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Reinforced Concrete Comparison

Overview

am‑cor FerroStress wall assembly

am‑cor FerroStress wall assembly

The am‑cor System is a structural building system:
The patented am-cor Ferrocement Construction System compares favorably with Standard Reinforced Concrete & Masonry construction. There are a number of benefits to using the am-cor System, including strength, and labor and material savings. In its standard configuration the am-cor System is generally:
  • 40% Lighter: The am-cor System uses 60% less concrete than reinforced concrete & masonry, saving money and time on foundations, shipping, and labor.
  • Lower Carbon Footprint: 60% less material = an exceptionally low carbon footprint (less manufacturing, less shipping, less transportation, less energy use, etc.)
  • Double The Strength: The am‑cor System's patented FerroStress™ technology & high strength-to-weight ration creates a continuous, unibody Ferrocement stress skin using amcorite™ structural gel, providing 2-3 times the unit strength of reinforced concrete block masonry.
  • 5x Faster: The am‑cor System is panelized and pre-engineered; walls are erected and set in minutes.
  • Unibody Integration: The am‑cor System integrates all structural elements (walls, beams, columns, headers, floors, etc.) into high strength panels, which are joined together into a single unified Ferrocement composite
  • Services & Insulation: am‑cor's hollow wall system allows for quick & easy placement of services and insulation, and does not require furring out to create interior surfaces, or drilling or chipping for conduit, etc.

Building Components

The following pictures show cutaway sections of a standard reinforced concrete block masonry wall compared with a standard am‑cor System wall panel.

am‑cor Wall & Masonry Wall Cutaways

am‑cor Wall & Masonry Wall Cutaways


While standard reinforced concrete & masonry construction requires separate assemblies and methods for roof, wall, and floor construction, the am‑cor System provides a solution for all aspects of building construction, using the same Ferrocement methods and materials to construct:
am‑cor System floor assembly

am‑cor System floor assembly


  • walls
  • floors
  • roofs
  • beams, arches
  • columns/posts
  • opening headers
  • balconies, overhangs
  • railings, knee walls
  • verandas, patios
  • stairs

Material

Thanks to the patented FerroStress panel designs and advanced, modern, unibody Ferrocement engineering, the am‑cor System uses considerably less material than standard reinforced concrete & masonry construction, thus saving money on raw material, transportation & shipping, and more.

When building a typical wall of the same height, width, depth, and comparable structural specifications, the am‑cor System uses approximately 20% of the concrete and 85% of the steel required by standard reinforced concrete & masonry construction.

am‑cor vs. Concrete Material Use

am‑cor vs. Concrete Material Use


Use of the am‑cor System as a structural shell helps lower project costs and considerably decrease the carbon footprint of new construction. Savings include design, material, transportation, labor, and management costs.

Time & Labor

The am‑cor System uses considerably less construction time than standard reinforced concrete block construction, thus saving money on labor and management costs. These time savings are due to a number of engineering advances, including the unibody FerroStress structural skin, which replaces disparate materials, complicated assemblies, and outdated building practices.

When building a typical wall of the same height, width, depth, and comparable structural specifications, the am‑cor System takes approximately 20% of the construction time of standard reinforced concrete block construction. Further, it does not require the complicated practices of formwork for concrete posts & beams.

am‑cor vs. Concrete Time Use

am‑cor vs. Concrete Time Use


Use of the am‑cor System as a structural shell helps lower project costs by lowering labor costs, total time on site, and reducing time required for cleanup and installation of services. The am‑cor System affords further savings in project management, construction management, and general overheads. Because of reduced construction time, am-cor projects can increase ROI faster and more efficiently.


Shell Construction Comparison

This is a step-by-step comparison of the am‑cor Ferrocement Construction System and standard Reinforced Concrete & Masonry construction.

As a reference, we use The Tropic Cayman 3BR: a 1 story, 1650 sq.ft. plan, with the goal of creating a Dried-In Building Shell, complying with the IBC (International Building Code).
Dried-In Building Shell Comparison
The Tropic Cayman 3BR
am‑cor System
Ferrocement Prefab Kit
Standard Reinforced
Concrete & Masonry
am‑cor Kit SpecificationsConcrete Building Specifications
  • purchase standard plan or hire architect & engineer to provide permit and working drawing set
  • foundation/stem walls of reinforced concrete/masonry
  • exterior walls of reinforced concrete/masonry
  • intermediate floors of reinforced poured concrete
  • interior wood/light gauge steel framing
  • furring to interior face of outside walls for services & insulation
  • shingled wood truss roof
  • exterior stucco finish
  1. Foundation: Reinforced Concrete Strip Footing
    am‑cor SystemConcrete / Masonry
    Labor Savings: approximately 25%
    Material Savings: approximately 15%
    step task material
    1line outstring & batter boards
    2prepare & set reinforcingreinforcing bars & tie wire
    3cast footingspoured concrete (smooth & level)
    step task material
    1line outstring & batter boards
    2prepare & set reinforcingreinforcing bars & tie wire
    3prepare & bend hooked barsreinforcing bars
    4set hooked barstie wire
    5cast footingspoured concrete (smooth & level)
  2. Foundation: Stem/Basement Wall of (a) Reinforced Concrete, or (b) Masonry
    am‑cor SystemConcrete / Masonry
    Labor Savings: approximately 50%
    Material Savings: approximately 40%
    Notes: all openings preframed in the factory; all design & engineering preapproved; walls ready for services, insulation & interior surfaces; no scraps, waste, or mess

    steptaskmaterial
    1consult drawingsam‑cor Field Manual
    2set labeled am‑cor wall panelsfasteners included
    3apply amcorite structural ferrocement coatamcorite, Portland cement, sand, water
    4waterproof subgrade wallstandard foundation waterproofing
    steptaskmaterial
    1consult drawingsarchitectural or standard plan
    2measure & form openingstreated jambs, heads & sills
    3custom build formworktreated wood & plywood
    4set concrete formsforms, spacers, ties
    5prepare & set reinforcingreinforcing bars & tie wire
    6acast concretepoured concrete
    6blay masonryunit masonry
    7aremove formworklabor & time
    7bgrout masonrymasonry grout mix
    8arub concretecement & water
    8bparge blockworkcement & sand parging mix
    9waterproof subgrade wallstandard foundation waterproofing
    10interior partitions & furringtreated wood
  3. Floor: Slab on Grade/Basement Floor Slab
    am‑cor SystemConcrete / Masonry
    Labor Savings: approximately 20%
    Material Savings: approximately 10%
    Notes: no formwork construction & material; no waste
    steptaskmaterial
    1prepare slab basegravel, slab insulation
    2groundworks (plumbing)plumbing supplies
    3prepare & set reinforcingreinforcing bars & tie wire
    4place vapor sealplastic sheeting
    5cast floor slabpoured concrete
    steptaskmaterial
    1prepare slab basegravel, slab insulation
    2groundworks (plumbing)plumbing supplies
    3prepare & place formworkwooden forms, spacers, ties
    4prepare & set reinforcingreinforcing bars & tie wire
    5place vapor sealplastic sheeting
    6cast floor slabpoured concrete
    7remove & discard formworklabor & time
  4. Floor: Upper Level Decking
    am‑cor SystemConcrete / Masonry
    Labor Savings: approximately 50%
    Material Savings: approximately 65%
    Notes: all openings preframed in the factory; all design & engineering preapproved; floor ready for services, insulation & interior surfaces; no scraps, waste, nor mess
    steptaskmaterial
    1consult drawingsam‑cor Field Manual
    2set labeled am‑cor floor panelsam‑cor Kit includes fasteners
    3apply amcorite ferrocement subflooramcorite, sand & cement, approx. 1" (2.5cm)
    steptaskmaterial
    1consult drawingsarchitectural or standard plan
    2set shoringwood supports
    3custom build formworktreated wood & plywood
    4set concrete slab formsforms, hardware
    5measure & form slab openingswooden framing material
    6prepare & set reinforcingreinforcing bars & tie wire, high chairs & mesh
    7slab pourconcrete, min. 6" (15cm)
    8remove formworklabor & time
  5. Walls: Ground Floor Exterior Walls of (a) Reinforced Concrete, or (b) Masonry
    am‑cor SystemConcrete / Masonry
    Labor Savings: approximately 85%
    Material Savings: approximately 80%
    Notes: wall panels already placed in previous step: "Foundation: Stem Wall" or "Floor: Slab on Grade"; all openings preframed in the factory; all design & engineering already preapproved; floor ready for services, insulation & interior surfaces; no scraps, waste, nor mess; exterior surfaces ready for finishing
    steptaskmaterial
    1flash openingsflashing material
    2insert windows & doorsexterior doors & windows
    3apply amcorite structural ferrocement coatamcorite, sand & cement, approx. 1" (2cm)
    4seal around openingsmodulus & caulking
    steptaskmaterial
    1consult drawingsarchitectural or standard plan
    2consult codeopening headers
    3measure & form openingstreated jambs, heads & sills
    4custom build formworktreated wood & plywood
    5set concrete formsforms, spacers, ties
    6prepare reinforcingreinforcing bars & tie wire
    7set reinforcingreinforcing bars & tie wire
    8acast concretepoured concrete
    8blay masonryunit masonry
    9aremove formworklabor & time
    9bgrout masonrymasonry grout mix
    10arub concretecement & water
    10bparge blockworkcement & sand parging mix
    11flash openingsflashing material
    12insert windows & doorsexterior openings
    13flash exterior of openingsflashing & weatherproofing
    14seal around openingsmodulus & caulking
    15interior partitions & furringtreated wood / steel framing
  6. Walls: Upper Floors Exterior Walls
    am‑cor SystemConcrete / Masonry
    Labor Savings: approximately 85%
    Material Savings: approximately 80%
    Notes: all openings preframed in the factory; all design & engineering already preapproved; floor ready for services, insulation & interior surfaces; no scraps, waste, nor mess; exterior surfaces ready for finishing
    steptaskmaterial
    1consult drawingsam‑cor Field Manual
    2set labeled am‑cor wall panelsam‑cor Kit includes fasteners
    3flash openingsflashing & weatherproofing
    4insert windows & doorsexterior doors & windows
    5apply amcorite structural ferrocement coatamcorite, sand & cement
    6seal around openingsmodulus & caulking
    steptaskmaterial
    1consult drawingsarchitectural or standard plan
    2consult codeopening headers
    3measure & form openingstreated wood rough grounds
    4custom build formworktreated wood & plywood
    5set concrete formsforms, spacers, ties
    6prepare & set reinforcingreinforcing bars & tie wire
    7acast concretepoured concrete
    7blay masonryunit masonry
    8aremove formworklabor & time
    8bgrout masonrymasonry grout mix
    9arub concretecement & water
    9bparge blockworkcement & sand parging mix
    10flash openingsflashing material
    11insert windows & doorsexterior openings
    12flash exterior of openingsflashing & weatherproofing
    13seal around openingsmodulus & caulking
    14interior partitions & furringtreated wood/steel framing
  7. Walls: Partitions
    am‑cor SystemConcrete / Masonry
    Labor Savings: approximately 50%
    Material Savings: approximately 25%
    Notes: all openings preframed in the factory; all design & engineering already preapproved; walls ready for services, insulation & interior surfaces; no scraps, waste, nor mess
    steptaskmaterial
    1consult drawingsam‑cor Field Manual
    2set labeled am‑cor partition panelsam‑cor Kit includes fasteners
    steptaskmaterial
    1consult drawingsarchitectural or standard plan
    2measure & cut door headers for framingwood framing material/steel framing
    3measure & cut studs & plates for framingwooden material/steel framing
    4measure & cut studs, corner bracingwooden material/steel framing
    5frame & fasten materialfasteners
  8. Roof: Framing & Decking
    am‑cor SystemConcrete / Masonry
    Labor Savings: approximately 10%
    Material Savings: approximately 10%
    Notes: all openings preframed in the factory; all design & engineering already preapproved; roof ready for services, insulation & interior surfaces; no scraps, waste, nor mess
    steptaskmaterial
    1consult drawingsam‑cor Field Manual
    2set labeled am‑cor roof panelsam‑cor Kit includes fasteners
    3apply roof decking: rated plywood or amcorite ferrocement
    plywood or amcorite, sand, and cement; am‑cor Kit includes fasteners
    4apply & fasten metal fascia, rake & soffitincluded in am‑cor Kit
    5cover with black paper or amcorite ferrocementasphalt paper or concrete sealer
    6apply roofingshingles or waterproofing, fasteners
    steptaskmaterial
    1consult drawingsarchitectural or standard plan
    2set wood trussesengineered wooden roof trusses
    3install truss anchorstruss anchors, fasteners
    4apply rated plywood deckingrated plywood, fasteners, H-clips
    5apply & fasten fascia, rake & soffitwood, vinyl or metal fascia, fasteners
    6cover with black paperasphalt paper, fasteners
    7apply roofingshingles/waterproof
  9. Services: Plumbing, Electrical, HVAC, AV, etc.
    am‑cor SystemConcrete / Masonry
    Labor Savings: approximately 30%
    Material Savings: approximately 5%
    steptaskmaterial
    1install grommets in pre- punched studsam‑cor Kit includes grommets
    steptaskmaterial
    1consult drawings/ codebooks: limited hole size & locationarchitectural or standard plan/ codebooks
    2drill/chip for service runsdrilling equipment
  10. Balconies & Porches: Covered & Uncovered
    am‑cor SystemConcrete / Masonry
    Labor Savings: approximately 50%
    Material Savings: approximately 65%
    Notes: all columns, posts, floors, and railings preframed in the factory; all design & engineering already preapproved; no scraps, waste, nor mess, exterior surfaces ready for finish coat; amcorite unibody structural ferrocement skin acts as flashing and back flashing: no complicated waterproofing details required
    steptaskmaterial
    1consult drawingsam‑cor Field Manual
    2set labeled am‑cor balcony/porch panels (includes posts, railings)am‑cor Kit includes fasteners
    3enamel or coat with amcoriteenamel/amcorite, sand, cement
    4apply waterproofingwaterproofing
    5flash & seal at wall/roof edgesflashing & sealant
    steptaskmaterial
    1consult drawingsarchitectural or standard plan
    2consult codeposts, beams, joist spans
    3set shoringtreated wood & plywood
    4custom build formworkwooden material
    5set concrete formsforms, hardware
    6measure & cut slab openingswooden framing material
    7prepare & set reinforcingreinforcing bars & tie wire, high chairs & mesh
    8slab pourconcrete, min. 6" (15cm)
    9remove formworklabor & time
    10apply waterproofingwaterproofing
    11flash & seal at wall/roof edgesflashing & sealant
Total Labor Savings: approximately 75%
Total Material Savings: approximately 80%
Total Time Savings: approximately 65%
Total Estimated Savings
Dried-In Building Shell
am‑cor System
Ferrocement Prefab Kit
Standard Reinforced
Concrete & Masonry
Steps to Complete: approximately 39Steps to Complete: approximately 81

Conclusion

The am‑cor Ferrocement Construction System is lighter, stronger, faster and cheaper than Standard Reinforced Concrete & Masonry construction, while being of commensurate durability and strength. Moreover, the am‑cor System’s overall integration allows for considerably faster & simpler construction, thereby lowering overheads and management costs.

Use of the am‑cor System provides a higher level of construction (fire, disaster, vermin resistance; greater security; ease of insulation and service installation) for a lower price.

Questions or comments? Please contact us.

Assumptions & Disclaimers

All figures are good-faith reasonable estimates under standard site & marketplace conditions and are calculated in US monetary, labor, and material units for common industry scenarios. All figures are estimates for the specified task or material only, and exclude supporting labor, materials, equipment and tools. Also excluded are taxes, cost of land, siteworks & utilities, construction management costs, fuel, electricity, transportation, etc. Figures assume no unusual site conditions, standard construction practices, generic building plan, etc. Overheads or standard costs of doing business are not included. Architect fees, Contractor fees, and siteworks costs are not included. Actual buildings may vary significantly per project and may not necessarily fall within the range of generic savings as calculated. Please note all figures are time & project sensitive and not binding in any way. Estimates of labor & material are time & project sensitive and will vary. Labor & material prices, fuel, utilities, & business overheads vary with each region, and vary with kit size and design. All content in this document is for general informational purposes only. Opinions expressed herein are solely those of am‑cor inc.


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