Hollow-core slabs trump rib-and-block systems in Limpopo

10 May 2018

Demand for hollow-core slabs continues to outstrip rib-and-block sales in-and-around Polokwane, and the lion’s share of this construction material is being supplied to the local residential construction market by precast concrete specialist, CoreSlab from its factory in Limpopo.

Jaco de Bruin, MD of CoreSlab, says this trend has increased since 2008 when the company initially established its operation.

“We mainly started off by servicing the very high demand for rib-and-block systems in the area. However, over time, more enquiries were for our hollow-core slabs. Over 10 years later, hollow-core slabs have become our main offering, complementing our extensive range of other precast concrete systems.”

Both technologies provide a more cost-effective and faster means of constructing floors and roof slabs than traditional in-situ construction methods.

However, unlike rib-and-block systems, the installation of the hollow-core slabs is undertaken by CoreSlab’s own skilled team of experts to ensure precise installation, while the process can also be quicker and safer when outsourced to an expert in the field.

With their tubular voids extending the full length of the element, hollow-core slabs are significantly lighter than a large solid concrete floor slab of equal thickness or strength. This lowers the cost of manufacture by reducing raw materials, as well as their transportation to site where they are lifted and placed, levelled and grouted to complete the floor structure.

Severe workload in an increasingly competitive and volatile industry, as well as widespread skills shortages continue to drive the uptake of hollow-core slabs by the home-building sector.

Offering a full project-management capability, CoreSlab has assisted clients in the optimal layout of the slabs and then ensured the timely delivery of high quality slabs from the factory during the construction phases.

It then oversees the safe and efficient lifting and placement of the concrete “planks” using its own seasoned operators and riggers during the installation phases.

De Bruin believes that demand for hollow-core slabs will continue to grow. This is considering the backlog in housing in and around Polokwane, which has led to many new entrants in the home-building sector.

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