Local contractors expressed their gratitude to the Government of His Majesty for allowing cement to be imported once again into this country, a move that the contractors believe would increase development activities brought about by cheaper prices of the vital building component. However, the local contractors felt the allowable grade of 62.5 was relatively high and only required for high rise buildings such as those found in countries such as Singapore, Manila, Kuala Lumpur or even the big cities in China as well as Hong Kong.
They said that in countries with high rise buildings, cement grade 53 or 52.5 is the normally-accepted standard. They added a concrete structure is built so as to last and give maintenance-free service for decades. Accordingly, apart from strength, long-term characteristics under service conditions and environmental effects also become important considerations for performance.
"The major prescription for making durable concrete is to achieve and ensure good quality control in the production for concrete during construction, which is having the right mixture of cement, sand, stone and water," they said.
In general, the comprehensive strength of concrete for a given mix proportion increases with the standard mortar strength of cement. The contractors also said that the Government move would bring about a reduction in prices, thereby contributing to an increase in demand in the construction sector. "The lower cost of construction will induce more demand for construction and enable more people to own houses as a result of lower cost of building construction," they said.