Everything You Need to Know About Precast Concrete & Sustainability
Sustainability is a significant focus currently during construction and architectural endeavors, and for good reason. Sustainability means something will stand the test of time, aiming to meet present needs without compromising future generations. Many developers are looking for ways to incorporate more sustainable processes and materials into current and future projects. One of the most popular sustainable materials is precast concrete.
How precast concrete is made
Precast concrete is produced in climate-controlled factory conditions, away from the construction site. During the manufacturing process, highly skilled workers coupled with machine automation ensure quality control and consistency.
Molds made of wood or steel help shape the finished product while the concrete cures.
The concrete is often reinforced with another material to increase resistance to tension and compression. Reinforcement products can include steel rebar, wire mesh, fiber mesh or high-tech polymer, often made with recycled ingredients.
What makes precast concrete sustainable
In addition to the sustainable practices put in place during the production process, there are many benefits precast concrete offers that helps make it one of the most sustainable building materials available.
Concrete consists of naturally occurring ingredients, such as gravel, sand or rock, that are crushed to a particular size. These resources are not expensive, scarce or difficult to work with. In many cases, aggregate concrete mixes can incorporate recycled materials as well.
During concrete production, water is added as the chemical catalyst that begins the curing effect. Precast concrete in particular has a relatively low water-to-cement ratio in order to increase durability. Additionally, the water can often be recycled. The concrete materials themselves help to make precast concrete a sustainable option.
Precast concrete products use less material than products built on-site and are often smaller and more impactful, resulting in less to dispose of when a structure’s lifecycle ends.
Additionally, precast concrete manufacturing facilities are built to reduce waste from excessive concrete, molding materials and debris. And they keep dust and other materials from escaping into the environment.
Concrete finishes also have an attractive aesthetic and don’t have to be paired with other types of finishes to complete interior design, helping reduce the number of construction materials required overall.
Because precast concrete is manufactured in a climate-controlled facility, the environment is healthier for employees than those on construction sites. These facilities control air quality, noise and safety hazards. At Evercast, for example, workplace safety is a top priority.
Precast concrete absorbs and releases heat slowly. Using precast concrete in building construction can reduce heating and cooling energy costs over time, conserving energy as much as possible.
Precast concrete also does not emit VOCs (volatile organic compounds that can compromise health), helping maintain optimal indoor environment quality without the need for air purifiers.
Evercast precast concrete
At Evercast, we’re committed to operating with integrity, and that applies to our sustainability practices as well. We’re constantly looking for new and better ways to accomplish our goals, striving for continuous improvement in all aspects.
If you’re ready to start your next project with precast concrete, reach out and see how we can help you meet your sustainability goals.