Developers can see a considerable benefit from modern, precast hybrid construction techniques such as clear, uncluttered spans, greater fire resistance, reduced maintenance costs and a dramatically easier lighting, M&E services and signage installation, according to a recent report in Concrete Magazine.
The article, by Norman Brown, features two particular examples:
The car park is often a visitor's first experience of a development - and if it's a bad one it may well encourage them to seek out alternative retail facilities. From the customer perspective says the article "ease of parking and the feeling of safety is paramount. Long clear-span parking with minimal columns and nil or minimal floor plate vibration, which is often not the case with steel-frame car parks, helps provide both of these important user requirements." The requirement for stand-alone parking facilities is diminishing, writes Mr Brown. Structures now frequently incorporate sales as well as leisure facilities and should also meet environmental as well as architectural requirements.
The two case studies cited amply demonstrate the convenience, construction time reduction and cost savings provided by offsite construction.
The article states:
"No longer is it necessary to use in-situ concrete for structural topping to the precast floor units, significantly reducing lorry movements to site, manpower and site programmes. The casting of lift and stair cores as individual components off-site, rather than individual wall panel construction, gives similar benefits."