Concrete vs. Cement

Often times you’ll hear the terms concrete and cement used interchangeably. Actually, cement is just one of the ingredients that are mixed together to make concrete. Concrete is the hard finished product that most people are talking about. Concrete “An artificial stone like material used for various building purposes” The most basic concrete mix design… Read more »

Wells and the PCI Foundation… What are we doing together?

In 2014, Wells Concrete wanted to sponsor a PCI Design Studio at Minnesota State University Mankato (MSUM) in collaboration with the PCI Foundation. This goal took a lot of work on the front end; we had to develop a curriculum, goals, and a business plan. The staff at the University put together an excellent proposal… Read more »

How Does Precast Get its Color?

I am often asked how the surface treatment of the precast panel will affect the color and what are our “standard” colors?  This is not as simple of an answer to give as one might think and the first step is to understand what makes up the color. Cement—White or grey and /or mixed in… Read more »

Strong All Winter Long!

In the winter many building contractors slow down, but at Wells we keep building strong all winter long! Traditional Upper Midwest construction companies need to do the majority of their work during the warmer eight months of the year.  The frost in the ground makes it difficult to install footings and conduct work outside efficiently… Read more »

Hardened Construction vs. ICC 500 in K-12 Gymnasium Applications

This methodology, commonly referred to as ‘Hardened Construction’, allows the engineer to pick a wind speed that is lower than the 250 mph and use a standard ASCE 7 design criteria.  With 98.8% of all wind events being that of and EF-3 or less we choose to work this ideology with a wind speed of… Read more »

Construction Challenges in the Bakken Oil Fields

Dealing with the challenges of construction in the Bakken Oil Fields of Western North Dakota: When dealing with the challenges faced working in the Bakken Oil Fields you have to get creative and find solutions to meet the construction demand that Western North Dakota imposes. The benefits that precast concrete offers finds solutions to these… Read more »

FAQ from Designers

Should panels bear on a footing or a foundation? Generally speaking, foundations are preferable for a couple of reasons. Foundations allow for backfilling and a flat job-site, which is preferable over open footing trenches that invariably fill with water or require protection from freezing. The lone exception to this would be if we’re required to… Read more »

10 Reasons to use Precast vs Other Building Materials

Time is money and with the precast members being cast in plant while the early construction phases take place it means once precast components arrive at site they can be installed quickly. Oftentimes shortening a schedule by weeks or even months. Precast buildings have a great fire rating and often times eliminate the costly process… Read more »

“Are you crazy?”

That’s the first thing my wife said to me when I told her I was going to interview for a job at Wells Concrete.  Her reaction wasn’t based on her understanding of the company; she had never heard of Wells Concrete.  Rather, it was based on what I was potentially walking away from; the top… Read more »

Precast – Did you know?

Next to water, concrete is the most widely used material in the world. Concrete can be prestressed enabling it to span greater distances, support greater loads, increase durability, reduce the occurrence of cracks. Prestress/precast construction is fast and durable. Buildings can be erected in any weather condition. Prestress/Precast concrete by nature is fire proof, rot… Read more »

Project Management – how does it work?

Over the past year the Project Management portion of our company has taken on more and more from a project delivery standpoint.  Once Wells is awarded a project, the project manager is front and center to making the project run as smooth as it can.  Our Project Management team has overseen over 200 projects from… Read more »

Precast and Architectural Acoustic Properties

AltusGroup, a partnership of 21 innovation-focused North American precasters, has published a technical brief explaining the acoustic performance of CarbonCast High Performance Insulated Wall Panels and how they can be used to reduce the amount of outside sound reaching the receiver. The brief discusses the Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating system, which correlates with better performance… Read more »