Beam and EPS flooring: What is it?
A Precast beam and EPS floor is comprised of pre-stressed concrete beams which are spaced to suit the required span/load of a building. The floor is completed by installing expanded polystyrene blocks between the beams in place of standard concrete blocks. Rhino’s EPS block has an extended ‘toe’ which fully envelops the precast beam and interlocks with the next panel, eliminating cold-bridging through the beam. The system further consists of starter and end panels which prevent cold bridging through the walls, as well as, standard, half, double and treble panels to complete the floor as demonstrated below;-
The concrete beams are effectively an inverted ‘T’ providing a concrete ‘lip’ to support the blocks. The beams are manufactured with C60 concrete and high tensile wire providing an efficient structural member.
With the need for new homes to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly, beam and EPS flooring delivers a solution offering high thermal and energy efficient performance. The EPS is 100% recyclable.
Beam and EPS flooring: How is it made?
Our pre-stressed beams are made within a factory environment and formed using fixed steel moulds resulting in a high quality finish and dimensional accuracy. The manufacture process involves the tensioning of high tensile reinforcement strands through the length of the bed. Once the length of the beams has been defined by stop ends, concrete is poured into the inverted ‘T’ shaped mould. Once the concrete is cured, the pre-stressed wires are cut and beams lifted from the mould.
The EPS (expanded polystyrene) panels start life as rigid cellular plastic beads. The beads are transferred to a machine where steam is introduced and the expansion process begins. After the beads are expanded to the right density, they are stored in large silos for a short curing period. The expanded beads are then drawn into a large moulding machine where the beads are fused together to form a block. The blocks are further cured before being placed on hot wire cutting machinery where they are cut to the correct profile.
Beam and EPS flooring: Where can it be used?
Beam and EPS is primarily suitable for use in ground floors in residential and commercial buildings.
Beam and EPS flooring: The benefits
Thermal Efficiency & Performance – With a Lambda from as low as 0.030W/m²K, EPS panels offer highly efficient thermal performance, exceeding the requirement of building regulations part L. Better U-values can be achieved at cheaper prices.
Environmental Safety - EPS is 100% recyclable, non-toxic, non irritant, odourless and does not contain CFC’s or HCFC’s. EPS has a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of zero and a Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) of zero.
Durability – Due to the inherent properties of concrete and EPS, this system provides a rot proof solution to a suspended floor compared to alternatives. EPS is not affected by bacteria, moulds or fungi, and will not provide nutrient value for insects or vermin.
Ease and Speed of Erection – EPS panels are lightweight, easy to handle and are quick to install. The beams can be hoisted into position on the supporting structure directly from the delivery vehicle and the block can easily be installed by hand. Upto 150-200m² can typically be installed a day.
Accommodation of Services – Service holes can be easily accommodated through the floor by simply cutting the eps infill panels around the pipe. Steel hangers can be provided to accommodate larger holes.
Reduces Site Work – Beam and block floors eliminate costly excavation, consolidation of backfill and placing of over-site concrete. The pre-stressed beams can achieve spans of upto 8m and can provide support for blockwork partitions, thereby, offering potential to save on foundations.
Beam and EPS flooring: Technical Details
Camber – Due to the pre-stressing, all floor units will have an upward camber which should be allowed for in the finishes. Please contact Rhino’s design team for further information.
Finishes – The beam and eps flooring requires a minimum of 65mm concrete topping, reinforced with min A142 welded mesh and maximum aggregate size of 20mm. The concrete topping must comply with BS8500-1, 2:2006 and BS EN 206-1:2000 ( QSRMC), and should be laid by a suitably qualified and experienced individual.