The Use of High Volume Fly Ash at the
Lo Residence

Prepared by: Roland Haebler, M.A.Sc., P.Eng.



This report details The Haebler Group’s use of EcoSmart™ concrete in the construction of the Lo Residence, a single-family house located in the Endowment Lands at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia. The design featured EcoSmart concrete primarily because of its aesthetic appeal. This project was chosen as a case study for EcoSmart in part because of its use of high volume fly ash (HVFA) concrete in horizontal applications.

EcoSmart concrete was used successfully in both horizontal and vertical applications, although, for the HVFA mixes used in this project, the actual quantity of total cementitious material was increased over conventional mixes with a similar strength. Further, the HVFA concrete used on this project was found to have a slower set time and higher slump, increasing the wall form pressures and causing slab finishing delays. Since premium form design was already incorporated into the construction budget, the extra precautions taken in the wall form design and construction did not increase the cost of the vertical elements. However, the longer set times did increase the slab finishing costs. Offsetting these costs were the cost savings realized by eliminating sandblasting and other surface finishing because of the excellent quality of “form fresh finish” in the finished wall surface. The cost of the HVFA mix for the vertical applications was equivalent to comparable Type 10 Architectural Quality mixes. In contrast, the HVFA mix used in horizontal applications resulted in a cost premium over standard slab mixes because of the increased strength of the HVFA mix.

The most noticeable cold weather concreting problem was darkening and discolouration of the finished and exposed surface. Otherwise, the use of HVFA concrete resulted in a fine, dense surface texture, and light colour consistently throughout construction. The Haebler Group will continue using the HVFA mix in applications where a high quality concrete finish is required.


Roland Haebler

President, The Haebler Group

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