Precast Concrete Panels Pros & Cons

Precast Concrete Buildings

With over 6 billion cubic meters of precast concrete produced every year, it remains one of the most popular man-made construction material in the world. For thousands of years, builders have depended on the versatility and strength of concrete, to create structures that have withstood the test of time.

Its durability, superior strength, as well as overall structural integrity, make precast concrete the go-to construction material in countless applications. According to the Army Corps of Engineers, precast concrete structures have a useful life of around 80 years. Additionally, the structures continue to function properly, long after the useful life has elapsed.

Precast Concrete Panels

Precast concrete is commonly used in mid and low-rise apartment buildings, nursing homes, hotels and motels. Concrete provides superior sound control and fire resistance, for the individual units while reducing fire insurance rates.

precast concrete building

This material is also popular in constructing office buildings. As the on-site foundations are being laid, the walls of the structure can be built simultaneously. This provides significant savings in time while resulting to early occupancy.

The ease and speed with which precast structures are completed make them accessible building materials for parking lots. Precast concrete allows economical and efficient construction regardless of the weather conditions. It also provides the long open spaces and clear spans needed in parking structures.

Precast Concrete Steps

Precast concrete steps are ideal for arenas and stadium seating units. Mass quantities can be produced depending on the specifications. This provides a fast installation as well as long lasting service. Additionally, concession stands, dressing room areas, and pedestrian ramp can all be constructed and framed using precast concrete.

The ability of precast concrete to stretch distances, combined with the smooth surfaces produced makes it suitable for forming storage and manufacturing areas. Other uses for precast concrete include highway bridges, railroad decks, burial vaults, railway crossties, shopping mall, educational institutions, and public buildings including hospitals, airport terminals, and libraries.

Precast Concrete Products

Precast concrete is available in two main types. Standard products such as railroad ties, decks and beams are shaped in one distinct way. You can use these repeatedly. The other form of precast concrete is the specialty product. This is designed specifically for the bridge, building or structure where it will be used. This means that it cannot be used in any other application, apart from the intended site or structure.

Precast Concrete Slabs

Most companies specializing in the production of precast concrete products have their own workshops where they create the majority of the specialty products. The forms where either the standard or specialty products are created are well oiled. Concrete is poured into these forms and then allowed to cure. Once the concrete has cured, the product or item is carefully removed from the form, and then relocated for further curing. It is then transported to the construction site.

Precast Concrete Benefits

– The speed of development. Unlike other methods, precast concrete structures can be built within a shorter period. They don’t rely on the speed of human labor

– It provides a reliable supply. Precast concrete products are made in a purpose built factories. Additionally, they are not affected by weather elements.

– High-level performance when it comes to durability, acoustic separation, thermal comfort, and resistance to flood and water.

– Highly flexible in shape, form as well as available finishes

– Inherent structural capacity and strength able to accommodate engineering standards for a wide range of housing and construction needs

– Ability to incorporate services like plumbing and electrical in precast elements

– High thermal mass that provides energy cost saving benefits

– High structural efficiency as well a low wastage on sites

Drawbacks

– Each panel variation regarding bracing inserts, openings, as well as lifting inserts requires specialized and complex engineering

– Tends to be more expensive than conventional construction methods and materials

– Erection call for skilled trades and equipment

– Building services like power, water, conduits and gas outlets must be cast in the design. Failure to do that might create problems when attempting to add them later

– High-level site access, as well as sufficient maneuvering space for cranes and other machinery, is required.

Bottom Line

Precast products have previously been used in infrastructural and commercial products. They have also gained popularity in residential applications, over the past few years. Precast concrete provides excellent quality assurance and design flexibility, together with numerous other benefits, that make it a preferred choice.

Its installation is fast, straightforward and efficient. It is going to be compatible with any future project expansion plans. If you are looking for an environmentally friendly construction material that will save you time and money, precast concrete is the way to go.

Precast provides excellent quality assurance and design flexibility, together with numerous other benefits, that make it a preferred choice. Its installation is fast, straightforward and efficient.

It is going to be compatible with any future project expansion plans. If you are looking for an environmentally friendly construction material that will save you time and money, precast concrete is the way to go.