Precast Concrete Technology: Build a House in 8 Weeks
What is Precast Concrete?
Precast concrete is a type of concrete that is prepared either in a factory or in a workshop or site and cast and cured off-site.
Generally, precast concrete is prepared in a controlled factory environment using reusable molds. Precast concrete elements can be easily connected with other precast concrete elements to form a complete structure. Precast concrete is used for various structural components, like wall panels, beams, columns, floors, staircases, pipes, tunnels, and so on.
Precast Concrete in Kenya
As Kenya grapples with a chronic housing shortage, developers are increasingly turning to new technologies that promise to speed up construction projects. Precast concrete, which is slowly gaining a foothold in the Kenyan market, is one such technology.
Precast Concrete Construction.
Precast concrete technology makes it possible for a builder to put up a house in just eight weeks – without compromising on safety.
Precast concrete products are construction products produced by casting concrete in a reusable mold or form, cured in a controlled environment, and transported to the construction site. Precast concrete products can be said to be of better quality because precast concrete is produced in a controlled environment; it is thus afforded the opportunity to properly cure while being closely monitored by plant machinery.
Concrete Benefits /Advantage Precast
Other benefits of utilizing a precast concrete system include the speed of construction, cost-saving, and durability. Using this technology, a builder can save up to 90 per cent of the time taken to put up a similar project using conventional construction methods, while saving costs by up to 30 percent.
We have summarized the advantages below;
- Saves Construction Time: Precast concrete construction will save valuable time and helps to reduce the risk of project delay and possible monetary losses. The precast concrete casting can be carried on simultaneously with other works on site such as earthwork, excavations, etc., and thus saves time.
- Quality Assurance: The key factors which regulate the quality of construction such as curing, temperature, mix design, formwork, etc. can be monitored for Precast Concrete. So, improved quality construction can be performed.
- Usage of Prestressed Concrete: By using pre-stressed precast, structural materials of high strength and load-bearing capacity can be achieved, which can result in greater clear span, reduced size of the cross-section of structural members, etc.
- Cost-effective: The simplified construction process reduces the time, increases productivity, quality, and safety and thus the cost is reduced.
- Durability: Precast Concrete structure has a longer service time period and minimal maintenance. The high-density Precast Concrete is more durable to acid attack, corrosion, impact, reduces surface voids, and resists the accumulation of dust.
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Uses of Precast Concrete
The growing demand and acceptance of modern construction technology among local developers have lured a Chinese investor into the Kenyan real estate market. The precast elements will be applied in the construction of apartments, villas, office buildings, shopping malls, schools, hospitals, and highway bridges.
Kenyans have also ventured into the same market.
Meet Alex Kariuki, Founder and MD of Ankar Realtors, a company based in Ruiru. His company sells and supplies precast construction panels as well as do precast houses across the country. We have been using them for four years now. Check the video below
According to Alex, precast actually reduces the construction time by 50 percent and saves 30 percent of the construction costs. Moreover, a bungalow takes two (2) months compared to the traditional four (4) months. He says that precast gives you larger rooms as it is four inches thick and no plastering is required compared to stone buildings, which are six inches wide and an extra inch for plaster.
Cost of Precast Concrete + Measurements
Precast construction technology panels have an overall thickness of 8 inches, but their designs are often customized to the application.
Price per Panel: Kshs. 2,800