Precast Buildings and Parking Structures

by Tendon, on Jul 13, 2021 8:15:00 AM

While most buildings and parking structures may look as though they are constructed on-site, many elements are actually precast. Construction companies often opt for this method when they are constructing generic buildings such as parking garages. 

There are all kinds of benefits to using precast concrete for construction. 

To learn more about precast buildings and parking structures, read on. 

What is Precast Building Construction?

Precast concrete is made by pouring concrete into a wooden or steel frame. The frame, or mold, is reusable. This allows the manufacturer to repeatedly create the same elements. Once cured, the precast concrete is transported to the construction site. The concrete is then raised into position to form the parts of the building. 

Some of the precast concrete used in parking structures includes columns, stairs, walls, architectural features and more. Precast concrete can be used for all levels of parking structures and is a great way to save money on building costs.

Post-Tensioned and Prestressed Precast Concrete

Precast concrete has to be strengthened before it can be used in construction. This is accomplished through post-tensioning, or prestressing, the concrete. The words post-tensioning and prestressing are essentially one in the same, in this context. Post-tensioning is a form of prestressing precast concrete. 

Prestressed steel cables inside of plastic sleeves are placed inside of the concrete mold. Once the concrete is cured, but before it is placed on the building, the cables are tensioned and anchored against the concrete. 

The purpose of prestressing and post tensioning the concrete is to stress the part before the full load is placed onto it. Some precast concrete is pre-tensioned which means that the cables were pulled tight before the concrete was poured in. Whether pre- or post-tensioned, it is important to prestress precast concrete to ensure full stability and strength. 

Benefits of Precast Buildings and Parking Structures

There are many benefits to using precast concrete rather than form-in-place concrete. Take a look:

  • Better control over the construction schedule and site. Because the structural elements of the building are coming in an already finished manner, the process of construction is easier and more predictable. 
  • Lower costs. When using precast concrete, there is no need to worry about direct labor, safety or material costs. The concrete slabs are completely formed offsite and transported. Instead of paying employees to painstakingly pour concrete and wait for it to cure, you can purchase it in bulk for a lower cost.
  • Easy to install. With cure in place concrete, there are more installation considerations. With precast concrete, all that needs to be done is place the piece in the right spot. 
  • Increased safety on the construction site. With form in place concrete, there is always a greater risk of injury due to the nature of the installation. The materials take up space and can cause accidents on the construction site.
  • Better durability. Due to the prestressing aspect of precast concrete, this material is far more durable than form in place concrete. 
  • More control over aesthetics. Form in place concrete typically comes in one shade and texture. However, with precast concrete, engineers/manufacturers can fabricate using a variety of colors and coatings. 
  • Reduces noise. The design and construction of precast concrete allows for a more dense slab. This helps to reduce noise, making it an excellent choice for parking structures near offices, residences and other areas. 

These are only some of the benefits of precast concrete. 

Get in contact with our team at Tendon Systems to learn more about the benefits of using precast concrete. 

Precast Parking Structure Safety

As with any parking structure, precast or form in place, safety should be of the utmost importance. That is why it is key to implement a variety of safety measures into the building. 

The first thing to do to implement safety in an existing parking structure is to schedule concrete scanning to guarantee the strength and thickness of the concrete. Scanning can also alert you to voids and electrical materials that are embedded within the concrete. This is also important to the initial construction of the parking structure and could be required at regular intervals to intercept repair needs before they present damage or risk.

One of the most widely used safety systems in parking garages is high tension barrier cable systems. These systems are used along the sides of the building to keep vehicles and passengers from dangerous accidents. High tension barrier cables are an excellent, and cost effective, way to ensure the safety of the parking structure. 

Services for Precast Parking Structures

If you are ready to schedule precast engineering, post-tensioning or scanning services, you need Tendon Systems. Our team of experienced professionals are ready to help build a high quality and safe parking garage that is sure to last. At Tendon Systems we also provide high tension barrier cable systems to add an extra level of safety to your building. No matter what your construction needs may be, we can help. 

To speak with one of our team members about how to get started, call us at (678) 835-1100 or contact us online