Precasters can be a single-source supplier for the total building solution. Using an integrated team approach precasters can work closely with the design team providing engineering and technical support. The design team to can make changes or adapt the design with less risk, fewer coordination issues because of a reduction of trades, while keeping costs to a minimum.
Precast concrete is sometimes viewed as a riskier form of construction by design professionals because it requires an early commitment during the design phase and many architects are unfamiliar with how precast buildings are designed and constructed. In reality, precast concrete construction is an inherently less risky form of construction for both owners and architects:
Budget and Schedule Compliance
For the owner and design professional, budget risk is one of the most significant factors they face in meeting the building’s program and aesthetic needs. Because precast is a plant-built project, precast producers can make schedule and cost assessments in the late schematic and preliminary design phases to help design professionals assess budget compliance. Total precast (where precast concrete components are used for both the structure and enclosure of the facility) can represent the dominant portion of the construction budget. When the intricacy of the exterior wall panels can be tied down early in the project, precasters can estimate fabrication and erection costs with a high degree of accuracy.
Detailing Risk Reduction
Building façades are often composed of multiple products with varying degrees of expansion and contraction. Even the best architectural documents can suffer from poor coordination and improper installation in the field, causing the design professional lost time in coordination and problem resolution, as well as potential liability if the products are installed improperly. Precast concrete allows the creation of multi-part façades without these detailing risks. Precast can affordably mimic most exterior finishes with a limitless variety of appearances.
Precast concrete is plant-produced and trucked to the jobsite when needed. Unlike poured-in-place concrete, masonry, or exterior insulation systems, the product can be installed in cold (or even freezing) weather, eliminating the cold-weather procedure delays, general conditions claims, and potential change orders associated with other products.