Building With Precast Concrete: What You Need to Know

May 25, 2022 | Blog, Structural Engineering

Building season is upon us, and with shovels hitting the ground and plenty of project plans in their beginning phases, partnering with a skilled structural engineering team is one of the best ways to ensure you have everything you need in place to succeed. With over 35 years of experience, the Krahn Group of Companies (KGC), alongside our structural engineering division, Krahn Engineering LTD. is proud to partner with builders and developers in the commercial, industrial and residential sectors to create long-lasting structures that perform optimally and give you results that you can trust. From small specialty engineering projects in the private sector to large-scale municipal or provincial infrastructure projects, KGC and Krahn Engineering are ready to help you tackle every aspect of development with the information and expertise you need to proceed confidently.

Below, we’ll talk about some of the benefits of using precast concrete, and why it can be particularly useful to consider for your next build. Read on to learn more!

What is Precast Concrete?

Just like the name suggests, precast concrete is essentially concrete that has been “cast” using a reusable mold or casting beds, typically off-site, and then transported to the build location for use. Precast concrete can be customized to the needs of your specific site with prestressed elements like steel or cable included if required for the overall strength and structural integrity of the finished product. The design and implementation of precast wall panels, slabs, and foundational elements are typically overseen by your structural engineering team, who, in collaboration with the architect, consulting team, and your main construction crew, ensure that all details of the building and site requirements are taken into consideration before casting begins.

Thanks to its pre-completed nature, precast concrete can make construction much faster and produce better quality and more precise products, meaning it is ideal for a quick turnaround for projects that may be pressed for time.

Core benefits of using precast concrete for builds include:

High Quality

Precast concrete is subject to a high amount of testing before transport, and technicians constantly inspect the quality of the aggregates, sand, and cement through every stage of the process from mixing to pouring into the mold. Once the form is poured and prepared it undergoes further quality control to make sure it matches your exact needs. Only then is the finished product sent to the site.

These rigorous checks help to guarantee a superior level of quality, as well as overall performance, ensuring compliance with safety standards and extending the foundational longevity of your build.

Expedited Construction

As we mentioned above, since precast concrete comes ready to be put into place, it can drastically reduce your overall build time. While forms are being made and poured, your site engineers are free to focus on other aspects of construction that would otherwise need to wait, allowing for a more seamless process once precast materials get to the site.

Speed and Safety

Precast wall panels can be used in replacement of cast on-site tilt-up panels, which means that these elements can be cast offsite and start to be installed as soon as the foundations are ready. This can significantly save time on your construction schedule while removing the extra materials and space required to cast tilt-up panels on site. Cramped spaces and build sites are hazards waiting to happen, but with precast concrete you’ll have ample room to deal with construction, making things far more manageable and removing unnecessary risks in the process.

Durability, Versatility, Sustainability

The quality behind precast concrete typically leads to a much longer lifecycle with little need for overall maintenance, even where usual culprits like corrosion are concerned. Precast concrete’s lesser susceptibility to corrosion makes it ideal for wall panels, and the versatility with which you can cast each asset makes it highly useful for a wide range of projects and purposes.

Precast concrete can also be recycled or reused upon deconstruction, giving you increased ROI and better sustainability options as well. On the environmental side of things, concrete manufactured using a precast method is typically done using more eco-friendly practices like using recycled water and using fewer materials overall.

Built for Success

As leading specialists when it comes to precast and tilt-up buildings, Krahn Engineering is here to make sure you have everything you need to succeed with your next build. Whether you’re building new or remodelling to meet current energy and sustainability standards, our team of full-scale engineering support is here to assist.

In addition to structural engineering consultation, the Krahn Group of Companies also provides comprehensive architecture, landscape design, interior design, mechanical, electrical, and civil engineering support, as well as hands-on project management and development assistance. Learn more about our structural engineering and related services by contacting us today.

Looking to join a team built to excel? The Krahn Group of Companies is hiring across Canada for all disciplines. We offer a flexible work environment, a dynamic team of industry-leading engineers, and plenty more! Learn more here!