The construction process for a building can be a fairly complex and expensive affair. Thankfully, some systems and products can make the process relatively easier.
One such product is precast concrete, which is used frequently by construction engineers thanks to its wide range of benefits over regular concrete structures. Due to this aspect, it is employed for both large-scale and small-scale construction projects today.
A reduction in overall building costs is one of the most significant benefits of using precast concrete. However, if you don’t know much about construction systems, you might not know how this can be achieved.
That is why we have discussed this in detail in this guide. So, if you are looking to cut down on the costs of your building project, then keep reading.
What Is Precast Concrete?
Before proceeding further, let us discuss a little bit about what precast concrete actually is. In simple terms, it is a construction product made by casting concrete in a pre-existing and reusable mold. The cast is generally prepared off-site so that it can be quickly transported and assembled into place at the actual construction site.
It is used to make different concrete building blocks and support structures, such as slabs, beams, tilt-up panels, and so on. In most cases, it is made using prestressed concrete and is assembled in multiple stages. This ensures that the resulting cast has good structural integrity.
How Does Precast Concrete Reduce Building Costs?
There are several ways by which precast concrete can help save construction costs. First off, the precast molds can be recycled and reused multiple times. That means you won’t need to build the same concrete structures from scratch every time, hence reducing design and engineering costs.
Likewise, most of the complex tasks, such as cast designing, pouring, and curing, are done in the precast factory itself. All that remains to be done at the actual construction site is the installation of these precasts. This fairly simple task can be accomplished with minimal effort, which, in turn, allows you to cut down on the labor costs required on-site.
The transportation and subsequent installation of precast concrete forms do not require a lot of heavy construction equipment either. You can save a lot of money in this regard since conventional construction equipment can be quite expensive.
Similarly, the maintenance costs for precast structures are considerably less than those for conventional concrete structures. That’s because the precast is made to be highly durable, which keeps the structure protected from all types of damage and wear for a long time.
Other Benefits Of Using Precast Concrete
Aside from a reduction in building costs, there are several other advantages of using precast concrete. We have discussed the most notable benefits of this concrete product below.
This construction product has a wide range of applications, which enhances its overall versatility. The precast molds can be molded into a wide range of shapes and sizes to suit any kind of construction project.
Moreover, a single precast mold can be used to make concrete parts for a large number of construction projects. As such, it can be used in the construction of commercial as well as residential buildings.
Saves A Lot Of Time
The precast concrete is made in factories and transported to the construction site. Once there, they can be installed immediately by the engineers, which helps save a lot of time. Since precast concrete options already come in a ready-made form, there is no need to cure and strengthen the concrete on-site. That ultimately reduces the time taken for the completion of the construction project.
Compared to conventional concrete structures, precast materials have much better quality and durability. This is because the casting processes are done in a highly controlled environment inside a precast plant. All the materials are carefully monitored, and every step is extensively supervised to reduce any errors and quality flaws.
After the casting is done, the precast concrete undergoes extensive quality checks before it is transported to the construction site. These additional checks are done based on the quality standards laid down by the National Precast Concrete Association. It helps to identify and eliminate faulty casts so that any issues can be avoided.
Improves Construction Efficiency
Since precast concrete is made at off-site factories, it allows the engineers on-site to focus on the other construction tasks, such as ground surveys and earthwork. These on-site activities can be completed simultaneously while the concrete casts are being prepared at the plants, thereby enhancing the project’s overall efficiency.
Disadvantages Of Precast Concrete
While precast concrete is definitely advantageous for construction projects, it has certain limitations that need to be considered. If you want to know what these limitations are, then read on.
To transport the precasts to the construction site, you need to select the optimal logistical systems and transport vehicles. Choosing the wrong vehicles and systems can damage the concrete during transit, which makes this step a bit complicated. This is especially true in the case of large construction projects, where the sizes of the precast structures are usually bigger.
Due to the nature of the precast structure, it is almost impossible to change or modify it during installation. So, if it is not a perfect fit for your building project, you will need to get it redone, which can be a major hassle.
PreCast Concrete Delivers A Sustainable Construction Material
As you can see from the discussion above, using precast concrete makes the construction process cheaper and provides long-term cost benefits.
Also, the other reasons why construction engineers prefer it over traditional on-site construction have been discussed. And while there are some drawbacks, we feel that they can be avoided entirely with proper planning and management.
So, if you have any doubts about using precast concrete for your own construction project, we hope this brief guide clears it up.