Precast concrete construction has been in practice for decades for various types of buildings and structures from civil to industrial applications. Here are some key advantages of applying precast concrete for construction.
- Speed of construction as many of the structural and/or non-structural members can be made on site or off site (in a precast plant) even before foundation work starts
- Green construction due to less construction noise, dust pollution, and traffic jams in congested urban areas by taking some or majority of the construction activities away from the construction site
- Reduce or avoid massive site formwork and shoring supports.
- Better construction quality (finishes, cover for rebar, concreting, curing, durability, etc) made in a controlled plant environment
- Compounding the use of pretensioning for structural members of longer spans can realize significant savings in both rebar and concrete materials and reduce building height by using shallower structural members.
- A variety of structural and non-structural members can be precast including frames, trusses, columns, beams, spandrels, slabs, walls, stair flights & landing, roof parapets, piles, footings, cladding panels , building facades.
- There are structural configurations which are practically impossible to be formed for cast in-situ above ground (e.g. folded plate arch roof structures for concrete hangars, the curved building facade panels shown in the photos below, etc).
A successful project using precast concrete demands both sound engineering design and construction capability. The design attentions to precast connections and details taking into consideration of constructability play a significant role in the project success.
When it comes to earthquake resistance, there may be a misconception among uninformed people that precast structures would under perform in comparison to monolithically poured concrete structures. The fact is that well designed and built precast structures had performed extremely well during the past earthquake events, and they can perform equally well or even better than poorly designed/built cast in-situ concrete structures. The key is to develop and design connections which can be redundant and fail-safe in distributing the loads and behave in a ductile manner to prevent any brittle failure under extreme conditions.
At BBZ Engineering Services LLC with our expertise, experience and technology in designing precast concrete , we are here to support your engineering needs. We go beyond the conventional design territory to assist your construction engineering when needed to succeed.