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Don’t Be Conventional! Five Reasons to Use SCC

Insights Blog - SCC - Gannett Fleming.
Author: James P. Murphy, Construction Manager, CMIT, ENV SP

Arguably one of the greatest advances in the concrete industry, self-consolidating concrete (SCC) is an innovative technique over your conventional concrete option. It is a relatively new technology that ensures successful concrete delivery and helps achieve even the toughest, most complex geometry.

A simple definition describes SCC as a nonsegregating concrete placed by means of its own weight. It maintains the durability and characteristics of traditional concrete, but it exceeds performance requirements. Virtually self-leveling if placed flat, it flows into a smooth, more homogenous form.

Gannett Fleming used SCC to construct a challenging labyrinth spillway control structure. Here are five reasons why we chose SCC over traditional concrete.

  1. If you have complex geometry, you need this!
    SCC makes it easy to achieve complex geometry because it is so much easier to flow. When pouring SCC, your risk of honeycomb pocketing decreases. This creates a beautiful, uniform surface that allows designers to make aesthetically pleasing architecture.
  2. “I’m pickin’ up good vibrations…”
    Good, meaning zero! SCC’s fast placement eliminates vibration and mechanical consolidation. With normal concrete, you pour in lifts and vibrate from one lift to the next to work out entrapped air bubbles. If you do not do this, you’ll have a bond break in your concrete that leads to future cracking. SCC is so flowable that you can just pour and trust that it will spread into the form without the need for mechanical vibration. This also lowers your manpower required for placement.
  3. Superman-style strength
    Regular concrete is not very viscous, whereas SCC is strong and durable. The SCC mix must be placed at a relatively higher velocity, which improves the interface between the aggregate and hardened paste. It can bond to reinforced steel and has freeze/thaw durability. As compared to conventional, it also can have a slightly higher final strength with the same water to cement ration.
  4. Smooth and stylish
    SCC produces high-class surface finishes and can even look like a mirrored surface. It minimizes the painstaking process of rub finishing once the formwork is stripped. From sculptures to precasts, we all love how it looks. Bonus: It can even flow into negative draft areas.
  5. Next-level client satisfaction
    There are so many client benefits when using SCC. You increase safety and decrease construction noise because there are no vibrator operators high up on the noisy forms. You accelerate your project schedule—one truck can place SCC in under one minute. You create a more uniform surface with defined edges and clear color, as less rubbing is required. For these reasons, using SCC brings next-level client satisfaction and exceeds industry quality assurance requisites.

The best products produce the best results! Whether you are building a labyrinth spillway or a precast structure, SCC will improve your constructability and structural integrity. If you want to learn how you can extend your concrete structure’s service life by using SCC, contact Jim Murphy at

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