• Mon. Jan 17th, 2022

UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | Rapid population growth in Uganda is leading to a housing shortage, and major demand for new infrastructure.

Ugandan’s need safer and more comfortable places to live, and prices need to be reasonable. This is where the benefits of precast construction comes in.

Precast construction is a cost-efficient, fast and sustainable building technology that can be applied to housing projects without compromising on quality.

Precast construction is a modular building system comprising ready-made, factory-manufactured components such as concrete frames, concrete walls and concrete floors etc..

The modular components are joined with intelligent connections such as simple, semi-rigid or rigid connections.

Precast concrete panels; a Future in Residential Homes.
Precast concrete panels; a Future in Residential Homes. Image source: Dig This Design

The mass production nature of precast concrete allows for the design and construction of a sufficient number of homes or buildings in a reasonable timeframe and at a reasonable cost.

Therefore, precast is an optimal technology for developers of large housing projects where high productivity, low costs, and reduced risk of project delays are essential.

With precast technology, most of the work is transferred from the site to a safe and controlled, automated factory environment.

Once manufactured, the precast products are then transported to the building site by semi-trailer, and lifted into position with a mobile or tower crane.

The typical weight of a precast panel is 1 to 10 tonnes.

Construction Site Crane Is Lifting A Precast Concrete Wall Panel To Installation Building.
Construction Site Crane Is Lifting A Precast Concrete Wall Panel To Installation Building. Image source: iStock Photo

Because precast products are ready-to-install, the construction method results in a much shorter construction time.

The technology also uses less cement, water, steel, and labour compared to traditional cast-in-situ, where walls and slabs of the buildings are cast at the site.

The assembling of the precast panels on-site is one of the key points for ensuring strong structural behaviour. Connections between the panels must be supervised and done properly to ensure the intended behavior of the connection such as simple, semi-rigid or rigid connections. Otherwise, faulty connections may lead to water leakage and failed sound insulation.

Benefits of Precast Homes:
  • Precast homes provide a comfortable indoor climate due to the perfect thermal behaviour of concrete, which is cool in summers and warm in winters.
  • No additional protections against fire or noise are necessary.
  • Buildings can be erected in any weather conditions.
  • Structures are not susceptible to water damage, mold, or mildew.
  • Structures are termite-proof.
  • Precast structural materials are of high strength and load-bearing capacity, which can result in greater clear span, reduced size of the cross-section of structural members, etc.
  • The simplified construction process reduces the time, increases the productivity, quality and safety and thus the cost of construction is reduced.
  • Improved aesthetics: As the structures are prefabricated in a controlled factory environment, several combinations of colours and textures can be used, in a wide range of shapes and sizes, thus increasing the aesthetical value of products.
According to Joshua Mugume, erecting the walls of this pre-cast house will only take 4 days, after which the roofing will take place.
According to Joshua Mugume, erecting the walls of this Ugandan pre-cast house will only take 4 days, after which the roofing will take place. Image source: Twitter/@mugume_joshua
Effective, Efficient and Economical.
Effective, Efficient and Economical. Image Source: Décor Design Constructors & Civil Engineerings Works Co
Disadvantages of Precast Homes:

There are some disadvantages to precast construction, including:

  • The construction site can be at a distant location from the precast concrete plant. In some cases, the reduced costs of precast concrete is eaten up by the transportation costs.
  • Precast concrete is naturally heavy and more often than not needs special tools like cranes to lift.
  • Proper care and precaution have to be taken for handling precast concrete. Usually, precast members are heavy and large, which makes it difficult to handle without damage.
  • Precast structures are difficult to modify. For example, if a structural wall is to be dismantled for modification, the overall stability of the structure will impacted.

However, the overall benefits to the precast construction method far outweigh the drawbacks.

Stunning Examples of Precast Finished Homes
Precast concrete means termites safe housing.
Precast concrete means termites safe housing. Image source: Prilhofer Consulting
Luxury villas and basic detached houses made with precast concrete.
Luxury villas and basic detached houses made with precast concrete. Image source: Prilhofer Consulting
Mansion built from precast concrete.
Mansion built from precast concrete. Image source: Prilhofer Consulting

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