Having your own home is every Filipino's dream, and those who seek to realize this dream go to elaborate preparations – choosing reputable architects, demanding elaborate designs and detailed construction plans, doing itemized budgets.
However, not too many people give much thought to the one material that is important in the construction of a typical concrete house – that is, cement.
“Cement is used to help build the foundation, floor and walls of your house so it’s important for you to be aware about your options. By doing this, you are not only assured about the quality of materials but you can also realize substantial savings,” said Minoru Espartero, marketing manager of cement manufacturer Holcim Philippines.
Espartero noted that most people are unaware of various cement types made available for specific applications. Picking the right ones ensures better product performance, he added.
Espartero advised consumers to use general purpose cement for structural applications because this is formulated to develop strength to bear loads and ideal for floor slabs, columns and beams.
For non-structural applications, people should go for masonry cement since this product is designed for non-structural use such as hollow block laying and filling and wall plastering.
“Holcim produces both products. We call our general purpose cement Holcim Excel and our masonry cement Wallright. But we believe that our products perform better due to the mineral additives we have mixed. For example, concrete made with Excel develops higher early strength, which shorten construction time. It is also more workable eliminating the need for repairs and rework,” he said.
“Wallright, meanwhile, was designed so it will be easier to spread and have bond strength of 200% compared to general-purpose cement. It was formulated so it comes out with a smoother and whiter finish, making it ideal for plastering,” he explained.
Moreover, Espartero said the right products can help people save on the construction of their house. He pointed out that most use general purpose cement for all construction needs, which is costlier and unnecessary.
“You can use general purpose cement for your home construction needs, but that will turn out to be more expensive. Remember, if the cement is just going to be used for plastering and hollow block laying, you don’t need it to develop load-bearing strength so masonry cement is the appropriate cement to use,” he said.
Espartero showed the possible savings of in using the proper cement for its intended application.
“For example, you would need 100 bags of general purpose cement to build a one-storey house. But if you use a combination of Excel and Wall right, you only need 50 and 40 bags, respectively. This is because Wallright is designed so you can add more sand to it and produce more mortar for hollow-block filling and plastering of walls. Aside from this, Wallright is cheaper by Php 5 to Php 10 per bag. All in, using this combination translates to Php 25 per bag savings,” he explained.
Espartero added that hollow block makers can yield up 10 more blocks by using Excel instead of the other cement available in the market.
The Holcim Philippines official also assured buyers about the quality of Holcim products pointing out that the company follows both the Philippine National Standards and the American Society for Testing Materials.
“Your house is a big investment, and it is only natural that you would want it to last a long time. Picking the right construction materials especially cement can help you achieve this, because it would help guarantee the strength and durability of your house,” he said.