Tabulating the cost to build a concrete structure must include labor, which is the most variable and expensive part of the total project expense. While cost for materials remains mostly fixed, labor costs generally add 125 percent to 150 percent to the total project bill.
Building in economically suppressed areas can pose some serious challenges for contractors whom are sometimes unable to find or afford an adequately-skilled labor pool to fulfill project requirements. But what if you could significantly reduce construction costs with self-build concrete construction blocks with the potential of reducing work times by half?
New Construction Approach Helps Disadvantaged Areas in Mexico
That’s what a Mexican firm is discovering by employing a new and potentially revolutionary construction process that is significantly reducing work times on projects and at the same time improving living conditions in blighted neighborhoods in Mexico.
Juan Manuel Reyes of Armados Omega, a Mexican construction supply company, and architect and company owner Jorge Capistrán developed a process that uses single-module blocks that don’t require binders, cement mixtures or skilled labor. The blocks also provide greater structural strength and are more durable. The method also enables smaller firms to compete in international markets.
How Does It Work?
Called Block ARMO, the system is self-building and works like a massive, vertical jigsaw puzzle. The concrete module “blocks” come in different shapes that interlock with each other and are bound with metal rods inserted at certain intervals for support. Concrete mixing or using other binding is not required, which helps cut work time in half.
Reyes said his aim “is to provide new construction systems to further contribute to Mexican society, meeting the demand for decent housing.” The blocks are fabricated from recycled materials and require comparably little water use.
“The system consists of six pieces of self-assembly that are self-supporting. A metal rod is inserted every 80 centimeters, with no need for a special foundation, creating a structure where you can install pipes and wiring without any problems,” said Reyes. “This construction method helps workers because they don’t need any extensive training to implement the system.”
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Del Zotto Products has more than 50 years of experience in the concrete industry. We are the industry experts in concrete construction projects.
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