We have been involved in the development of the use of precast concrete as a structural material for more than 15 years, having been at the forefront of flat pack construction in many different building types. We were involved in the first ever PFI project in the UK, where we developed a system to provide a 4 cell prison unit entirely constructed off site.
Most recently we were involved in the development of the innovative “sandwich panel construction”, where a concrete inner leaf, bonded insulation and concrete outer leaf is constructed off site and erected with the main frame. This was used to great success on HMP Oakwood, at the time the largest new prison project in the UK, and is now used extensively on various different building types across the UK.
The benefits associated with precast concrete relate to finish quality, robustness and a reduction in on site program. The design of buildings constructed in precast concrete is unusual in that it is often influenced by the practicalities of construction and erection sequencing, therefore a working knowledge of the design, manufacture and construct process is essential to ensure the full benefits can be realised.