Decorative concrete has been in existence since approxi-mately 70 AD, when concrete was used for defining affluent or important areas of living space in communal cultures. Early examples of this type of adornment are the streets and paving throughout the city of Pompeii near Naples, Italy. Early deco-rative concrete used colored aggregates and varying shapes or natural materials embedded in concrete paving.Traditionally, concrete has been specified more for its functional characteristics than as an enhancement to the aesthetics of the structure.
Landscape architects were leaders in using concrete flatwork to enhance the visual appeal of hardscapes. Using color and texture introduced concrete as a andscape feature in addition to its functionality. An example is flatwork textured and colored to replicate the look of slate, brick, or natural stone as shown in Fig. 1.1a and 1.1b.
The use of decorative concrete has been well received and considered as an alternative to other building materials for durable, versatile, and economical finishes. More designers are creating greater aesthetic appeal in projects by using one or more combinations of special concrete placement techniques including integral concrete colors, color hard-eners, chemical stains, pigments and dyes, surface texturing, jointing, exposed aggregate, surface embossing, polishing, decorative aggregate—specially selected aggregates chosen for their artistic contribution to the project; examples of materials used as decorative aggregate include colored stone, intrinsically valuable gathered stone, semiprecious stone, or colored glass