Concrete hotel construction offers many advantages over other methods of construction.
There is often the need to construct a hotel quickly, so speed of construction and tight construction programmes are primary considerations in their design. The bedroom areas of hotels can be considered as cellular structures in that the walls can be structural elements.
Tunnel form, crosswall and twinwall all offer significant advantages including systemised construction, minimal need for infill panels, less requirement for follow-on trades due to high quality wall finishes and cost-savings due to repetition of the elements.
To ensure the occupiers’ comfort, a major criterion in hotel bedroom design is minimum noise transmission between rooms. Concrete’s inherent acoustic performance provides excellent sound insulation.
Concrete is proven to have a high degree of fire resistance and, in the majority of applications, can be described as virtually fireproof. This excellent performance is due in the main to concrete’s constituent materials (cement and aggregates) which, when chemically combined within concrete, form a material that is essentially inert and, importantly for fire safety design, has relatively poor thermal conductivity. It is this slow rate of conductivity (heat transfer) that enables concrete to act as an effective fire shield not only between adjacent spaces, but also to protect itself from fire damage.
Concrete is a material with high thermal mass and buildings with thermal mass respond naturally to changing weather conditions, helping stabilise the internal temperature and provide a largely self-regulating environment. Buildings such as hotels which do have comfort cooling systems, can work together very efficiently to provide comfortable internal conditions, particularly during warm weather.
Hotels built from concrete are robust, durable structures and can easily meet the requirements for design against disproportionate collapse with appropriate reinforcement detailing.
Advice on the options for hotel construction in concrete can be found in The Concrete Centre publication Residential Cellular Concrete Buildings.
Tunnel form construction is a system which uses formwork to create both the wall and slab together. It is based upon a 24-hour cycle and therefore has a high turn-around time.
Crosswall construction employs factory precast concrete components which are custom designed and manufactured to suit the individual project. Floor slabs are either hollowcore panels or solid widespan units.
Twinwall construction is a combination of precast and in-situ concrete construction. It uses the twinwall panel as permanent shuttering into which ready-mixed concrete is placed. The floor slab is generally a lattice girder panel and again, is a combination of precast and in-situ concrete.