Photo: Jeroen Lammers (on the left) and Gerard Brood (on the right)
The concrete blog of Gerard
VELDHOVEN – Even when it has been broken apart into small chunks, it does not give in and can be used again in another form for a new project. A versatile building material known as: concrete. In "Concrete chunks" Gerard Brood talks about his work as Senior Quality Officer and Concrete Technologist at Byldis. Alongside a passion for his work, he also loves documenting his observations:
My name is Brood – Gerard Brood. That’s it, as far as the comparison goes, as I am a concrete technologist and I drink tea without sugar. According to my digital signature, I work under the title of Senior Quality Officer. Senior stands for a total of 35 years’ experience of working in, on, with and almost under concrete chunks. After all this time, I can still regularly be heard to say, full of enthusiasm: “Dear people, concrete is a wonderful material and you can really make fantastic things with it!” Let me briefly share my working environment with you. Not immediately in detail about concrete and all its different aspects, but I just want to let you taste the atmosphere at Byldis. Read the full blog An introduction.
A conversation during a chance meeting with a former classmate brings the following question; “What are you doing nowadays – are you still in concrete?” The idea that you can quickly get bored of something like concrete comes from the perpetual image that it is grey, monotonous and boring.
But it is very easy to break through this idea: just put concretedie hardsin the spotlight and this mysterious material reads like a book that you can’t put down.
“There is always something with concrete.” These words are printed as the title of an article I see on my smartphone. Initially, it evokes defensive emotions in me, but I quickly realise that these words are simply a cry for attention for one of the most versatile construction materials in the world.Luckily, there is always something with concrete.
Not for the first time, I say: “Concrete is alive and adds character to a project.”
In this fourth blog, Gerard talks among others about the sustainability of concrete. The basic construction material, whose praise we sing from the rooftops here at Byldis Prefab: concrete! The many names carried by this material give shape to precast concrete, but a word like ‘sustainability’ can also be used to describe concrete.
On one hand because it is almost indestructible and is by default designed to last 50 years, but can just as easily keep going for 100 to 200 years. Sustainable in the sense of reuse - circularity. From the recovery of all the raw materials used to make concrete into a solid mass and then placed in a precast wall, to the reuse of empty office units with smart precast re-design possibilities.
In terms of innovation, there are so many opportunities nowadays. This is why we are now inviting clients, architects, technicians and students to inspire us with their new designs. Concrete can always be used as the basis or as a component within a new project.
“But isn’t cement bad for the environment?” The question came from a student at theAcademie voor Bouwkunst. And there you are, with the cement-bound concrete tile you have just presented.
In this fifth blog, Gerard talks about just good, clear mid-rise projects that always include a special design element. And about the projects Overhoeks De Jakoba and Kunstwerf Groningen; two mid-rise architectonic concrete projects that each have their own focus, and the difference in concrete applications.
Mixing and pouring is one thing, but there is also post-processing. This is what creates the final appearance that was approved in advance based on all kinds of samples. Both De Jakoba and the Kunstwerf projects include concrete surface elements that require blasting and polishing. Read the full blog It’s the little things in life…
In this sixth blog, Gerard talks about the developments of concrete.
I am passed on a quiet motorway by a beautifully shaped electric car. I watch it slowly disappear into the distance into a landscape lined with wind turbines on its way to its destination. The blue blinking block in my digital screen indicates that I need to go and find a petrol station or I won't make it to my destination. Not to go recharge a battery but to start pouring in the time-honoured fossil fuel that is still available.
A strange beginning for a blog about concrete - perhaps...