Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Washington, DC
Concrete is most often chosen for its structural advantages. But in addition to its traditional structural function, it is increasingly being called on to fill an aesthetic advantages.
The near white color of Orcem permits architects to achieve a lighter color for exposed surfaces, when Orcem is specified at between 50% to 85% replacement levels of ordinary portland cement. The lighter color can also significantly reduce the cost of pigmentation used to achieve a wide range of colored concrete colors.
Concrete produced with Orcem also produces a smoother, more defect free surface, due to the fineness of the GGBS particles. Dirt does not adhere to GGBS concrete as easily as concrete made with only ordinary portland cement, which can reduce maintenance costs. Orcem replacement rates of 50% and more reduce the occurrence of efflorescence (salt deposits on concrete surfaces) as Orcem reacts with excess calcium in the concrete mix and binds the salt precursors. The lower water permeability of Orcem concretes also reduces the risk of secondary efflorescence.