When it comes to building schools and campuses, there are many requirements to be considered. The space must meet capacity needs, provide a reliable and durable shelter from inclement weather, and operate upwards to one hundred years. Students, faculty, and parents expect schools to create a comfortable and positive space for quality education to ensue, and precast concrete provides the form and function needed for the best learning experience possible.
Precast aids in temperature control and humidity and does not emit the toxic substances commonly trapped or frozen in some building materials. It also supports the ability to maximize window openings and natural daylight without sacrificing high performance. With its inherent ability to meet impressive demands, precast concrete systems are the leading choice for new school construction.
We’ll explore why more and more architects and construction teams are turning to precast concrete for school buildings, so you can determine if it’s right for your next project. To learn more about precast concrete in school projects, watch the video below.
Easy on the Budget & Year-Round Installation
There is a multitude of variables that can offset the cost of new builds, such as delayed project timelines, added material requirements, and associated labor wages. School administrators must follow strict budgets, and setbacks can quickly lead to cost overruns. Precast manufacturers provide a price that remains firm throughout the entire project, which mitigates unforeseen expenditures.
Precast concrete is fabricated off site in quality-controlled environments and delivered to the job site just in time, permitting construction through all weather conditions and bypassing major site disruption. This empowers teams to overcome common hurdles, such as costly premiums, rain delays, on-site failures, and shortages of skilled masons.
In factory-controlled settings, precast panels are quality-assured and produced efficiently and effectively. This reduces construction costs and yields accelerated project timelines. Easily replicated, precast is especially cost-effective for spaces with large spans, like gymnasiums and auditoriums.
Structural Versatility & Total Precast Solutions
Precast provides the aesthetic and structural versatility required to create iconic and traditional school façades and build everything from classrooms and offices to dormitories, parking garages, stadiums, theaters, and more. It reduces the need for other materials, such as drywall, and their associated suppliers and subtrades. Precast insulated wall panels provide a durable, finished or paint-ready interior wall.
Precast is also an integrated structural and architectural system that is quick to erect and sensitive to existing buildings and surrounding areas. This allows students and faculty to maintain regularity without much disturbance while reducing the total materials, detailing, costs, construction complexity, and more.
Operational Savings & Long Service Life
Precast concrete provides continuous insulation, acting as continuous air and vapor barrier all in the same wall panel system. Its thermal mass creates a thermal lag, which shifts peak heating and cooling points to reduce energy and mechanical equipment costs.
School administrators and building managers utilize a green process when they choose to work with precast concrete. Beyond conserving energy while the building is in use, components that make up precast concrete are natural and have no negative environmental effect. According to Nitterhouse Concrete Products, this “sends an important message to the students who are tomorrow’s stewards. They know green technology isn’t a far-off dream. It’s here and now, which makes learning so much more efficient when young people are in a green environment.”
Precast is a robust building material for structures that must withstand years of use and destructive hazards such as storms, fires, earthquakes, and blasts. Schools should stand for decades, and precast concrete is the right solution for durable, low maintenance, long-lasting buildings.
Learn More About Precast, Prestressed Concrete
Review the benefits of precast, prestressed concrete in the video above and share it with your industry peers and clients to spread awareness of this innovative material.
Interested in learning more about precast and how the precasters of the PCI Mid-Atlantic Chapter support projects of all kinds? Explore the PCI Mid-Atlantic Solutions Center for helpful resources and get in touch with PCI-MA for precast information, higher education partnerships, and more.