Precast concrete is a durable, high-quality construction material that’s also eco friendly that saves construction companies time and money during their projects. For these reasons and many more, it’s gaining ground in the industry. Interested in learning more about precast concrete and its impact on the world? Here are many fascinating facts about this exceptional building material that you should know.
1. It Dates Back to Ancient Roman Times (At Least)
One of the earliest examples of precast concrete construction is Rome’s Pantheon, which was once a Roman temple and is now a church. It was completed in 126 AD. During its construction, emperor Hadrian had the building’s columns dragged and floated more than 100 km from the quarry to the Nile River all the way to Rome on wooden sledges, by barge, and on vessels before being installed.
2. The Precast Concrete Market Size Is Estimated at USD 89.3 Billion
Precast concrete is quickly rising in popularity as one of the top green construction materials of choice, primarily due to the fact that it reduces material wastage and increases site efficiency. Globally, the precast concrete industry was estimated at USD 89.3 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.3 percent from 2020 to 2027.
3. It’s a Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Material
The construction industry is changing rapidly -- for the better. More and more construction companies are shifting to eco-friendly processes, procedures, and building materials to reduce their impact on the environment and reduce their carbon footprint.
Precast concrete plays a significant role in this shift, as it’s a sustainable and environmentally friendly material. It’s made up of natural aggregates, such as rock, sand, crushed stone, and gravel, as well as water. Therefore, concrete itself is recyclable. The water used in the manufacturing process is also recycled. The material also absorbs and releases heat slowly, allowing for long-term energy savings.
Choosing precast construction also translates to less material waste, a reduction in the use of heavy machinery on site, and less material ending up in landfills.
4. It Has a Unique Process
In its simplest terms, precast concrete is the manufacturing of concrete off site using a mold. This is what primarily differentiates it from site-cast concrete, which is poured directly at the construction site.
During the manufacturing process, it’s poured off site into a steel or wooden mold with rebar or wire mesh, and sometimes prestressed cables. Curing occurs at a manufacturing plant or another con
trolled environment. Once it’s cured, it’s transported and delivered to the construction site and installed.
Generally, this process is more controlled, quicker, safer and also more cost effective than the process of manufacturing site-cast concrete.
5. It’s Incredibly Versatile
Many people think of concrete as plain, boring, and grey. But with precast concrete, this view is outdated. It’s an extremely versatile construction material that allows designers and architects to choose any combination of texture, shapes, and colours. It can also integrate facades and can be used for virtually any construction element, from long open spans to small sections.
Due to its versatility, it’s also used for a wide variety of construction projects, including parking structures, residential and commercial building foundations (schools, houses, offices, shopping centres, etc), bridges, culverts, catch basins, curb inlets, and even sound walls beside highways.
As a versatile and environmentally friendly building material with a unique manufacturing process compared to site-cast concrete, precast is becoming increasingly popular in the construction industry. It’s many benefits, including cost and time savings on site and the variety offered to designers and architects, makes it a top building material today.