If you’re looking for a construction material that’s both cost-effective and versatile, precast concrete is the answer. Further, it has added economic and social benefits as well. A quick example is its use in museums to recreate historical architectural masterpieces that defy modern engineering logic. Read on for more social and economic benefits of precast concrete.
Less On-Site Coordination and Disruption
Precast concrete components are manufactured away from the installation site in factory-controlled conditions. The components are then ferried to the construction site, where they are installed by highly specialized personnel. Minimal coordination is required since the panels are already ready for installation, which leads to minimal disruption to the daily lives of citizens.
Less Personnel Needed
The precast concrete industry has seen a lot of automation and mechanization. For instance, from 1980, the number of labour hours for every square metre of one precast concrete panel has decreased by over two-thirds. Automation and mechanization have taken over tasks that could only be carried out by humans in the past, which drastically reduces the cost of labour.
Savings in Construction and Building Materials
Precast concrete production is a precision science. Since this technology involves accurately producing precast concrete components, there is little room for wastage. Further, minimal building components mean substantial material savings and lower production costs.
Reliable Infrastructure and Affordable Housing
Precast concrete is increasingly used to construct affordable residential houses and public infrastructure projects. The controlled and standardized production plus lower labour costs make precast concrete panels irreplaceable in the construction of modular residential units, hospitals, schools, and other public buildings. The quick turnaround and seamless installation also mean that it’s possible to deliver projects in a timely manner and within budget.
Economic Growth and Job Creation
The precast concrete industry is growing by leaps and bounds, and comes with it increased employment opportunities and faster economic development. The industry requires a wide variety of skilled tradesmen such as technicians, crane operators, designers, and engineers.
The versatility of precast concrete has fuelled a convergence of other fields as well, such as art, design, architecture, and IT. This means a growing need for qualified personnel from different disciplines as the industry continues to give expression and form to other concepts. Further, skilled labour is needed for precast concrete installation. The impact on the economy is pervasive as jobs trigger demand for goods and services in the community.
Lower Maintenance Costs
Precast concrete is both durable and sturdy. Without other mitigating factors, no maintenance is needed for the first 50 years, resulting in lower maintenance costs. Other benefits include lower construction costs due to the absence of bracing systems, and costly scaffolding.
Enhanced Safety and Resilience
Precast concrete structures can withstand the harshest weather and natural disasters, such as earthquakes, storms, and fires. They are perfect for hunkering down during severe storms. This is especially crucial in natural disaster-prone areas as it reduces the need for reconstruction and costly repairs after a calamity. Further, precast concrete structures are effective against water-related hazards such as floods by preventing severe damage to critical installations such as water treatment facilities and bridges.
Precast concrete can create beautiful architectural masterpieces, including aesthetic and functional public spaces. It can be manipulated into many sizes, shapes, or finishes, that would have been impossible with traditional methods. Aside from sculptures, murals and decorative facades, its only limitation is your creativity. With this versatile construction material, you can bring dull surfaces to life and liven up outdoors and public spaces.
There are numerous economic and social benefits accruing from precast concrete. Its versatility, durability, and affordability make it perfect for public infrastructure and affordable commercial and residential buildings. Other benefits include the generation of jobs, reduced harm to the environment, enhanced urban aesthetics and design, economic growth, and improved safety and resilience.