Total precast concrete building systems, where architectural and structural precast/prestressed concrete components are combined to create the entire building, are becoming the format of choice for many construction teams. Combining architectural and structural functions creates advantages that include speed, flexibility and aesthetics.
Precast structural systems have the inherent ability to resist heavier loads than originally planned; for instance, a total precast structure can withstand more severe storms than its original design. Precast systems have been known to withstand the heavy, wet snows in the Midwest much better than other structural systems, and some owners with total precast systems have enjoyed lower insurance rates as a result.
This design approach can take several forms, including precast columns and beams with panelized cladding, or load-bearing precast walls with double-tee or hollowcore flooring. In any format, the advantages benefit every member of the construction team — especially the owner, whose goals are always paramount.
In addition to helping to meet all of the building owner’s goals, total precast concrete systems provide specific advantages to architects that make the design process smoother. General contractors find precast concrete components make their job easier at the job-site, ensuring a smooth process for the owner and designer in both the short and long terms.
And structural engineers report no difficulty in learning to design with total precast concrete systems. They also benefit from the material’s ease of use and efficiency.
The benefits offered by total precast concrete systems add a variety of assets to the owner, architect, general contractor and structural engineer’s bottom lines — and ultimately benefit the end user. The system provides an efficient design, cost effectiveness and a strong, durable appearance that will maintain its image throughout a long service life.
It sounds surreal for a client to work with just one supplier to design and construct a new building system project, but times are changing and a total precast building solution is now becoming a popular choice for large structural projects.
Wells has manufactured and erected more than 6,000,000 sq. ft. of total precast concrete projects in the past three years alone, take a peak at our ever growing list of total precast projects here.