Precast was the way forward
The two most common methods of laying concrete are ready-mix and precast. They can both contain the same ingredients, but are produced in very different ways.
Ready-mix is manufactured in a plant and then transferred in cement mixers to the building sites where it can be poured into place. This can have a significant impact on the surrounding environment through increased dust, noise, and transport emissions.
We decided to focus on precast, which utilizes reusable molds to prepare, cast, and cure the concrete in a controlled environment — all in one location, all off-site. The finished products can then be transported to the construction site to be laid in place.
The use of molds reduces any potential errors, and makes it quicker and more efficient to produce large amounts of identical components, such as wall panels, staircases, pipes, and tunnels, which often sit alongside structural steel frames and concrete produced on site.
As well as being able to control the curing environment, precast concrete has several advantages, including lower labor and transport costs, and is a growing industry, valued at around $116 billion in 2019.