Concrete has been used as an architectural building material for centuries. By centuries we can trace it back to 600 BC when the Romans started to use it for their constructions, though they were not the first - By 200 BC, the Romans successfully implemented the use of concrete in the majority of their buildings.
The nature of architectural precast concrete provides architects and building designers with near-limitless options to create awesome home designs. Architectural concrete is more than just looks, it also provides structural reinforcement for structures, making this durable material a popular choice of building material.
Architectural precast concrete companies need to work with the building designers to ensure that the project runs smoothly. We have written this article to outline the pros and cons of the versatile material.
Architectural precast concrete is used to add some aesthetic qualities to a building and the structural components - strength. The aesthetics can be further enhanced by applying special finishes and colours, the variety of effects is almost unlimited.
The effects that can be created are impressive, but building materials using architectural concrete in designing homes comes with some challenges.
Concrete has a massive carbon footprint: Not so much of a challenge, just something to be aware of - Cement requires a lot of energy to produce. The process requires additional input of other limited resources such as dredged sand, water and rebar steel.
It comes with special requirements for building and safety code: To build with precast architectural concrete, it needs to meet the suitability requirements of local and national building codes.
It might require the input of a structural engineer &/ or additional contractors: A safe and successful design using precast architectural concrete requires additional specialist support. Structural engineers, architects, and contractors must work in tandem to provide the necessary structural and waterproofing performance while still achieving the desired finish.
Concrete has a high thermal mass and very low insulation value: In Australia, solid exposed concrete walls absorb the sun's heat - this is called solar gain - the heat release throughout the cooler nights. The opposite happens in colder weather since concrete walls have such low insinuative value, the interior may need to be insulated.
These two factors will have an energy consumption impact. During hot weather, air conditioners need to work a little harder to keep a building cool. During cold weather, heaters are required to maintain a comfortable temperature.
To learn more about what Specialty Precast can provide you with regards to using architectural precast concrete for home construction projects, get in touch with us today.
Get in touch with us and talk to us about our many happy architectural clients. We can let you know more about the projects we have completed for them.