Add a “WOW” factor to your room

We all have some desires for our dream house. While, having a beautiful and captivating interior is one thing, but a crafty modern design, sustainability, and integration with natural elements is also of absolute importance.

To have the former features is a matter of taste but the later ones are the part of basic home-building engineering. Once a strong, durable and living-friendly structure is set in place, then comes the time to add that extra “wow” factor to your dream home.

If you are one of those who like to experiment and is not reluctant to try of different themes, then read on to inculcate some cool and different ideas to decorate your home.

How to dress a room to impress?

A little wallpaper, paint, and or colorful accents could make such a big difference in your home. Here are a few ideas of home decor to make your dream home unique.

COLOUR AND WALLPAPER

Dark colors can create exciting interiors with a palette of greys, blues and blacks. However, bright colors have its own charm and can add a different life factor in our interior design. If you don’t fancy using paint but want to bring in pattern as well then there is a wonderful choice of wallpapers which will make your heart beat a little faster.

STATEMENT ART AND PICTURE WALLS

Oversize and emotive art piece is an instant turn-up to create an impact in a room. Choose a single large image or create a gallery wall with lots of different images. You don’t have to break the bank to create this look either. You can go down to your local art shop, buy a canvas and a few paints and let the creative juices flow.

STATEMENT LIGHTING

This is an easiest and the perfect, way to take your room from good to extraordinary. Invest in a statement light like a stunning glass chandelier which can really pop against the dark walls. Another alternative is to invest in a piece of neon art for the walls which will combine statement walls with statement lighting.

RULES KILL CREATIVITY

When the rules are challenged, or even broken, wonderful things can happen especially when our end result is to create drama. Put things in unexpected places like wallpaper in the bathroom. People don’t usually expect to see it there. Put a canvas painting among the crockery on your kitchen shelves or mix some traditional pieces with a modern setting.

EMBRACE METALLICS

The natural glow and reflective quality of metallic add glamour and sparkle to any room. For a quicker, and more affordable, try highlighting features with metallic paint or invest in some shiny gold home accessories.
The bottom-line is – be brave, be bold and show off!

A perfect plastering finish

In construction, I observed people often complain to contractors about poor quality of work execution. Not to surprise, contractors are only responsible because they could not carry out finishing work properly.

We know, people who hire construction experts to execute their work because they are unable to do so. In most of the cases Home owners have not much knowledge to check the work quality therefore they only can examine building finishing. Also, they cannot understand how to check quality of RCC, PCC or brick wall. Generally, people well thought-out finish of their house or offices should not be ugly and it is only mistake construction people do just not delivering quality plastering work.

Plastering itself an art and require quality execution, any error left during plastering work can ruin your hard work and may leave neighbors to laugh. Things should be taken care during plaster work may help you to prevent micro cracking and uneven plaster surface.

Minimize plaster thickness to prevent cracks

Plastering thickness should be kept least possible just to cover up the rough surface. Minimum thickness of 12 mm and 6 mm are ideal for wall and ceiling respectively. If you required more than 15 mm thickness then plastering work should be applied in two coats.

Greater Plastering thickness causes cracks and tendency to fall down in pieces over period of time.

Simple Fundamental of surface plastering

Plaster is layer of cement-sand mix which acts as damp proof course. It enhances the appearance of building and provides sound and thermal insulation. Ratio of 1:5 cement-sand for exterior surface and 1:3 or 1:4 considered ideal for internal surface.

Surface should be wet before applying plaster and it should be started from top to bottom towards floor.

Get smooth finish for interior and rough for exterior

For great interior painting finish, plastering work should be even and smooth. Internal wall and ceiling plaster smoothness can be achieved by applying neat punning cement after plastering the surface.

Exterior wall plaster should be more or less uneven to prevent rain water penetration. Also, it gives pleasant appearance as smooth surface allow visualizing defects.

Common mistake should avoid during plaster

Wire mesh needs to be fixed for RCC and masonry joints prior to apply plastering the surface.
Window and door opening plaster edges should not be sharp and slope of window sill bottom plastering projected towards external face of wall to avoid entering water in rain.
Door and window opening plaster should be well in plumb to avoid gap between frame and surface.
Curing of plastering work should be carried out for at least 14 days.
Wall painting work should not be carried out until it gets completely dry.
Margin for door and window frame equal to plaster thickness should be left out.
Concealed electrical wiring and connection job should be finished before plastering.
If you adhere to technical guidelines for plastering work definitely it will enhance wall appearance and offer firm and smooth base to paint your wall.

Sustainability Of Concrete

Sustainability is an ill-defined and vague concept in the construction industry. There are few tools or even metrics available to help decision makers specify one construction material over another in relation to sustainability. One reason for this is the sustainability of concrete, the most widely used material in the world, is still a difficult concept to quantify.

Most sustainability or green voluntary certification programs attempting to qualify sustainable materials have focused primarily on energy, material and water conservation; indoor environmental quality; and site selection and development. While these are all important aspects of sustainable building design and construction, lifecycle does not appear to be an integral part of this definition.

Quantifying sustainability

When selecting a building material, sustainability should be easily quantifiable. One method for assessing the sustainability of a construction material could be to divide its LIFECYCLE by the amount of non-renewable RESOURCES required in its manufacturing process.

“Lifecycle” refers to the durability of concrete, in years. It is linked to fatigue life and other material properties such as shrinkage, cracking, and porosity.

“Resources” refers to the quantity of non-renewable resources used in concrete manufacturing (such as, but not limited to, carbon footprint).

German Plast plays an important role in improving the sustainability of a construction, mostly because its chemistry and materials science differs from the well-established standards of portland cement. It can play a significant role in the sustainability of concrete technology from the perspective of raw materials use, energy demand, carbon footprint, and pavement longevity.

How to concrete in hot weather

As we read in the earlier blog post, Hot Weather Concreting can affect the strength of a structure. It is therefore important to know what precautions we can take to avoid the ill-effects of concreting during hot and arid weather.

The first immediate solution for concreting in arid and hot weather /low humid regions is to pour concrete during early morning or late evening. This may mitigate the bad effects to a large extent. In case, if the concreting pour has to be done during the day, other precautionary measures could be undertaken for better results.

  • Lower the temperature of the concrete ingredients before they are used for concrete mixing.
  • High early strength cements to be avoided unless the initial high strength of concrete is required at the site
  • Aggregates may be protected from direct rays of the sun during concrete production by providing shades over the stockpiles.
  • Sprinkling the stockpiles of coarse aggregates with water and keeping them moist is another option to be considered.

The only precaution to be taken care is not to flood them so as to affect the moisture content considered during concrete mix design.

The mixing water has the greatest effect on the temperature of concrete since it has a specific heat of about 4 to 4.5 times that of cement or aggregate. Hence chilled water or ice is preferred during concreting at high temperatures. If at all ice is added to the mixing plant directly, it is added in the crushed state only and complete melting is to be ensured before mixing of concrete ingredients is complete.

Use of chemical admixtures like water reducers/retarders helps in delaying the setting of concrete. However, use of these chemical admixtures needs to be carefully done as per manufacturer’s specifications and expert engineer’s advice.

Also, need to plan adequate manpower and machinery to complete the concrete pour at the shortest time possible during hot weather.

Painting the mixer machine surface and transporting trucks with white or lighter color and covering them with wet burlaps minimizes the radiation effects. Also, reducing the time between water added during concrete mix and concrete pouring negate the workability loss.

Finishing, and curing of concrete

The next important precautions to be taken are in placement, finishing, and curing of concrete. The speed of placement and finishing helps to minimize problems in hot water concreting. Protection and curing have to be started immediately after the surface is hardened enough. This can be in the form of covering the concrete surface with wet burlap, curing compounds or sprinkling of water initially. Moist curing shall commence once the concrete surface has attained some degree of hardening sufficient to withstand surface damage. Continuous curing is important, because volume changes due to alternate wetting and drying promote the development of surface cracks.

Once concrete cubes are cast for testing of the concrete for compressive strengths, adequate protection to be made for cube specimens from being exposed to direct sunlight or else evaporation of water in the cube will lead to lower compressive strength reported when tested for 7 days and 28 days.

It is important to take adequate measures at every step involved in concreting from material storage to concrete mixing, transportation, placing, finishing, curing and concrete cube casting.

Hot Weather Concreting

The repair and maintenance cost of any concrete structure is of such high magnitude that the need to construct durable structures has become imperative. Concrete/cement products have a similarity to Human beings. A newborn baby has to be taken care by means of timely vaccinations and other protection measures during the first few years after birth, the same applies to taking care of the structures built of concrete/cement mortar during the initial hours/days after they are cast in the structure.

Concreting during hot weather

Hot weather conditions can produce a rapid rate of evaporation of moisture from the surface of the concrete and accelerate setting time. Generally, high humidity tends to reduce the effects of hot weather in concreting. Special precautions need to be taken to ensure proper handling, placing, finishing and curing of concrete in hot weather.

What is hot weather concreting?

Any operation of concreting (other than steam curing) done at a temperature of above 40 degree Celsius is termed as hot weather concreting. High temperature increases the hydration of cement resulting in a faster setting which means the time available for workability of concrete is reduced.

Besides, high temperatures necessitates the addition of water at the project site to enhance the workability of concrete and thereby reduction in concrete strength. It may also result in the formation of cold joints in the structure cast. While initial strength may not suffer, the long-term strength (> 28 days strength) is affected.

High temperatures, wind velocity, and low relative humidity can affect fresh concrete in two important ways:

  1. Plastic shrinkage cracks may develop from high rate of evaporation or by cooling of the concrete from its elevated initial temperature.
  2. The evaporation rate can remove surface water necessary for hydration which may affect the cement hydration process in the initial stages resulting in lower concrete strengths.

Therefore, it is important to take necessary precautions and make the required arrangements before starting any construction work.

Read our next blog post to find out what measures you can take for a hassle-free construction work.

German Plast – A source of competitive advantage

With the infrastructural development, the demand for construction materials has also gained pace and the cement industry being a part of this has welcomed many big players in this.

Cement is a bulk article of trade and a low value product. It is used in all construction activities as a primary constituent of concrete. As far as the quality of cement is concerned, there is no major variation as the raw materials used are all similar and production processes are also more or less same.

In spite this; the Indian cement industry has a large number of fragmented firms. However, there is a dearth of new players as incumbents have already procured key raw material sources, like limestone reserves on long-term leases. Further, large firms are continuously consolidating by acquiring smaller ones that find it difficult to attain minimum efficient scale of production. In order to sustain the market competition, it is important to have a different and future-looking approach in the manufacturing process.

The Cement Production Process

The river sand is one of the important raw materials of cement production process. But, digging the sand hampers the rivers and leaves a long-term effect on the environment. Further, greenhouse gas emissions from cement manufacturing also pose a serious environmental threat. With stringent emission norms, the production process needs to be made environmentally sustainable.

Having studied the cement industry and identified the main issues facing the firms, German Plast team engaged in an in-depth analysis of the firm’s resources to identify the sources of sustainable competitive advantage.

Ready Mix Concrete

Calclay India started with idea of manufacturing the ready-to-use plaster using the by-product obtained from its mines. Developed on international standards of product engineering, the company approached the labs approved by the Quality Council of India to ensure high-standards of cement plaster.

Calclay India introduced German Plast, a ready-to-use cement plaster developed by the expert team with the support of Quality Council of India accredited laboratory. German Plast is engineered and manufactured using purified and graded sand approved by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for cement plastering ingredients. It includes high-grade cement along with polymer additives which gives better bonding, strength and durability to the system.

Our greatest strength is raw material sourcing. With our commitment towards environmental liabilities and use of natural products, we are recycling the waste products using systematic and scientific techniques. By following environmental friendly practices we ensure optimum use of the natural resources.

German Plast uses the waste by-product obtained from the mines. The process solves two purposes – one, the rivers are not touched in the making and two, it uses the by-product which otherwise is dumped as a waste material.

We understand the importance of every construction for its customers and value their emotions behind the same. Therefore, we are striving to become an environment-friendly producer of cement plaster which ultimately also gives us a cost advantage by means of utilizing the waste by-product.