Smiths Concrete for Foundations, Floors, Pavings & General Applications

Applications for Designated/Standard Concretes

The following information is extracted from BS 8500, and will assist when specifying the precise Concrete for the job. Select your application from the left-hand column and match it with the suitable type of Concrete on the right. If you require further assistance contact us by e-mail or using the telephone order hotline above.

General Applications

Designated Concrete
Standardised Prescribed Concrete
Recommended consistence class
Blinding and mass concrete fill GEN 1 ST2 S3
Strip footings** GEN 1 ST2 S3
Mass concrete foundations** GEN 1 ST2 S3
Trench fill foundations** GEN 1 ST2 S3
Reinforced foundations** RC 28/35 N/A S3
Foundations in Class 2 sulfate conditions Seek specialist Advice    
Foundations in Class 3 sulfate conditions Seek specialist Advice    
Foundations in Class 4A sulfate conditions Seek specialist Advice    
Foundations in Class 4B sulfate conditions Seek specialist Advice    
General application      
Kerb bedding and backing GEN 0 STI S1 (nominal 10)
Drainage works to give immediate support** GEN 1 ST2 S1 (nominal 10)
Other drainage works** GEN 1 ST2 S3
Oversite below suspended slabs** GEN 1 ST2 S3
House floors with no embedded metal      
- Permanent finish to be added, e.g. a screed or floating floor GEN 1 ST2 S3
- No permanent finish to be added e.g. carpeted GEN 2 ST3 S3
Garage floors with no embedded metal GEN 3 ST4 S3
House/Garage floors containing embedded metal RC25/30 ST5 S3
House drives, domestic parking & external parking PAV 1 N/A S3
Heavy-duty external paving PAV 2 N/A S3

Agricultural Applications

Designated Concretes are quality assured concretes that conform to a specification detailed in BS 8500. These concretes have been selected by governmental bodies and industry to be fit for their intended end uses and they can only be supplied by ready-mixed concrete producers who have third-party product conformity certification. A QSRMC or BSI logo on the delivery ticket provides this confirmation. Purchasers can therefore be confident that the concrete will be delivered as specified and ordered.

This publication contains advice that is the same as that contained in the Ministry of Agriculture's booklet Standard Costs. Part 1:Specification, July 1992.

Selecting the appropriate Concrete

Decide which of the 'typical applications' matches your application and site conditions.
Note: Some soils are potentially aggressive to concrete and it is important to take this into account. If there is no professional advisor, the local Building Control Officer (not the concrete producer) may be able to advise whether the local soil contains sulfates and if so, how aggressive it is. The appropriate designated Concrete can be selected from the table which uses the same terms.

Specify the nominal maximum aggregate size only if it needs to be different from 20mm. Options, if available, will be 40 or 10mm.

The user should specify the required consistence based on the recommendations in the table.

Inform the producer of the intended method of placing and finishing the concrete.

Designated Concrete
Recommended consistence class  (nominal slump*)
Concrete in non-aggressive soils    
Un-reinforced foundations GEN 1 S3
Reinforced foundations RC 28/35 S3
Oversite concrete GEN 3 S3
Blinding under slabs GEN 1 S3
Mass concrete (non-structural) GEN 1 S3
Column bases RC 28/35 S3
Foundations in sulfate-bearing soils    
Foundations in class 2 sulfate conditions Seek Specialist Advice  
Foundations in class 3 sulfate conditions Seek Specialist Advice  
Foundations in class 4A sulfate conditions Seek Specialist Advice  
Foundations in class 4B sulfate conditions Seek Specialist Advice  
Floors and roads    
Livestock floors RC 28/35 S3
Stable floors RC 35/45 S3
Crop store floors RC 28/35 S3
Floors (and walls) for silage RC 35/45 S3
Sugar beet storage areas RC 32/40 S3
Workshop floors and floors subject to small-wheeled forklift trucks RC 32/40 S3
Brewers'grain stores RC 35/45 S3
Mushroom sheds RC 32/40 S3
Toppings for floors such as parlours and dairies RC 35/45 S3
Floors (and walls) for manure and slurry stores RC 32/40 S3
External yards and roads subject even to occasional de-icing salts PAV 2 S3
Other applications    
Cavity infill to reinforced masonry RC 32/40 S3

1. 4Omm aggregate may be used in mass concrete or large foundation bases.
2. S3 slump class concrete can be used in large foundations and should be used in trench fill foundations.
3. When concreting on steep slopes, 5Omm or in some cases 20mm slump concrete should be used but this will require vibrating equipment to compact it adequately. On flat surfaces, S3 slump class concrete may be specified if the concrete is to be compacted by hand tamping.
4. In a few parts of the UK, local materials may not be suitable for the production of these high strength concretes.

In such circumstances, Mix 8 in the Ministry of Agriculture's Standard Costs. Part 1: Specification should be used.
5. C35A concrete meets the requirements of BS 8007 Code of practice for design of concrete structures for retaining aqueous liquids demanded by the Control of Pollution Regulations 1991. and this concrete should be specified for any application that is to be used for holding/storing liquids.
6. Where the concrete is subject to even occasional de-icing salts, designated concrete PAV2 is recommended.
7. Use low consistence concrete's for acid and abrasion resistance. Take care to ensure full compaction of the fresh concrete and proper curing for at least several days.
8.  What used to be known as Workability is now referred to as CONSISTENCE. New consistence classes have been introduced as follows:

Slump Class                     Target slump mm
     S1                                                 20
     S2                                                 70
     S3                                               130
     S4                                               180
     S5                                               220 plus
Note: Slump is now specified and measured to the nearest 10 mm

For further reading refer to:

1. BS EN 206-1: Concrete: Specification, performance, production and conformity.
    BS 8500-1 : Method of specifying and guidance for the producer
    BS 8500-2 : Specification for constituent materials and concrete

2. MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE FISHERIES & FOOD. Standard costs. Part 1. Specification, July 1992. London, MAFF.

3. BRITISH CEMENT ASSOCIATION. Pocket guide 1. Laying concrete. Publication 47.518, 1983. 8pp. Crowthorne, British Cement Association.

Smiths concrete limited does it’s best to ensure that any advice, recommendations or information given is accurate. However, no liability of any kind (including liability for negligence) is accepted in this respect by the company it’s servants or agents.