Post-tensioning

Structural Systems are one of the market leaders in post-tensioning technology. Post-Tensioning is a method of reinforcing (strengthening) concrete or other materials with high-strength steel strands or bar. By applying a compressive force into the concrete the concrete has an increased capacity to carry load and allows better control of the deflections.

The benefits post-tensioning brings to a structure include large open plan, column free floor spaces, as well as reduced slab depths, longer spans, fewer columns and less traditional reinforcement.

Residential
Structural Systems has completed numerous multi-storey residential structures throughout the UK and Ireland using its own flat anchor systems, the latest of which has been designed and developed to meet the stringent requirements of the new European codes (ETAG). Any multi-residential structure with more than three levels can benefit from using post tensioning, allowing greater flexibility in the floor layout due to increased spans, fewer columns and reduced slab depths. The savings in the slab depth can also reduce the building weight and allow for smaller columns and foundations.

Commercial
Shopping centres are ideal structures for gaining the maximum benefit from post tensioning. Structural Systems has designed and installed Europe's largest inner city shopping centre in London totalling over 150,000m2 of retail space and 75,000 m2 of car-parking. Flexibility of the post tensioning allowed for a maximised let-able area whilst accommodating additional alterations to the slab, including escalators and lifts, to be incorporated even after the slabs had been cast. With office buildings, the flexibility of the partitioning layout is crucial in maximising the letting space. Clear spans with minimal column intrusion is important and on larger schemes, the thinner slabs can produce additional floors due to planning gains as well as cladding and foundation saving.

Education
The latest wave of Building Schools For the Future (BSF) and Acadamies has seen post tensioning technology being extensively used to provide cost efficient solutions for many secondary schools up and down the country. The performance criteria for schools can be quite critical as wide open areas create greater spans and some have higher than average loadings, for which post tensioning is ideal in controlling any deflections. Post tensioned concrete structure also offered significant acoustic benefits, which is beneficial in a learning environment.

Hospitals
One of the problems with hospitals is the need to accommodate future penetrations through the slab as technological advances affect the equipment requirements of the structure. Post tensioning designed by Structural Systems is ideally suited to this type of construction due to the large uninterrupted spaces that occur between the tendons and the elimination of a bottom mat. Additional penetrations can easily be accommodated within these zones and careful design coordination can allow for penetrations around columns at a later date. To maximise the benefits, it is recommended that our system is incorporated into the design process as early as possible.

Hotels
Hotel construction has to balance the need for large open areas at ground floor level for reception, foyer, meeting spaces and events facilities, with the need to provide suitable accommodation in the upper floors in the form of rooms, suites and penthouses. Post tensioning technology further develops the flexibility of traditional hotel developments by offering greater spans, thinner slabs and a lighter structure.