Concrete Solutions to Design Challenges
The Austin-Bergstrom International Airport needed something strong enough to hold back a semi truck, but it needed to be beautiful, too. They looked to David Harris and David Forren, the entrepreneurial minds behind the commercial contracting enterprise, Riverbed Concrete Inc.
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Their newest venture, Slick Rock Inc., manufactures high-end architectural pre-cast concrete, including planters, fire bowls, perimeter security devices (PSDs), and water features. With their self-designed "high-performance concrete" and custom fiberglass molds, the sky is the limit in terms of what they can create.
The 39 6’-wide PSDs at Austin’s airport serve functionally as a bench and bollard and aesthetically as a planter and landscape feature.
With mammoth creations ranging from 350 to 6,000, a recent strength test puzzled experts. The formula Slick Rock had developed for more than 12 years was twice as strong as any other concrete the facility had ever tested. With a strength of 12,000 pounds per square inch, Slick Rock’s proprietary blend consists of cement, finely graded sands, entrained fibers, latex and acrylic compounds, blended pozzolan, water reducers, and plasticizers.
The airport PSDs join a roster of projects spanning the world. In San Antonio, 9-foot custom concrete planters separate pedestrian and vehicular traffic. In luxury neighborhoods throughout the Texas Hill Country, oversized landscape features frame grand entries. In corporate and retail centers throughout the country, landscape architects create unique pairings by mixing and matching elements of various sizes, styles, colors, and applications.
Even the use of fiberglass in the molds is a unique feature. In the future, Slick Rock plans to release an array of fiberglass products for the residential space, which may be purchased direct or from garden center/home improvement retailers.
In 2014, Slick Rock opened a 12,000 square-foot facility in Boerne, Texas to keep up with growing demand. A 3,000 square-foot addition soon followed. Slick Rock’s customers span from Texas to Saudi Arabia, the Maldives Islands, and London, England.