Residential Buildings Construction
Precast and prestressed concrete enjoys broad acceptance in low-rise and mid-rise apartment buildings, hotels, motels, and nursing homes where the repetitive use of standard components manufactured in a factory can be fully utilized. The superior fire resistance and sound control features are specifically recognized by owners and developers.
Floors and Roofs
Hollow core slabs are popular for this type of construction.The most common floor and roof elements employed are 203 mm (8 in) deep untopped hollow core units.These slabs can span up to 9 m or more without intermediate supports.Longer spans can be achieved by using 254 mm(10 in), 305 mm (12 in) or 355 mm (14 in) deep hollow core units.For hotels, motels and apartments the hollowcore slabs are oriented to either span between load bearing shear walls or to span from the central corridor to an exterior wall.Balconies can be cast as separate units to provide a thermal break with the outside walls.
Speed of Construction
Precast components can be manufactured and erected by one trade more efficiently and quickly than any other building system.Speedy completion means buildings can be occupied and startgenerating revenue sooner.The use of precast walls speeds the erection process. Construction rates of one floor per week and better are often achieved.Architectural insulated sandwich wall panels used for the exterior of a building can provide a durable, attractive, energy efficient envelope. Ancillary recreation, parking and convention facilities are commonly constructed using precast concrete framing with long span precast roof and floor members.
Owners and developers are discovering that for low-rise and mid-rise apartment buildings, hotels,motels, and nursing and retirement homes,precast hollow core concrete floors combined with precast walls can be the true winner for getting projects finished fast, generating revenue sooner and maintaining quality, value and fire resistance.
Comfort and Security
The solid, secure, high-quality look and feel of solid precast construction encourages greater occupancy at higher rents, with better selling and resale values.Precast offers some of the lowest sound transmission of any building material used for multi-unit housing. When ceilings and floors are made with precast floors and walls, complaints about noise become a thing of the past.Tenants like the sense of security of a building that is solidly built, fire resistant and virtually decayproof. They know their families are safe and their possessions are protected.
Precast and Fire Safety
A major concern when building assisted living/retirement multi-family housing is fire safety of lives and property. An effective approach to this fire containment problem is called Balanced Design that consists of three elements: containment, detection and suppression.
Containment,the key ingredient in Balanced Design, requires fire resistant building materials with a two-hour or higher fire rating. A multi-unit structure built with precast floors and roofs, combined with precast dividing walls, can contain a fire to within the unit of origin, leaving the occupants safe and the surrounding areas virtually undamaged.