The use of precast, prestressed concrete building elements can contribute directly to the triple bottom line: economic, environmental, and social benefits. Precast systems help minimize cost and environmental impacts while providing comfortable, safe buildings.
- Concrete is made using local materials-aggregates, sand, and cement.
- Low transportation costs-precast concrete is produced locally. Structures weigh less than those built using cast-in-place concrete, which saves material and transportation costs.
- Precast is a cost-effective and competitive building material.
- Precast is a low maintenance building system.
- Lower operating costs-the thermal mass characteristics of concrete help to moderate heating and cooling peaks and lower HVAC equipment requirements.
- The reflectance of precast surfaces can lower interior lighting costs.
- The reflectance of precast surfaces reduces the heat island effect and lowers cooling costs.
- Precast concrete is durable. Buildings last longer, and are resistant to wear and tear, severe weather, rot, insects, and fire.
Environmental and Social Benefits
- Excellent indoor air quality-precast concrete contains no VOCs to contribute to sick building syndrome. Concrete is not a food source for mold.
- Safety-precast concrete offers superior fire, wind, vibration, and seismic resistance.
- Sound-precast concrete walls and floors have excellent Sound Transmission Class (STC) ratings to protect occupants from unwanted noise.
- The thermal mass of precast concrete contributes to operating energy efficiency and reduced heating and cooling costs.
- Longer lasting concrete structures reduce energy needs for maintenance and reconstruction.
- Made-to-order precast concrete means less on-site construction waste and improved quality control.
- Precast can reduce transportation energy use and emissions.
- Precast concrete sandwich wall panels-the desired R-value can be obtained by specifying the appropriate type and thickness of incorporated insulation.
- Light reflectance-light colored precast walls reduce interior lighting requirements while lighter colored exterior walls help reduce the heat island effect in large metropolitan areas.