Planning is the base upon which precast concrete projects are laid. While this may sound like an overstretch of the imagination, to start a construction project without first seeking to understand the various components that go into a precast concrete system is akin to starting a car without knowing how to drive it.
Of course, if the driver is experienced and knows what they are doing, you can leave the task to them. In this case, you need a tried-and-proven precast concrete manufacturer such as the TKL Group on whom to offload the burden of planning. Below are five tips to help you plan for your next precast concrete project:
1. Consider the Location of the Proposed Precast Concrete Structure
The place where your proposed precast concrete project will stand is one of the most critical considerations. You cannot install a precast concrete project anywhere. This is because such a project involves heavy equipment that is difficult to move or lift unless such are designed with easy movement and lifting in mind. Besides, the production of precast concrete slabs must happen in a predefined order.
Upon the design of a project’s layout, the shape, space, location of raw materials, ground conditions, planned or existing roads in the area and the exact measurements will need to be factored in for logistical purposes.
2. Put Together a Competent Project Team
A team is so-called because it prioritizes the whole before the individual components. While each member of a team is critical, their contributions are viewed from the perspective of whether they make the team better, or otherwise.
A critical part of any project is a project manager. This member must be properly experienced in critical aspects of a precast concrete project. Theirs is the most critical role in a project. They see to it that every member of the team brings on board their individual strengths and channels these strengths for the benefit of the whole.
Among the duties of a project manager are communication and coordination with all relevant stakeholders of a project. They also work diligently to deliver the project on time and on budget. Other things a project manager must check off are:
- Availability of the relevant staff such as electricians, engineers, and welders, among others.
- Availability of adequate manpower. Working with a severely scaled-down team could hurt a precast construction project and compromise budgets and timelines.
- Availability of appropriate equipment and tools. Without precision tools that leave zero room for error, most precast concrete projects would not see the light of day.
- Ability to communicate effectively in a language the team understands. As a project manager, you will be issuing directions about tasks and who is responsible for what. The success of your team depends on your ability to communicate effectively with them.
3. Establish On-site Constraints
To settle on the most appropriate methods to apply in a precast concrete project, think of the limitations of the location of your project. For instance, if you are looking to build tilt walls on a specific site, make provision for curing and casting space. This notwithstanding, one of the major benefits of precast is that it has few or no limitations. This is because the structures are cast and cured in a precast factory and then transported to the project’s location. If you are working with a professional precast concrete company such as the TKL Group, this will not be one of your concerns.
4. Don’t Compromise Scheduling
Precast concrete is often manufactured in controlled factory conditions. To make sure the projects run smoothly, clearly identify what should be manufactured first, and what should be transported to the site last. In short, all the processes, from design, casting, and delivery of precast products must be done in a timely fashion. For instance, step 2 must not be implemented before step 1.
Fortunately, if you are using a competent precast concrete company such as the TKL Group, scheduling will be the least of your concerns. Even where customers request design adjustments when a project is underway, a reputable company will know what to do. They will also be candid with you on what is, or is not, practical at a particular stage of the process.
5. Keep An Eye On The Budget
Although precast concrete installations are more affordable than the traditional construction methods, they come at a cost.
It is important to understand what your budget can allow. Yes, it will be nice to use the best construction materials around, but if your budget can only meet a lower-priced material without compromising the stability and durability of a project, by all means, go with what you can afford. The last thing you want is an incomplete precast concrete project that runs out of funds just because you wanted your structure to outlast The Colosseum! Use precast concrete methods that make the most financial sense.
Without a doubt, precast concrete is a great construction material, but it requires proper planning to deliver a project that sticks to both the budget and timelines. Planning ensures a project will not fail. Lack of, or poor, planning ensures only failure.