How much does it cost?
This can be a contentious question to answer as it does vary. The reason it varies is that the project includes some fixed cost items such as a concrete pump and delivery and crane, which are required regardless of upper floor area. A ground floor is cheaper than an upper floor because deeper joists are employed. For a typical 150 m2 ground floor costs will be in the region of $165/m2 plus gst. For a typical 150sqm upper floor complete will cost in the region of $190/m2 plus gst excluding any structural steel and formed concrete stairs. This may be more if spans are large and heavier or closer run joists are used. The structural beams may be necessary when the upper floor is inside the perimeter of the lower, large internal open areas and when spans across a garage or large living areas require them. Keeping in mind, the upper floor already has a ceiling frame incorporated in it for direct fixing of plasterboard, unlike other suspended slabs where additional costs are incurred for ceiling frame installation.
Why would I choose a concrete upper floor in my brick veneer home when it will cost me more?
The advantages include better thermal and acoustic properties along with durability and stability with no longer the squeaks and groans. In the event of any damage to waterproofing in upstairs wet areas, there will be minimal impact on the steel framed and concrete floors. It provides a useful staging point for repair of termite damaged wall frames, since the floor can be propped during rectification. An important benefit is the potential for increase in value of a property with a concrete floor.
How heavy is the system?
For our most common design with a 70mm concrete topping the dead load is 2.3kPa including permanent dead load of 0.5 kpa ), being less than half of a common traditionally formed slab of 150mm. Some formed slabs may be considerably deeper and thus heavier than that. This has benefit with savings on foundation design.
Can we have a concrete floor in a brick veneer home?
There has never been a reason to stop a ground floor being concrete in a brick veneer home. However this is not true for upper floors as traditional concrete floors are too heavy when supported by conventional timber framed construction. A Smartslab concrete floor however can be supported on a timber or steel brick veneer frame and we can provide engineering specifications in support for that choice. The advantages include better thermal and acoustic properties along with durability and stability with no longer common squeaks.
How deep are the joists?
For a ground floor we generally use 100mm joists running over 100mm bearers, this may increase where larger spans are wanted to utilise space underneath. For upper floors the most common are 250mm deep joists that together with a 70mm concrete topping is sufficient to accommodate wet traps, sewer pipes and airconditioning ducting without the alternative need for bulkheads.
How close to water can your system be employed?
Fresh water poses no problem at all. In proximity to salt water / surf environments the suitability of construction materials is subject to code requirements and local government guidelines. By incorporating protective strategies in our flooring systems Smartslab can provide cost effective solutions. It is recommended that our customers should advise our office at the time of quoting of any extreme environmental conditions impacting their project.
How do you compare with other systems?
We are not so foolish to say that our system is the best in every circumstance and would hold that true for any alternative system. We claim particular advantage over what else is available in many projects where our features offer what is important to the builder. Almost immediately after our completion further construction may take place upon our floors as we do not rely on the concrete strength, rather we rely on the frame for support. This can save a builders a month in construction time. As there is no propping under our floors work can continue unabated in that area as well. Services are easily run between joists and through where necessary. Ceiling lining is fixed directly to the underneath of the joists compared to most alternate systems that require a false ceiling or battening out at best. We have found that as well as these peripheral but hard to quantify costs we have found that our price is most competitive.
How long does it take?
When an order for a complete installation is received, 10 working days may be required to deliver the floor components to site. The floor components comprise structural steel, floor joists, decking and reinforcement mesh. On site, most floors are assembled within two to three days ready for the replacement of concrete. Very large or more complex jobs can take a few days more.
How do I get a quote?
If you post your plans or in some cases a fax is sufficient, with your contact details we offer a free assessment and costing with a suggested layout for your consideration. For an upper floor we need the lower floor plan to see where supporting walls are located along with the upper floor. For a ground floor we also need an upper floor plan to see where point loads may be transferred. Elevations and sections are desirable but not always imperative. If we needed more information we would contact you. Ideally Autocad drawings if available may be emailed to sales@smartslab.com and this makes our task easy and accurate.
How long does it last?
We would claim indefinitely under normal circumstances. Termites and borers, moisture and other common corrupting influences do not affect Smartslab. We would claim to be better than a traditional concrete slab in an earthquake as we have a frame capable of deflection with no loss of strength. Fire and abnormal events that undermine the supporting structure will threaten the viability of the whole building.
Am I able to assemble the system myself?
The frame is composed of lightweight hollow galvanised steel box section and we supply the material cut to length with all necessary accessories. The package is engineered and certified by us and we deliver it together with the metal sheeting and edge angle. Many people are willing to assemble this themselves and save.

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