Precast Concrete Construction
Precast concrete construction involves construction projects where parts of the project are made of poured concrete and assembled elsewhere, then transported to the construction site and added to the ongoing project.
Precast concrete construction is used for projects where the structural components are standardized and can be manufactured in a mass production fashion. Precast concrete construction is normally found in projects that are low cost and need to be done in a short period of time.
Precast concrete construction changes the entire construction process, as the design of the project is changed to meet the precast concrete construction available. This normal results in very bland, repetitive structures. Precast concrete construction was used a great deal in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, where apartment complexes were assembled in a mass production fashion. Most of the structures that use precast concrete construction are between five and 10 stories high and were intended to serve as low-income housing. In the instances where precast concrete construction has been used for residential projects in the west, it has been used in similar circumstances.
Precast concrete construction has been used more in the west for general construction projects. Agricultural buildings, like cattle feed bunks and bunker silos, are made of precast concrete. Foundations, beams, floors and walls can all be made this way. Hazardous materials are also contained in structures made out of precast concrete construction, as they can seal in the materials (like nuclear waste) in a building that is strong enough to resist attack or the forces of nature. Floating docs, decking, railing and underwater infrastructure all use precast concrete construction.
Precast concrete construction can be prestressed, which means it can be built to withstand weights of a predetermined amount. As a result, concrete beams, columns, single and double tees, wall panels and I-beam girders are all assembled in this fashion. Stormwater drains and catch basins are also made of precast concrete construction. Precast concrete construction can also be seen protecting important utility structures, like communications centers, electrical power stations and gas or steam systems.
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