Concrete in its earliest forms was discovered thousands of years ago in the Middle East, and ever since then, it has continued to evolve throughout the millenniums. Concrete is, therefore, an ancient material that has gone through countless modifications to become the durable, strong, and versatile material that we see and know as concrete today.
Precast concrete and site-cast concrete are both different variations of the same construction material, of course, but they are not equal in terms of quality, feasibility, or customizability. Unfortunately, as site-cast concrete is the more traditional choice, many contractors and builders still rely on it blindly. Unfortunately, that is a mistake both in terms of cost-effectiveness and quality sometimes. To understand why precast concrete is a better option today for most projects, the following facts should be considered.
The Basic Difference is What Makes All the Difference
As the name suggests, precast concrete is poured, molded, and cured in a concrete manufacturing unit, delivered to the site, ready for assembly. The name “site-cast concrete” is also quite self-explanatory, given that this would be the traditional concrete variant, which is manufactured at the construction site itself. This is the basic difference between the two, and everything else that makes one better than the other by the project’s variables stems from their manufacturing.
Precast Concrete is Stronger and More Durable
Since precast concrete is manufactured in a controlled facility, the product will always be superior to site-cast concrete. This is because:
- Precast concrete is cured under the ideal weather conditions in a climate-controlled, indoor facility to produce the best possible product.
- Site cast concrete is manufactured and cured in the open air, which means that the local weather conditions mostly determine quality.
- Precast concrete is manufactured under strict quality control measures, as instructed by the customer, thoroughly regulated by the overseer.
- Quality control for site-cast concrete is highly variable, as it depends almost entirely on the experience, knowledge, and sincerity of the construction workers and their managers.
As should be evident at this point, as far as quality is concerned, precast concrete is the clear winner.
Precast Concrete is the Default Choice for Architectural and Decorative Structures
Consider that Kafka Granite manufactures 60+ specialty concrete aggregates from crushed natural stones, recycled building materials, fine sand, and various other materials. Such a feat would be simply impossible to pull off with onsite concrete casting. This is why precast specialty concrete aggregates have almost become the default choice for pavement constructions, decorative veneers, and even reinforcing support structures.
Before choosing between the two options, always do a few calculations of your own. It is true that precast concrete structures offer better quality and can help finish constructions in a fraction of the time that it would take to complete them with site case concrete. However, for the reduced cost of labor to make financial sense, the delivery time and cost must also be factored in. In terms of quality, precast concrete is unbeatable, but site casting can make more sense if the factory is too far away and the molded concrete pieces to be delivered are too big and heavy to be cost-effective.