The use of precast, prestressed concrete building elements can contribute directly to the triple bottom line. 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.
- 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 lower 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 & 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 needs no additional interior or exterior finishes.
- 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 coloured precast walls reduce interior lighting requirements, while lighter coloured exterior walls help reduce the heat island effect in large metropolitan areas.
*Urban areas have a higher concentration of structures and surfaces that absorb heat and tend to experience higher temperatures than their rural neighbours. Buildings that are lighter in color reflect more light (high albedo surfaces). This helps minimize the heat island effect that reduces the energy needed for cooling, and lowers ozone levels.