What’s the Difference Between Precast and Prefabricated Concrete Walls?

Concrete being poured into a precast mold on a construction site.

Modular construction involves the use of precast concrete walls and prefabricated concrete structures. While using these terms interchangeably is common, they have different meanings. Precast and prefabricated components undergo unique construction processes, making each component suited for different situations.

Knowing how the precast and prefabricated concrete components differ is important in designing your structure. This will help you determine which to use to complete your project.

What’s Involved in Making a Precast Concrete Component?

Creating a precast concrete structure involves pouring concrete into a reusable mold, usually completed on the job site. Pouring concrete into a mold in this way makes the construction process faster because you can work on other aspects of the construction project at the same time.

Using precast concrete components also reduces waste since the molds will produce components that are ready for use. This process is also safer and more cost-effective than other concrete pouring methods on a job site.

How Do Prefabricated Concrete Components Differ?

Prefabricated concrete components are not made on-site. Instead, they go through a pouring and curing process in a manufacturing facility. This makes it possible to establish a more intricate design and construction method.

The facility stores each component’s manufacturing details, such as the date of manufacturing, the materials used in construction, and the names or signatures of those involved in the manufacturing process.

Prefabricated concrete undergoes a similarly stringent quality-control process. The facility inspects each component and has the qualified personnel and laboratory facilities necessary to verify each unit’s quality, strength, and durability. Additionally, the customer is able to inspect the components themselves.

Which One Should You Use?

Precast concrete is typically employed in the construction of smaller structures. Since there’s less emphasis on strength in constructing homes, barrier walls, and similar structures, precast concrete is the better alternative. This type of component doesn’t require laboratory testing or the other processes involved when pouring concrete at a facility.

Strength and durability are far more critical when building a parking garage, office building, or other large structures. You’ll want to ensure each component can handle the stress and weight involved when using it in a larger construction. The quality control aspect that prefabricated concrete experiences will ensure that each module can withstand the pressure for longer periods of time.

When choosing between precast and prefabricated concrete, you’ll have to consider several factors:

  • The strength of the structure you’re building
  • The budget for your construction project
  • The timeline for completing your project

Looking into these areas will help you determine which option offers you the best way to complete your project safely and efficiently.

Complete Your Project with the Best in Precast Concrete

American Precast Concrete uses the highest-standard pouring concrete to create strong and durable precast concrete components. We’ll help ensure quality, efficiency, and cost in your next construction project. To learn more about our products, contact us today.