Waffle-Crete Building System 

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What is the Waffle-Crete?

Like the name implies, Waffle Crete buildings use a unique, distinctive design that mimics a favorite breakfast food. But, as you'll see, this method has far more to offer than just a clever catch phrase. Waffle-Crete has developed a simple, yet brilliant method that is safe, affordable and sustainable. We'll discuss what this system entails and why its usage is catching on.

Benefits of Waffle-Crete

  • Affordability - Waffle-Crete buildings require far less manpower and materials than standard construction methods. This results in a high rate of efficient and cost effectiveness.
  • Easy to transport - The lightweight composition of Waffle-Crete molds makes transportation and set up a less difficult process. Molds can conveniently be cast right at the actual construction site.
  • Construction is fast and simple - Waffle-Crete  buildings  can be erected  quickly without highly skilled labor.
  • Resistant to Natural Disasters - Waffle-Crete structures are able to withstand hurricanes, typhoons, earthquakes and forest fires. These durable and safe buildings are a game changer in high risk regions.

Basics of Waffle-Crete Building System

At the core of the Waffle-Crete building system are lightweight and portable molds made of plastic and aluminum. These prefabricated forms can be built in any shape or size to accommodate specific building needs. Their light-weight structure allows for easy transport and cost efficiency.
waffle-crete mold

Mold Preparation

  • Apply form oil to the mold - Much like greasing an actual waffle pan, the surface of the mold must be lubricated. This allows for easier removal of the final product.
  • Add reinforced steel - Placing steel between the horizontal and vertical cavities of the molds prior to pouring the concrete adds strength and durability.
  • Hole formers - Hollow plastic rods are added to allow space for bolt placement during assembly.
  • Lifting hardware - components called Swift Lifts provide a means to lift panels into place once finished.
  • Window & door openings - Wood or steel blockouts can easily be added to the mold
  • Wire Mesh is added to the top of the mold - This prevents concrete from cracking and adds strength and stability.

Casting the Mold

  • Spread Concrete across the mold - This includes the entire surface with the exception of door and window blockout areas.
  • Consolidating the Concrete - Concrete is next consolidated into the mold using a vibrating screed. An aluminum screed is then drawn across the surface of the mold to remove excess concrete and start the smoothing process.
  • Building Site Preparation - Site preparation is fairly simple. It involves leveling of ground surface for erected panels. This can usually be completed while concrete is being cast in molds.
  • Final Smoothing Process - A float surface is typically applied due to the ease of application and the smooth clean finish. That said, for sheer esthetic purposes, various other textured finishes could be applied if desired.
*Once casting is complete, a specially built Waffle-Crete curing cover is placed over the mold. The mold is then heated to  approximately 75 degrees celsius. This high temperature allows the concrete to cure very quickly. Molds can be removed the following morning. 

Demolding Process

During the demolding process, the plastic bolt hole formers are removed. Wooden wedges are then hammered into each corner of help separate the aluminum rails from the concrete. Once separated, the mold is cleaned and prepared for casting another panel. These light weight but sturdy units can be reused up to 500 times if properly maintained.
waffle-crete home under construction
waffle-crete home under construction

Waffle-Crete Construction

Waffle-Crete grade beams are used as the foundation and interlocked with floor panels. Once walls are erected, they are anchored into the floor panels and grade beams. The roof is then placed and all panels are bolted together. From mold preparation to final construction, the process is fairly simple and can be taught to unskilled workers in a matter of hours. This is hugely important in underdeveloped countries who lack a competent labor force. Waffle-Crete states that a crew of 4 such workers can erect an average of 25 panels a day. Not only can these homes be built quickly, they offer superior protection from severe weather at an affordable cost.

Common Uses for Waffle-Crete Building System

  • Safe, Sustainable individual Homes - Low cost, high quality dwellings including standard and earth-sheltered homes 
  • Large Comercial Buildings - This includes hotels, apartment complexes and retail stores
  • Water Tanks - Waffle-Crete provides a cost effective, low maintenances option
  • Protective Barriers -  Add safety to high traffic areas and work sites

How Waffle-Crete is Having a Global Impact

waffle crete apartment complex
waffle-crete apartment building
Waffle-Crete was developed and patented in the US in 1976. Since its inception, this ground-breaking building system has shown incredible promise. Now, nearly 50 years later, its game-changing potential is being fully realized. It has been estimated the world homeless number is as high as 150 million. In addition, millions more live in unsafe homes that crumble easily during natural disasters. Underdeveloped countries around the world have benefited greatly from the creation of safe, affordable and sustainable Waffle-Crete housing. That said, poverty and homelessness are not exclusively third world problems.  In America where the US Census Department estimates there are as many as 650,00 people living without shelter. 
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