concrete block house and ceilings/floors

Hi all,
I have very little knowledge about house construction methods, so please forgive me if my questions are 'simple' or obvious. I've tried to google some of this stuff, but the lack of results indicates I'm not even sure of the terms to google!
Can someone please explain how a ceiling/floor is built in a concrete block house? House is 2 stories, ie a ground floor and one floor above that.
Is a wood/steel frame attached to the walls? and then this frame filled with 'stuff'? or is it more solid? ie a prefab concrete slab or something?
If it's a prefab slab, how is wiring done?
many thanks in advance
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Floors in concrete block homes are usually wood. The cieling or roof is also.... Usually "ledgers are placed on the walls and anchored firmly to this. then joist are run. Sturdi Floor is a joist manufacturer that makes joist for long spans and usually these are used in new construction in block or concrete homes..... On the other hand, concrete can be placed as a floor system, and it would need to be supported prior to the concrete pour. Usually more in commercial applications. Wires may be run in 'chases' and or firring attached to the concrete for floor or cieling applications...... jloomis

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Our floors are "Beam and Block" floors. http://www.hanson.co.uk/45/floorsandprecast/beamandblockfloors.html http://www.milbank-floors.co.uk/bb_tech.shtml
Concrete beams (Inverted T section) are placed on supporting walls and standard aircrete blocks are placed between. Then insulation and screed is laid on top. Underfloor heating pipes and other services can be laid in the insulation or screed. It's also possible to fix wood battens to the beam and block floor and then secret nail wood flooring to the battens. We have a mixture of both tiles on screed and wood on battens all with underfloor heating.
Other concrete floor technologies exist such as the use of large partially hollow precast slabs. In some parts of the world floors are cast onsite.
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thank you both. That Hanson has been really helped me understand a bit about how it all works.
So the upper-side (ie the floor) is filled/concreted over, then the real floor surface (tiles etc) are put down.
And the under-side (ie the ceiling) is generally (from what I can tell) sheetrock and paint.
is that basically correct?
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yes the make up of our floor is typically as follows (from top to bottom)
Tiles 60mm screed (a cement sand mix with fibre reinforcement) with UFH pipes in 100-150mm Insulation Beam and blocks 38mm wood Battens 12mm Plasterboard (called drywall or sheetrock in the USA?) Skim coat of plaster
We omitted the insulation and screed under the shower tray so that there was a void for the waste trap. In some places we allso ommitted insulation and screed to allow for waste pipes to be hidden in the floor with the right fall/slope.
We used 38mm deep battens on the underside to provide enough void space for halogen downlights. The fireproof types in the UK typically require a void at least 100mm including the plasterboard. The beams provide 50mm deep voids and so the above provides 50+38+12 = 100mm
On the ground floor we have..
21mm Engineered Oak 150mm deep wood battens with insulation between Damp proof membrane Beam and blocks Void Soil
In this case the insulation has foil heat spreader plates to help distribute the heat.
You can obviously mix and match a bit. In our garage we just have B&B floor with screed containing mesh reinforcement.
This type of floor is quite fast to lay. The second floor (called the first floor in the UK!) of our house is 1700 sq foot on three levels and the beams and blocks for that went down in a day. Our builder just had to follow the layout done by the beam company. The insulation and screed was done after the roof went on some time later. The house has a very solid feel to it. The kids can jump about upstairs without it feeling like they are going to fall through the floor.
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Photos of our house under construction showing ground..
http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/108/img0349iq1.jpg
and first floors...
http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/4803/img0458nh6.jpg
The brown beam bottom right in the last photo is a steel beam supporting one end of the concrete beams as there is no wall underneath that bit.
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On Thu, 15 Nov 2007 03:30:30 -0800 (PST), jzfredricks

Are you asking about a specifically existing construction, or a possible new construction?
Is there a reason not to go with traditional wood techniques on thisi second story floor? That may be the most effective way to do it for a smaller building.
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No reason what-so-ever. The problem is I don't even know what the TRADITIONAL WOOD technique is :)
I'm not at a stage of building... just dreaming of it. I just couldn't visualise how floors were built, so I thought i'd research and failing that ask. One of my main frustrations was not even knowing the terms to search on, but I have them now thanks to the above links.
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Suggested reading for you (I'm a little bit above your level of construction knowledge, but not a great amount): Larry Haun's 2002 book for Taunton Press: Habitat for Humanity: How To Build A House. It goes through construction of a basic one-floor stick-built house in enough detail that you can pick up terms like "barge rafter" and figure out what the heck they're talking about, but not in such excruciating detail as an engineering or architecture textbook might. My husband, who comes from a family of engineers and builders, thought it was a good introduction to residential wood frame construction for someone like me who is allergic to hammers. <g> And I thought it quite readable.
From there you can go on to more detailed works and other construction methods fairly easily, or so I've found.
There's also a program called "Extreme Engineering" that does a fairly good job of explaining not-plain-vanilla construction in terms that I can follow easily and doesn't make my husband throw heavy objects at the tv The Madrid (Spain) space tower is concrete construction.
Kay
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On Thu, 15 Nov 2007 06:57:51 -0800 (PST), jzfredricks

Well, that's a fair thing! <g> I am not a big fan of block multi-story buildings, but I'm sure you have a reason (or two) to go that route. Your second story's floor joists would be similar to what is in a wood frame building, except that instead of sitting on top of the first floor walls, you'd use ledger boards attached to teh structural 'block' poritions of the building. (I"m assuming you will reinforce, vertically, some of the blocks with rebar and a concrete fill, right?)

Dreaming is fun... but if you are dreaming, what is the attractiveness of concrete blocks? My experience with them has been that they are used for cost savings mostly (seeing thousands and thousands of block houses built in Florida--where wood is more expensive, and concrete blocks were cheap (mostly because the sand was free!) The down side of blocks is lack of insulation, wall thickness once insulation is added inside (you end up with walls that are 12-14 inches thick sometimes!) and a few other problems such as possible cracking and seepage of moisture.

Cool, you can search now... <g>

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> Well, that's a fair thing! <g> I am not a big fan of block multi-story

Here in the UK we use joist hangers to fix wood joists to brick/block walls as they go up.
http://www.strongtie.co.uk/product_search3.php?family_id=6&category_idf

We don't normally need to do that in the UK for a house with just two floors (eg a ground and first floor). Do earthquake measures require that in the USA?
The thing to watch with a concrete top floor is the concentration of loading around openings. eg the pillar between two large windows may need to be engineering bricks rather than light weight blocks. Long spans may need steel beams and other complications. All that kind of thing needs someone like a Structural Engineer to design properly.
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