Precast concrete is a type of structural materials that is produced by pouring concrete into a reusable mold, or “form,” which cures under controlled conditions before being moved to the construction site. Examples include precast concrete beams, walls, or roofs that are typically used in construction. Cast-in-place concrete, on the other hand, is poured into site-specific forms and cured on-site.
There are many reasons—mostly advantages—that show why we prefer precast concrete in our construction.
Below, we will talk through some of the merits and demerits of precast concrete.
The Pros of Precast Concrete
Precasting concrete has many benefits. Here are some of them:
Saving on construction time
Precast concrete construction is usually prepared in factories or precast plants. Therefore, engineers can focus on other construction projects such as surveys, earthwork, etc.
When you work with precast concrete, you can save a significant amount of time because you can carry on other site activities simultaneously, and there is no need to wait for the mixture to dry and strengthen.
Before transportation and installation of precast concrete construction, it passes various tests in the factory. Quality control technicians inspect the concrete at every stage, from mixing the cement, sand, and aggregates to preparing the mold or form for use.
Moreover, in the laboratory, the chemical constituent ingredients are examined carefully to ensure that the concrete is well-mixed and balanced, with significantly reduced error.
Using pre-stressed concrete
Pre-stressed precast allows for the creation of structural materials with high strength and load-bearing capacity, resulting in minimizing the overall cross-section size of load-bearing units, thus reducing the total construction costs.
Additionally, integrating different types of concrete into precast plants gives constructors and architects the freedom to try out new designs.
Precast concrete structures simplify the construction process, which results in a significant reduction in time and an increase in quality, safety, and productivity. All this means we should expect to see a lower cost.
Precast concrete lasts longer and requires less maintenance. Due to the use of lab-tested components in the high-density precast concrete, the durability and corrosion-resistance of these materials are considerably high.
The feature of corrosion-resistance makes these materials ideal for precast box culvert, wall, or pillar construction.
Because the structures are constructed in a regulated manufacturing environment, various color and texture combinations are possible. A broad variety of forms and sizes are offered with flawless finishing, increasing the aesthetic value of products.
Improve safety at the construction site.
No raw materials need to be stored on-site for precast concrete construction. So it provides a safe working environment by lowering the requirements of traditional framework, props, wastage, workers, etc.
The lower number of workers and tools on the construction site causes increased overall safety since there are not many people and potentially dangerous tools lying around.
Improving the project efficiency
Concrete precast is produced at factories in large quantities all year long. So, clients can order and store them until they need to use them on site. Note that because precast concrete is produced under controlled conditions, there is no worry about the weather conditions.
Precasting saves money by reducing the number of laborers and the need to coordinate on-site labor and logistics. All show the overall efficiency of precast concrete.
The Cons of Precast Concrete
Precast concrete, on the other hand, has some disadvantages. Here are some of them:
High initial investment
The installation of a precast concrete plant needs heavy, sophisticated machines, which leads to a high initial investment.
To ensure a sufficient profit, a massive number of precast construction projects-like precast roofs and concrete parking curbs-must be available.
Issues relating to transportation
The construction site could be rather far from the precast concrete plant. In that case, trailers must transport the precast members to the construction site. The transportation expense frequently makes up for the lower cost of precast concrete.
When it comes to handling precast concrete, proper attention and precaution must be taken into account. Precast units are typically huge and heavy, so handling them without doing damage is really challenging. They are typically handled by portable or tower cranes.
Structure modifications are challenging with precast structures. For instance, removing a precast concrete retaining wall for modification may affect the building’s overall stability.
Works on sensitive connections.
One of the most significant steps for guaranteeing robust structural behavior is the correct assembly of the precast members. To assure the intended behavior of a connection, such as a simple, semi-rigid, or stiff connection, it is necessary to carefully monitor connections between many structural parts.
In addition, bad connections might result in sound and water leaks.
A Few Frequently Asked Questions
What is the main disadvantage of using precast concrete?
The precast units may be destroyed during transport if not handled appropriately. Making appropriate linkages between the precast parts might be difficult. To lift and move the precast units, specific equipment needs to be arranged.
Are premade concrete steps worthwhile?
Because they were made and cured under controlled indoor circumstances, precast concrete steps are more durable and consistent in appearance. These stages have a lower environmental impact since they use fewer materials and frequently integrate recycled materials such as fly ash, slag, and cement.
What is a concrete precast box culvert?
Four-sided concrete culverts, often known as box culverts, are among the most adaptable precast concrete products. Underpasses, tunnels, subways, bridges, stream culverts, storage, and other applications are all possible with box culverts.
What is prefab concrete?
The word itself actually says it all. Prefabricated concrete is a large-scale, climate-controlled concrete construction component. These components are transported to the construction site and prepared for use. Cavalli assembly teams use specialized connectors to get them there swiftly and closely regardless of the weather.
Here at Cavalli Build, we handle all responsibilities, from obtaining building permits to managing and supervising subcontractors. For more information about our services, please feel free to contact us.