Precasters can produce modular precast concrete units that include a roof, floor, front and back walls, and two side walls if desired. The modules' key benefit, in addition to the speed with which these “building blocks” can be erected on site, come from the precaster being able to outfit and finish the modules at the plant so they arrive at the site nearly complete.
These units have been used for prison cells for many years, and their use is now being expanded for school classrooms, hotel and motel rooms, and other applications where relatively small, repetitive rooms are needed on a rapid schedule.
Prison-cell modules are the predominant method used for constructing justice facilities that include prisons and jails. These structures can be single- or multi-level structures as high as 10 to 12 stories.
The modules are cast as single- or multi-cell units with as many as four cells in one monolithic component. The configuration typically includes the inmate cell and a vertical “chase” between cells for mechanical, electrical, and plumbing accommodations.
The formwork may be proprietary and is made using steel with mechanisms for adjustment and functioning to “strip” the module from the form.
Finishes: Typically, the interior exposed walls are epoxy painted, and the module is outfitted with as much of the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) accommodations as possible in the producer's plant. Final fit up is done at the jobsite. Exterior walls can be made with insulation similar to a sandwich wall panel and can receive virtually any kind of architectural treatment.