Reasons to use precast concrete and its advantages
Precast concrete is a high-performance construction material that provides significant benefits in terms of lifespan, durability, quality, design, construction, strength and sustainability.
Precast is recognised and awarded by numerous national and international architectural bodies for its timeless form and function. Because of its design versatility, almost any shape, colour and texture can be achieved. State and national awards, such as those run by the Australian Institute of Architects, regularly feature precast projects.
Highly-controlled factory conditions and professionally constructed moulds allow for the manufacture of an incredibly high-quality and accurate product, with sharp detailing and the potential for elaborate and highly-articulated finishes.
Custom moulds can facilitate the production of elements for even the most architecturally ambitious projects. Expert manufacturing, specialist mould-makers and high-tech materials result in a product that can be utilised for everything—from heavy duty structural elements, through to light-weight slender componentry.
Precast elements are available in a wide range of colours and finishes. Colours can be achieved using pigments or stains, from black to white and every colour in between, as well as translucent and metallic colours. Finishes include off-form, etched, blasted and polished, and photographic images can be etched into the surface. Form liners can also be used to achieve an array of textures and patterns.
Precast’s inherent properties allow it to hold its shape and size over time, unlike many alternative construction materials. These same properties, when combined with techniques such as pre-stressing and reinforcing, allow for the production of long spans that require minimal support.
Precast elements often have a design life of 100 years, so it will stand the test of time.
The inherent qualities of precast mean that it is extremely low maintenance and does not require ongoing treatment to protect it from the weather.
Blending seamlessly with existing structures, precast is mouldable to replicate patterns, shapes and other materials such as brick, timber or stone. Historic or contemporary, precast ensures that a project is sympathetic to its surroundings.
Manufactured in a seemingly infinite array of colours, patterns and textures, precast grants designers the freedom to produce highly-individualistic projects that create vision without compromise.
Precast reduces risk. Workers enjoy a safe factory working environment and construction sites become vastly safer because of the sizeable reduction in onsite activity, with less people, materials, equipment and waste.
National Precast Members ensure that their products meet and exceed expectations. Produced in factories with strictly-controlled processes for moulding, batching, casting and finishing, precast is a consistent and high-quality construction material.
The combination of large factories boasting high tech equipment, impressive quality control standards, manufacturing precision and highly skilled workmanship, along with reduced weather vulnerability, ensures the production and delivery of consistent, high-quality products. Precast offers the designer reliable outcomes day after day for even the largest projects—something that cannot be achieved on site.
Because it is manufactured off-site, there is less disruption for a construction site’s neighbours and problems associated with lack of site space, noise, wet weather and waste disposal are no longer an issue for the contractor.
Precast elements use natural products and can incorporate recycled and waste materials.
Since 1990, National Precast has grown to become the peak body for the Australian precast concrete industry and are partners of DesignBUILD. National Precast’s mission is to unite, empower, represent and promote the Australian precast industry at a national and state level, to make precast the preferred choice for sustainable construction.