Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

MAR 2018

LC/DBM provides landscape contractors with Educational, Imaginative and Practical information about their business, their employees, their machines and their projects.

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Left At this private school in Irvine, California, Trademark provided its campus the varying concrete colors, including Sombrero Buff, and textures in combination with many hardscape elements at this school's campus. The fine sand finish in the darker portions was achieved through using a water-based, top-surface retarder. The seeded aggregate finish was a blend of 3/8" to ½" diameter stone aggregates broadcast on top of the concrete. Trademark template-sandblasted letters and symbols into the concrete, which were then colored through the use of water-based stains to provide the colors selected by the landscape architect, LPA. company to re-pour," says Fowler. "I think financially and environmentally, that makes less and less sense. People are instead taking their existing backyards and transforming them. It's just a more sustainable option." Better yet, he adds, decorative concrete gives clients plenty of choices when de - ciding how to transform a space. "The thing about decorative concrete in general is that you can imitate almost any kind of look outside," he says. "Whether it's slate, brick, tile or flagstone, the sky's the limit." And it seems more contractors and landscape architects are reaching for that sky. Every year, the best decorative concrete projects are celebrated by the American Society of Concrete Contrac - tors Decorative Concrete Council, which awards projects in 22 categories. The winner of each category is considered for the ASCC's top prize: The coveted WOW award. "Contractors continue to produce so many quality projects, but there are al - ways a couple that stand out," says Todd Scharich, the ASCC's director of mem - bership. "Some years it is due to size or scale, while others are pushing new ca - pabilities of existing products that sets them apart. Quality is always seen in the award-winning projects, but usu - ally it's an original design that gives the contractors the push or courage to try something new." One new trend, says Scharich, in - volves exposed specialty aggregates in a colored concrete mix. He says this allows designers and customers to select the level of exposure of stones or glass. "(It) can create one-of-a-kind looks on every project," says Scharich. "The re - sulting surfaces are stunning, but also produce a very safe walking surface. Us - ing bands to border or break larger areas into smaller sections is also being used as opposed to big massive areas of the same application." Though it debuted in the 1950s, deco - rative concrete only began to popularize decades later. In 1990, it became com - monly used for driveways, walkways and patios. In the 2000s, decorative concrete became a choice option for municipal and commercial sites. Today, its evolution continues. "With decorative concrete well estab - lished, contractors are now creating looks that cannot be mimicked with any other material, no longer relying on re-creating a brick, stone, or slate look," says Schar - ich. "Customers are relying on their imag- ination and the skills of the contractor to create truly unique looks." LC DBM 48 LC DBM Left Trademark installed all of the decorative concrete work at the 73- story Wilshire Grand Center, including the 12,000-square-foot concrete plaza at the top floor's bar/observation deck. It was decorated with two lithochrome color hardeners: Platinum Gray and Charcoal. An abraded finish provides a dense, fine sand look. A narrow grouted saw-cut joint placed in a 12" x 24" pattern creates the appearance of hand- placed pavers. The cast in place concrete walls and paving, designed by RELM, in- clude a color hardener with a fine abraded surface.

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