Waffle Pod Slabs Guide - Design, Cost and Construction

Waffle Pod Slabs

Waffle pod slabs are flexible and cost-effective, making them a great alternative to ribbed or corrugated slabs. Learn more in this guide from Masta Concrete.

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    Waffle Pod Slabs Guide: Design, Cost and Construction

    As they gain in popularity, waffle pod slabs are changing the way we think about and build our concrete slabs. The traditional concrete slab is more or less built into the ground on the construction site. It involves digging trenches in a rather lengthy, time-consuming process. 

    A waffle pod is none of that. 

    Let’s take a look at waffle pod slabs and these three attributes: 

    • Waffle pod slab design 
    • Waffle pod slab cost 
    • Waffle pod slab construction 
      Aerial shot of waffle pod slabs before concrete pouring

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      The Innovative Waffle Pod Design 

      Concrete slabs are designed in three manners: ribbed, corrugated and waffle. While each of these designs has its own set of characteristics to add durability to the foundation, only the waffle design can provide that durability in more than one direction. 

      Being deeper than traditional ribbed slabs, waffle slabs are designed with a thin topping slab and narrow ribs that span in both directions between column heads or band beams. This creates a durable slab with omnidirectional strength. 

      The innovative design of a waffle slab can offer your concrete slab the following advantages over typical ribbed and corrugated slabs: 

      • Waffle slabs are flexible. 
      • They are lighter, thus reducing costs and providing longer spans that are more economical. 
      • They are quicker to construct. 
      • They are ideal for utility integration. 

      These slabs are also designed to comply with Australian Standards for Residential Slabs and Footings current version AS 2870-2011, AS 2870.2-1990 and Concrete Structures Code AS 3600-1988. 

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      Waffle Pod Slab Cost 

      To begin with, waffle slabs are significantly cheaper to construct than a traditional ribbed or corrugated concrete slab. The savings in cost are quite evident from the very start of the slab construction process.  

      Conventional concrete slabs require site preparation in the form of trenches being dug out. Waffle slabs require no trenching. 

      Traditional concrete slabs require a fair amount of time to settle whereas waffle pods do not. 

      Not least, waffle pods utilise polystyrene void formers that offer an additional layer of thermal protection while constructing the slab from less concrete material, saving even more money than a traditional concrete slab. 

      All of these attributes factor into the point that waffle slabs are going to cost less than their traditional concrete slab counterparts. 

      Waffle Pod Slab Construction 

      The waffle slab construction process creates a lightweight slab that is flexible and easily constructed on any level, or relatively level, ground. The edge form boards are laid out according to plans and specifications. Then, starting from one corner, the pods are laid out with spacers in between to ensure uniform spacing throughout slab construction. 

      Spacers are laid across the top of the waffle slabs, and the final mesh rests on top of these spacers. The spacers, pods and mesh all ensure that you have a consistent concrete ‘rib’ running throughout the concrete slab, lending to its durable qualities. 

      The waffle slab can either be shipped to the site reconstructed, or it can be prefabricated and the slab would then be poured on-site. The prefabricated slab is usually more expensive than the other options.  

      Once the grid and pod system is constructed and the concrete is poured, if you were able to look at the slabs from the underside they would look like a waffle biscuit — hence their name.  

      Waffle Pod Slabs and Your Concrete Slab Construction Project 

      Waffle pod slabs have been used with resounding success in Australia for over 30 years. From a design, cost and construction standpoint, there is no other aspect of your concrete construction project that can bring as many benefits to the table as these innovative slabs!  

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