What You Need to Know About Precast Concrete Wall Noise Barriers

As a project manager or supervisor, you’re in search of a wall system that blocks, absorbs, and deflects noise pollution from highways, roadways, and more. Where do you go to find a product like this to achieve your noise pollution reduction goal? You can go with wet pour concrete, but that will cost you too much in money and time. Instead, you may want to consider the ultimate solution to highway noise pollution: AFTEC’s precast concrete wall product.

In this article, you will discover what you need to know to start the conversation with the expert team at AFTEC so that you can get your wall project engineered, designed, planned, and completed. It’s not enough to simply go with the status quo. You need a precast concrete wall technology that’s going to last for decades.

What Is a Precast Concrete Wall Sound Barrier

As you may already know, noise barriers help block, absorb, and deflect noise pollution from major highways, roadways, throughways, and more. Tractor-trailers, trucks, and other vehicles produce a lot of noise pollution that can negatively affect nearby residential, commercial, or public works areas. The ideal solution is to block that noise from every reaching these areas.

A precast concrete wall noise barrier is simply a wall that’s erected between the cause of the noise pollution and the receiver, usually a neighborhood, business complex, or park, to reduce or eliminate the amount of noise that pollutes the given area.

Here are two types of precast concrete wall sound barriers that are used:

  • A solid reflection wall — To break up sound waves, reflecting the sound back to the source area.
  • An absorptive wall — To absorb sound waves with porous and textured materials applied to the substrate of the wall.

Design Build for Reflective and Absorptive Walls

At AFTEC, we provide precast concrete wall design-build services to fit your needs. Whether you need a reflective or an absorptive wall, we can help. Our engineering team can design a wall to the exact specifications of your needs.

When you choose to use the SoundTec™ precast noise wall product, you get more than the traditional construction materials. A SoundTec™ wall includes additional materials that better absorb sound from or back to the source area. For example, an AFTEC precast concrete wall can be textured on one or both sides to create a more porous surface, which helps with noise absorption. Want to reflect the noise instead? You can utilize the StoneTree® precast concrete sound wall system.



What’s more, AFTEC stands apart from all of its competition in that it manufactures its own wall forming systems, which means they have 100 percent control over quality. AFTEC exceeds all DOT requirements with their precast concrete wall products. And they work to exceed your expectations as a project manager or supervisor.

Which Materials Are Used in Precast Concrete Walls?

AFTEC utilizes three main materials in their precast concrete walls as noise barriers. These three materials have been proven to be the best solution to sound reflection or absorption, depending on your choice between SoundTec™ or StoneTree®. Here are the materials:

Concrete — All AFTEC noise barriers are manufactured from high-strength concrete.
Steel Reinforcement — Each wall panel or section is reinforced with steel rebar based on engineered design specifications per each individual project.
Absorptive Proprietary Mix — AFTEC utilizes a proprietary mix that is applied to one side of the wall manufacturing process to ensure sound/noise pollution is absorbed or reflected.

Can Precast Concrete Walls Be Customized Aesthetically?

The simple answer is yes. The precast concrete walls from AFTEC do allow for texture additions to make the SoundTec™ or StoneTree® walls look more aesthetically pleasing. One of the major concerns those who purchase concrete walls is the look of the wall once it’s finished. AFTEC is confident in saying that we deliver texture customizations to make the wall look like brick, stone, masonry, stucco, or otherwise.

AFTEC: Your Worldwide Leader in Precast Concrete Wall Products and Manufacturing

When you choose AFTEC, you get decades of experience in the precast concrete wall industry. If you’re in need of a noise/sound barrier for your highway, roadway, or thruway project, it’s time you stopped your search and give AFTEC a call. We will work with you to determine the ultimate solution to your wall needs. Contact us today to start the quote process.

Why Precast Concrete Walls Are Superior to Wood Fences

It can be tough to choose between all the materials offered for perimeter walls. There are pros and cons to each type of material. One big benefit to choosing precast concrete is its durability and strength. For millennia throughout antiquity, concrete was used to build walls that would last hundreds of years. What’s more, AFTEC provides textures that you can customize the aesthetic of your wall products so that you don’t have to worry about staring at a flat slab.

In this article, you will discover the reasoning behind choosing precast concrete walls for your perimeter fence over wood. There are a variety of reasons to choose concrete over wood, but the choice is still yours to make. At AFTEC, we want you to have a durable, strong, beautiful fence wall that can meet all your needs.

Concrete vs. Wood

Maintenance: Concrete vs. Wood

Wood requires much more maintenance to keep in operational condition than concrete. Depending on the climate in your area, wood may be at risk for rot and quickened deterioration due to pests and water. A wood fence requires that you paint it every few years to stall this deterioration.

Precast concrete walls require little to no maintenance. Once they are installed and secured, you can virtually forget about them. The only time that you’ll need to maintain your wall is if you want to clean it off or if you have to repair it from damage. Fortunately, concrete walls rarely sustain damage except in the most extreme of cases.

Total cost of maintenance between the two materials is in favor of choosing concrete. Wood costs much more to maintain while concrete requires a slightly higher up-front cost, but it will last you for decades with little to no maintenance.

Deterioration: Concrete V.S. Wood

As mentioned above, wood deteriorates quickly. When compared to concrete, wood lasts a few years while concrete lasts decades. You can take a look at antiquity and see concrete-based walls that have lasted nearly 2,000 years.

When it comes to deterioration, wood is obviously more prone to it. A common problem for wood is rot or fungal “infection” that eats the wood from the inside out. Moisture is a main factor in speeding up in the deterioration process, destroying the structural integrity of the wood.

Compared to wood, concrete is the superior option to prevent deterioration. While concrete can deteriorate due to water or other potential chemical reactions, it takes decades for this to have any effect on the integrity of the structure. Again, antiquity shows that concrete is a strong, durable material. The advancement of concrete over the last few hundred years has made it the superior solution to long lasting concrete walls.

Strength: Concrete vs. Wood

Wood, in certain uses, is extremely strong. Consider the trees that grow over 100 feet tall in the forests around the world. When it comes to strength against breach or attack, wood can only last for so long. While beautiful and majestic, wood is not stronger than concrete.

Concrete walls have been used for thousands of years to protect cities and people. They are much more durable when it comes to deterring criminal advances. Finally, it takes significantly more effort to cut or break through a concrete wall.

Beauty: Concrete vs. Wood

Wood can be found, shaped, and modified to make beautiful fences. What’s more, wood is a naturally beautiful material. It radiates the beauty of nature and offers unique aesthetics. For most, wood is absolutely stunning.

When compared to concrete, wood is typically the winner in the beauty category. However, AFTEC offers texturing to their precast concrete walls that can rival the beauty of wood. When you choose precast concrete products from AFTEC, you’re not just getting a slab of concrete. You can customize it’s aesthetics to fit your needs. This makes precast concrete walls a viable option when they need to function great and look even better.

AFTEC: The Worldwide Leader in Precast Concrete Walls and Systems

Do you need a perimeter wall or fence for your residential, commercial, industrial, or public works project? There’s no need to look any further. AFTEC provides the ultimate solution to concrete wall products and systems around the world. Whether you’re a customer in need of a wall or someone looking to become a precast concrete wall manufacturer, AFTEC can help you achieve your goals. Contact us today for a quote!

3 Surprising Security Advantages of Precast Concrete Walls Over Chain Link Fences

When it comes to security, you want a durable, reliable wall or fence that gets the job done — one that won’t let you down in times of need. What’s more, a wall or fence that can withstand the elements is always a plus.

Here at AFTEC, we offer the ultimate solution in precast concrete wall products and systems. Our mission is to help you get the wall or fence you need that will last for years to come. In fact, some concrete-based walls found in antiquity are said to have lasted nearly 2,000 years before crumbling. Imagine all the wars and battles surrounding walls. A precast concrete wall is a great option over a chain link fence when your concern is security for many reasons. In this article, we hope to share enough of those reasons to show you how great precast concrete walls can be for your project.

Precast Concrete Walls and Security

Imagine a residential suburb. There are two or three entrances by road. If there is no community wall or fence, the entire suburb is open to potential security threats. For most, a security fence is no more than six feet in height and can be easily climbed over. You could argue that adding barbed wire to the top of the fence is effective. This is an effective strategy; however, your community isn’t going to want to feel like they’re in a prison. What’s more, a chain link fence can be cut through relatively easily. This means that even with barbed wire at the top, you must use even more security measures to keep criminals out.

Most security fences are utilitarian, which means they aren’t built to look good. AFTEC’s precast concrete wall products are engineered and designed to withstand almost anything, as well as prevent criminals from getting over the wall. What’s more, AFTEC’s product allows for one or both sides of the wall to be textured to create an aesthetically beautiful visual. Residential areas that utilize precast concrete walls will enjoy the feeling of safety and the aesthetic of the wall.

Precast Concrete Walls and Privacy

A chain link fence is effective in marking boundaries to areas; however, the same fence does not offer a great amount of privacy. Residents in the suburbs tend to desire their privacy. Prying eyes can easily see through a chain link fence, which means the feeling of security diminishes, even if the potential threat is on the correct side of the fence.

When you choose to install a precast concrete wall, you remove the ability for someone to simply look through the fence. A concrete wall interrupts line-of-sight, and it can help prevent criminals from spotting a home that looks easily burglarized. Precast concrete walls are a great way to create more privacy for a neighborhood.

Precast Concrete Walls and Appearances

One concern many project managers have with concrete walls is their appearance. How are you supposed to make concrete look good? At AFTEC, we offer our precast concrete walls with texture options so that they aren’t simply concrete panel slabs. You can choose between mason, brick, stone, and other texture options to enjoy an aesthetically pleasing wall.

AFTEC: Your Worldwide Leader in Precast Concrete Walls and Systems

There is a time and a place for chain link fences. However, when it comes to enhancing security measures for residential, commercial, industrial, or public works applications, you want to go with what works best in regards to protecting the building, assets, and people. AFTEC is the ultimate solution in precast concrete walls. Contact us today to get a quote.

How Precast Concrete Wall Noise Barriers Protect Neighborhoods

After the introduction of precast concrete wall products into residential, commercial, industrial, public work, and community industries, issues involving noise from highways and highly trafficked roads reduced significantly. One way that precast concrete walls protect neighborhoods is by reducing the sound from nearby roadways, highways, or even airports (in some cases). As a highly effective product in blocking and absorbing noise, precast concrete walls are a great way to save time and money for your wall projects.

AFTEC’s Precast Concrete Walls: Built to Last

A noise barrier is an outdoor wall or fence that absorbs and deflects a high percentage of noise pollution that can come from highways, energy stations, railways, and industrial sources. A major complaint from residents who live near any of these sources of noise is that the noise is too loud for them. A precast concrete wall is a great way to put a barrier between the residents and the noise, helping prevent stress and other adverse effects.

The sheer mass of a precast concrete wall is what stops and deflects most of the noise pollution that would otherwise affect people in the area. In most cases, nearly three-quarters of all noise barriers are made out of precast concrete or masonry blocks.

How Does a Noise Barrier Actually Work?

The way a precast concrete wall reduces noise pollution is a simple concept. For most, it can be understood as a barrier blocking, absorbing, and deflecting noise pollution that would otherwise affect the receiver (a person or home).

According to the Federal Highway Administration, a precast concrete noise barrier can achieve a 5 dB noise reduction if it is tall enough to break the line-of-sight between the noise production and the receiver. Once line-of-sight is broken, noise level reduction increases 1.5 dB for every meter above line-of-sight. This simply means the taller a noise barrier is above the receiver’s line-of-sight, the more noise pollution it will block, absorb, or reflect.

Why Choose AFTEC’s Precast Concrete Noise Barrier Walls

When it comes to effective precast concrete wall products to reduce noise pollution along a highway, roadway, railway, industrial complex, or otherwise, you can trust AFTEC. Not only does AFTEC deliver, strong, durable precast concrete wall products, but we also allow you to add decorative texture to one or both sides of your wall. For most other suppliers in the industry, they can only offer one side.

Noise barrier walls are the ideal solution for blocking noise pollution from reaching neighborhoods, schools, or other buildings. Industrial, commercial, and public works all produce a level of noise that can be considered pollution. A precast concrete wall is a great way to block, absorb, and deflect the noise away.

Whether you need a wall for a highway, roadway, industrial complex, neighborhood, or more, we are here to help you get the best precast concrete wall on the market. As a worldwide leader in precast concrete wall products and systems, AFTEC is the ultimate solution to all your wall needs. Contact us today to get your wall quote.

What You Need to Know About Precast Concrete Wall Products

If you’re in need of a concrete wall or fence for a residential, commercial, industrial, public works, or community project, AFTEC is the ultimate solution. Traditional production methods take longer than the vertical method developed and used across the nation by AFTEC. What’s more, AFTEC saves you on production time and efficiency. The precast concrete walls AFTEC installs last longer than the traditional method and they provide more value in various ways.

Precast Concrete Walls Are Effective Alternative to Other Fence and Wall Materials

Choosing the perfect fence or wall material can be tough. You have wood, vinyl, brick, stone, wrought iron, and more. So how do you choose the best type of wall or fence material for your project? The choice is easy once you see how AFTEC’s precast concrete walls perform.

Materials other than the ones used in precast concrete walls deteriorate sooner, which leads to higher costs over time to repair or replace them. When you choose precast concrete walls by AFTEC, you get longevity in your concrete products and a lifetime value unprecedented anywhere else in the industry. There are walls from antiquity that have lasted nearly 2,000 years due to their concrete mixture.

Here are some of the benefits of precast concrete walls:

  • Durable and stable
  • Low maintenance
  • Color customization
  • Texture customization
  • Long term value
  • Withstands high winds and inclement weather
  • Available nationwide
  • Engineered for nearly any application

How Are Precast Concrete Walls Attached?

The vertical method that AFTEC utilizes is one of their own. They embed concrete or steel columns into caisson footings to stabilize and hold the concrete panels that are then stacked vertically into the grooves of the columns. Depending on the height of the wall grouting may occur before or after the setting of the panels in the columns.

The Decorative Features of Precast Concrete Walls

One impressive benefit is that precast concrete walls or fences do not have to be plain. With AFTEC, you can add textures to both sides of each panel so that the wall or fence looks like stone, brick, or otherwise. This adds more value to those looking to install a wall for their residential, commercial, industrial, public works, or community projects.

Highly defined textures add a little personality to the walls so that their not flat concrete panels. Here are some textures that are commonly used on AFTEC’s precast concrete walls:

  • Ledge stone
  • Dry stack stone
  • Block, slate
  • Ashlar stone
  • Stucco
  • Sand finish
  • Split face block
  • Architectural designs

AFTEC: Your Worldwide Leader in Precast Concrete Walls and Systems

Whether you need a wall or fence for your residential, commercial, industrial, public works, or community project, AFTEC is here to help. We offer the ultimate solution in precast concrete walls and systems. Currently, our expert teams serve the United States with precast wall engineering, design, and installation. Also, if you want to become a manufacturer, we sell licensing for our precast concrete wall systems globally. Contact us today to get a quote.

How to Improve On-Site Concrete Construction Safety

After completing hundreds of precast concrete wall projects, AFTEC is acutely aware of the safety risks revolving around concrete construction projects. Did you know that upwards of 44 crane-related deaths occur annually? When it comes to installing precast concrete walls, safety is of the utmost importance.

In this article, AFTEC wants to share a general process that helps improve safety and decrease the risk of injury while on a concrete construction project. Whether you’re a project manager needing a precast concrete wall or a manufacturer providing your customers with precast concrete products, this article will be insightful and helpful to you.

Improve Concrete Construction Safety

The number one priority of any construction project ought to be safety. You want your crew, operators, and more to be safe while they’re working on your project. Having operators that know thoroughly how to use their equipment, as well as a crew that understands the general operation of said equipment can work wonders. Finally, a site-safety plan should be mandatory for general operation and in case of emergency.

Your Precast Concrete Lifting Operation

Before you get your project moving forward, you want to make sure all workers have the proper training and certifications to be doing the jobs they’ve been assigned. This includes operators, managers, specialists and more. As mentioned above, you want a site-safety plan in place prior to work starting. Finally, you want to gather all lift directors, lift operators, crane hands, qualified riggers, and more are all briefed on crane location, lifting zones, crane radius, and assumed communications to make sure all runs smoothly.

Project Planning and Preparation

Before any of your lifting or other heavy equipment arrives, you will want to assess the bearing strength of the soil and ground. What’s more, you will want to take the time to identify any potential sub-surface hazards that could stop your project in its tracks.

Wet ground needs to be allowed to dry before work begins. Also, you may need to compact the soil to better support your lifting equipment. In some cases, you need to bring in dense organic or inorganic materials.

Once you have your ground situated, it’s time to look up. Many crane and lift operator hazards exist above ground in the form of power lines, obstructions, or wind. After the lifting zone is marked, it’s best for the crew to determine if the crane will at any point come within regulation distance to power lines or obstructions. If not, then the project can move forward.

Lower Safety Risks During Lifting Operations

No precast concrete wall lifting operation is a simple task. It involves a lot of planning and preparation. You will need to confirm a variety of factors before launching the project, including trained professionals, safety checks, technical precautions, and so much more. It’s no wonder precast concrete products are superior to other concrete solutions. They save time and allow for maximum wok efficiency. Here are some general tips on lowering safety risk on a concrete construction project:

#1. Make sure you have the proper certified and trained team on-site

Before any work begins, as mentioned above, confirm certifications, training, and experience. One of the worst feelings is discovering that an operator or crane hand doesn’t know what they’re doing entirely, and you have to halt progress to replace them. Or, progress slows because they’re qualified, but not good enough yet to keep up with your project pace. Double checking all of this information is going to save you a ton of time later.

#2. Triple check the load is secured

Your crane operator and crane hands should be given the time to double and even triple-check a load is rigged properly. A loose load can go from an accident to fatality quickly. Also, make sure your crew has the proper load securing equipment to do their job safely and effectively. Items like a basket, choker, vertical hitching, and sling hitches should all be assessed before being used, as well as available to be used when needed.

#3. Avoid overloading the lift

Intended load, environment, and actual load are three factors that will influence how an operator decides to lift a load. Overloading a lift is a mistake you want to avoid at all costs. This means communicating the lift’s load capacity prior to operation beginning. What’s more, overloading a lift or crane can cause it to tip, equipment to fail, or operator error, which can lead to destroying materials or worse, a fatality. Take note of other factors like wind, side loads, wheels, and added rigging weight to make sure your loads never get too heavy.

Concrete Construction Safety Importance

Above all else, safety is the most important factor in any concrete construction project. The livelihood of every crew member relies on this project being completed successfully, but they also are putting themselves at risk to complete the job. This means that you, project manager, are responsible for giving them the safest working environment possible.

AFTEC: Your Worldwide Leader in Precast Concrete Walls

Do you need a precast concrete wall or wall system? AFTEC serves customers nationwide, as well as sells manufacturers concrete wall systems. With experience in the concrete construction industry, AFTEC is aware of the safety precautions that need to be taken to make sure all crew members safely and successfully complete their projects. What’s more, we take safety seriously. If you need precast concrete wall products, contact AFTEC today to start the conversation.

How to Hire Millennials in Concrete Forming Construction

The world is quickly changing all around us. Even in the concrete forming and construction industry, changes are being made. While the material being used hasn’t changed for decades (relatively), the technology is evolving. What’s more, the next generation of business owners and employees are entering the market. Millennials are slowly becoming a majority of the workforce globally, and it’s important to understand their motives for workings so that you can better attract great talent your company.

In this article, AFTEC is going to share seven tips on how to hire millennials into the construction and concrete forming industry. We’ve done our best to put together these tips to help you understand the aspirations and motivations of millennials.

7 Tips for Hiring Millennials

As the next generation enters the market, it’s important to shift your approach on how you hire them. An entire generation of people are looking for reason, purpose, and cause in the work that they do.

#1. Show how your company is making a positive impact in the world

Bentley University’s Center for Women and Business show that 84 percent of millennials want to help make a difference in the world. An important factor for millennials when looking for a career is that the company they choose to work for is making an actual positive impact in the world. It’s not enough to just say you are. You have to be able to show what you’re doing, and how it’s positively making a difference.

#2. Show how you’re innovating your industry

It’s not enough to be a steady Eddy in your industry. Upwards of 32 percent of the top talent coming from the Millennial generation believe creativity and innovation are essential skills to hold in the marketplace. Showing that you’re innovating in your industry validates their belief and gives them an opportunity to use their skills.

#3. Show how fun and social your company can be

If you haven’t heard the phrase “work-life balance” yet, you’re behind the eight ball. 52 percent of millennials are looking for a fun, social environment that gives them the ability to be autonomous and create their own work-life balance. While most people spend more time at work then they do at home, a fun, social culture can be a huge draw for talented millennials.

#4. Recruit where millennials spend their time

It can be easy to simply put out a job opening to your network, but who are you missing out on by not using other digital resources like social media or job boards? Ask yourself: where do millennials spend most of their time? For most, job boards is the quick and easy answer. However, millennials use the internet to search for creative, innovative companies. Having an online presence is vital to hiring the top talent from the incoming generation.

#5. Create a flexible work environment

As mentioned above, work-life balance is pretty important to millenials. However, flexibility is the main factor to this balance. 75 percent of millennials say that companies should be flexible with their work hours as long as the work gets done. A rigid structure can deter top talent from joining your company.

#6. Filter out “slackers” with your interview process

You may have heard or believe that millennials are “slackers” when it comes to their jobs. In fact, millennials are hard working and motivated to do more with their time than most others. The caveat, however, is that they need to feel connected to their work. If they aren’t able to plug in their purpose, they will quickly disengage and move on with their lives. Here are some tips from Lucas Group on how to filter out the “slackers” you know exist out there with millenials:

  • Were you employed during high school and/or college?
  • Which accomplishment are you most proud of?
  • What’s the story leading up to your most memorable mistake?
  • What do you attribute your success to up to this point in time?
  • Who have you learned from the most in your professional career thus far?

Want to know some warning signs? Egocentric answers. The answers that focus on the candidates natural talent is a red flag that they may be a bad hire. You want to find those who have real world examples alongside real world results. The types of people who can show you the people, places, and things they’ve worked with, impacted, and utilized to meet their goals.

#7. Build self-paced learning opportunities into the job description and responsibilities

Continuous professional development is a priority to the millennial workforce. If they don’t see some path to get better while they work for you, they will find other opportunities. 81 percent of millennials say that they want self-directed, self-paced learning opportunities to advance their own careers. Make it clear what each role the candidate may be applying for will have opportunities for individual and team learning and working opportunities.

AFTEC: Your Worldwide Leader in Precast Concrete Wall Systems

As a manufacturer, you have many duties to fulfill. One of them is hiring new talent into the company to grow it. One way you can offer new jobs to new candidates is to become an AFTEC precast concrete wall system manufacturer. If you’re interested in selling a new product, hiring new talent, and impacting your customers in a positive way, contact AFTEC today to start the conversation.