beam & block

Beam and Block: What is it?

A Beam and block 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 concrete infill blocks, that are suitable for flooring, between the beams. 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 wires providing an efficient structural member.

Beam and Block: 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.

Beam and Block: Where can it be used?

Beam and block is suitable for use throughout the entire construction industry, whether that be within traditional masonry buildings, steel framed or concrete structures. They can be used within all building types including residential, commercial and industrial. 

Beam and Block: The benefits

Ease and Speed of Erection– Pre-stressed beams and blocks are easy to handle and are quick to install. The beams and blocks can be hoisted into position on the supporting structure directly from the delivery vehicle and installation can be carried out in all weather conditions. Upto 150-200m² can typically be installed a day.

Fire Resistance - Pre-stressed beams achieve a minimum of 30 mins fire resistance without additional treatment. This can be enhanced with a suspended ceiling or other treatment.

Immediate Working Platform - Once grouted, the completed floor becomes an immediate working platform for follow on trades, therefore, reducing site delays to a minimum.

Availability – Both beams and blocks are readily available making it a quick and costs effective solution to a suspended floor.

Rot Proof – Due to the inherent properties of concrete, beam and block provides a rot proof solution to a suspended floor compared to alternatives.

Accommodation of Services – Service holes can be easily accommodated through the floor by simply removing a block or cutting the infill blocks 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 Block: 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.

Grouting – Once the beam and block is installed, the floor should be grouted with a 3:1 sharp sand/cement mix brushed into the joints. Where multiple beams are placed side-by-side, this must be filled with a C30 concrete using 10mm aggregate. 

Blocks – Standard 100mm infill blocks of varying densities can be used within the floor. Blocks with a minimum compressive strength of 3.5N/mm² can be used for domestic loadings and 7.0N/mm² elsewhere (Or the minimum strength of block used in the wall construction, whichever is greater). All blocks should be tested to a transverse load capacity of 3.5kN over a 420mm span.

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