The Benefits of Winter Construction with Precast Concrete

In the winter many building contractors slow down, but at Wells we keep building strong all winter long! When the mercury drops below 50 F, cast-in-place (CIP) concrete is not a viable option as a construction material. Precast concrete, however, offers rapid on-site installation and cost effectiveness even in frigid weather.

The American Concrete Institute (ACI) defines cold weather concreting based on two parameters:

  • A daily average outdoor air temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius).
  • Outdoor air temperature not rising above 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) for more than half of a 24-hour period.

Traditional cold weather state construction companies need to do the majority of their work during the warmer eight months of the year; the frost on the ground makes it difficult to install footings and conduct work outside efficiently from December until the spring thaw, depending on the region, this can affect calendar months from October through April. That’s over half the year where construction projects could be delayed or halted due to frost, ice, snow or chilling winds. Builders plan for this and look at precast concrete solutions and weather-adaptable concrete products.

These large projects take months to plan and complete, the projects are time sensitive and require continuous construction that flows through the winter months when conventional cast-in-place (CIP) methods are impractical, too expensive and not safe for the workers being exposed to harsh environments. The key to successful concrete construction is having structural components made in an environmentally controlled fabrication setting.

Using temperature-controlled, in-plant production, precasters can use advanced mix designs and curing techniques to meet the needs of clients during severe weather months. This results in regulated units that meet high standards in quality, strength, and design. No matter what the weather condition is outside. It also offers an architectural element and an efficient delivery model, allowing building construction to be compressed and interior work to start sooner through the winter months to achieve an accelerated occupancy date.

With tight site conditions it also eliminates the congestion of having multiple trades on-site during shell construction. In addition to moving a project along during winter months, minimizing worker exposure to the elements during extreme weather conditions is important to contractors. Precast concrete solutions allow contractors to minimize worker exposure to the elements and thereby increase job-site safety.

Much of America is affected by winter weather, yet construction projects can continue year-round. That’s because many architects, engineers and builders know that cold weather construction can easily be completed on time, within budget and safely by using precast concrete in the winter months. Precast concrete makes it possible to complete construction projects even during the extreme weather that comes in cold winter months.