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Volumetric Concrete vs. Traditional Concrete: Comparing Costs and Performance

Concrete is an essential building material in construction projects, offering versatility, durability, and strength. Two common methods of producing concrete are volumetric and traditional. In this article, we will explore the differences between volumetric and traditional concrete, focusing on cost and performance to help you make an informed decision for your construction project.

Volumetric Concrete

Volumetric concrete, also known as on-site mixed concrete, is produced using a mobile batching plant. These plants carry separate compartments for cement, sand, aggregates, and water, which are mixed on-site to create the exact amount and type of concrete required for a specific project. This method allows for adjustments to the mix and quantity in real-time, minimizing waste and ensuring the concrete is fresh.

Traditional Concrete

Traditional concrete, often referred to as ready-mix concrete, is produced in a central batching plant and transported to the construction site via mixer trucks. The concrete is typically mixed according to a predetermined recipe and delivered to the project location within a specific time frame to maintain its workability and strength.

Cost Comparison

Volumetric Concrete:

  1. Reduced Waste: Since volumetric concrete is mixed on-site in the exact amount required, there is minimal wastage. This helps save money on material costs and disposal fees for excess concrete.
  2. Flexible Mix Designs: The ability to adjust the mix design and quantity as needed can lead to cost savings, as you only pay for what you use.
  3. No Part-Load Charges: Volumetric concrete eliminates part-load charges that are common with traditional concrete, as the mobile batching plant can produce the precise amount required.

Traditional Concrete:

  1. Economies of Scale: Large-scale production at a central batching plant can lead to lower material costs due to bulk purchasing and more efficient processes.
  2. Fixed Pricing: Traditional concrete typically comes with a fixed price per cubic meter, making it easier to budget for projects. However, this can also lead to over-ordering and subsequent waste.

Performance Comparison

Volumetric Concrete:

  1. Freshness: As the concrete is mixed on-site, it is always fresh, ensuring optimal workability and strength development.
  2. Customization: Volumetric concrete allows for real-time adjustments to the mix design, which can be beneficial when dealing with changing site conditions or requirements.
  3. Quality Control: Mixing on-site allows for better quality control, as the mix can be adjusted and monitored closely.

Traditional Concrete:

  1. Consistency: Central batching plants typically have strict quality control measures in place, ensuring a consistent product with minimal variation.
  2. Time Constraints: The limited time frame for using traditional concrete can put pressure on project schedules, potentially affecting performance and workability if not managed properly.


Both volumetric and traditional concrete have their merits in terms of cost and performance. Volumetric concrete offers reduced waste, flexibility in mix designs, and better quality control, while traditional concrete provides economies of scale, fixed pricing, and consistency. The choice between the two depends on the specific requirements of your construction project, taking into account factors such as budget, project timeline, and desired level of customization.

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