Using moulds for concrete isn’t a new idea – there’s evidence even the ancient Romans did this – but there’s recently been a resurgence in the technique. Manufacturers use reusable moulds to create concrete forms that, once set, can be transported to the construction site.
Clearly, there are reasons for the popularity of using precast concrete walls for construction. From the reduced construction times and ease of erection, to their energy efficiency and high safety ratings, precast concrete walls have rapidly become the go-to for many commercial building and infrastructure projects.
So, let’s have a look at just some of the benefits of using precast concrete walls.
Ease of construction
While it may seem like double-handling to cast the concrete elsewhere and then transport it, precast concrete actually cuts down on construction time. This is because they are made from set moulds, which means they can be mass produced to meet demand.And as they do not need to be constructed on-site, labourers only need to erect and attach them to the building. This method even reduces waste and risks for on-site builders.
As we become more conscious of our energy consumption and the price of electricity rises, precast concrete walls come with another benefit: they help with energy efficiency. Concrete has natural thermal properties and precast concrete walls can be built like a sandwich, where there is a layer of insulation between two layers of concrete. By doing so, you are less likely to need to run heaters or air conditioning as the concrete and insulation will help to regulate the temperature inside your building efficiently.
Long lasting, little maintenance
While some concrete walls can show wear and tear within a few years, precast concrete walls can last for decades or more with little change in their appearance. They require minimal maintenance to keep in prime condition.A matte finish sealer should be applied after construction and the walls hosed down once a year to clean them of any grime. Even without a sealer being used, maintenance is still extremely simple. A quick power wash every five or so years and they will look brand new.
Fireproofing is an incredibly important part of any construction decision that you make. Precast concrete is fire resistant to the point of zero flammability. Concrete does not catch fire and is remarkably slow to transfer heat from a fire.This makes it easier to contain fires within the building if an accident should occur and limits structural damage from internal and external fires.
The sturdy nature of precast concrete walls also means they will reduce sound, both inside and outside the building. Precast concrete is regularly used in apartment buildings to limit noise travelling between apartments, as well as from noise entering from outside, particularly if the apartment is located near a busy road.
You will also see precast concrete walls used around major highways and arterial roads. These walls dramatically reduce the noise pollution for nearby residents. If you’re concerned about noise from inside or outside your building, precast concrete walls can be a great solution to this problem.
With so many advantages, it’s easy to understand why there has been an upturn in the use of precast concrete walls in modern buildings and infrastructure projects. Consider if precast concrete walls are the way forward for you and your building.