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What are sanitary slabs

victoria Arquitecto
Nov 21, 2013
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What are the sanitary slabs, what are they for?

What are the sanitary slabs and what are they used for? A sanitary slab, just asi the name suggests, is a slab that serves to improve the salubrity of a household. They are called "sanitary" because traditionally this type of slab is synonymous of hygenic housesm that avoid humidity and therefore the diseases tthat could be caused by it in a building.


The origin of the sanitary slab is very ancient, in all kinds of architecture we can find examples and applications of sanitary slabs. It is very frequent that builders avoid direct contact with soil, not just to impede the transmission of moisture, but to prevent the entry of animals that could eat the grain reserves that often couldbe found within the household.

What are the sanitary slabs, what are they for?

Nowadays, the fundamental finality of the sanitary slab is to prevent the pass of moisture from the terrain into the interior of the house. This is achieved by creating a little air chamber between the soil and the first slab of the building. This chamber must be properly ventilated to avoid any accumulation of moisture within the chamber. 

The sanitary slab also serves as a temperature regulator, although not in the same way as air chambers on walls or enclosures do, but their existence helps to mantain heat within buildings.

¿What happens when we have a garage or basement? When the construction of a basement is necessary, a sanitary slab is not usually made,  because the basement is generally dedicated to store vehicles, which have to much weight for a conventional slab. If we had to do a sanitary slab that could withsatnd the weight of a vehicle, we would have to strengthen it, and this would increase the construction cos. In this case basements or garages are usually the flooring is over layers of gravel, that impede the passage of moister through the capillarity. But fundamentaly, it can be said that the sanitary slab doesn't make sense in this case because of the simple fact that the basement itself acts as a big sanitary slab, with a big air chamber.

¿How to make a sanitary slab?

Once the concept that explains the existence of sanitary slabs is defined, it is fairly easy to understand how to execute one. We just have to make sure that the first slab os separated from the terrain, enough so that a person can crawl in between the terrain and the slab in order to guarantee a minimum of maintenance.

There is a multitud of ways to execute a sanitary slab:

1-By means of small bearing walls made of massif brick to be able to support the slab.

2-Using the same reinforced concrete structure that is used for the rest of the building.

3-With non recoverable piece systems in the first slab.

Without a doubt, the execution of a sanitary slab is very beneficial in any situation and climate. However there are cases in which it can be less necessary (very hot and not humid climates), it will always be an important element and that secures a good salubrity in our household.

Casas en la ladera de una montaña. Casas en pendiente
El aislamiento térmico de fibra de poliéster
victoria
Arquitecto
Soy una persona apasionada por la arquitectura y la ciudad

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