Traditional Thick Concrete Floor Slabs – an Obstacle to the Flexibility, Energy Efficiency and Seismic Safety
This paper considers the potential of designing and constructing floor slabs taking into account three aspects of major importance: flexibility-adaptability, energy efficiency and seismic safety. Currently traditional reinforced concrete floor slabs at least 20 centimetres thick are still designed and built. Such practice has no justification, as thick concrete floor slabs hinder architectural creativity as well as all the other aforementioned aspects. In this paper, the authors analyse and
... ors analyse and demonstrate the simultaneous correlation between flexibility-adaptability, energy efficiency, seismic safety and the mass of the floor slabs in residential buildings. Massive floor slabs limit the distance between load-bearing walls and consequently the adaptability of residential space. A large mass directly intensifies the seismic forces it induces. Thick concrete slabs have high heat capacity, as they have high mass and volume. The solution to floor slabs which satisfy all three aspects is to design and build them as waffle slabs. These two-way spanning concrete slabs have low mass, are rigid and can span the distance of more than 10 metres between two load-bearing walls.The authors of this paper suggest that floor slabs conform to the limitation in mass provided in this paper under Eq. (5) and (6) . By applying this principle, architects would be able to design more flexible, adaptable, energy efficient, and seismically safe living spaces.