Precast concrete walls are one of the most practical and versatile building materials modern society has to work within concrete construction.
In fact, here are just a few architectural applications of precast concrete walls:
- Façade panels
- Freestanding landscaping elements
- Security walls
- Structural elements of stormwater drainage systems and railway tunnels
Unlike standard concrete, which is poured on-site, the process of precasting is what makes this type of concrete wall panel so advantageous. Created in a closely monitored environment, these precast concrete walls are a better product created at a cost-effective price.
From reduced costs when using precast concrete walls to more control over the final product, it’s no wonder this robust type of concrete wall panel has become such an essential element in building and construction projects over the past century.
Here’s a look at all the precast concrete wall advantages that benefit everyone from builders and architects to building owners.
You Can Count on Better Quality
Precast concrete walls are manufactured in a precast plant under the supervision of experienced technicians. In this controlled atmosphere, it’s easier to fully monitor the curing process and ensure the quality of the material and workmanship.
The Precast Production Process Takes Place on Level Ground
Another benefit of precast concrete walls is the fact that they are poured and cured on a level surface. With on-site concrete, you’re more likely to have an uneven surface during the production process. This means the surfaces of the concrete wall panel may not be perfectly level either.
Precast Concrete Walls Offer a Pricing Advantage
One of the greatest advantages of using precast concrete is the cost. When made in a dedicated precast plant, the concrete is poured into a mold, which can be reused hundreds or even thousands of times. This reduces the cost of the production process and is why precast concrete walls cost less than traditional concrete.
Precast Concrete Has Environmental Advantages
As precast wall panels are made in a dedicated plant, they pose no risk to the work site itself, nor do they require materials to be transported to the site just to pour and cure the cement. As a result, fewer resources are needed, and you have an all-around more efficient work site.
Also, when in use, precast walls offer eco benefits to the user. Concrete has a high thermal mass, which allows it to absorb and store thermal energy. This helps to reduce overheating in the summer and cold temperatures inside the building in the winter.
Precast Facilities Are Professionally Certified
In most states, plants that produce concrete wall panels for federal and state Departments of Transportation must be certified by one of the country’s professional bodies such as the Architectural Precast Association (APA) or the National Precast Concrete Association (NPCA). When you use precast concrete walls, you can be confident that they were created professionally. In both the quality of materials and the production process, you can look forward to the best in quality, longevity, and safety.
Precast Concrete Walls Are Easy to Work With
Because precast wall panels are produced with molds, you get a uniform size, shape, and quality. This is a huge benefit when working on any large building project because you can count on the consistency of the wall panel. This makes it easier to install the panels with minimal labor, reducing the overall cost of the project.
Just look at the Jim Bridger Building in North Dakota, for example. This 40,000-square foot building was made entirely from precast concrete panels, all created in one location and then transported to the site. The building was finished in a short amount of time with only three builders! If you want to complete a job on time and under budget, precast concrete walls are an excellent option.
It’s Possible to Achieve Unique Finishes and Colors
One of the surprising advantages of precast concrete walls is the aesthetic versatility. The cement used to create the walls usually starts as a white or gray. You can add pigments or paints into the mixture to create different colors of concrete. If you want to achieve a natural stone look, you can add a fine aggregate to the cement. This yields what is known as precast stone.
The molds you use will also impact the results. You can get different shapes and sizes and even have customized molds created for your project. The type of material the mold is made from will also impact the finished product. Molds are made from wood, rubber, steel, plastic, or fiberglass. Each material creates a different finish.
Precast Concrete Walls Are Low Maintenance
Once precast concrete walls are installed, they don’t require much maintenance work. In fact, quality concrete is one of the easiest building materials to take care of. With an occasional cleaning and maybe some re-caulking every few years, your concrete wall panels will look like new.
The Endless Applications of Precast Concrete Wall Panels
The precast process was first created in Liverpool, England in 1905 by the serial inventor and civil engineer, John Alexander Brodie. Since then, the process has been improved, and precast concrete has become a staple of modern building and architecture.
There is no limit to what you can do with precast concrete walls. From small, residential projects to commercial buildings and large civil works projects, the versatility, affordability, and quality of precast concrete are unrivaled.
With the sustainability benefits, unique design possibilities, and all the practical advantages that precast concrete walls offer, there are no industries or communities in the U.S. that haven’t benefited in some way from precast concrete.
To get your project started with precast walls or to learn more about how this type of concrete can benefit your project, contact us today. We design and manufacture precast concrete fence wall systems and forms for highways, distribution and warehouse centers, large estates, utility companies, and more. With our experience, you’ll get the look and quality you want for your commercial, industrial, or residential project.