Designers can reduce the cost of concrete construction by following these design rules for formwork, reinforcement, and concrete:
- Select one framing scheme and stick with it throughout the project.
- Orient framing in one direction for one-way systems such as beams and joists.
- Keep floor-to-floor heights constant.
- Use a flat plate for spans up to about 25 feet because it's the cheapest, fastest, and shallowest framing method available.
- Use Grade 60 bars. Grade 40 requires 50 percent more steel than Grade 60.
- Use the largest bar size that meets design requirements.
- Eliminate bent bars where possible because bending increases fabrication costs.
- Use lap splices whenever possible.
- Use low-strength concrete in the floor system unless there is an advantage to using higher strength.
- Use 6-inch-slump concrete and pea gravel aggregate where reinforcement is congested.
- Arrange column ties so they don't obstruct concrete placement.
- Specify few mix designs.