Until recently, steel structures have been the primary choice among developers as a means of keeping short-term construction costs to a minimum. However, precast concrete construction has quickly gained traction as a ground-breaking innovation that delivers both a superior structural component and a healthy return on investment.
But that’s not all.
Below are just a few of the many advantages that come with choosing precast concrete over steel structure construction:
1. Reduced Construction Time
According to experts, projects employing the use of precast concrete typically finish faster (sometimes twice as fast) compared to those using structural steel. Thanks to a streamlined manufacturing process, concrete panels can be built as construction takes place, allowing the two processes to overlap while reducing delivery and wait times. Panels can also be installed as soon as the foundation is poured, creating an enclosed and productive environment for on-site trades.
Overall, precast allows developers to expedite the construction process, earn a healthy profit, regain capital, then quickly move to the next project.
2. Superior Durability
Precast concrete is known for its long-term durability. Able to withstand the most severe weather conditions (including fire and high winds), concrete is much more resistant to impact and corrosion, thanks to its air and water-resistant design. Reinforced with rebar supports, precast forms also maintain high compressive strength, ideal for larger structures and/or areas prone to seismic activity.
When properly maintained, precast concrete can withstand the elements for years, providing maximum protection for any development where longevity and safety are a top priority.
3. Premium Product
An all-in-one product, precast concrete combines structural capacity, insulation, and architectural design into a single element. As a result, precast reduces the need for multiple trades, while simplifying construction schedules, shortening development time frames, and reducing overhead. Furthermore, all-weather panels have been proven to minimize sound transfer, temperature swings, and moisture build-up – ultimately delivering superior performance in terms of operating costs.
According to a recent study, projects employing the usage of precast concrete were found to be less expensive than steel (or wood). The study also revealed that while precast forms may require a larger investment upfront, its accompanying benefits offset any initial capital, making precast more cost-effective and ROI-friendly in the long term. These benefits include reduced overhead, labour, and operating expenses, quicker turnaround times, and much more. Steel prices also tend to fluctuate more than concrete, where costs remain less vulnerable to inflation.
5. Design Flexibility
With precast concrete, the design possibilities are endless. And, due to its freedom, availability, and affordability, has become the go-to choice among many developers. As concrete can be molded into any form to meet various building requirements; manufacturers can custom-tailor shapes, textures, colours, and contours to suit the unique needs of any structure and design. In addition, precast structures can deliver significant open spans, ideal for creating functional, unobstructed spaces.
6. Environmentally Sustainable
Made of cement, sand, and gravel, concrete is often locally sourced, requiring minimal transportation resources. Concrete structures can also be broken down and reused in other mixtures and, in some cases, waste materials (slag, glass, plastic, etc.). Precast panels are reinforced with recycled steel rebar, as well.
At Stretch Construction, we specialize in designing and building to achieve your success. If you have a vision, we have the materials, design, and expertise and to bring it to life.
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