Resilient buildings stand the test of time, maintaining function even in the face of extreme events.
Resiliency is the ability of structures and communities to effectively adapt to changing conditions and maintain functionality in the face of stress, environmental change or extreme events. Resilient communities are those with structures, systems and infrastructure that are sufficiently durable and flexible to continue operation during or immediately following an extreme event or change.
A building’s first responsibility is to protect the life of its occupants. A resilient building does that, and also demonstrates the ability to continue operation or quickly return to usable function. It can perform its functions in a changing environment, endure and suffer minimal damage from storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, blasts and other severe events. A resilient building contributes positively to community function over a long lifespan.
Precast, prestressed concrete is a strong, durable, flexible and resilient material that can deliver a 100-year service life. Cast in controlled plant conditions, under tight quality control, PCI certified precast producers manufacture exceptionally strong, high-quality components that can stand up to the elements and to the test of time.
Prestressing gives precast, prestressed concrete its incredible strength and durability. High-strength steel strand is tensioned in the forms before the concrete is cast. The concrete is cast with the stands fully embedded into it resulting in continuous contact. The force of the strands is transferred into the concrete via essentially the entire length of the concrete.
Precast buildings have been shown to stand up well against severe floods and storms, with wall systems that are nearly impervious to windborne debris, as shown in this video.
A non-combustible material, precast also is naturally fire resistant and is often used in government facilities with blast protection requirements. This video demonstrates how precast stands up to blast conditions.
Precast can also be used to resist earthquake forces and is often used in seismic design. This video demonstrates a precast design in a shake test replicating a 9-point earthquake.