Precast concrete is a construction method produced by casting concrete in a reusable mold or “form” which is then cured in a controlled environment. The two major types of precast panels are un-insulated or solid and insulated or known as a “sandwich panel”. The solid panel application is for un-insulated purposes. The insulated panel is primarily used for exterior applications. The panels are transported to the construction site and lifted into place. In contrast, precast stone is distinguished from precast concrete by using a fine aggregate in the mixture, so the final product approaches the appearance of naturally occurring rock or stone.
Precast (panels) are only used within ranges of exterior and interior walls and are comprised of concrete and stone, creating a solid but manoeuvrable wall or face. By producing precast concrete in a controlled environment (typically referred to as a precast plant), the precast concrete is afforded the opportunity to properly cure and be closely monitored by plant employees. Using a precast concrete system offers many potential advantages over onsite casting. Precast concrete production is performed on ground level, which helps with safety throughout a project. There is greater control over material quality and workmanship in a precast plant compared to a construction site. The forms used in a precast plant can be reused hundreds to thousands of times before they have to be replaced, often making it cheaper than onsite casting when looking at the cost per unit of form work.
Precast concrete systems can be erected quickly and efficiently any time of year.