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Art meets Science…baking the concrete cake

“As concrete is primarily poured and then hardened, the most important factors in its outcome are its mix, its timing, and its form – think of a cake, its batter, its baking, and its tin” -Surface as Substance, Liquid Stone

Air-entraining admixtures – air bubbles distributed through cement to improve durability of concrete exposed to moisture during freezing and thawing cycles
Water-reducing admixtures – reduces amount of mixing water, increases slump of concrete, strength and drying shrinkage
Retarding admixtures – retards setting time used to off set hot weather, because hot weather speeds up setting, or delay initial set of concrete
Accelerating admixtures – speed up setting and strength of concrete
Pozzolans – used to help control internal temperatures in massive structures like dams
Workability agents – workability necessary when consistency is tough to work with and is achieved through added cement, entrained air, pozzolans, fly ash, or finely divided materials
Permeability-reducing agents – water repellents or pozzolanic materials
Grouting agents – cement grouts used to stabilize foundations and fill cracks and joints
Gas forming agents – aluminum powder and other small amounts of materials added to concrete to cause a slight expansion prior to hardening

A concrete mix should achieve

1. workability of fresh concrete
2. required properties of hardened concrete
3. economy

The Mix

Cement 1
Aggregates 2
Water 1
Admixtures 3

After water is added, the concrete must be delivered and poured within 90 minutes or 300 turns on the drum

Collecting Heat

Concrete Warmth


The tranquility of water…

I the soothing sound of water at Fallingwater, everywhere, inside and out of the house. The constant water fall sound was peaceful.  One of the coolest features throughout the house were the natural water falls running through the house as fountains. They would dry up with the season.