The concrete that we know is always color grey. And the only way to change that is by painting the concrete, but that only gives a different color on the surface.
Due to architectural design requirements for a certain project, Cemex, a worldwide producer of cement, ready-mix concrete, and aggregates, found a way to change the color of concrete from grey into typical adobe.
In a press release, the company said that it supplied more than 20,000 cubic meters of tailored-made concrete, which looks like adobe in color, for the City of Archives in Oaxaca, Mexico.
The project includes six buildings containing 16,000 liner meters of special shelves that should rescue, restore, digitalize, and distribute historical documents from the state of Oaxaca.
Architect Ignacio Mendaro Corsini made sure that all of the structural elements should remind and honor the Mixtec Oaxacan culture, which meant that the color of concrete be changed to look like the color of the earth.
Cemex delivered. But it took them 20 tests to achieve the specific color that the architect wanted. It involved different mixes of coloring, gravel, and sand before the project’s color requirement was met.
Other factors like the curing of the concrete were also considered. For that, Hidratium was used, which is a self-curing concrete that “offers great competitive advantages by replacing concrete’s traditional curing process” according to Cemex.
Engineer and architect Alberto Orozco Pintos, Work Superintendent of PAGASA Construcciones, shared, “We received timely assistance from CEMEX’s team in Oaxaca and Monterrey—ranging from lab and behavioral assessments to concrete’s mechanical features, even considering changes to the pouring timetable.”