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August 2019

precast concrete saves money

7 Ways Precast Concrete Can Save Money

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We are all looking to cut costs on our projects without sacrificing quality. When comparing concrete options, precast walls tend to be less wasteful and more environmentally friendly than other alternatives. In fact, using precast concrete walls instead of on-site pouring can provide a cost savings of up to 23%, respectively.

Furthermore, most project owners select the bid with the lowest cost, which means these savings could be enough to win the project bid. Here are seven ways to reduce concrete fence costs with precast concrete.

1.      Forms and Molds

Most cast-in-place concrete forms and molds are used once and then thrown away. This wasteful use of materials means an increase in cost to you. Precast concrete molds can be used multiple times, and most steel forms can last several decades. This reduction in materials needed to pour the concrete products amounts to greater cost savings.

2.      Transportation Costs

Even though precast walls need to be transported to the project site, this is easier and more efficient than dealing with mixer trucks. When concrete is in a mixer truck, the unstable environment risks temperature problems or delays. Any delays or issues could mean wasted concrete in trucks. Most projects will take several mixer trucks before the pour is completed, while precast concrete can be shipped efficiently with fewer trips.

3.      Prevent Delays

On-site concrete pours are all about timing. Inclement weather or other factors can easily delay a project – causing an increase in cost. Precast concrete is poured indoors in a controlled environment. Multiple project components can even be poured at once with precast concrete, which could mean getting the project done sooner than planned.

4.      Superior Quality

Since precast concrete products are produced in a controlled environment, they are often tested and reviewed for quality control.  They can be poured and cured at optimal temperatures, which increases the strength of the final product. There are very few delays during the pouring, so the concrete used is always at its peak performance. The attention to detail during casting makes for a product that will last longer – significantly reducing costs over the life of the product.

5.      Safer

When concrete is poured in a controlled environment, it eliminates many of the on-site hazards, including a reduction of slips, trips, and falls. Workers don’t have to pour concrete on scaffolding or in harnesses, as precast concrete can be poured at ground level. The reduction in height alone makes the whole project safer. Fewer accidents mean fewer delays and surprise costs.

6.      Energy Savings

Concrete walls, in general, are great at maintaining internal temperatures in buildings. This makes it superior to other construction materials. Precast walls can include insulation in the concrete – even after the concrete is poured. Added insulation increases the already fantastic insulating properties of concrete.

7.      Affordable Aesthetics

We are starting to realize the versatility of precast walls. They can be used to imitate expensive stone, masonry, tile and more at a fraction of the cost. The molds used in precast concrete can integrate elegant touches, like decorative motifs or arches, into the final product without the expensive costs of customization.

In the end, it’s all concrete, but not all products provide the same results. Selecting precast concrete for your project means more efficiency, more safety, and more quality – leading to more savings.

If you’re looking for precast walls or want to get more information about concrete fence cost for your next project, American Precast Concrete, Inc. can help. Contact us at 866-235-4268 or request a quote.

 

masonry unit vs precast concrete

Concrete Masonry Units Vs. Precast Walls

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Precast walls are made by pouring concrete into forms of specified dimensions to make a whole wall in one piece.

Concrete Masonry Units (CMU or Block Walls) are typically 8” X 8” X 16” blocks that can be stacked to form walls. Both are made from concrete, but depending on your project, schedule, and budget, precast walls may be the best option.

How are Precast Walls Similar to CMUs?

They are both made from the same materials: Portland cement, gravel aggregate, and sand.

Both options will have the same compressive strength and can handle tight squeezes. For better tension, reinforcement can be added to either type of wall to increase tensile strength.

Steel reinforcement is typically embedded in precast walls during the concrete pouring. Concrete blocks are reinforced by embedding steel rebar into the hollow center using grout or cement after the blocks have been placed.

How Precast Walls Differ from CMUs?

While there are several differences between precast walls and CMUs, including design options, overall quality and more – here are the key basic differences.

Hollow Vs. Solid

This is the main difference between the two options.

Concrete blocks are typically hollow to decrease the weight – making them easier to stack. This can also make them laterally weaker than a precast wall.

Precast walls are solid walls. The precast wall has more mass to resist the lateral load. Reinforcement can easily be added to concrete blocks to increase lateral strength. Without it, the lateral strength of a concrete block wall fence is solely dependent on the strength of the mortar holding the bricks together. Concrete blocks can be filled with grout to make them solid and improve their strength.

Gravel Size

While they are both made from the same materials, the dimensions of these materials are different. The gravel in a precast concrete wall is going to be larger – up to an inch in diameter. The gravel in concrete blocks will be much smaller – around a quarter of an inch. The smaller diameter helps to properly fill the concrete block mold.

Time to Install

Precast walls are typically faster to install than block walls. Blocks must be stacked like bricks and must either be secured with mortar or covered with a surface bonding cement. Precast concrete wall fences are installed as a single piece using a crane.

Blocks must have a solid concrete slab to build on, while precast walls only need a compacted gravel base. All these factors can make precast walls much faster to install.

Precast Walls and Fences

We’ve been helping engineers, architects, developers, and contractors with a variety of precast concrete projects. To learn more about the benefits of precast walls, contact American Precast, Inc. at 855-235-0881 or get a quote for your upcoming project.

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