Blog posts


Merry Christmas and an exciting New year!

As we approach the end of the year, this is a time for contemplation and a time for looking ahead (and for over-indulging on cookies), so we will do a little of each of these things.


Why is it so difficult to increase innovation in the construction industry?

Innovation in the construction industry is generally seen as being restricted – often the same solutions and materials are used with small variations on familiar themes. So how can we ensure more innovation and evolution in the construction industry without ending with unpredictable results and increased risk?


Outdoor life – the balcony experience part II - balconies with parapets

Welcome to the second post on balconies as experienced when using them! In the last post on plate balconies we experienced the possibilities and open ambience of plate balconies, typically with glass fences. In this post, we will look at the feel of balconies having integrated parapets on one or more sides, and what this does for the experience when using the balcony.


Impressions from a UHPC conference in Albany, NY

Frederik and I attended the 2nd International Interactive Symposium on UHPC, which was held in Albany, NY in the beginning of June and in this blog-entry I will relate a few of our experiences.


What is the difference between our markets – if any?

We have recently participated in a fair in Finland, Norway and The Netherlands to talk about, what Hi-Con can add of knowledge, products and solutions within the industry of balconies, staircases and bridges (bridges are currently only a business area in The Netherlands).


EAD, ETA and CE – why is that relevant for UHPC?

In one of my earlier posts “Do we really need another UHPC Guideline?” I mention that Hi-Con has applied for an ETA and we are now ready to add a CE-marking to our balcony elements. It took a little longer than expected, but in the following I will explain a little more about what this means, why we decided to do this – and how the process has been.


Outdoor life - The balcony experience part I - Plate balconies

Outdoor living is becoming more and more popular, and in the cities roof terraces and balconies are in high demand – and the larger the better! The example above is the Free Harbour Tower in Copenhagen, with gallery-type balconies for all apartments.


Sustainability – the results are in!

In one of our earlier posts “CRC Application Cases - Sustainability” we comment on how difficult it is to compare the environmental footprint of CRC to other materials – and use this as an excuse for why we have not yet put together an EPD (Environmental Product Declaration) for our products


Finnbuild Construction Fair in October – What is happening after the fair?

Hi-Con was a first-timer at Finnbuild, The International Building and Building Services Fair in Helsinki, Finland in the beginning of October.


CRC Fire resistance - Full scale testing on simply supported slab

It is not often that I get to see the results of full-scale fire testing on UHPC elements – so the least I can do is to share some results from a recent test on a simply supported slab for those of you that are interested.


Experience office life the Hi-Con way

We have now experienced working in our floating modular CRC i2® building for the past 6 months and would like to invite you inside and share the experience with us.


Experiment R - How (not) to install a complex structure

When we left the project in January we still needed to cast 2 of the elements – and never expected this to take more than 3 months to complete. But if we thought the first 4 casts had been difficult …..


The blog wishes you a great summer!

The summer is just around the corner and therefore, the blog is taking a break to breathe out after a busy and exciting year with many different subjects covered on the blog. Before the blog takes a summer break, we would like to send a big THANK YOU for reading our blog and for being a bit of a nerd with us


CE-marking - still a process

In one of my recent posts “Do we really need another UHPC Guideline?” I mention that Hi-Con has received an ETA (European Technical Assessment) and we are now ready to add a CE-marking to our balcony elements.


Renovating with UHPC - part III: How to use walls and struts, and why..

In my two previous posts most of the focus was on the structural side, but with walls - or struts with light privacy screens - it is possible to create private outdoor spaces with some shielding from wind and rain, with the potential side effect of having an effective connection system.


Renovating with UHPC – part II: Plates and columns

In my last post I started on a mini-series on renovating with UHPC. This is the second of the three posts and describes some of the issues related to adding balconies using plates and columns – both normal columns and L-columns.


Renovating with UHPC - part I: Glued connections

In this blogpost I will illustrate some of the benefits, but also the challenges of using UHPC for renovation projects. This first post in the miniseries will address glued connections of balconies.


UHPC applications in The Netherlands

We often write about UPCH in technical terms: what it is, how we calculate with UHPC, the aesthetics, the possibilities etc. I would like to take you through the journey of a Sales Manager and the obstacles that I met as Hi-Con entered the Dutch market back in 2013.


The faces behind the blog - Bendt Aarup

As Tommy did last week I will give a brief (if possible) overview of my own experience with UHPC so you know at least part of my background for posting on this blog – but please bear in mind that I have at least 10 years more to cover than Tommy did!


The faces behind the blog - Tommy B. Hansen

Given that Bendt and I have written not a few of the blog posts available here on Hi-Cons UHPC blog, we decided it would be appropriate to explain why we dare to repeatedly waste your time with our tales from the world of UHPC – what qualifies us to have a public opinion on UHPC? What is the story behind the faces?


Do we really need another guideline for UHPC?

A number of guidelines on UHPC are already available and more are on the way. As it takes a lot of effort – and time – to develop these guidelines it makes you wonder why all this effort is necessary. Why would Germany – or Spain - not just adopt the guidelines from France or Switzerland or Japan? Of course I know there are reasons for this – and as a UHPC nerd it is quite interesting to follow all these different documents and note the differences from one guideline to the other.


Hi-Con main office expansion – moving in!

Last year I presented the thoughts behind Hi-Cons office expansion in Hjallerup, and the first small steps in the actual building process. Hi-Con main office expansion. Now, finally, we are ready to move into the new offices and enjoy the light and spacious rooms of the floating modular CRC i2® building!


Sharing experiences from Germany and UK

Through the years, we have participated in many fairs in Denmark and abroad. The past year we have exhibited in both Germany, the UK, The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Fin-land. Sometimes we bring home current projects, other times we bring home valuable market knowledge, which we try to utilise in our daily work at Hi-Con.


CRC as a disruptive material


Fascinating CRC

I have now been working for Hi-con NL for a year and therefore I have something to look back on. When I think back to my first contacts with Hi-con, it was obviously about the material CRC. I remember that it was a positive surprise to see and hear about the possibilities with this material. That was also the beginning of the fascination for CRC.


Following up on the Hi-Con Christmas Quiz

Right before the holidays we posted our first ever Hi-Con Christmas Quiz. The interest of the quiz was huge and therefore, we have decided to write a follow-up post to sum up all the right answers that you could find in earlier posts.


Experiment R update

I hope You had a Merry Christmas, and a festive New Year’s Eve, and on behalf of all of us here at Hi-Con I would like to welcome you back to our UHPC blog with an update on the advanced casting project, Experiment R.


Merry Christmas and a happy New Year

Soon the Christmas Holidays are here and therefore, we would like to stop for a moment and thank all of our readers and followers for their continued interest in our blog.


Guidelines for minor repairs of CRC i2 elements

After the recent post on repairs, chance was that one of my UK clients called because of chippings of a few edges and corners on some beam elements, asking for specific directions on how to repair them. Hence, I decided to add an actual guideline to the general explanation in the previous post.


Repairing UHPC elements

When considering using UHPC elements for a project, a recurring concern from the contractor is whether it is possible to make repairs to UHPC elements damaged or soiled during installation or the subsequent building process.


Considering high performance concrete

For every purpose, there is one or more well-suited materials. UHPC is not always the right choice for the job and we are very much aware of saying so early in the process and refer to other materials and suppliers if we think that UHPC is not the right material.


Do you remember Experiment R?

Back in September we introduced you to the advanced casting of Experiment R – The 21 meters long, 8 meters wide, 3,5 meters high and 19 tons heavy artwork, which we have been working on together with Aarhus School of Architecture since 2012.


CRC i2 Fiber types and corrosion

One of the frequent questions during project negotiations is why it is necessary to use expensive stain inhibiting steel fibres. To answer this, I will show some examples of how different fibre types look after a few years in actual use.


Montpellier conference

On October 2nd to October 4th I had the pleasure of attending a Symposium on UHPFRC (I expect that if you are reading this blog you are familiar with the acronym) held in Montpellier, France. And I do mean “pleasure” – leaving damp and chilly Denmark in the autumn for sunny South of France was very nice


Your Top 5 blogposts

Since april we have continuously posted on our blog and written about technical issues and application cases when using CRC i2®. In this weeks blogpost we have gathered the top 5 of all our posts so far for you to dive into.


CRC i2 application cases - JointCast

In this post I’ll use a few application cases to explain some of the challenges and considerations one need to be aware of to use the JointCast material successfully on a project level.


Office expansion

Hi-Con is growing, and consequently need more office space - and what is more natural than creating the space using large office modules of CRC i2® elements floating in mid-air!


Advanced Casting - Experiment R

More than 5 years ago Hi-Con was contacted and asked if we would participate in an experiment to use topology optimized structural design, with the aim of creating a large piece of artwork. We agreed, and I spent 1½ year and many hours together with the project team at Aarhus School of Architecture ...


CRC JointCast - joints that are small, strong and simple

As a precast producer it is very important for us to have a good way of connecting elements – preferably so that we can count on full transfer of moments, torsional stresses etc.



In relation to various projects, a recurring question is how sustainable CRC i2® is, often followed by a request for an Environmental Product Declaration, or EPD


Concentrated loads

In this post, I will show a couple of examples utilising the ability to handle large concentrated loads through internal force redistribution.


Thank you for reading the blog!

With almost 2000 views and more than 400 unique visitors we are very happy about the first three months of the High Performance Concrete blog. Thank you all very much for reading and following the blog! During the summer holidays we are going to take a short break from posting on the blog ...


The Infinite Potentials of Concrete - and UHPC

Concrete in general is the single building material of the world with the highest potentials in all respects - and UHPC is the ultimate tool for unlocking the potentials…


Considerations when using High Performance Concrete

Designing feasible structures in High Performance Concrete means designing at the limit of what’s possible. The reason (as always) is money. HPC isn’t cheap so we have to use as little as possible. At Pieters we’ve been designing HPC structures since 2008 and still it sometimes feels like we’re designing with gold.


CRC i2 in actual fires - Part II

In last week’s post I showed how CRC i2® elements had performed during a real fire at the Heilig Harn project in Den Helder in Holland. This time I’ll complete the mini-series on the topic, describing two more projects and the unfortunate incident with a charcoal chimney starter directly on a CRC i2® balcony…


CRC i2 in actual fires - Part I

CRC i2® elements have been used in projects that experienced fire on three occasions, luckily all during the construction phase without any serious injury to people. In addition, a more comical fire related incident: An apartment tenant once got the bright idea to place a charcoal chimney starter directly on a CRC i2® balcony … why I do not know!


Fire resistance – is it a problem for UHPC?

Fire resistance is one of the attributes that distinguishes concrete compared to other materials such as steel or aluminium – but concerns are often raised regarding the fire resistance of UHPC


Users 10 step guide to CRC i2

We often get questions concerning what is possible to achieve with CRC i2®, and what process is required to get started – in short the user’s guide to using CRC i2®. In this post, I’ll try to address some of the general issues.


Cold bending

Can concrete bend? No, of course not!! … or can it ?!?!


CRC ductility

Ductility was one of the key elements when Hans Henrik Bache developed CRC in 1986. The high strength matrix had already been developed some years earlier, when he invented and patented DSP-materials (Densified Cement/Ultra-fine Particle materials) in 1978 – what later led to the start of the Densit company


Surface aesthetics of CRC i2

CRC i2® is a unique cement-based material, and as conventional concrete and other natural materials, variations in colour and texture should be expected, and should be expected to develop over time. This is a large part of the visual appeal of concrete, because it offers a living and varied expression.


Calculating with CRC i2

As an engineer, you might ask yourself how to make your own calculations of elements based on a material not covered by most codes. The short answer is, you don’t. Sorry. Most codes, including the EuroCode, allow you to deviate from the standard materials and calculation principles provided you can document that the performance in relation to safety and over-all behaviour is in accordance with the principles stated in the codes.


CRC - basic properties

Traditionally concrete has often been “defined” by it’s compressive strength – a 40 MPa concrete or a 90 MPa concrete are expected to have very different properties. This has changed with the advent of Ultra High Performance Concrete (UHPC) where other properties or attributes can be just as important – or more important – than compressive strength. And while we’re on the subject of compressive strength…


CRC vs CRC i2

Hi-Con was founded as a classic - although innovative - production company, selling and manufacturing primarily balconies and staircases in UHPC, mainly to the Danish market. In 2009, the strategy and vision of Hi-Con was completely transformed, and a transition towards an innovation organisation aiming to explore the full potential of UHPFRC globally, based on innovative business models, was initiated. This process is still ongoing.


World leaders in UHPC?

When you have worked in this field for many years - and I have personally worked with Ultra High Performance Concrete (UHPC) since 1987 - you see a lot of claims to being world leaders in High Performance Concrete (HPC). It is a claim that we have made ourselves, but since we produce only Ultra High Performance Fibre Reinforced Concrete (UHPFRC) at Hi-Con and never worked with conventional concrete we believe that our claim has some merit, especially as more than 70,000 tons of structural elements have been produced in CRC over the years.