Concrete is an integral part of buried infrastructure. Safe enough for water applications, strong enough to handle environmental stresses, and durable enough to last decades. It’s been a mainstay in the construction industry for a century due to its strength and overall affordability.
However, not all concrete products are created equally. There are several benefits of precast concrete over other materials, and advantages over pour in place concrete, including:
Precast Concrete is more efficient than pour in place concrete
Think of the time that goes into working with concrete. When pouring at the site, forms need to be built, concrete needs to harden, and strength tests need to be performed. All of that effort takes place over several days, if not longer. And that’s under the best weather conditions.
None of that is an issue with precast concrete. With enough planning, precast concrete products can be manufactured and tested weeks before they are needed. They can be delivered, installed, and backfilled the same day. Heat, rain, or other stormy conditions have no impact on these pieces as they have already reached peak concrete strength.
Concrete is a sustainable building material
Made to last a century in some cases, concrete stands up to fire, wind, and anything else nature has to offer. Where wood rots and steel rusts, concrete thrives in wet conditions. Concrete elements are also more thermally efficient, unaffected by extreme heat or cold and freeze-thaw cycles.
That durability allows for less construction in the long haul. Instead of having to replace other materials every 20, 30, 0r even 50 years, concrete construction is made to last. That means less repair, fewer instances of reconstruction, and less material over the long haul.
It’s kind of a chicken-egg argument: is concrete environmentally friendly because of the sustainability, or is it the other way around? Either way, concrete structures check both boxes. Another plus is the lack of chemicals to expand the lifespan of the material, such as paints or stains.
Precast construction is even more environmentally sound as less material is wasted. At Columbia Precast Products, our manufacturing process takes place in a controlled environment. That means we can reuse, recycle, or repurpose wastewater and concrete.
Precast more durable than pour in place
Made inside a controlled area, precast facilities produce a higher quality product. At a job site, many factors come into play when pouring concrete. Too much rain could affect the water content of the mix, while cold weather could slow the curing process. A sloppy crew or wind could knock debris into the pour, adding imperfections.
If forms are constructed poorly at the site, that could also cause problems with the stability. In a precast plant, the casts are made before the concrete even comes into play. Each cast is made to exact specifications to ensure size, shape, and strength of the piece. Finally, precast concrete is allowed to cure under the most ideal circumstances to produce a superior product.
Less maintenance means fewer headaches
As mentioned earlier, there’s very little upkeep with concrete construction. Where some insects and small animals can burrow their way through wood, there won’t be any unwanted visitors with concrete. Additionally, there is no need for pre-wrap, primer, or painting to protect it from the elements.
For underground construction, concrete is as worry-free as it gets. Precast concrete manholes, pipes, water basins, and the like were meant for this kind of work, and if made correctly, can last a century in place.
Precast concrete is less expensive
When considering many of the above factors, concrete is a less-expensive option than many other materials. Time is money, and from installation to upkeep, using precast concrete products is a fast, easy way to keep your project moving forward.
Financially speaking, there are many advantages to precast concrete, including:
- General contractors can reduce labor costs because precast installation takes a day. No need to pay a crew to monitor a site for a week (or longer).
- No additional material is needed to protect it from the elements.
- No extra time or materials are needed to replace it every 20 years or so.
With precast concrete, you’ll be able to keep your job moving forward. Find out how.
No delays with precast concrete
No matter the conditions, precast concrete products are made ahead of time to make sure they’ll arrive when you need them. In many cases, these pieces are ready to go weeks before they are needed to ensure availability. With standard products, casts are already made, so quick turnarounds are also possible.
Even custom products are no issue with precast concrete. A pour in place concrete company will need more time at the site for difficult or unusual pieces. With precast, all of that time is spent well before the project begins. You’ll have the product you need when you need it.
Looking for a fast, efficient, and sustainable way to complete a concrete project? Look no further than Columbia Precast Products. We source all of our concrete material locally, build our pieces in a controlled environment, and follow strict environmental guidelines. Contact us today – we look forward to hearing from you.