Waffle-Crete Weathered Hurricane Katrina 16 “We have used your molds for over ten years and built large grocery stores, multi story office buildings and small storage buildings with your concrete bolt together system.”
In 2007, Doc’s Homes Limited constructed a custom office building for a large manufacturing company in Point Lisas. This building had to be constructed next to one of the biggest Direct Reduction (DR) Plants in the world, and thus would be subject to severe vibrations continuously.
As opposed to more light-weight construction material, pre-cast concrete’s mass can be of benefit when stability due to wind loads, or thermal change, or even fire resistance is a design constraint. However, in some cases that same mass can lead to other issues, such as requiring higher capacity cranes for erection or heavier connections, greater foundation support needs, or even cost construction materials.
Waffle-Crete panels retain the design strengths of traditional precast concrete panels, yet are up to 60% lighter than standard panels of the same thickness. This is accomplished through three different system components all working together: Vertical Ribs, Horizontal Ribs, and the thin shell called the Skin.
The main component, the Vertical Rib, acts as a column to support compression loads and as a beam to withstand bending loads. As load requirements increase, the rib depth can be increased to compensate, but without a significant increase in material volume that a standard flat concrete panel would require. Almost as important are the Horizontal Ribs, which not only provide lateral support to the Vertical Ribs but also help redistribute large loads throughout the panel. Finally, the Skin ties all the ribs together and allows the panel to act as a shear wall when required.
“We built multiple buildings in New Orleans, which went through hurricane Katrina. None of the buildings suffered major damage. There was no wind damage to any of our buildings in that incident.”