What Are The Benefits Of Precast Concrete?
Precast concrete—high-quality concrete that's cast at a manufacturing plant in reusable forms and transported to construction sites in finished pieces—has gained considerable popularity over the last few years. Bisnow partner Clark Pacific believes there are a few things you should know about precast's appeal that go beyond simple convenience.
To learn more about our Bisnow partner, click here.
1) Innovative Technology
Clark Pacific understands the value of virtual design on projects, so it uses Building Information Modeling (BIM) to support automated fabrication processes and create custom-manufactured solutions for any project. BIM not only helps improve project quality and optimize project schedules, but it also gives clients precise logistics and construction estimates.
Furthermore, using BIM and other tech tools like Revit, Tekla, Sketch-Up and StructureWorks, Clark Pacific can coordinate between many different aspects of a project, including project management, engineering, fabrication, procurement, production and construction.
Clark Pacific's experienced in-house team has worked on projects of various sizes and scope and can understand and explain the level of collaboration and coordination needed for any project. BIM and precast can help create precise, manufactured custom solutions delivered on time and on budget.
2) Design Flexibility
As a high-performance system, precast concrete can be produced in various shapes, colors, textures and finishes, helping architects and owners realize their creative vision on any scale and asset class, including mixed-use, office, residential, retail and parking projects.
Clients can choose from a variety of integrated structural options and exterior finishes, as well as options for pre-insulated, pre-glazed cladding and pre-wired panels. With so much taken care of before anything's even brought to the site, clients can save months on project delivery schedules.
Structural precast concrete (such as for parking garages, pictured) can allow for floor plates up to 60 feet with open bays. This flexibility supports many different configurations, allowing structures to be used and reused for many years with very little maintenance, giving buildings beautiful aesthetics and lower lifetime costs.
3) Speed of Delivery
Clark Pacific can deliver high-quality precast structures quickly and with reliable cost and schedule certainty, regardless of whether it’s a parking structure, office building, student housing or hotel.
By manufacturing the materials off-site, structures are erected faster with minimal disruption. Since it's quicker and easier to install than traditional frame and skin cladding systems, precast also helps reduce the need for on-site skilled labor.
There are times where Clark Pacific can deliver precast components with integrated architectural finishes and other building envelope components (such as glass and insulation), reducing or eliminating some steps of the building process.
4) Resilient Performance
On the West Coast, new seismic-resistant technology gives precast structures superior seismic performance compared to other building systems due to its unique ability to self-right after earthquakes.
Clark Pacific's precast hybrid moment frame system uses seismic technology developed over the last 15 years and, according to leading structural engineers, is the best performing lateral resistance system available today.
These frames use high-quality precast elements produced under factory-controlled conditions, connected together in the field using post-tensioning technology—allowing the building to rock during an earthquake, but pulling it upright afterwards. The system also gets rid of unsightly shearwalls and steel bracing across windows.
For courthouses, prisons, service member housing or other federal buildings, precast also has blast resistant technologies, offering economical blast- and fire-resistance.
5) Energy Efficiency
Precast concrete systems offer unique opportunities for energy efficiency. A building envelope's performance is a major factor in sustainability. Does it effectively prevent moisture intrusion or help prevent spikes in heating/air-conditioning needs?
Precast wall systems and radiant systems embedded in precast can reduce demand for air conditioning, heating and other mechanical requirements, as they resist heat flow and are better insulators. Precast can provide an integral air and vapor barrier, making sure buildings are dry and cool, even in the hottest or most humid climates.
Clark Pacific provides pre-insulated panel systems, which act as a primary air and vapor barrier and insulation layer, and can effectively reduce thermal transfer through the envelope. These systems also offer high occupant comfort, and they've helped clients and their buildings achieve LEED Platinum certification.
6) Healthy Buildings
Clark Pacific is introducing new innovative precast panels designed to effectively support efficient office building design and occupant health and comfort. The Clark Access Deck, for example, integrates factory-installed and pre-fabricated mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems into a single unit that allows flexible configuration of the office space. You can focus on your people and how best to organize their space rather than worrying about whether you're getting in the way of the support systems.