US Decorative Concrete Design Goes Global

A review of the 15th Annual Decorative Concrete International Award winners shows how the American concrete technique has influenced owners and designers worldwide.

Rick Yelton, Editor at Large

December 29, 2023

6 Slides

Many industry observers point to the start of the decorative concrete industry in the 1950s in Southern California. Theme parks, like Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm, hired concrete contractors to transform plain concrete streets into themed pathways in themed park sections. Contractors created initial projects using techniques such as coloring and stamping on sidewalks.

The evolution of decorative innovation, including new materials and design approaches, was showcased when the Decorative Concrete Council of the American Society of Concrete Contractors announced the winner of the2023 WOW Award. The Manila Zoo rehabilitation project in the Philippines exemplifies the creativeness of techniques and materials.

For this project, artisans from Bomanite of Southeast Asia used a GFRC precast forming system to create cast facades that workers installed on animal enclosures, fences and entry gates. The facade surfaces simulated a natural bamboo finish by combining customized, yellow-based color hardener with stains. Workers cast the facades inside the zoo complex using molds with surfaces imprinted with natural bamboo, creating a durable, natural-looking finish.

Decorative concrete takes center stage at WOC

At the 2024 World of Concrete in Las Vegas Jan. 22-25, members of the DCC will share their insights into how the decorative concrete industry has evolved. Contractors worldwide can now achieve a designer's dream of creating striking and innovative concrete projects by combining decorative concrete techniques with new concrete polishing techniques.

The Decorative Concrete Experience is an interactive area located in South Hall, where attendees will learn how to participate and prosper in both dynamic market segments of the concrete industry. The Experience will feature live and recorded short peer-to-peer presentations from industry experts on topics crafted to help new and experienced practitioners improve their businesses.

Plans call for a pictorial review of the decorative concrete industry's evolution and Meet the Legends sessions, during which audiences can learn from some of the leading artisans who helped shape this industry. Attendees will also view images of the 15th Annual Decorative Concrete International Award winners.

Members of the Concrete Polishing Council will be on hand with interactive concrete polishing exhibits focusing on topics that affect concrete surface appearance quality, such as aggregate exposure standards and approved testing approaches for floor reflectivity.

The Decorative Concrete Experience exemplifies ASCC's leadership role in the concrete industry, highlighting networking opportunities with fellow contractors and the availability of contractor-focused technical resources.

In the meantime, here is a slideshow featuring some first-place winners and their categories.

About the Author(s)

Rick Yelton

Editor at Large, World of Concrete

Rick Yelton is the Editor at Large for World of Concrete, an Informa Market’s event. Rick is an engineer who has been involved in the concrete construction industry for more than 3 decades

Rick is an active member of several ASTM International technical committees for cement, concrete and masonry. He has served on the Executive Committee of the Concrete and Concrete Aggregates - C09. He is the current chairman of subcommittee C09-22 Materials Applied to Fresh Concrete.

Rick is also active on several technical committees at the American Concrete Institute.

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