by Beth Puliti
Often overlooked and underestimated, architectural concrete offers more than just strength. Colors, patterns and textures add beauty to decorative projects large and small.
Concrete has traditionally been used in exterior applications. As a result of unique design options, however, one of the most recent industry trends is to bring it inside. Concrete can be made to resemble brick, slate, flagstone, stone, tile, wood, etc., through stamping, staining, sandblasting and other processes.
Architectural Concrete Design bills itself as a leader in this industry. The company specializes in all forms of decorative concrete used in residential and commercial projects, including stamped, stained, integrally-colored, exposed aggregate and sandblasted. Its decorative concrete endeavors have run the gamut—from patios, pool decks and driveways to walkways, interior floors, roadways and sidewalks.
“We constantly search for innovative processes that facilitate quick installation and completion of projects with consistent attention to detail and quality,” says David Schaeffer, designer and sales associate.
The Start Up
Incorporated in 1993 by Chris McMahon, CEO and president, Architectural Concrete Design originally consisted of a three-man crew, but evolved over 10 years into a group of more than 60 specialists—including designers, craftsmen, customer service personnel and management staff.
Schaeffer notes that Architectural Concrete Design excels in all aspects of the installation process, especially the design and operational phases.
“Architectural Concrete Design has experienced landscape designers in-house who provide designs that satisfy both the functional and aesthetic demands of a project,” he says.
Professional contractors often choose Architectural Concrete Design to install large areas of concrete at one placement, therefore ensuring consistent color and texture flow throughout all areas.
Department of Transportation-certified in three states, Architectural Concrete Design is also experienced at installing large commercial projects, such as high-profile shopping malls and downtown revitalization projects from Connecticut to Virginia.
An Exquisite Endeavor
Recently, Architectural Concrete Design contributed to a large project in Devon, PA. General contractor, C.F. Holloway III & Co., knew from prior experience that Architectural Concrete Design would provide a high-quality, well-detailed and timely installation at The Terraces, a six-unit condominium.
“We needed to supply a durable, attractive paving surface that complemented the building and its landscaping. The surface also had to be installed at a fraction of the cost of other alternatives, such as concrete or clay paving bricks, or natural paving materials, like cobblestone,” Schaeffer explains.
Another project goal was to have the sturdy, appealing hardscape architecturally complement the proposed building. It needed to offer longevity and low maintenance as well.
“Since the project involved many sub-contractors in different stages, the timing of the installation was crucial. It had to be installed in the right sequence and in a timely manner, so the construction process proceeded according to schedule,” says Schaeffer.
The original footprint of the driveway and parking areas was roughly designed by an architect. Schaeffer and Cas Holloway went over the plan in great detail, double-checking dimensions, traffic flow, drainage and suitable colors and patterns that would enhance the overall project.
Stamped concrete was chosen for the project because of its strength, durability, attractiveness and cost effectiveness. Architectural Concrete Design was selected because of its reputation and knowledge of the decorative concrete industry.
“A cobblestone texture was chosen for the main entrance driveway, providing a realistic, rugged character that only Belgium block can offer,” Schaeffer points out.
In the end, the 7,000 square-foot installation of stamped concrete included the entrance driveway, the parking courtyard and the individual parking areas for each home in the six-unit condominium.
The finishing touches to the overall project demonstrate that stamped concrete is a durable, attractive alternative paving choice, worthy of the most discriminating residential projects.
“Every residential installation benefits from the experience gained on these large projects. That professionalism and knowhow is brought to the homeowner’s backyard,” says Schaeffer.
Architectural Concrete Design is located at 3001 New Falls Rd, Levittown, PA. Visit the company’s website at www.architecturalconcretedesign.com or call 866-956-2818 for more information.
Photos Courtesy Architectural Concrete Design