Connections are fundamental to all buildings and construction no matter what material is used. The purpose of a connection is to transfer loads, restrain movement, and/or to provide stability to a component or an entire structure. As such, the design of connections is one of the most important aspects in the design and engineering of precast/prestressed concrete structures.
Many different connection details will result from the combination of the multitude of sizes and shapes of precast concrete components and the variety of possible support conditions. Individual precasters have developed connection details over the years that suit their particular production and erection preferences and they should be considered for a specific project early in the design stage. All connections should comply with applicable building codes and the final structural design should be done by an engineer licensed in the location of the project. It is common for the architect and engineer of record to show connection loads and locations on the contract documents and allow the successful manufacturer's engineering department to provide the final design and details of the connections.
This section is intended to provide basic information that is important to understand when designing a total-precast concrete structure or architectural cladding panels supported by building frames of other materials such as steel or cast-in-place concrete.