What is V-Tec?
The V-Tec Beam consists of a steel lattice girder cast onto a concrete foot to form a lightweight, pre-cambered beam with large span characteristics.
The lightweight beams spaced at 750mm centres support the Expanded Polystyrene
(EPS) infill blocks which provide both an insulated base for the formwork and a smooth
surface for the ceiling below, suitable for a variety of finishes.
Concrete is poured onto the completed structure to a depth of 75mm-100mm,
accordingto design criteria.
A floated finish can be achieved with a single pour, dispensing with the need for an expensive finishing screed.
C-25 concrete is the norm. Prior to pour steel mesh is laid over the V-Tec beams as an anti crack measure. Alternatively fibre reinforcement can be added to the concrete.
Its unique design was engineered and developed in Germany in the early 1990’s to provide a fast method of casting lightweight concrete floors in-situ, to meet the surge in construction and refurbishment in East Germany following the fall of the Berlin wall.
Concrete floors are extremely fire resistance, an important consideration in the design of any building.
The V-Tec floor has an added safety feature. In the event of a fire the monolithic design and geometry of the concrete deck remains virtually intact – a benefit particularly relevant to multi-storey construction.
A third and significant safety contribution is derived by virtue of the poured in-situ concrete, which virtually eliminates voids and weak points at interfaces. Furthermore the solid concrete deck discourages the poor practice of drilling random service holes between floors. Instead services are confined to fire cased and pre-determined ducting - inserted through the deck prior to concrete placement - thereby reducing the potential for the vertical passage of fire to an absolute minimum.
A solid concrete floor also serves as a fire barrier between the services installed above and below deck, thus ensuring an alternate route for essential back-up services.
Lightweight EPS formers providing a high level of insulation now compete on equal terms with the non-combustible and more traditional floor infill blocks.
Due to the inclusion of low combustion fire retardants together with the inherent low fire load of the EPS – less than 10% by volume compared to treated softwood timber – any increased fire hazard incurred through their use is considered minimal. Hence the wide use and popularity of EPS formers throughout the flooring market.