Concrete with high aesthetical requirements

Modern architecture is unimaginable without fair-faced concrete. For decades priority was given to the unique load-bearing properties and unequaled cost/performance ratio as a structural building material.

In modern architecture concrete is increasingly used as a design feature as well as for its mechanical properties. This means higher specifications for the finish (exposed surfaces).

Sika Architectural Concrete

There are many ways to produce special effects on these exposed surfaces:

  • Select a suitable concrete mix
  • Specify the formwork material and type (the formwork must be absolutely impervious!)
  • Use the right quantity of a suitable mould release agent
  • Select a suitable placing method
  • Use form liners if necessary
  • Colour using pigments
  • Install correctly (compaction, placing etc.)
  • Thorough curing

In addition to all of these factors listed, the following are important for the concrete mix:


  • Use minimum fines content and a balanced grading curve as used for pumped concrete
  • Cement generally > 300 kg/m3
  • Allow for the effect of the cement on the colour of the exposed surface
  • The water content in a fair-faced concrete requires great care and consistency (avoid fluctuations) and prevent bleeding
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