4 Lighter Alternatives To Using Concrete

4 Lighter Alternatives To Using Concrete

Is there anything more burdensome than a concrete driveway or patio? It can be tough enough to lug a single bag of the concrete mix around, let alone try to maneuver a truck full of the stuff. And once it’s in place, you better hope your back is up for keeping it clean! There has to be a better way. So, are there lighter alternatives to concrete?

Yes, there are! For the past six years, Straight Edge Contractors LLC has transformed several residential and commercial properties with various products; therefore, we stand in a position to give an educated answer.

Why is a Lighter Alternative Important?

Lighter alternatives are essential because they provide an option that is less labor-intensive, easier to move and install, and much more lightweight. These alternatives can be used in various ways, including driveways, patios, steps, and walkways.

There are a few different types of lighter alternatives to concrete.

1. Straw Bale

Strawbale structures were prevalent until the industrial revolution when homes became primarily composed of manufactured and imported materials. They were employed for the inside of a frame, replacing natural and locally available materials like masonry, wood, and gypsum.

Now, strawbale construction is making a comeback as people are looking for more sustainable and environmentally-friendly building methods. The bales are made of tightly packed straw coated in plaster. It makes the structure fire-resistant and earthquake-proof.

The primary disadvantage is that it can be expensive to get the materials delivered to the site.

2. Rammed Earth

Rammed earth is a natural combination of soil, gravel, and sand that has been used for millennia. The ingredients are mixed and then compressed into blocks or panels using a mechanical rammer.

The earth blocks are durable, with a high thermal mass that helps to keep structures cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Rammed earth is also resistant to fire and earthquakes.

The main disadvantage of rammed earth construction is that it can be labor-intensive, requiring a high degree of skill to get the mixture right and use the rammer effectively.

3. Timbercrete:

It is a new type of construction material made from timber and concrete. The two materials are combined in a mixer to create a slurry, then poured into forms and left to set.

Timbercrete has all the advantages of both timber and concrete: it’s strong, durable, and fire-resistant, and it’s a good insulator, making it ideal for use in buildings and construction.

One main advantage is that it’s a natural product. The timber used in the mix comes from sustainably managed forests, so it doesn’t contribute to climate change.

4. Insulated Concrete Forms:

A typical ICF is constructed of two sheets of expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation with metal or plastic reinforcing grids sandwiched between them. The form is filled with concrete, which sets around the EPS to form a thermal break.

The main advantage of ICFs is that they provide excellent insulation. It makes them ideal for use in climates where there is a lot of temperature variation, both seasonally and from day to night.

ICFs are particularly resilient. They can readily support the weight of an entire floor, even if it’s made of glass. It makes them ideal for high-rise buildings and other structures where weight is a concern.

Bottom Line:

If you’re looking for a less-is-more option when it comes to driveway paving, you may be thinking about whether there are any lighter alternatives to concrete. Fortunately, Straight Edge Contractors LLC, serving Las Cruces, NM, provides asphalt repair and seal coating services that can rejuvenate your driveway without the additional weight of concrete. So, what are you waiting for?

Get a free estimate today!