Design Assist: Think outside the box – the architectural precast concrete box

There’s no need for you to know everything about precast.  The key to successfully creating a structure using architectural precast concrete is to bring in an expert producer/erector early in the design development phase.

There are a lot of variables for a designer to consider during a project’s conceptual or schematic stage that affects aesthetics, cost and schedule.  In addition to piece size and unit repetition, which typically have the most significant cost impacts, here are some other considerations that have an impact on the project’s success:

  • Opening locations: what is most cost efficient, yet retains structural integrity?
  • Color: which materials are locally sourced?
  • Texture: how does each finish type change the look of the final product?
  • Material selection: learn about lead times and procurement procedures
  • Reveals: optimum width, depth and draft dimensions
  • Surface geometry: integrate reveals, logos, bullnoses or cornices into the panel
  • Cross sections: insulation type and thickness required to achieve desired R-values
  • Shapes: we’re not just in the rectangle panel business
  • Connections: what is the best way to connect to other building elements?
  • Job-site access conditions: discuss a plan for safe and efficient delivery and erection
  • Erection details: review bracing options and project sequencing

The precast producer can perform value engineering options that respond to performance requirements and offer design options that help control costs, improve structural efficiency, and meet aesthetic objectives. If you’re unfamiliar with using architectural precast concrete, a visit to a manufacturing facility is an excellent way to bolster your education as these very important design decisions are being made.

In fact we offer plant tours at all of our production locations in Minnesota, North Dakota, and now Colorado. Visit our Tour Page to schedule yours today.

And remember, you don’t have to have all the answers when it comes to architectural precast concrete.  Ask us, because we do!

Amy Holliday
Sales