Environmental Quality – Ability to Overcome Disaster
There are many inherent environmental qualities of precast concrete that make it an excellent choice as a building material. Concrete is low maintenance, mold resistant and non-combustible. Fire resistance is one of the top considerations when determining a building material. Concrete’s passive fire protection contains a fire, preventing it from spreading to other areas of the building. This minimizes the damage allowing the building to return to use more quickly.
Precast concrete fire resistance rating is typically determined by its heat transmission endpoint and not its structural endpoint. The heat transmission endpoint is determined by the rise in temperature on the opposite side of a wall during a fire event, while the structural endpoint is collapse of the wall. Precast components maintain more structural strength than other material types during and after a fire event. An example of this was shown during the construction of POP Denver when the basement waterproofing caught fire from welding sparks. Since this area was surrounded on three-sides by precast, the team was able to control the fire, limiting the spread and avoiding a catastrophic event, with construction resuming the following day. The final project will be an artistic landmark shaping the Denver community.
Concrete’s natural resistance to fire improves the safety of building occupants, fire fighters and neighbors during a fire event, ultimately boosting community resilience.