Why choose precast concrete cladding?

Precast cladding – multiple advantages ensure multiple savings

Few construction technologies can rival the appearance, all-around performance and speed of precast concrete. Precast construction rises to all the challenges of modern buildings in terms of energy efficiency, moisture control and durability, while requiring minimal maintenance.

Design: For the designer, architectural precast concrete offers endless opportunities to develop and manipulate massing and form, and an enormous palette of colours and textures. It enables replication of the colour and finish of stone, masonry or terracotta, and incorporation of details such as cornices, quoins, arches and decorative relief panels. The options for architectural expression are almost unlimited.

Quality: Precast concrete units are produced under strict, factory-controlled conditions to ensure high quality in the desired shapes, colours and textures, along with close tolerances. The factory environment allows for quality control and assurance procedures to be rigorously implemented.

Durability: Precast concrete walls have long-term durability and require little or no maintenance to preserve their original look. Concrete has a design life of well over 60 years.

Weather-proof: Precast concrete is resistant to rain penetration and wind-blown debris. Unlike materials that deteriorate quickly, it can withstand winters of freeze-thaw cycles.

Acoustics: Our products can be designed to meet a building’s required acoustic performance requirements.

Low lifecycle cost: A precast façade can be designed to match the intended life of a building with minimal maintenance, providing substantial long-term savings. While aesthetically pleasing, the exterior surface is virtually airtight and watertight and does not require painting. This helps the building to remain in excellent condition long after the build cost is repaid, ensuring its desirability for future tenants or owners.

Energy-efficient: Precast concrete panels can provide a high degree of energy efficiency for the buildings they enclose. Recessed window walls, vertical fins and other sculptured shapes facilitate the design of many types of shading devices for window areas to reduce glare and solar gain. This reduces air-conditioning costs. Insulation may be applied to the back of walls, or incorporated into a sandwich wall panel, which reduces heating and cooling costs.

No need for scaffolding: As the panels are lifted into position using a tower or mobile crane and restrained back to the structure with fixings internally, external scaffolding is not required – which reduces the cost of the overall building.

Programme speed: Prefabrication and phased delivery to site accelerate the construction programme, and a weathertight building enclosure is rapidly achieved. Glazing, fixings, thermal insulation and a vapour control layer can be incorporated before delivery to site, thus reducing the site programme.

Wet trades minimized: On-site ‘wet trades’ are minimized; if internal precast elements are pre-finished, they can virtually be eliminated.

Extra floor area: Precast cladding panels produce a thinner external wall than conventional double-skin walls, increasing the lettable floor area.

Waste reduced: Precast cladding panels produce little or no waste as they arrive to site in a finished state. Reduction of waste at the manufacturing stage reduces the cost of the overall building.

Fire-resistant: Concrete provides the best fire resistance of any building material. It cannot be ‘set on fire’ and does not burn or emit toxic fumes, smoke or drip molten particles when exposed to fire.

Incorporating windows in panels: Windows can be pre-installed into our panels in the factory, which reduces programme and on-site labour. (There must be concrete on four sides of the window for this to be achievable.)

All-round cost reduction: Each of the above advantages contributes to reducing costs, whether in the short or long term. Off-site prefabrication and increased on-site productivity – especially if the panelisation scheme uses the largest units possible to deliver and handle on-site – ensure optimum value. Less dependence on on-site activities helps to stabilize the overall cost of a building. A shorter construction period reduces interim financing costs. In the longer term, the durability and minimum maintenance ensure further savings.

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