It is a difficult time for our infrastructure.  Wildfires, floods, severe storms, earthquakes and more have affected the structures within our communities. How can we protect them and the occupants inside?  The durability of precast concrete protects not only the people within a structure, but protects the day-to-day activities and life of the community around it.

Design for Fire

Precast offers inherent fire protection and is a non combustible material meaning it won't burst into flame like wood or other construction materials.  Because of this inherent fire protection, precast can be designed into controlled spaces which limit the spread of fires.  Precast is also able to provide passive fire protection because it does not have to rely on any other systems such as sprinklers in order to limit the spread of a fire within a structure.

Design for Seismic

Even though earthquakes may not be felt at the same magnitude as the West Coast, all regions of the country can benefit from the seismic protection that precast concrete can offer.  Precast has been used in various seismic regions across the globe and has already been proven to react well during major seismic events.  PCI is a leader in developing design solutions that provide an effective response to earthquakes including hybrid post-tensioned precast frames, pretensioned precast frames, and shear wall systems.

Design for Blast Resistance

Precast concrete is an economical solution for buildings such as governmental facilities that require extra protection such as blast resistance and anitterrorism/force protection (AT/FP) design. In the event of a blast event or explosion, the main goal of blast resistant designs is to protect the occupants of a building with an acceptable level of safety.  Precast concrete components such as precast wall panels can be designed to support blast loads that can be expected during these blast events while also protecting the people inside the building from the actual blast and the debris.

Design for Storm Resistance

Precast concrete is inherently resistant to extreme weather events such as hurricanes and tornadoes along with the high winds, surge, and debris that often come with them. FEMA shelters use precast concrete for its shelters in regions that experience many storms to create buildings that withstand these types of storms.

How Precast Protects Case Study

The Highland Manor Community Safe Room was designed to withstand 250 mph winds to keep the surrounding community safe from tornadoes in the region. It is classified as a safe room as it goes beyond the ICC-500, to meet the requirements of FEMA's Design and Construction Guidance for Community Safe Rooms (FEMA P-361). The facility is 6,400 square feet and has an occupancy of 845 during storms and 212 as a meeting / event space.