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Concrete pavers lock together neatly in place, adding a beautifully decorative element to the landscaping or driveway of any home. Pavers are manufactured specifically to eliminate stormwater runoff in all climates, so not only do they look great, but they also serve a significant purpose.
Since they sit outside day and night, and deal with constant wear and tear of the changing weather, driving vehicles and stomping feet, they require a proper cleaning.
Even though they appear tough, paver stones are delicate things that must be washed correctly so that they maintain lustre and colour. If your driveway is embellished with paver stones, RenoQuotes.com is offering you ways to give them a solid clean and update!
Cleaning your pavers correctly will vary depending on the material of the stone, so make sure to test out a small area with the cleaning method you choose before going forward on the entire paved surface.
Before you begin cleaning, make sure to prepare the surrounding area by clearing off any furniture and plants that might be resting on the stones. Also, cover or remove all metal objects, as there is a chance they could be tarnished in the cleaning process.
Look for and brush away any moss and weeds that have accumulated between paver joints, as leaving weeds unattended will shift pavers apart over time. It is recommended that you periodically apply a granular weed preventative product between joints as part of your paver routine.
If you are finding that the growth cannot be removed by hand, use weed killer. Try to choose an environmentally-friendly brand and something that does not have harsh chemicals in case it damages the stones. Unfortunately, if you use any form of weed killer, it is important to wait weeks before moving forward with cleaning your pavers.
Following the removal of weeds in the area, hose down pavers to prepare them for cleaning. Be careful to clean them gently, as using any form of high water pressure will damage the pavers and cause them to deteriorate as well as exposing the aggregate on the pavers' surface.
However, the pavers need to be slightly wet before you can move on to the next steps.
As we stated earlier, depending on the material of the stone, the cleaning solution you choose may vary. However, there are a few tried and true DIY options that will work on most materials.
The simplest method is found in our home's kitchen. Make your way under the sink and grab that soap you use to wash dishes. Regular dish soap works as a degreasing detergent, and can easily remove most stains found on pavers.
Mix the soap in a very large bucket of water to make a cleaning solution that is made from just soap and water. Then grab a clean, stiff bristle brush to scrub the dirty pavers.
Work in small areas at a time, making sure to be extra precise, move the brush in small circular motions to remove the stains.
source: Flickr, denisbin
Another at home method for cleaning pavers is also found in your kitchen. Go to your cupboard and grab some white vinegar. This natural disinfectant does an excellent job cleaning and is also an environmentally friendly option that won't ruin the surrounding vegetation.
However, avoid dark vinegar, as you risk the possibility of further staining your pavers depending on how porous the material. Let the white vinegar and water solution soak on the stone for 1 hour, then gently scrub away the stains in the same manner that we suggested previously.
Whenever possible, try to avoid chemical treatments, as many of these are highly toxic and can be a risk to children, pets or surrounding vegetation. There are definitely environmentally-friendly options out there, so if you've got some tougher stains and want to invest in a paver cleaner, check your local hardware store for chemical free and eco-friendly choices.
Also, the harsher the chemicals, the more likely a chance that the colour of stones fade or materials disintegrates.
If you are finding there are tougher stains on pavers, such as tire marks from your car or excess oil, these can be cleaned off with a rubber remover or a granular oil absorbent, also found at your local hardware store. Make sure that if you are cleaning a spill, it should be soaked up and not rubbed, as rubbing will drive the stain deeper into the paver.
Following cleaning, hose the pavers thoroughly, as built-up film will need to be removed. Although it is not recommended, if
If you are concerned that you lost a significant amount of sand in the cleaning process and feel it needs a touch-up, go ahead and replace the sand between the paving stones.
Sweep the sand over the paved surface with a dry/stiff bristled broom, pour sand and sweep over the pavers until the joints are filled. Following this, use a misting or very light hose setting to mist water over stones.
Remember to keep in mind that the joints between pavers are the most sensitive areas, so do not saturate pavers, as the sand-bedding will deteriorate and cause the stones to do the same.
It is also recommended that you use a sealer following cleansing, as this will make future cleaning ventures much easier. Further, it enhances the colour and helps to maintain the appearance of stones over a long period.
However, do not apply a sealer more than once in three years, as too many applications can create a film on the surface of the stones, and it may discolour in the sunlight.
Author: Amanda Harvey
RenoQuotes.com can help you get quotes for your paver stone project. If you submit your project to us, we’ll put you in contact with 3 qualified professionals. Fill out the form on our homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will receive quotes from trusted renovation specialists.
Last modified 2022-12-16
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Cynthia Laferrière • 16 Nov 2022
Since cities and suburbs are ever-developing, interior design and building trends rapidly evolving, and outdated buildings are brought up to code, it’s no wonder the construction, renovation, and demolition industry is booming. Although the desire for something new and beautiful is not likely to wane, it's becoming increasingly important, logical even, to reduce the waste generated by this industry. This includes recycling, processing, and repurposing materials. In keeping with environmental awareness and social responsibility, the following is intended to highlight the key ways in which you can improve worksite waste sorting and disposal. Why the need to manage construction waste? Regardless of the job site, it'll generate a diverse and varying amount of waste. Mostly, it'll be new material scraps (on construction worksites) or bits of mixed materials (on renovation and demolition worksites). On top of that, the presence of common waste such as packaging, dust, and trash from those working on the site (tissues, food, damaged equipment, etc.) will be found. The sheer volume and variety of waste materials will pose some challenges: Available storage space to sort materials at the source; Local resources, such as ecocentres or haulers; Worker training/awareness; Responsibility (Who's responsible for proper waste management depending on the type of waste – Is it the municipality, contractor, engineer, or owner?) Since the planet's future is at stake and guidelines have been established by several government departments, and since recycling generates employment, it's worth considering how you can take care of your residual waste materials! Quick Facts: » A landfill site that receives one ton of waste, as a result, releases one and a half tons of greenhouse gases. For example, renovating a triplex can generate up to 55 tons of waste (cement, bricks, wood, gypsum, paper, etc.). For this reason alone, better construction waste management is key to preventing all that waste from ending up in landfills. » Burying seemingly harmless materials such as lumber also contributes to climate change. When buried, the lack of oxygen promotes methane gas emissions, a result of organic matter decomposition. » Plaster, along with toxic residues such as glues, paints, etc., create noxious fumes that contaminate the water table. » A typical renovation job site can generate up to 78 tons of GHG, while a similar green job site can manage to emit only 35 tons. Source: coia.nac - Flickr - Title: waste - Changes: adjusted image size Are you looking for experts for your green renovation project? Fill in this form to be connected with top-rated contractors! Construction Waste Management: Options Whether you outsource your waste management to a recycling centre or sort the waste yourself, it's essential to accurately identify the materials used or removed during the span of your project. Likewise, it's worthwhile to list your options. Several sustainable worksite management methods are available: Sustainable design Green materials Sustainable building design Selective deconstruction Converting existing buildings Advanced woodworking technique LEED program Routing construction, renovation, and demolition waste to the appropriate facilities Selective deconstruction This technique consists of carefully stripping, layer by layer, the components of a structure to salvage and repurpose the maximum amount of material for another construction project or to repair certain elements of an existing structure. Advanced woodworking technique Here, engineers and architects, using cutting-edge techniques and advanced calculations, work together to reduce lumber use for structural frameworks and design buildings that generate as little waste and junk as possible. LEED® This program, known as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®), offers a range of evaluation systems and certifications for environmentally responsible projects. Numerous contractors rely on these measures and guidelines to manage their projects or develop new approaches for their clients. Ecocentres In Quebec, about 260 centres are attempting to effectively manage residential waste of all kinds. You've probably heard of them through recycling ads where you’re encouraged to drop off old appliances and electronics. Naturally, several ecocentres also have a place to drop off wood, aggregates, gypsum, shingles, batteries, dead leaves, peat, plumbing, and hazardous waste such as sealants or propane tanks, etc. Once the waste is sorted, it's then sent to various recycling or transformation sites. Recyclable Construction Materials Source: marcel.toruno - Flickr - Title: DSC04251 - Changes: adjusted image size Here are two of the most common concrete examples: Wood More than 60% of the wood collected from sorting centres will be repurposed into energy, and more than 35% will be used to manufacture new materials: melamine panels, pellet fuel, mulch, soundproofing panels, plywood, and much more. Gypsum Since this material can easily be broken down and eventually turns into fine powdery particles, it’s often used as a covering material in engineered landfills, as agricultural soil fertilizer, as an ingredient in cement, and even as a component in the manufacturing of drywall. However, for all these transformations, gypsum must be separated from other materials on worksites. Waste Container Rentals Some companies offer a one-stop shop-type of service that includes delivering the waste container to your door, transporting it back to the sorting center, and issuing a certificate showing the percentage of recycled materials in the dumpster. Containers ranging from 10 to 35 metres are rented depending on what will be discarded. Rest assured, depending on what you’re disposing of, you’ll be advised accordingly; whether it be heavy materials like concrete and dirt, or just a few pieces of wood and carpet. WM is one of the companies that offer such services in Canada. Source: Bill Smith - Flickr - Title: Dumpster Number Nine - Changes: adjusted image size And, as it goes, nothing’s perfect: Some remote areas are underserved. Lack of available workforce and the high cost of processing often prevent some materials such as vinyl, insulation, porcelain, and many others from being repurposed. The lack of knowledge regarding the origin of the materials creates ambiguity about quality standard compliance and the type of emissions generated during the transformation process, which altogether hinders recycling. Poorly sorted materials on worksites can be impossible to salvage because materials may have been compromised with incompatible residues. If correctly managed, there’s nothing to worry about – however, it's virtually impossible for all construction waste to be recycled, reclaimed, repurposed, or sold. For example, a mouldy carpet will inevitably end up in the landfill despite your best efforts! Lastly, before dumping everything into a recycling bin, consider the potential appeal of your used supplies and materials. Many DIYers, artists, and antique dealers look for items such as wrought iron railings, mouldings from earlier decades, intricately carved wooden doors, and so on. Likewise, when it comes to smaller projects, one person's trash is another person’s treasure. In this case, websites such as Kijiji, Marketplace, Craigslist, etc. can be useful. Who knows, perhaps you'll also discover a passion for restoration! Cover image: MPCA Photos - Flickr
Cynthia Laferrière • 25 Aug 2022
If you live in a big city or keep yourself apprised of innovative methods of environmental conservation, you’ve probably already heard of green roofs. They’re created using a technique which involves covering a building’s rooftop with all kinds of vegetation: plants, flowers, and vegetables. It’s no secret: green structures provide better insulation and minimize carbon emissions. All in all, they improve air quality while increasing the building's overall energy efficiency. Following in the same footsteps, lo and behold the blue roof, the new and updated version of the eco-friendly roof system, is intended to solve an increasingly common problem. This innovative system could help cities manage heavy rainfall—yet another way to adapt to climate change. Source: Flickr What’s a Blue Roof? This new technology came about in Montréal and was developed by Hydrotech—as seen atop McGill University’s Faculty of Education building. The appeal of this design is that it doesn’t interfere with other roofing projects. In addition to solar panels, the roof can accommodate a terrace, vegetable garden, playground, or lounge area, and any type of heating or air conditioning system. The main purpose of a blue roof is to collect rainfall to reduce any risks of flooding that could be caused by, among other things, a poorly functioning sewage system. Instead, rainwater is stored between aggregates or in a cavity under a paving stone. With a mini-dam-like (or barrier) aspect, a series of valves installed in stormwater drains controls the flow and return of any accumulated water progressively back to the sewer system (the excess will be drained before winter hits). Pipes can also be included to allow residents and businesses to recover water, for instance, to run cooling towers, washing machines, toilets, clean cars, water plants, and so on. Typically, these are "smart" roofs. They’re fitted with water-leak detectors and sensors that measure water levels and transmit energy conservation data and weather conditions. These devices are convenient when it comes to performance improvement, damage prevention, and remote monitoring, as well as early water release in the event of a storm. Source: Flickr Benefits of a Blue Roof Cheaper than green roofs, blue roofs cost up to 10 times less, ranging from $1 to $2 per square foot, with some additional costs to convert an existing roof. Provides better insulating than tar or gravel roofs by regulating the building's interior temperature. Moreover, the waterproofing membranes as well as the heating and air conditioning systems last longer, since the equipment operates less frequently or at a lower intensity. Compared to traditional roofs, the risks of pipe leaks or overflow requiring expensive work and insurance claims are considerably lower. In keeping with the principle of a circular economy, as well as lowering energy bills, any stored water can serve another purpose. As previously stated, blue roofs help prevent municipal sewage systems from overflowing. By upgrading to a blue roof, you may be eligible to receive financial incentives from government programs that promote water conservation, as well as receiving municipal credit for stormwater user fees. The only minor drawbacks: Since it requires a specialized engineer and a few significant challenges to install, it is more cost-effective, if not more convenient, to build a blue roof on a new structure than to convert an old one. Installation on commercial buildings or high-rise apartment buildings is preferable to that on houses; space (size and slope), efficiency, and costs are the main reasons. More expensive than a regular roof to install, and there are maintenance and upkeep costs. However, if you were already planning to replace your entire roof, the energy efficiency will pay off over the subsequent years. The overall load is much more significant on the structure. Fortunately, buildings nowadays are built according to strict standards, and they have a greater capacity to support such a load, especially commercial and high-rise buildings. Looking for specialists for your roof renovation project? Fill out the form so that we can put you in contact with certified contractors from our network! Installing a Blue Roof Environmental standards, specific requirements, precise calculations... Such a project requires a unique blend of municipal representatives, clients, engineers, and builders. Any company installing the blue roof will also be responsible for future maintenance and repairs. This project begins with a feasibility study: if a blue roof is to be installed on an existing building, the structure must be able to support it. A concrete structure is usually recommended, rather than steel or wood. Then, the existing waterproofing membrane is inspected and may have to be replaced with a new, more modern one, made of bitumen and recycled materials such as tires and glass powder. The water storage area may or may not cover the entire roof, depending on what’s already there. This eco-friendly roof is only installed on a flat roof or one with very little slope. Nevertheless, when it concerns a gable roof, it’s possible to install a similar system: rainwater harvesting tanks. The rooftop terrace is still the easiest way to implement a blue roof. The space between the pavers and the roof can be used to hold large amounts of water. However, heavier and thicker pavers are required. Also, the paver pedestals are usually customizable, enhancing their practicality. Blue and green roofs are two ecological systems that can be used in conjunction to maximize the use and management of water storage. Considering it as the logical continuation of the green roof, the vegetated basins will take whatever is necessary for their survival and will be fitted with storage tanks to hold rainwater temporarily. Source: Alexa - Pixabay Whether you’re a construction worker or a contractor, installing a blue roof will further your efforts in terms of sustainability and your desire to be socially involved, in addition to helping you save money, both through government financial incentives and utility bills. Moreover, you may also gain a new clientele: one that cares about contributing positively to a sustainable future for generations to come, whether that be human, animal, or plant life.
SoumissionRenovation.ca • 12 Sep 2023
Natural ventilation, also known as passive ventilation, doesn’t require any other type of energy than natural forces. Evidently, when needed, a building’s natural ventilation can be mechanically ensured, courtesy of various CMV (controlled mechanical ventilation) systems. However, equipped with valuable tips, you’ll be able to use passive ventilation in an optimal fashion. How to Create Natural Ventilation in a Home Source: Canva Natural ventilation is a very efficient way to ensure airflow from the inside of a home to the outside without CMV. It can be guaranteed by opening windows and doors, but also thanks to ventilation grilles, which ensure proper airflow. Chimneys and ventilation ducts can also be used to create natural ventilation. What’s the Principle of Natural Ventilation? Natural ventilation is a ventilation method that uses the motion of natural airflow within a space. This method is often used in homes or buildings to guarantee renewed air flow without using mechanical systems, such as fans or air conditioners. Natural ventilation is based on the difference in atmospheric pressure. Said method relies on two techniques: heat gain prevention; modulation. 6 Key Architectural Elements to Master to Prevent Heat Gain To manage a building’s heat gain, architects must consider the following 6 elements: Sun control Microclimate Building’s shape Thermal insulation Behavioural patterns Internal heat gain management 1. Sun control This is the most important factor. Controlling solar irradiance on a building’s envelope is done by creating shade. The latter is ensured with: opaque walls; anti-heat window film; vegetation. Microclimate comes into play with the use of the last point. 2. Importance of microclimate Microclimate affects the structure’s location. From the get-go, the latter must be taken into consideration when building a residence that’s not only adapted to the area’s climate but also the surrounding microclimate. The goal here is, with respect to local standards, to gain control over the amount of solar irradiance and wind on a home’s structure. To achieve said goal, taking into account the surrounding vegetation is a prerequisite. In fact, the latter also impacts natural ventilation quality. For example, a single, fully grown tree is capable of evaporating 1,460 litres of water over a 1-day period. This is consistent with a cooling strength of 870 MJ (megajoules). To give you a better idea of what that figure represents, note that an air conditioner uses between 1,500 and 2,500 W.h (Watts-hours); 870 MJ equates to 241,666 W.h. As such, passive ventilation begins in one’s yard. 3. Building’s shape This point determines the exposure level to solar irradiance in indoor spaces. The home’s shape leads to heat gains or losses. How, you ask? By playing off the surface’s square footage. Façades are in fact the point of entry between indoor and outdoor temperatures. However, the home’s layout can also mean benefiting from transverse ventilation, meaning a fresh flow of outside air that travels through the home to expel stale, indoor air. In such a case, the entryways are positioned facing prevailing winds. Are you looking for general contractors for your renovation project? Fill in our form to be connected with top-rated contractors! 4. Thermal insulation The architect’s goal is to reduce indoor heat during summertime while increasing it during wintertime. 5. Behavioural patterns Featured in this category: apparel; physical activity; living areas; curtain use; proper window opening; etc. All these habits directly affect the home’s ability to benefit from natural ventilation. 6. Heat management control This mainly relates to using energy-efficient light bulbs, which emit very little heat, but also the use of other equipment. By that logic, when considering installing natural ventilation in a home, one must take into account digital devices, such as computers and servers. How to Modulate Heat Using Passive Ventilation Heat modulation occurs by way of a building’s thermal mass. A structure absorbs outdoor heat, stores it throughout the day, and then redistributes it at night courtesy of: ventilation; radiation; evaporation; ground. A building’s thermal mass relies on all materials with heat-absorbing abilities (walls, floors, partitions, etc.). As such, where there’s heat absorption, there’s also cool air absorption. On this basis, heat modulation very much relies on weather conditions. However, a home can be cooled by ventilation at night. This is known as night cooling. By definition, cool air is stored in a building’s thermal mass to only be released the following morning. The gains derived from using this technique can amount to energy bill savings of up to 20%. Pros and Cons of Natural Ventilation Source: Canva Natural ventilation is a natural cooling method that can be very efficient in homes and buildings. It most definitely yields numerous advantages, but a few drawbacks too. The Advantages of Passive Building Ventilation Motorless Natural ventilation functions solely based on physics; it doesn’t require a motor, resulting in reduced energy consumption. Low maintenance Natural ventilation is a low-maintenance ventilation method. The ventilation grilles need to be dusted and cleaned. A nearly penny-free solution Albeit passive ventilation plays off air masses, keep in mind that purchasing exhaust vents is a must. Even though this solution isn’t entirely cost-free, in the grand scheme of things, it’s quite budget-friendly. Simplicity Without passive ventilation, you would have to resort to costly and complex ventilation methods, relying on heat recovery ventilation units or air supply ducts. What Are the Drawbacks of Passive Ventilation? Natural ventilation is just as temperamental as the weather As we’ve already mentioned a few times: natural ventilation relies on air flow, and by default, the air’s temperature. To cool down a house during summertime, the temperature outside has to be cooler than the temperature inside the dwelling. This can be far from reality, especially during heat waves. A building’s ventilation speed can’t be controlled With passive ventilation, you can’t simply turn a knob to slow down ventilation. The amount of airflow inside the home directly relies on the temperature difference. As such, during summer evenings, when windows are open, one can resort to night cooling to cool down the various rooms in a home. However, the problem is that during wintertime, night cooling will allow cold air to seep into the house, thereby creating significant heat losses, which is rather a rude awakening given our harsh winters. Humidity distribution When pressure between the inside and outside is balanced, as is often the case during summertime, the heat generated from humid areas flows throughout the home. As such, humid air is sent into the rest of the home. Pollution The constant air flow coming in from outside doesn’t only expel stale air from inside. In urban areas, it also means allowing polluted air inside. What About Fan-Assisted Natural Ventilation? Source: Canva The ideal system is one that can limit nature’s temperamentalities as much as possible. When it comes to fan-assisted natural ventilation, several CMV systems are battling it out: heat recovery ventilation (MHRV); air supply ventilation; humidity-controlled ventilation; thermodynamic heat recovery ventilation. Heat Recovery Ventilation (MHRV) This is an improved CMV ventilation. The latter is designed around 2 air circuits. One circuit brings fresh, outside air into the dwelling, and a second evacuates stale air. Its purpose? Ensuring both airflows circulate through a heat exchanger. Therefore, when cold outside air enters the home, it warms up upon contact with indoor air, prior to being expelled from the dwelling. Air Supply Ventilation Air supply ventilation is the complete opposite of CMV. Instead of drawing in indoor air, this system supplies fresh, outside air, while allowing inside air to seep out by way of ventilation grilles or windows. Humidity-Controlled Mechanical Ventilation Say hello to smart CMV, a ventilation system that calculates the humidity level in the air and sets its function according to it. Type A humidity-controlled MEV detects the level of humidity in the air through air vents. Type B humidity-controlled MEV not only monitors humidity through air vents but also thanks to the circuit’s air intake vents. With this type of CMV, thermal losses related to night cooling are limited. Thermodynamic Heat Recovery Ventilation Wrapping up this section with what is without a doubt the best passive ventilation system. This one consists of a heat recovery CMV fitted with a geothermal heat pump. Not only is this ventilation system super efficient, but it can also be used as a heater during wintertime. The heat pump drives hot water from its depths and its heat is recovered to warm up the ambient air. During summertime, it can be set in reverse mode, to cool down a dwelling. Natural Ventilation: For Sustainable and Comfortable Buildings Research has shown the critical importance of the efficiency of natural ventilation in designing sustainable and comfortable buildings. By exploiting smart natural resources, such as wind and temperature differences, passive ventilation comes in as an eco-friendly alternative. By fusing these principles in the architectural planning of your home, you can design a more efficient, sustainable, and comfortable living space. As such, it’s best to use what nature provides whenever possible.
SoumissionRenovation.ca • 09 Aug 2023
Glued-laminated timber framing is tomorrow’s building material. Not only does it have numerous advantages, but it also reflects the environmental shift underway across the construction industry. If you’re looking for a home that’s certified green, look no further than glued-laminated timber framing. Here’s why: What’s glued-laminated timber framing? Source: Canva Glued-laminated timber framing—or glulam as it’s more commonly referred to—is a wooden structure that consists of 45 mm-thick layers of lumber bonded together with glue. The adhesives used are phenol-formaldehyde and aminoplast resins. The above-mentioned glues are thermosetting adhesives made with resin mixed with a curing agent on-site. Its quality is contingent on 3 factors: pressure; humidity; temperature. The bonded slats of lumber are then used to build beams and columns that will eventually serve as structural framing. Pros and Cons of Using Glulams to Build a House Source: Canva Five Pros of Using Glulams 1. Strength Compared to traditional timber framing, glulam framing doesn’t have the natural flaws—big knots, for instance—of solid lumber. As such, the varying degree of strength exhibited by each beam is optimized by glued-laminated manufacturing standards. This is especially true when it comes to balancing loads—glulams can withstand greater loads compared to solid lumber beams. Lastly, glulam is very resilient when eventually exposed to chemical products, as well as humidity-caused deformation and warping. 2. Eco-friendly The construction industry is facing the ever-growing risk of resource scarcity. Consequently, the focus is placed on the use of renewable materials. Glued-laminated timber falls squarely into the criteria for efficient, clean, and green materials since it has: favourable cost-benefit; sustainable characteristics with future generations in mind; a lifecycle that’s in line with the construction industry’s development. Glulam takes part in mitigating an energy consumption trend that’s rather significant. In fact, the building industry currently represents: 32% of the total energy consumption; 38% of carbon dioxide emissions. Choosing glulams means opting for a better future. 3. Mechanical performance While glulam beams are stronger than solid lumber, their mechanical performance is nonetheless largely dependent on the methods used to meet structural building constraints. Therefore, glulam framing used for substantially-sized structures can be paired with steel plates for additional reinforcement. The latter will significantly increase the load-bearing capacity and the axial rigidity of the glulam beam. 4. Significant sizes Glulam timber maintains a humidity level of 12%, which limits its tendency to contract and shrink, making it more stable than solid lumber. Since it’s made with layers of slats glued to one another, a single beam can span 328 ft (100 m). Therefore, very big structures can be built, showcasing various shapes, from curves to arcs. A structure built using this type of framing is widely open and aesthetic, courtesy of the lack of need for additional structural support beams. 5. Especially lightweight Glulams are of proportional weight, making them 5 times lighter than a standard lumber beam, yet they maintain equal strength. Are you looking for a general contractor for your renovation project? Fill in our form to be connected with top-rated contractors! The Four Cons of Glued-Laminated Timber 1. Steeper prices The cost of glulams has to be put into perspective based on available resources. In regions like Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia, where wood is readily accessible, glulam tends to be less expensive than in countries (or regions) with limited forested areas. Regardless of the situation, glued-laminated timber will always be more costly than traditional solid lumber, due to its processing and transformation. 2. Differing qualities The quality of glulam timber largely depends on the method used during its manufacturing process. This is very closely related to the adhesive used to bond the slats together. If the pressure, humidity, and temperature conditions aren’t met, the strength of a glulam beam won’t be consistent. However, standards meticulously monitor the manufacturing process of such materials. As seen with CSA 086 standard, which distinguishes 4 glulam timber grades: 20f-E; 20f-EX; 24f-E; 24f-EX. The accompanying E and EX labels serve as the beams’ positional indicators, meaning either symmetrical to the neutral axis (EX) or asymmetrical (E). The glulam is then graded as “generic” or “proprietary.” Beware of the latter. Proprietary glulam doesn’t meet CSA 086 standard but has similar characteristics. To ensure this fact, the Canadian Construction Materials Centre (CCMC) is responsible for approving their efficiency. In Quebec, generic glulam is manufactured by Goodfellow and Art Massif. 3. Integrity compromised by splitting Above all else, this is a problem inherent to large-scale structures. Although glulam has fewer joints than commonly-used materials, it’s made weaker by steel joints. Therefore, its integrity is comprised, typically resulting in the beams’ ends splitting where the tension forces are transversal to the wood grain. The ductility (the degree to which the material can sustain deformation) and its load-bearing ability are diminished. However, solutions have been developed: self-tapping screws; steel tubes; struts; braces; diagonal bracing. Ongoing research is contributing to the further development of joints maintaining the load-bearing capacity of glulams, especially when it comes to better strength distribution between the upper and lower angles of beams and columns. 4. Vulnerable to water exposure Amongst its numerous merits, we highlighted glulam timber’s resistance to humidity. While it sure can resist it, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it reacts positively to it. Consequently, damage caused by water infiltration can result in: rotting; biotic decomposition. The second factor correlates with the proliferation of mould, moss, etc., which damages glulams in a similar fashion as it does solid lumber. Stability and Homogeneity of Glulam Timber Beams Source: Canva Since the slats are assembled in pieces using adhesives, it means that tall trees aren’t necessarily required. As a result, glulams aren’t as prone to knotting, which is something that typically develops over time. Therefore, glued-laminated timber exhibits greater resilience compared to solid lumber due to its exceptional homogeneity. The dimensional stability of a glulam beam is also superior to that of a solid lumber beam. This is attributed to the drying process it undergoes. In fact, each wood slat is individually dried before adhesives are applied.
SoumissionRenovation.ca • 03 Aug 2023
Did you know that concrete could be recycled? Well, yes siree Bob! Concrete recycling is a technique used to salvage concrete waste. It’s an alternative to disposing of it in landfills that happens to be both cost-effective and eco-friendly. So, let’s zero in on concrete recycling, a practice that’s still, to this day, little known in Canada. Recycled Concrete: What Is it Exactly? Source: Canva Globally speaking, concrete is one of the most exploited materials due to its notable strength and its use in almost all infrastructures. However, its environmental impact is highly criticized. The Global Concrete and Cement Association (GCCA) states that said material is responsible for 7% of the planet’s CO2 emissions. Luckily, concrete’s environmental impact can be reduced by recycling it instead of letting it go to waste. As such, a whole series of techniques are used, thereby salvaging inert materials produced by concrete. In other words, concrete is recycled and reused on new worksites. Recycled concrete offers to same properties as traditional concrete. It’s just as resistant, easy to work, as well as viscous enough. In terms of quality, it doesn’t fall short of natural concrete aggregate. However, note that recycled concrete is limited to a few fields of use, and can’t be used on all worksites. It can be used on construction projects requiring a tensile strength of C30/37. Concrete grades with a lower tensile strength may be used during freeze cycles. There are two types of recycled concrete: Concrete issued from construction waste This includes waste from precast plants or ready-to-use concrete. The waste in this category comes in a variety of configurations: fresh concrete waste, cured concrete waste, leftover manufacturing waste, or worksite scraps. It can either make its way back to precast plants (as it’s done with fresh concrete) or be salvaged in crushing screening plants. Concrete issued from demolition waste Here too, concrete residue is recycled in crushing screening plants. The thin part of concrete is typically used to manufacture binders. The recycling process can result in new aggregates that can be used to manufacture new concrete. And, as a matter of fact, said aggregates may be employed to replace naturally occurring gravel and sand. How Is Recycled Concrete Made? Source: Canva Salvaging concrete waste is a process that’s relatively simple and done in 3 basic steps: 1st step: Sorting The first step, prior to recycling concrete, is to proceed by sorting the concrete waste to separate it from other materials. This is done with a special type of sifter found in a wheel loader’s bucket to sort concrete residue from other waste materials (pieces of wood, metal bars, or plastic films). Note: Sorting materials is a crucial step in concrete recycling. It’s done on two levels: first during the deconstruction of infrastructures, then when the resulting residue is sorted in crushing plants. 2nd step: Crushing After the residue is sorted, next comes the recycling stage, which is the crushing part of it. The materials are first lightly ground with a hydraulic chisel. Then, the pieces are reduced to smaller fragments in a crusher, to obtain a grain size of 60 millimetres. Next up is the screening step, which consists of sorting the ground materials based on their grain size. 3rd step: Dusting Lastly, the dusting phase is typically done by wet processing. And there you have, ready-to-use recycled concrete. Using Recycled Aggregates or Crushed Concrete Source: Canva Recycled concrete can be used for many different purposes in the construction industry. In fact, it can be used to: build roadway foundations; build sidewalks; backfill pipe trenches; manufacture recycled concrete aggregates; make landscaping construction materials; rubblize concrete, which consists of converting old concrete to make a base course; manufacture pavers, pots, benches, etc. Recycled concrete can help minimize rainwater runoff. What Are the Advantages of Recycled Concrete? Even though recycled concrete is an uncommon practice in Canada, criticized by some, it’s still an alternative to disposing of it in landfills, and it has numerous benefits: Reduces the use of natural resources (concrete) by close to 30%: This is a massive advantage when recognizing that enormous amounts of aggregates are used every year. Preserve the environment: Reduces mineral waste, mining, and industrial activities linked to the manufacturing of traditional concrete. Reduces transportation costs: Concrete recycling centres are usually located in urban areas near construction zones. Significant time-saver: Recycled concrete can be made and used rather quickly, which significantly reduces construction timelines. How to Standardize the Use of Recycled Concrete Recycled concrete is a material with beneficial properties for the construction industry, but it remains relatively underutilized due to preconceptions. To standardize and further promote its use, the Province of Quebec could consider implementing regulations that mandate the use of concrete made from salvaged aggregates for constructing public buildings, similar to practices in other countries such as Switzerland.