Affordable Construction Materials; Concrete Panel Systems
When it comes to building technologies that make housing affordable, precast concrete panels play a huge role in ensuring cost-effectiveness.
The efficacy of the concrete panels is seen in every stage of the construction and the curing and the plastering processes are eliminated.
The panels are made of concrete sheets that are sandwiched with galvanized steel wire mesh on the sides. In house construction and small-scale commercial use, smaller blocks of customized sizes are used. As the word precast suggests, the panels are made in factories such as this and then transported to the site.
In some larger factories, the precast concrete panels are made in huge blocks and crane trucks are used to facilitate the assembling of the panels on site. With these, it’s more of installing a house than building it. These are often expensive due to the complex engineering required. But such are used in the construction of commercial buildings. Below are some of the reasons why the precast concrete panel system is preferred.
Before the concrete panels are in the finished product, they go through a lot of processes that ensure they are fit for use. There is the engineering bit, the inspection and preparation, the manufacturing, the concrete placement and then the curing process. All these are carried out in the factories.
The concrete blocks are strong and durable. They are soundproof and are not affected by the different weather conditions. Just like the interlocking bricks, they interlock providing a seamless linkage.
With this system, structural steel C-panels can be used to create the beam rather than using wooden beams when screeding.
Neat and Tidy
The panels have a smooth texture and it eliminates the need of plastering after construction. The overall outlook of the wall contributes to the aesthetical view of the building. But you can also have the walls be custom-made with different wall finishes to suit your style.
Most construction sites tend to be untidy with the increased use of water, cement, concrete and such but since all these will mostly be needed in setting up the foundation, the construction site will not be such a mess.
The electrical wiring and the water pipe fixing are done easily since the panels have openings to accommodate them without damaging the walls.
(Photo courtesy of Square Apple)
Saves Time and Money
In Mathematics, the rule is the more the construction workers, the less time used to complete the work. But with the concrete panel system, the more advanced the material, the less the time and labour required.
Lying the foundation is done the usual way then once the concrete panels are on site, the workers fix them in place.
The precast concrete panels can easily be reused, say if you don’t like your house design, it can be adjusted with the same concrete blocks.
This kind of wall construction system saves almost 70% of the time it usually takes to construct a normal house and the costs are reduced by almost 40%. This provides a great and cheaper alternative to owning a home.