A reader's Concrete and Concreting question: Concrete steps?

Surya W.   from   Jakarta, Indonesia   had this Concrete steps question.

Dear Mr Bill Bradley,
I am very glad upon receiving your timely reply, thank you very much. Please visit Jakarta especially in commemoration jakarta 481 years . Jakarta was built on june 22, 1527.

I want to build a concrete stair in the form of timber stair without the stringer. The steps are supported by a concrete block on the middle of the steps. So the steps appear floating . The stairs will be built in area of : wide - 1900 mm , length - 2300 mm and height - 3150 mm.

In my opinion there are 2 ways to make the stairs :

1. Make the steps separately and the concrete block is made as stringer but put in the middle , but when the steps put on the block how to secure them?

2. How to make the formwork so the steps appear floating ( due to no outside stringer).

Then , how about the bar configuration ?
Please tell me the easy solution to fill my dream.
Ok, if you visit jakarta just inform me and I will be very glad to be your guide .
Warm regards,

Bill's answer

concrete steps on steel strings
Concrete steps - Pre cast concrete steps on double steel strings.

Base detail
Concrete steps - Detail at the base of the strings.

Hi Surya,
I think what you could do is to make pre-cast concrete step treads, that are supported on a steel stringer. This gives an effect that you may like.

  • The use of steel makes it slightly more difficult, in that you have to get someone to do the welding etc. But using steel gives a lot more open look than say a concrete block wall.
  • The treads can be made one at a time with fairly simple timber formwork, making provision to cast in the bolts or inserts for the fixing.
  • You will have to get a structural engineer to detail the steel sizes and rebar etc.
  • If you need more information, you will have to send me a sketch of what you would like to do.

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