The importance of german or oversite concrete in a building

From Victor,
I’m trying to put up a two-flat Bungalow in Lagos.Already at the foundation stage.I was advised to run German floor after foundation but considering quotations I’ve got so far it seem a bit expensive.Another person advised that i should rather spend such money to set Blocks and do flooring later.My inquiry into other projects within the site revealed that not everybody run German floor after foundation.pls what is the significance of German floor?
Thank you victor.
The importance of german or oversite concrete in a building can’t be overemphasized.
There has been a lot of arguments on wether to use a german floor or concrete for your building projects or not.
I have also built too without a german floor in exceptional cases, but this is not the best practise.
In a very solid soil most people tends to forgo german flor because of the cost of concrete especially on a one floor bungallow, however you must not build in a waterlogged place or area susceptible to heavy settlement without doing german floor.
In otherwords german floor is important and very necesssary if you cvan afford it even in a very solid and non-problematic areas. These are the importance.
(1)German floor stops water from percolating from the soil into the building, it reduces the movement of water from getting to the walls and floor which may cause damp and result in algae growtharound your walls. If the german floor is used with a membrane or nylon or cellophane spread to cover the floor before casting it will reduce water getting up greatly.
(2)The german floor is also a part of foundation ,it should be seen as one of the structural elements that makes your house to stand.Loads transmitted from the building is also received by the german floor before transmitting to the foundation. In a raft foundation it is inevitable to have german floor because you have to blend it with the strips coming from the foundation base to form a mass of concrete that is monolithic and helps to stabilise the building, which also helps to break movement of water to the building from soil in a waterlogged area.
(3)For stability , As was mentioned earlier, is part of the foundation and it forms a stable base for both live loads and dead loadsin the building. You should be confident stepping on the floor by making sure you have a solid floor which can also sustain earth tremors or vibrations from machines in and around the building.
(4)When there is a movement on the soil , the german floor helps to redistribute the forces on the building and spread around the floor easilywhich may also helps to sustain the building from collapsing.
(5)When there is cracking on the blockwall, for non major cracks the german floor can serve as a breaking  point that will stop blocks from extending cracklines into the other parts of the building i.e if the crack is up, then it may not extend beyond the german floor and if the minor crack is from blocks before german floor it may not extend beyond it except there is a major defect in foundation due to settlements or improper foundation.
(6)A well done german floor also helps in determining and correcting problems associated with levels when construction is on.
Before your builder cast the german concrete, you have to ask him to take the level of the building round to achieve an even plain which will make your house to come out better during construction.
An architect with decades of experience

22 Comments

  1. I am happy to note that we have someone who helps the public in achieving a solid building in this country.
    For me I dont think there is any situation I will advise anyone to for go German floor. The cost is infinitestimal compare to what you may loose at the end of the day
    Thanks
    Okey Egbuta

  2. For first timers if they are building on a dry firm ground I advise the master plan approach, in which the boys’ quarter is build with a concrete floor slab. This is to help the client get use to the block, sand, cement, etc dynamics. So when the main building is about to start, the sudden cost or high volume of cement, aggregates is easier to bear. Another way is try and reduce size of construction to the barest menimum.

    1. This is a good advice to be able to come in terms with the shock. Though the iron rods may still be far much more in the main building and this could still increase your estimates.

  3. i like it when there is something that has nothing to do with scam atleast Nigerians are good people,sir thanks for lightning our naivity
    im a first timer and was told that an option is putting concrete in the space of the foundation blocks?(that this reduces the cost and does almost the same work as that of the german floor)
    how true is this

    1. Well nothing can replace anything that is properly done however as I said on the article if the soil is not prone to water problems and is relatively stable, then you can do this especially for one floor bungallows. Is not really good to do same for storey buildings.

  4. Dear Emma,

    I have been to your site and read the wonderful insights you have into building especially in Lagos and this is most appreciated. My concern is that in the nearest future, I am planning securing two plots of land on the Ikorodu sector. My question is judging by the rate problems develop over land, what do you advise should be the best approach to buying and conserving? Can I buy and then make my presence felt like fencing the land and probably building a boy’s quarter or I cannot do anything on the land till I get the certificate of occupancy? I will appreciate your advice.

  5. IN VIEW OF CURRENT LAGOS STATE BUILDING PLAN APPROVAL PROCEDURES, THE C OF O NEED TO BE ATTACHED TO THE ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN BEFORE ITS CONSIDERATION FOR APPROVAL TOGETHER WITH OTHER SILENT FACTORS.

    ABOVE NOT WITHSTANDING, ONE SHOULD NOT ALLOW ACQUIRE LAND UN ATTENDED TO PRIOR TO ACTUAL BUILDING ESPECIALLY IN A COSMOPOLITAN CITY LIKE LAGOS WHERE CRIME AND OTHER SOCIAL ILLS ARE AT THE CLIMAX.

    IT IS THEREFORE DESIRABLE AND PRECAUTIONARY THAT ONE NEED TO SHOW HIS PRESENCE ON THE LAND BY A GATED FENCE AND TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LIKE GATE HOUSE, FARMING ON THE LAND OR PLANTING OF ECONOMIC TREES AND ABOVE ALL FREQUENT VISIT TO THE SITE.

    REGARDS.

    1. Thank you but I know little on road. I am an architect and my area of specialization is building houses.
      A civil engineer may be of help.

  6. iam really grateful 4 visiting this site cause i got all information that i have been looking for.. I know any body who go through this your note will be convinced to use german floor when erecting his building. Thanks

  7. Thanks for your educative site . Please can you give me the standard ratio of mixture of materials ie concrete floor
    pillars etc. So that one will be sure workers are doing the Right thing.

  8. Keep on with the good work. I love what you are doing. I believe some day you will reap the benefit.

  9. Waoh!
    Just don’t know how to say thank you. By the way, may God bless your parents, families, relatives, friends, elders, teachers, mentors and all those who contributes towards your moral and educational discipline.
    God bless you my brother!

  10. Thanks Arc Emma, you are doing a very great job here and deserve an award, I’ve been trying to get familiar with whats going on in the construction industry in Nigeria of which your site have been of the greatest help.

  11. Our God is d master builder & planner. I d builder knows this, but som atimes our client turned a deaf ears to this very issue nd wen it happened they will look sombdy 2 blem. And i am using dis medium 2 remind some of my colleague in construction industries dat our clients need 2 hv deir project done but dey don’t knw d bding processes dat involved even wen deir told by deir Arch,Builder. Several occations i find out dat dey need/want a house witout money nd wen u (Arch, Builder) told dem wat 2 do, dey argue nd think u want eat dem. So lets us abid by d law of construction, standard methods ov measurement wen it coms in2 construction. May d God of Building Const. Tech inspired u more so dat we can emulate 4rm u. Thnks

  12. I’m embarkin on a storey building & due 2 insufficient materials i use a german floor of about 50mm. Pls does it ve any -ve effect

    1. 100mm is okay and 150mm is the standard. For 50mm the thickness is small however if is in a relatively stable soil you might just work on the screeding and make sure you have enough cement and sand to atleast compensate for what was missing.

  13. Hi, your advise is seriously needed. I just started my foundation for a 4Bedroom Bungalow, but for cash constraints, i am looking for a second option aside german concrete,

    The bricklayer gave an option which I would like you to address.
    He suggested we cast the top of the blocks with concrete and Iron Rods, thereby avoiding the cost for the general surface. important to note that there are provisions for pillars at the four corners of the structure. Will this approach work? the land is in a dry land and not water logged.

    1. If the place is not susceptible to water problem now or in the future. May be your building is in a higher plane to the surrounding you may do without it though is unprofessional and not advisable but some people still avoid it.

Leave a Reply to EMMA UGWOKE Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *