Concrete, a time-tested material, offers maximum design flexibility with a virtually limitless set of colors, textures and shapes.
Architectural precast concrete has quietly revolutionized the built environment, from city centers to industrial parks, creating a dramatic range of architectural expression throughout the upper Midwest. Since its inception, Wells Concrete has been a leader in the precast industry, bringing superior service and quality to the design, manufacture and construction of this flexible and enduring building material. Architects, builders, and owners look to Wells Concrete to help realize precast’s fullest potential in their projects.
True Owner Value
Wells Concrete’s Architectural Precast Solutions combine the benefits of high durability, low maintenance, excellent fire resistance and energy efficiency. This powerful combination makes architectural precast concrete an ideal solution for any project, where emphasis in on prestige, luxury and aesthetic appeal, or lower-rise offices and commercial structures, where economy and durability are paramount.
Aesthetic Versatility – Realizing Architectural Vision
The clearest advantage of architectural precast is found in the virtually limitless design potential that can be achieved with its use. Custom-made forms are used to create concrete panels in the precise sizes and shapes specified by the designer. These forms introduce reveals, joints, patterns, and other expressive detailing to the panel surface.
Specific color effects can be achieved through varying sands, aggregates, and pigments. Textures can be customized through the use of differing levels of sandblast treatments. Additionally, stone, tile or brick veneers can be attached or cast into and even replicated in architectural precast panels at the plant, allowing designers to achieve additional dramatic visual effects at minimal additional cost.
An Economical Choice
Architectural precast solutions are economical to produce, erect, and maintain. Substantial cost savings can be achieved by taking full advantage of the economies of scale made possible by precast concrete panel manufacturing techniques. And early consultation with Wells Concrete will help assure the most cost-effective approach to achieving the design vision.
The color of concrete is made up of the paste (cement and water), matrix (paste and sand) and stone (coarse aggregate). Which components contribute mostly, or dominate the color contribution depends on the finish selected and degree of exposure (the term “exposure” refers to the matrix and coarse aggregate). Form finishes to light exposures receive most of their color from the paste and matrix; whereas with deeper exposures, the coarse aggregate becomes the primary contributor to color.
Paste can be colored by pigments, which come in a variety of colors. However, paste is the binder in concrete resulting from the mixing of cement and water. This is a chemical reaction, and as such, can produce different results when variables are changed slightly. For example, if more water is added to a concrete mix, typically a lighter color of paste will result. This is one reason it is important to specify PCI Certification to help ensure that producers have all the appropriate equipment and quality control procedures in-place. Paste dominate finishes are usually more susceptible to color variation and changes in color with time.
Aggregates come in a variety of colors. Other than natural variation of color throughout a particular quarry, once incorporated into precast concrete, aggregates provide great color stability.
The PCI Color and Texture Guide is also available as a resource for the colors and textures available to precast; please visit: http://www.pci.org/design_resources/color_and_texture_guide/