

An anchored concrete retaining wall.

 

Gravity Retaining walls, Cantilever Retaining Wall and other described above are the kinds of retaining walls that are supposed to take high lateral loads. These kind of walls usually require an engineer and a technical team to design the retaining walls which would stand against sliding and over-turning failures.

Small retaining walls, usually up to 1.2 meters (4 feet), can be constructed and used on a private property with little expertise. All you’ll need is time and materials to construct these retaining walls. Such small retaining walls are constructed to hold back the garden soil and for other smaller lateral loads.

Concrete Block Retaining walls and Concrete Sleeper Retaining walls are possibly the best choices for such tasks.

Concrete Block Retaining Wall

A concrete block retaining wall is nothing but a set of concrete blocks stacked on top of each other. But, in order to make it a retaining wall that lasts for years and can take loads in a safe manner, some construction techniques should be utilized.

Block wall

A Concrete Block Retaining wall under construction.

 

In situ concrete stairs and block walls.

In situ concrete stairs and block retaining walls.

Concrete Block Retaining Wall Construction

First of all, a trench of certain height should be dug and compacted. A layer of crushed stone base, 15 mm 20 mm stones in size, should be provided. This requires less compaction and is good for the drainage.

Concrete blocks, or hollow concrete blocks, are then stacked in the form of a masonry so that all the joints should not come in the same vertical line. This would allow the retaining walls to resist vertical loads as well.

Depending on the concrete blocks you are using, the can come up with butt joints or locking flange to avoid sliding of one block over the other.

The same stones that we used for the stone base can be provided on the back of retaining wall for the drainage of water to avoid extra water pressure.

 

 

Concrete Sleeper Retaining Wall

Concrete Sleeper Retaining wall is very similar to concrete block retaining wall. In this retaining wall, concrete sleepers are used instead of concrete blocks. A number of companies provide factory-made sleepers and vertical posts.

Sleeper Wall

An example of a concrete Sleeper Retaining Wall. – Photo Credit – Bunnings.

 

Concrete Sleeper Retaining Wall Construction

Site should be cleared and levelled. Measurements should be made and auger holes should be dug for a depth of around 1.4 meters for a retaining wall of 1 meter height. A deeper hole would be required in case the retaining wall is higher than 1 meter. The posts should then be concreted into the ground so they are secure. A Concrete of around 20MPa strength would do the job.

Once the concrete is hardened and posts are in their proper place, sleepers should be paced. Seal the back of sleepers with a plastic sheet or with a concrete layer. A perforated drainage pipe should be provided to run along the length of wall. A drainage material such as crushed stone of around 20 mm in size should be provided over the pipe.

 

 

After the placement of sleepers, one should wait for around 7 days for the concrete to gain strength after which it is okay to pour the backfill material.

 

 

 

Three Best Types of Concrete Retaining Walls

Since there are different uses for each Concrete Retaining Wall mentioned in this text, it is difficult to choose the best three types. However, if we grade them based on their simplicity of construction, we can list three.

  1. Concrete Block Retaining Wall
  2. Concrete Sleeper Retaining Wall
  3. Concrete Gravity Retaining Wall

Afore-mentioned retaining walls offer simple construction methods and can be constructed without any technical assistance, if their usage is limited to private properties and shorter heights of around 1.2 metres.

Concrete Retaining Walls in Commercial Landscaping

In commercial landscaping there is a need to be able to produce a large quantity of strong retaining walls economically as well as maintaining the required aesthetic qualities. To achieve this In-situ Concrete walls are a good choice for their low maintenance and cost effective installation costs. Concrete block retaining walls are also widely used in commercial landscaping.

 

Related Landscaping Ideas from Red’s Landscaping and Civil

Commercial Landscaping of Public Spaces.

 

Commercial Landscaping

 

Concreting Melbourne

 

7 Great Reasons to choose Permeable Concrete

 

Concrete – 9 things you need to know for better concreting.

 

Melbourne Landscaper – Mill Park Leisure

 

7 things you need to know about exposed aggregate concrete paths

 

In-situ Concrete

 

© 2020 Reds Landscaping and Civil quality commercial landscaping Melbourne

 

References and Further Reading

 

About Civil

 

The Constructor

 

The Family Handymanre

 

Lowes – How to Build

 

Installation Guide

 

Trojan Sleeper Installation

 

Commercial Concrete

 

The Constructor

 

Icon Walls

 

The Bunnings Range.

 

Concrete Sleepers

 

 

 

 

 

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Permeable Concrete -

7 Great Reasons to choose Permeable Concrete

Permeable Concrete or pervious concrete is changing the way public spaces are landscaped.

Concrete is the second most consumed product in the world. And contrary to our belief, its usage is much wider than constructing buildings only. With recent developments in Concrete, it has become an important material for an array of usages. Permeable Concrete is a prime example of development in concrete industry. Although the material itself isn’t new, since it was first used in 1852, it has been attracting renewed attention.

What is Permeable Concrete?

Permeable Concrete is also known as Porous Concrete, Pervious Concrete, Gap Graded Concrete, No-Fines Concrete and Enhanced-Porosity Concrete. Permeable concrete, similar to Normal Concrete, uses a mix of Cement, Water and Coarse Aggregate with little or no sand (Fine Aggregate) in it. The resulting concrete has 15% to 25% voids which ensure a water flow rate of 480 in/hr or more. Although the higher porosity, and lack of mortar paste reduces the strength of pervious concrete as compared to the conventional one but it is sufficient for most of its uses.

 

What are the Applications of Permeable Concrete

Although Pavement Construction is the major application of Pervious Concrete since it reduces the stormwater runoff and adds to the surface water table. In fact, the usage of Permeable Concrete in Pavement Construction is considered as one of the Best Management Practices (BMP) by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA). The usage of Permeable Concrete in pavements and in other horizontal constructions, depending on the precipitation values of a certain region, can eliminate the need of retention ponds and other precipitation runoff storage facilities. This would result in a more efficient land use especially in urban areas where land is already expensive.

Permeable-Concrete

Figure 1 Pervious Concrete Pavement (Divya Bhavana et al., 2017)

 

Below are some of the many applications in modern landscaping;

  • Residential Roads and Driveways
  • Parking Lots
  • Pavements with low traffic volume
  • Tennis Courts
  • Sub-base for conventional concrete pavements
  • Artificial Reefs
  • Well Linings
  • Slope Stabilisation
  • Swimming Pool Decks
  • Pavement Edge Drains

Production of Pervious Concrete

Production of Permeable Concrete is very similar to Normal Concrete since it uses the same ingredients. However, the amount of ingredients differ. Pervious Concrete is also mix designed and therefore should be designed for the desired purpose.
A general guideline is enlisted in the table.
Table 1 Typical Mix Proportion for Pervious Concrete (Divya Bhavana et al., 2017)

 

Material Quantity (kg/cubic metre)
Cement 270 to 415
Aggregate (Coarse and Fine) 1190 to 1480
Water to Cement Ratio (by mass) 0.27 to 0.34
Aggregate to Cement Ratio (by mass) 4 to 4.5
Fine to Coarse Aggregate Ratio (by mass) 0 to 1

 

This typical guideline is for information only and therefore a trial mix should always be prepared and checked for the desired purpose. Apart from the usual materials, Supplementary Cementitious Materials (SCM) and chemical admixtures are also used as per their dosage mentioned by the manufactures.

Water to Cement Ratio

A lower water to cement ratio is used since higher water to cement ratios would affect the compressive strength of concrete. If desired for a purpose where compressive strength is of no importance, a higher water to cement ratio can be used.
Usage of Fine Aggregate would reduce the permeability of concrete and make it less porous, however the compressive strength would be improved.
Lightweight aggregate, recycled aggregate and other types of aggregate or other techniques like fly ash geopolymer concrete have also been utilized to make Permeable Concrete.

Characteristics of the Concrete

Although it is similar to Normal Concrete in terms of its ingredients, it has a plethora of characteristics that make this concrete different. Enlisted are some characteristics of Hardened and Green (Fresh) Permeable Concrete.
The Permeable Concrete has a textured surface after placement.
In-place densities are usually 1600 kg/m^3 to 2000 kg/m^3
Due to low or no mortar content, Permeable Concrete renders a lower slump value and a stiffer consistency. Slump values are usually less than 20 mm (0.75 inches).
In spite of higher void percentage the Permeable Concrete can render a compressive strength of 3.5 MPa to 28 MPa (500 psi to 4000 psi). Typical values are about 17 MPa (2500 psi).
No Darby, Trowel or Bullfloat is used since they tend to seal the surface of concrete.

Permeable Concrete -

I.Idro Drain – Heidelberg cement (Photo – Italcementi a division of Heidelberg cement.)

 

7 Benefits of using Pervious Concrete in Commercial Landscaping.

Permeable Concrete is much more than a way to reduce the stormwater runoff in urban areas. Listed below are some benefits of using Permeable Concrete.
It reduces the pollution by allowing the water to percolate in the ground. The sand chemistry and biology are allowed to treat the water naturally.
Allowing the rainfall to percolate, it recharges ground water and aquifers.
It improves the land use especially in Urban Areas
The light colour of Concrete and relatively open pore structure absorb and store less heat respectively when compared to Normal Concrete. This helps in lowering heat in urban areas.
It is difficult for trees planted in parking lots and sidewalks to grow in impervious concrete environments since it makes it difficult for water to reach the roots. Trees benefit from Permeable concrete and further reduce the heat in urban areas.
It eliminates the risk of ponding over the roads over a longer periods of time as observed in some developing countries after rainfall.
The pervious concrete can absorb the noise of the vehicles on the road creating a pleasant environment.
In rainy days, pervious concrete pavements do not have splashes which glisten at night and are dangerous for drivers.
As per recent researches, the permeable concrete can also be used for the purification of sea water.

 

 

Related Landscaping Ideas from Red’s Landscaping and Civil Melbourne

3 Best Types of Concrete Retaining Wall

 

Concrete – 9 things you need to know for better concreting.

 

7 things you need to know about exposed aggregate concrete paths

 

Concrete Architecture in Landscaping

 

In-situ Concrete

 

© 2020 Reds Landscaping and Civil quality commercial landscaping Melbourne

 

References and Further Reading

Draining Concrete Bike Path

 

Draining Outdoor Flooring

 

Paver reduce Pollutioni

 

Divya Bhavana, T., Koushik, S., Uday Mani Kumar, K., & Srinath, R. (2017). Pervious concrete pavement. In International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (Vol. 8, Issue 4). https://doi.org/10.3141/2113-02
Park, S. B., Lee, B., Lee, J., & Jang, Y. Il. (2010). A study on the seawater purification characteristics of water-permeable concrete using recycled aggregate. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 54(10), 658–665. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2009.11.006
Yang, J., & Jiang, G. (2003). Experimental study on properties of pervious concrete pavement materials. Cement and Concrete Research, 33(3), 381–386. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0008-8846(02)00966-3

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Exposed aggregate Concrete Pathway

9 Concrete facts for Melbourne Landscapers.

Concrete is without a doubt it is one of the most versatile used materials in landscape construction. In fact, concrete is the second most widely used substance on the planet after water. From in situ concrete walls to pavers to fence posts it has a enormous range of uses. What are the different types of concrete and its uses?  To properly decide on which mix to use, it is important to understand what it is and what factors affect its physical properties.

 

commercial concreting melbourne

Commercial Concreting Melbourne. Reds Landscaping Melbourne using a boom pump to pour architectural concrete walls

What is Concrete?

In technical terms, it is a structural material consisting of a hard, chemically inert particulate substance, known as aggregate that is bonded together by cement and water. It is a composite material as it consists of both a binder and a filler.

What is difference between concrete and cement?

The binder most commonly used is known as Portland Cement. This is a mixture of finely ground limestone (CaCO3) and shale or clay which has been combined together at around 1500℃. In this process, water and carbon dioxide are removed from the mixture (calcination), then calcium silicates are formed. A small amount of gypsum (CaSO4•2(H2O)) is added to regulate the setting.

Concrete with exposed aggregate.

The aggregate, that is the part of the mix made up of several smaller ingredients, will generally be the sand and gravel. The gravel itself will usually be hard stones of a certain size range. Fine aggregates are below about 10mm in size and are often used in small bags of cement mix or for smaller landscaping work. Larger stone aggregates range from 10 to 40mm in size and are commonly used in construction. It is the stone aggregates that give the mix its compressive strength. As the aggregate is around 70% of the mix, it provides much of the bulk and contributes to its dimensional stability. The rougher the surface of the aggregate and the greater the area in contact with the cement paste, the stronger a concrete will be.

River pebbles will not give your concrete the maximum compressive strength, but they do look great in exposed aggregate concrete.

Rounded particles like river pebbles or beach sand will result in lower strength than crushed aggregates. Larger size aggregates lead to relatively lower strength. Where extra strong mix is needed, a little less aggregate can be used.

Aggregate

Course aggregate.

Water

A key ingredient is of course the water. When the water is combined with the cement as paste is formed which binds the aggregate together. Concrete does not harden by drying out, it hardens by a chemical reaction know as hydration. In this reaction, compounds in the cement react with water molecules to form strong chemical bonds. Ideally, the water should be as pure as possible to prevent the occurrence of any side reactions which may weaken or interfere with the chemical reaction taking place. Even small quantities of organic soil compounds result in chemical reactions that seriously affect the strength. In Melbourne access to good quality water is not usually a problem.

 

 

Concrete Mixer

Loading the Concrete Mixer the correct materials in the correct ratios is essential for making strong concrete. The water needs to be as pure as possible.

The other important point for the landscaper is to get the ratio of water to cement correct. The ratio of water to cement is critical if strong concrete is required. If too much water is added, the strength of the mix will be reduced. Excess water above what is required for the chemical reaction will result in pores on the concrete which will reduce the strength especially the tensile strength. Too little will make the it difficult to work, to fill spaces, or create a good connection to the reinforcement. Accurate measurements and thorough mixing of the cement and water will help prevent these problems.

What is it called when concrete hardens?

Concrete sets with a chemical reaction not by drying.

 

It is set by a chemical reaction and not by drying. This means that it will even will set under water. It is important to remember this fact during the curing stage. The two main hydration chemical reactions from the calcium silicates are as follows;
Tricalcium silicate + Water—>Calcium silicate hydrate+Calcium hydroxide + heat
2 Ca3SiO5 + 7 H2O —> 3 CaO.2SiO2.4H2O + 3 Ca(OH)2 + 173.6kJ
Dicalcium silicate + Water—>Calcium silicate hydrate + Calcium hydroxide + heat
2 Ca2SiO4 + 5 H2O—> 3 CaO.2SiO2.4H2O + Ca(OH)2 + 58.6 kJ

Exothermic reactions

Both of these reactions are exothermic, that is, they release heat. This heat will dissipate quickly in thin sections. In thicker sections, the internal temperature is transferred to the outside much more slowly. As the outer surface of the concrete will cool much more rapidly than the inner core, there can be a difference in reaction speed. This can lead to tensile stresses that can crack the surface as a result of this uncontrolled temperature difference across the cross section. For this reason, concrete should not be poured in very cold temperatures. In cases where thermal cracking does occur, it will be at early ages of curing. The heat can also cause moisture to evaporate from the surface of the concrete, making it weaker. This will be the case if there is insufficient water for the chemical reaction. For these reason excessively thick sections should be avoided in a single pour. Wooden formwork and damp hessian covers can help the curing process. Giving your concrete a very light spray of water as it is curing will often improve the strength.

 

What is the correct mix for concrete?

When mixing concrete for footings or foundations use a mix of 3 parts coarse or sharp sand and 3 parts aggregate with 1 part of a high quality cement.

History of concrete

What have the Romans ever done for us? The Romans are widely credited for the spread of building technologies including concrete throughout Europe. It was the Roman’ Empires’s engineering abilities that enabled them to built an enormous empire throughout Europe and through parts of North Africa and the Middle East. The concrete architecture of the Romans is famous amongst fans of history.

Durable Roman Concrete has lasted centuries.

The Roman  formula for quality concrete

It was know to the Romans as “opus caementicium”. Opus meaning a fortification, composition or a piece of work and caementicium meaning quarried or unhewn stone. The Romans developed their recipe in the third century BC. The ingredient the Romans used was volcanic dust known as pozzolana. This volcanic dust included fine particles of alumina and silica which created the chemical reaction enabling the setting. To this they added a mixture of lime or gypsum, brick or rock pieces and water. Usually the mix was a ratio of 1 part of lime for 3 parts of volcanic ash.

Concrete Pantheon Rome

The Pantheon in Rome was constructed entirely in concrete.

 

 

Concrete Dome of the Pantheon in Rome.

Concrete Dome of the Pantheon in Rome.

Roman Waterproof Concrete

Roman builders discovered that adding crushed terracotta to the mortar created a waterproof material which could be then be used with cisterns and other constructions exposed to rain or water. Recently, it has been found that the Roman mix used in seawall construction has better endurance to seawater than the modern stuff. This was mostly due to one of the minerals of the volcanic rock phillipsite, reacting with the seawater to form aluminous tobermorite which reinforced the concrete over time. After the fall of the Roman empire the technology for making concrete was lost for many years.

 

Assyrians Babylonians and Egyptians.

Among the ancient Assyrians and Babylonians, clay was often used as the bonding material. The Egyptians developed a substance more closely resembling modern concrete by using lime and gypsum as binders. Lime (calcium oxide), was derived from limestone, chalk, or (where available) oyster shells. (Pozzolans are actually a broad class of siliceous or siliceous and aluminous materials.)

Portland cement

In 1824 an English inventor, Joseph Aspdin, burned and ground together a mixture of limestone and clay. As the chemistry of concrete was not fully understood at the time, the proportions of the ingredients were developed by trial and error. This mixture, called Portland cement, has remained the dominant cementing agent used in concrete production. It is named Portland cement as it is an attempt to imitate the limestone from Portland in Dorset on the jurassic coast of England. Portland Limestone formed slowly over the last 150 million years or so as tiny grains of sediments and clays infused the limestone grew and compacted. This gives it both its unique physical properties when grown up for cement, but also its attractive appearance. Portland Limestone has been used in many of the iconic London buildings such as Saint Paul’s Cathedral and the palace of Westminster. As a building material Portland Limestone was popularised by architect Sir Christopher Wren.

Reinforced Concrete.

One of the drawbacks of concrete, despite its great compressive strength, is its lack of tensile strength. This is largely due to its natural porosity. Plain unreinforced concrete does not easily withstand stresses such as wind action, earthquakes, and vibrations and other bending forces and is therefore unsuitable in many structural applications. Low tensile strength also means low strength in bending or when used as a beam.

The Strength of Steel

Steel when compared with concrete has great tensile strength. The solution is to embed the steel into the concrete. This is usually achieved with the use of steel mesh reinforcement. The reinforcing steel, normally takes the form of rods, bars, or mesh. The reinforcement bars are often coined along the surface to give them a good connection to the concrete. The addition of tightly bound reinforcement bars makes the concrete section into a true composite beam. For this reason, the reinforcements must have good overlap.

commercial concreting melbourne. Concrete retaining wall footings.

Commercial Concreting Melbourne. Concrete retaining wall footings with steel reinforcement.

 

 

Joseph Monier

Reinforced concrete is usually attributed to Joseph Monier, a Parisian gardener who made garden pots and tubs of concrete reinforced with iron mesh.This was patented in 1867. In reinforced concrete, the tensile strength of steel and the compressional strength of concrete render a member capable of sustaining heavy stresses of all kinds over considerable spans. Despite the strength of reinforced concrete, efforts should be make to minimise the loads on garden retains walls. This can be achieved by adequate agricultural drainage near the wall. It is important to remember that a cubic metre of water weighs a tonne. Plant selection near the retaining wall is also important plants should be chosen that do not have an invasive root system. For your existing trees, consider the use of a tree root barrier.

Common Problems with Concrete

Concrete Cancer

If the steel reinforcement inside the concrete becomes exposed to water and air, weak carbonic acid can form. This can cause the steel reinforcement to form iron oxide or rust. The Iron oxide, Fe2O3, has a higher volume than the original steel. The expansion of the reinforcement can cause the concrete to crack leading to even more water ingress and rust.

Concrete cancer Elwood Victoria

Pre-cast concrete wheel stop buffers Elwood Victoria. As the steel reinforcement rusts it expands allowing more water in. Melbourne bayside suburbs like Elwood are particularly susceptible.

 

When designing or constructing concrete structures, the reinforcement bars need to be located away from anywhere water can accumulate. This includes the counter bores for fasteners. In Melbourne bayside suburbs like Elwood, salt water can accumulate in counterbores and seep through to the reinforcement via the concretes natural porosity, or through microcracks.

 

concrete cancer in a precast buffer

Concrete cancer in a precast car park buffer. Reinforced concrete should be designed and constructed so that the steel reinforcement is not too close to areas where water can accumulate.

 

Commercial landscaped gardens , or pebble ballast roofs, on flat concrete are particularly susceptible to cancer. For these reasons, it is essential that the roof is properly waterproofed and rooftop garden beds have adequate drainage.

 

Concrete cancer in a footpath crossover.

Concrete cancer is a likely cause of this failure in a pedestrian crossover. Note how close the steel reinforcement has been placed to the top surface allowing pooled water to seep through to the steel reinforcement.. An early indicator of this failure are the grid pattern of cracks in the concrete surface.

 

Understanding the nature of the materials used in residential or commercial landscaping is key to creating a quality Melbourne landscaping solution that can be enjoyed for years to come.

Related Landscaping information from Red’s Landscaping and Civil

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Exposed Aggregate

 

© 2020 Reds Landscaping and Civil quality commercial landscaping Melbourne

 

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The second most widely used substance on the planet.

 

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Tennis court repair Balwyn

Balwyn Landscaping – Commercial Project

Balwyn is an inner eastern suburb of Melbourne and lies in the northern part of the city of Boroondara. It was in this area that grazier John Gardiner settled near the point where Gardiners creek meets the Yarra River. The commercial editor of the Argus, Andrew Murray built house named Balwyn which gives the area its name.

 

How far is Balwyn from the Melbourne CBD?

Balwyn is only 10 kilometres from the Melbourne CBD and in an easterly direction. It was once serviced by the outer loop railway station at Deepdene.

 

Balwyn Community Centre

The Balwyn Community Centre at 412 Whitehorse Road Surrey Hills was upgraded to ensure it would continue to support the needs of the local Balwyn Community. As well as the upgrades to the buildings, there were landscaping works for the parkland, natural wetlands,  exposed aggregate concrete pathways and tennis courts. For this project we were able to showcase all of our commercial landscaping services.

 

Landscaping Balwyn Community Centre. The Scope of works.

 

The hard landscaping for the Community Centre

The scope of work for this project included the following hard landscaping construction;

  • Plain, coloured and exposed aggregate concrete,
  • In-situ or poured in place concrete garden retaining walls,
  • Exposed aggregate concrete driveway crossovers,
  • Concrete upstands, edges, ramps stairs and landings.

 

The soft landscaping for Balwyn Community Centre

The scope of work for this project included the following soft landscaping installation;

 

  • The planting of advanced indigenous trees
  • The application of appropriate fertilizers
  • Lawn areas
  • The planting of native grasses and ornamental plants
  • Aggregate and Gravel
  • Imported top soil to Australian Standards
  • A sophisticated Irrigation System
  • Areas of mass planting
  • Mulched garden beds
  • Planting of Australian Native Shrubs
  • Garden edging.

Existing trees at the Balwyn Community Centre

The existing tress on the site included the following;

  • Pin Oak (Quercus palustris),
  • River Red Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) ,
  • Narrow leaved black Peppermint (Eucalyptus nicholii),
  • Lemon scented gum (Corymbia citriodora),
  • Prickly leaved Paperbark ( Melaleuca styphelioides)
  • Forest Oak (Allocasuarina torulosa),
  • Drooping She-oak (Allocasuarina verticilata)
  • Smooth Barked Apple ( Angophora Costata)

Nearly all of these existing trees were kept in the new landscape design.

 

Native Urban Wetlands

Later in the project rehabilitation of native wetlands was added including a child proof fence.

 

Tennis Court Repairs and reconstruction

Part of the landscaping included repairs to a tennis court and the construction of another tennis court. A good sport surface must be stable, therefore the new tennis court was constructed with asphalt over 300 mm of roadbase.

Synthetic clay Tennis Court surface

 

A low maintenance synthetic clay tennis court surface was required to laid over the asphalt. Therefore, the surface chosen was Grassports Policlay. In addition to being low maintenance, Grassports Policlay is a fast draining low maintenance water free tennis surface resulting in the ideal surface for public tennis courts.

A high quality sporting surface was required, therefore the asphalt layers were flattened rigorously in preparation. The very thick roadbase foundation will also help to maintain the stability of the playing surface. Root barriers we also installed to prevent invasive tree roots causing any unevenness to the playing surface.

 

Soft play surfaces

The soft play coloured surfaces in the landscape was required, so an EPDM wetpour rubber was chosen. In addition to its great colour range, EPDM is a synthetic rubber widely used in the automotive industry. Similarly, its mechanical properties make it ideal for this application. For instance, it has great UV stability, abrasion resistance, ozone resistance and it is water proof. So, the material used was Playkote which was installed as a rubber wet pour over SBR underlay. In addition to the added height, the SBR underlay makes the play surface a little softer. The colourful kids scooter track in Teal, Lime Green and Light Blue Laykold was constructed by Grand Slam Surfaces.

 

 

Balwyn Outdoor Gym Equipment

 

Balwyn Landscaping. Outdoor Gym Equipment ant Balwyn Community Centre

Balwyn Landscaping. Outdoor Gym Equipment ant Balwyn Community Centre

 

Environmentally Friendly Garden Furniture

Garden furniture including picnic tables, benches and seats were installed to add to the public amenity. In addition to the the amenity and aesthetic provided, recycled materials were also used. To this end, the material used was Enviroslat.  Enviroslat is an environmentally friendly low maintenance material produced from HDPE waste mixed with recycled cellulose. The recycled cellulose hardwood waste and rice husks.

 

Outdoor Furniture on Exposed aggregate concrete. Commercial Landscaping at Balwyn Community Centre

Outdoor Furniture on Exposed aggregate concrete. ACLA Consultants landscape architects.

 

 

Table Tennis Table

Outdoor Table Tennis Table with bespoke surface treatment. Commercial Landscaping Balwyn Community Centre.

Outdoor Table Tennis Table with bespoke surface treatment.

 

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The finished Balwyn Commercial landscaping Project

 

About the Balwyn Community Centre  Commercial Landscaping Project

 

Landscape Architects: ACLA Consultants landscape architects.

 

Building Construction: CICG

 

Customer: City of Boroondara

 

Hume Global Learning Centre – Sunbury

 

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© 2020 Reds Landscaping and Civil – Quality landscaping Melbourne

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Hanson Bokhara Exposed aggregate concrete.

Exposed aggregate concrete paths

Exposed aggregate concrete is a great design solution for public spaces. The attractive durable not slip surface makes it an ideal choice for landscape architects. High traffic areas around public buildings often use this type of concrete path.

Exposed Aggregate Colours

The aggregates are available in a wide range of colours to suit your landscape design.  The available colours include red, brown, dark grey basalt, green quarts as well as black and white. In combination with this selection, the fine grain aggregates or sands are also available in a wide range of selections. The colour of these these fine aggregate will also be the more dominant when the surface is lightly abraded. However, more heavily abraded surfaces will result in more of the colour of the course aggregates showing.  This will result in a different appearance for the exposed aggregate concrete path. Coupled with this, the cement matrix can also have colour added. Always take these factors into account when selecting the aggregates and especially during the process of exposing the aggregates.

Exposing the aggregate

In addition to this, exposing the aggregate at a different concrete curing time can lead to different appearance. Similarly, this can result in colour differences for the same site for the same aggregate concrete pathway. To maintain quality, the landscaper must use a consistent approach to exposing the aggregates. As a rule of thumb, no more than 1/3 of the aggregate should be exposed.

 

 

 

The suitability of Exposed Aggregate Pathways

The landscape architect needs to also consider the use of the exposed aggregate concrete path when selecting the aggregate. Use a fine rounded aggregate for areas near swimming pools. For exposed aggregate concrete paths where water drainage is important, 19mm aggregates should be used.  Exposed aggregates of more than 20mm can be very difficult to transport using a concrete pump.

Exposed aggregate concrete strength

When rounded pebbles are used throughout the path, the path will be slightly less strong. This is because the matrix will not bond to the aggregate as tightly as it will with rough shaped aggregates.  Generally, the path should be at least 100mm thick N25 concrete. N25 means that the concrete will achieve a compressive strength of 25 mPa after 28 days.

Preventing Cracks

Even the strongest concrete will be weak in tension or bending and even properly cured concrete will have microcracks. Therefore, to minimise cracking steel reinforcement must be used. For pathways, this should be at least SL 72 using saddles to keep it in the top 1/3 of the concrete.  SL72 means that the bars are each 7mm in diameter with grids of 200mm. The path should be laid on 100mm thick class 3 roadbase , if it is for public spaces. If there is any possibility of a vehicle driving on the path, then the path needs to be built like an exposed aggregate concrete driveway. This will be the case with any vehicle crossovers in the path design. In these cases the concrete needs to be at lease 125mm thick N32 (32mPa) concrete with SL92 mesh laid on at least 100mm of class 2 roadbase.

Landscape design with exposed aggregate concrete

Outdoor Furniture on Exposed aggregate concrete.

Durable Outdoor Garden Furniture on Exposed aggregate concrete. ACLA Consultants landscape architects.

Using alternating concrete colour to break up large areas of concrete.

When the customer requirements call for a large expanse of exposed concrete, alternating contrasting colours can help to break up the appearance.  The public space at Balwyn Community Centre, Melbourne, used alternating exposed aggregate concrete of Hanson Bokhara with Hanson Galaxy. The artificial turf also helps to break the appearance of the large area of concrete and gives the area a more tranquil appearance. (ACLA Consultants landscape architects.)

Contrasting Exposed aggregate concrete

Creating some shade with a tree in the concreted area. The tree roots are protected with a slotted stainless steel grate. The lighter colour Hansen Galaxy forms a geometric pattern around the grate.(ACLA Consultants landscape architects.)

 

Drinking Fountain and exposed aggregate concrete.

Drinking Fountain and exposed aggregate concrete. Hanson Bokhara contrasts well with the natural concrete in-situ walls. (ACLA Consultants landscape architects.)

 

Hanson Bokhara Exposed aggregate concrete.

Exposed aggregate concrete is ideal for garden steps and stairs to help maintain grip. Recent sealing of the concrete makes it appear slightly darker. (ACLA Consultants landscape architects.)

 

Alternating exposed aggregate

Alternating exposed aggregate path.  Garden beds also break up the space. Sunbury Global Learning Centre.

 

Alternating decorative finish path

Alternating coloured path with centre native garden. Sunbury Global Learning Centre.

 

Entrance and Alternating decorative finish concrete path

Building entrance and Alternating exposed coloured path. Sunbury Global Learning Centre.

 

Concrete block garden retaining wall with coping next to the decorative finish concrete path.

Concrete block garden retaining wall with coping next to the alternating exposed coloured path. Sunbury Global Learning Centre. Hanson Bruthen and Hanson Galaxy.

 

Alternating colours of the concrete decorative finish entrance way.

The decorative finish of the alternating decorative finish of the entranceway looks striking when compared to the old concrete footpath in the foreground. Sunbury Global Learning Centre.

Frequently asked questions about Exposed Aggregate Concrete

Is Exposed aggregate concrete expensive?

Exposed aggregate will be more expensive than normal concrete solutions. It will  however, add more value and landscaping interest to your property. There is also extra labour in exposing the aggregate. Alternating colours is  also great way to break up the large expanses of concrete. It will similarly add to the cost, but will add great value to your property.

Should you seal Exposed Aggregate Concrete?

Sealing is essential for these paths. The high quality sealer we use helps to maintain the appearance of the coloured concrete by preventing stains getting into the pores of the concrete. The sealer also helps to prevent dust coming off the concrete.

Newly sealed paths at Balwyn Community Centre

 

 

Is Exposed Aggregate Concrete Durable?

It is important not to exposed too much of the aggregate during the water pressure cleaning part of the process. This is because exposing the aggregate excessively will result in it breaking loose from the matrix. Do not expose them more than 30%. The concrete we use for pathways is N25 with SL72 reinforcement over a thick layer of roadbase.

Residential Concreting Solutions

For residential concreting solutions a smaller version of the commercial landscaping concepts can be applied. In some cases it will be necessary to cart the aggregate mix in by wheelbarrow.

Exposed Aggregate Concrete Melbourne

Concrete Designs, textures and colours

Outwest Concrete have a great range of  aggregate colours available.

Colours and Textures available.

 

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In-situ concrete retaining wall and garden steps.

In-situ Concrete

In-situ Concrete, also known as insitu concrete, is an outstanding landscaping construction technique. In terms of long terms long term quality, robustness and longevity very few landscape construction techniques come close. To many people in-situ concrete is better know as landscaping architectural concrete and it is the point where landscaping, architecture and civil engineering all meet in landscape design.

For the landscape design of public spaces, architectural concrete or in-situ concrete is a great choice for the severe use of our landscaped parks, gardens or commercial buildings. For these reasons, insitu concrete is now widely used by commercial landscapers in Melbourne. 

Some other names for in-situ concrete include “poured in place” concrete or “cast in place”  concrete”.

What is in-situ concrete?

In-Situ Concrete cast in place.

In-situ is concrete that as poured into formwork at the building site. When compared to pre-cast concrete, in-situ requires no crane or forklift to get it into position.

In comparison with concrete block and rendered retaining walls, the very low porosity of sealed and vibed in-situ walls will ensure a quality finish for decades of use. With concrete block retaining walls, the blocks themselves will have some porosity which will allow moisture to creep under the rendered surface and may cause it to lift in a few years. In-situ concrete has the colour mixed in and the texture is provided by the formwork but it can be rendered if required.

In-situ Concrete pumped into the formwork.

In-situ Concrete pumped into the formwork through a boom.

In-Situ Concrete – strong connection to footings.

An additional advantage with in-situ  is it has a very strong and stable attachment to the very solid footings underneath. This is due to the reinforcement bars coming up from the footings and overlapping with the in-situ concrete steel reinforcement.  When compared with concrete block retaining walls, although the steel reinforcement runs up through the centre of the blocks, any voids in the concrete around the reinforcement can lead to corrosion of the reinforcement bars and concrete cancer. The homogeneity of the of the vibed in-situ walls also ensures a good attachment to the steel reinforcing bars and does not suffer the risk of a poor attachment of the core concrete to the inner void of the concrete blocks.

Pre-cast concrete will usually require mechanical fixings to the footing. These fixings can corrode over time or can be ground off by vandals. Being securely attached to the footings is a big advantage of in-situ concrete. Newly constructed public spaces such as parks and gardens will often rely on these quality advantages of in-situ concrete.

Retaining wall footings.

Retaining wall footings with steel reinforcement protruding to give the retaining wall a strong connection to the footing. The reinforcement bars must be accurately placed.

Precast concrete versus in-situ in landscaping concrete architecture.

One of the advantages of precast concrete is that it is manufactured under controlled conditions in a factory. This ensures a consistent quality product. There can be a risk however of coloured concrete coming from different batches resulting in slightly different colours close together. The quality advantages of precast concrete can be matched by in-situ concrete with close attention to the details and quality control of the processes.

 

Quality in-situ concrete retaining walls, stairs and seating.

Commercial Retaining Walls Melbourne

Good quality in-situ concreting requires a lot of attention to the materials and the processes. In-situ concrete wall also need to consider the safety as well as the aesthetics of a public space or residential landscape construction project. A well constructed, quality, curved in-situ concrete wall will achieve both of these aims. For this reason always employ only skilled commercial concrete contractors.

 

Stripping the formwork off the walls.

Stripping the formwork off the walls. Extra effort and attention to detail will result in a quality finish on the retaining walls.

Quality In-situ concreting footings.

Concrete sets by a chemical reaction and not by drying. The chemical reaction is ecothermic and water is part of the reaction. If there is a difference in temperature within the concrete or if the water evaporates quickly from the top surface, then cracking can be the result. Concrete footings should not be poured in freezing conditions or below 5 degrees. Fortunately, in Melbourne there are very few days when it is too cold to pour. In hot weather the concrete should not be poured during the hottest part of the day or in extremely hot weather. The top part of the footing can be kept moist with hessian or a light sprinkling of water to prevent the top layer of the footing being weaker.

Concrete reinforcement bars in the footings.

It is essential that the vertical bars coming out of the footing are located accurately. When the in-situ walls are poured, these bars need to be closed to the centre of the retaining wall with good overlap with the wall reinforcement. The concrete reinforcement within the footing should be encased within the concrete as much as possible to minimise the paths for moisture to get into the reinforcement.

 

Concrete footing design

If designing for in-situ concrete retaining walls, the concrete footing should be a suitable size for the wall, keeping in mind all of the loads on the wall including hydrostatic and mass of the wall. The design of the footings must be to Australian Standards.

 

Formwork for in-situ concrete retaining walls.

Quality in-situ walls require formwork that is smooth, strong and flexible.  Any defect, imperfection of inaccuracy in the formwork will show up in the surface of the wall. The formwork for commercial concrete construction needs to be strong enough to resist the weight of the wet concrete without bulging or deforming. Deflections in timer formwork will show up as ripples in the finished wall. A bulge in the formwork due to the hydrostatic load of the concrete will be a disaster when removing the formwork from the wall. The wall should be designed with a slight draft angle to make the removal easy without causing any damage to the retaining wall.

Strong supports for the formwork.

Strong supports for the formwork keep the wall dimensionally correct.

 

Accurately positioned formwork under construction.

Accurately positioned formwork under construction.

 

Pouring the concrete retaining walls.

Pouring the concrete retaining walls. Using the concrete vibrator to get a quality finish and good adhesion to the reinforcement.

 

 

Commercial Concreting. Stripping the formwork after the concrete pour.

Stripping the formwork after the concrete pour. The top tip from commercial concreting is that the formwork should be left on as long as possible to prevent the concrete drying excessively during curing. Taking the formwork off too early can result in microcracks in the concrete.

 

Commercial Concreting Melbourne at our Balwyn North Construction site. Stripping the formwork after the concrete pour

Stripping the formwork after the concrete pour and curing to show a quality result.

 

In-situ concrete steel reinforcement

The steel reinforcement bars must have a good overlap with the footing reinforcement bars and well encased within the concrete wall. Reinforcement too close to the surface may result in water ingress and concrete cancer.

 

Pouring the in-situ concrete.

The concrete walls should be poured in one go and definitely from the same batch of concrete.  Any interruption of the pour may show up as a line in the finished wall.  The freshly poured concrete should be thoroughly vibed to ensure there are no voids within the concrete especially on the outer surfaces or at the interface with the reinforcement.

The steel reinforcement within tin-situ also helps to prevent surface cracking. To minimise the surface cracks, we leave the formwork in place a little longer to keep the moisture in during curing. The concrete should then be given a light sprinkle of water once the formwork is removed as it is still curing. The concrete will not be fully cured for a few weeks so consider this before applying any excessive loads.

Landscape and Concrete Design

Landscape Design with in-situ walls.

In-situ walls give the landscape designer or the landscape architect enormous freedom to design shapes for retaining walls, seating  or concrete stairs that would be very difficult, if not impossible, using precast of other landscape construction techniques. In-situ walls can be designed into three dimensional shapes that would be impossible or expensive to do as Pre-cast. Curved retaining walls on an uneven landscape would be very difficult to achieve with any other landscape construction technique. Another advantage is the wide range of colours available.

In-situ concrete curved seating part of our commercial concrete construction Melbourne portfolio.

In-situ concrete curved seating. Shapes like this are difficult with other landscape construction techniques.

 

Concrete stairs Cast in Place

Concrete stairs Cast in Place. This process is ideal for intricate or bespoke designs.

 

 

In-situ curved garden retaining wall.

Exposed aggregate path and in-situ curved garden retaining wall. Overflowing Australian native grasses in the garden bed soften the look of the concrete. The exposed aggregate path provides an attractive contrast to the wall and plants. It is also a safe non-slip cost-effective solution.

 

In-situ retaining wall and steps

In-situ retaining wall and steps

 

Curved In-Situ retaining wall.

Curved In-Situ retaining wall prior to the final touch up and surface treatment. The joins in the formwork will be visible until the concrete is ground back to an even join.

As the concrete is pumped in, damage to other landscaping structures can be avoided, making it  easier for the landscape project planner to  schedule the construction. These are important factors to consider when landscaping Melbourne public spaces.

In-Situ retaining wall.

A very straight In-Situ retaining wall.

 

In-situ retaining wall

Exposed aggregate pathway and in-situ retaining wall prior to filling and grinding by the concrete finisher. There will always be a few small voids to fill, but theses can be minimised with the vibe during the pour.

Related Commercial Landscaping information from Red’s Landscaping Melbourne

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© 2020 Reds Landscaping and Civil quality commercial landscaping Melbourne

More Information on Commercial Landscaping with In-Situ Concrete.

More information on visual concrete for landscape design

 

See also Concrete Architecture in Landscaping

 

Concrete For Landscape Design & Construction

 

 

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Concrete Architecture

Concrete Architecture in Landscaping

Concrete architecture in landscaping is often seen of as a brutalist approach to landscape design. It is however possible to soften the design of concrete architecture with the use of landscape design techniques such as ponds or garden beds as well as using textiles such as cushions. The concrete architecture can also be softened with the use of naturalistic materials in the garden design such as timber or terracotta pots. The bringing together of cottage garden design with concrete architecture create a fusion of two very different garden design themes.

Garden Rocks

Naturalistic materials like these garden rocks help to soften the look of the in-situ concrete stairs.

Concrete Architecture design ideas

Concrete Designs

To see how to use concrete architecture in garden design, a visit to one of the bigger garden shows will help. Possibly the most famous of these shows is the annual Chelsea flower show held over 5 days in May each year. Unfortunately, there will be no show in 2020.  Due to the time constraints of a 5-day garden show, much of the concrete will be precast elsewhere and craned into place. To see examples of in-situ concrete, a visit to some of the recently constructed Melbourne public spaces such as Balwyn Community Centre or the Sunbury Global learning centre will provide some ideas.

Concrete Architecture

Concrete Architecture can be softened with garden plants and garden furniture. Sunken garden Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medal winner 2018. Kate Gould Gardens. Designed as a concept for a traditional square London West-End garden.

Concrete Designs

Precast Concrete Architecture

Formal blocks of stone and concrete with  foxgloves. Skin Deep. Garden designed by Robert Barker design. The blocks represent different human faces and skin conditions. Note the use of colour and texture in the concrete blocks. Plants were also chosen for form and texture.

 

Landscape design Ideas Urban Flow by Tonny Woods

An outdoor kitchen design using a concrete bench with cooktop, wooden paling fence and vertical kitchen garden. Urban Flow by Tony Woods combines bold landscape design with practical solutions.

 

Garden Pond. Landscape design idea

Garden Pond. Landscape design idea. A pond with overhanging flowers will soften the look of the garden.

 

Garden idea - Sunken Garden

Great colour coordination with the natural concrete colour with matching outdoor couches. Note how the cushions match the colours of the garden. Chelsea Flower Show 2018. Landscape design by Hay-Joung Hwang.

 

LG Eco-City Garden

The LG Eco-City Garden by Hay-Joung Hwang, represents one housing unit in a vertical forest. Note the use of coloured stone to provide a theme through the garden. The concrete has been softened with the use of soft furnishings, abundant lupins and a pond with concrete stepping stones.

 

Garden idea. Pond with concrete stepping stones.

Garden idea. Pond with concrete stepping stones. LG Eco-City Garden Chelsea Flower show 2018.

 

Curved Garden Seat garden design idea.

Curved garden seat with irregular stone paving. Design by Naomi Ferrett Cohen – Chelsea Flower show 2018.

Related Concrete Architecture and Landscaping Ideas from Red’s Landscaping

7 things you need to know about exposed aggregate concrete paths

 

In-situ Concrete

 

Concrete For Landscape Design & Construction

 

5 Great Landscaping Ideas.

 

13 Best Pool Landscaping Design ideas

 

 

Even More garden design ideas

Kate Gould Gardens

 

Landscaping And Gardening Ideas From The Chelsea Flower Show

 

© 2020 Reds Landscaping and Civil quality commercial landscaping Melbourne

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5 Steps for a Great Melbourne Lawn

Lawn renovation is best done in early Autumn in Melbourne gardens. Take the  time to assess your lawn and plan for some renovation and repair work. Start by walking over your lawn and checking for any bald patches, or high spots or dips.

Lawn Irrigation Systems

Turn on your irrigation system and check if all parts of the lawn are getting adequate water. If you cannot push the tines of a fork into the bald patches, then the soil might be compressed or the irrigation is not reaching that spot. Also check for weeds and other pests and diseases whilst you are there.

What is the best treatment for grass?

Step 1 – Lawn Weed removal

The first step in a successful lawn renovation is to remove the weeds. If the weather is sunny, you could use a selective spray, but do not be afraid of digging the weeds out by hand.

lawn care melbourne Removing weeds

Lawn care Melbourne. Broadleaf weeds can be removed by hand or with a selective spray.

Step 2 – Aeration of the Lawn

To make this job easier, give the grass a really good soaking or do it just after a good rain. Using a granulated or spray on soil wetter will help too. The slugs of soil should come up the aerator tines and drop out onto your lawn.

Mechanical Lawn Aerator for large or commercial lawns

Mechanical Lawn Aerator for large or commercial lawns. Aeration is an essential part of lawn repair.

 

If you have a smaller area of lawn, then Bunnings have a hand held aerator that is reasonably priced. You can get a  cyclone aerator at around $55 – $60. This is money well spent.

Hand Held Aerator. Great for renovation work.

Hand Held Aerator. Great for renovation work.

The holes made by the aerator, will allow oxygen, water and nutrients to quickly get to the roots. This is especially important if you have some high traffic areas that may have had some compression and wear.

 

Lawn topsoil profile shows the effect of aeration.

Lawn topsoil profile shows the effectiveness of aeration in getting oxygen and nutrients to the lawn roots.

Step 3 – Over sow grass seeds.

If you have hybrid roll out grass then you will not find grass seeds of the exact same type of grass. Your local plant nursery will be able to suggest something that looks similar. Sowing Lawn seeds in early Autumn, means that the new lawn grasses have all winter and spring to get established before the next hot summer.

Oversow lawn

Oversow the lawn with new lawn-seed. Ensure seeds go into the aeration holes.

 

Step 4 – Top dress the lawn.

Top dress  with either a high quality sandy loam with a little organic matter, or a course sand. The course sand works well in high traffic areas, but a topsoil high in organic matter is better at holding  moisture. For real problem areas, try top dressing with a cheap fine textured potting mix. When topdressing, take care to fill any low points and bring the level up evenly to any paths or edges. Protruding pavers can make a real mess of your mower blades if the lawn is lower than your pavers. Depending on the type of topsoil you have you may want to top dress with some gypsum to break up the clay.  The gypsum will penetrate deep into the lawn through the aeration holes.

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Topdressing with cheap potting mix

For small bald patches in your lawn, a cheap fine potting mix can be a good alternative to sandy loam. The whole nature strip below has been repaired this way, and the rapid growth in the grass is amazing.  The potting mix helps to keep the grass seeds moist for germination and can give some protection from birds.

top dressing with a cheap fine textured potting mix

Top dressing with a cheap fine textured potting mix. This is a great solution for small problem areas or bald patches in your lawn.

 

Step 5 – Apply Soil Wetter and Liquid Fertiliser to your lawn.

Give your grass a liquid fertiliser like Neutrog Seamungus as well as some more soil wetter. The liquid fertiliser will encourage plant and root growth. The soil wetter is required as often the top dress soils are hydrophobic, resulting in the water just running off the soil. If you repeat this last step for 3 or 4 weeks the results will be amazing.

hydrophobic-hydrophilic

Hydrophobic versus hydrophilic. A surfactant will help if your lawn topsoil has become hydrophobic and is repelling water. In hydrophobic soils water will tend to run off and not find its way to the lawn roots. Aerating and some garden lime will help as well.

 

The Lawn Topsoil Conundrum.

For hard wearing lawn the topsoil needs to be a sandy loam. This type of soil should also be used when topdressing the high traffic areas of your lawn. This will also mean that the area will require regular watering or an irrigation system to stay green as the soil moisture content will be lower in these areas. One solution to this problem is to use a product like Neutrog Seamungus after aerating to help the soil retain moisture. We have had some success using this product on some of our commercial landscaping lawns.

Soil moisture

The ability of your soil to provide moisture will depend on the soil structure and the amount of organic matter.

Restoring Commercial Landscaping Lawns

When restoring commercial landscaping grassed areas many of the same principles apply as they would to a very large residential area.

The use of mechanical spreaders and mechanical aerators is required to do economical  restoration to a large area. Many lawns in public spaces need to be very hard wearing, so sandy loam topsoils and irrigation systems using harvested rainwater are often used. Often there is a trade-off between green attractive grass and sustainability with areas browning off a little over summer. Couch grass will often brown in the colder months, but this is not a major concern either.

commercial landscaping lawn

Commercial landscaping grass just starting to green up after the application of soil wetters and Neutrog Seamungus.

 

Many commercial landscapes will use a hard wearing kikuyu in either an instant roll out or using hydroseeding or hydromulching. 

Related Landscaping Ideas from Red’s Landscaping

Melbourne Landscaping Topsoil Types

 

Commercial Landscaping of Public Spaces.

 

5 tips for Drought Tolerant Landscaping in Melbourne

 

Landscaping Melbourne with Climbing Plants

 

Screening Plants for Garden Privacy

 

New Home Construction Landscaping

 

5 Melbourne Garden Weeds and how to prevent them.

3 Best Types of Concrete Retaining Wall

 

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