When it comes to choosing our house construction materials, we come across on these two major options: precast and hollow blocks. Before we start on our discussion, we all know that the use and popularity of hollow block is dated for many years. Most residential homes (and even ours) are built with this kind of material. However, in this modern age, we use a different technology that do not just only provide strength and durability in our homes, but bring more advantages as well. The precast system is the technology used by Homelockers on their building construction project in the Philippines. It is an advanced construction method that has proven stunning results in the house construction industry. Let’s know why it outmatched the traditional hollow blocks.
BLOCKS ARE HOLLOW
Based on the standard measurements, a concrete block measures about 8 inches by 8 inches by 16 inches. The actual dimensions can vary slightly depending on the nominal size allowed for mortar to fill between the blocks. We can say that blocks are pretty solid but as you often encounter, they have hollow spaces which are filled by cement paste after they are laid onto the house construction. This reduces their weight and though they are covered upon installation, it does not guarantee their full strength as some may be exposed to certain gaps.
PRECAST IS SOLID
Unlike hollow blocks, precast is solid. They are simply suitable for concrete walls as they can be easily poured into a desired form and size. Precast has no empty gaps because they are manufactures in a controlled factory environment and transported to the construction site. Manufacturers also used techniques which actually form a precast concrete wall right to the job site. Precast concrete are delivered by trucks and transported to the work place. They contain a strong structural element which makes them more sustainable.
STRENGTHS ARE RELATIVELY EQUAL
Ideally, concrete blocks and precast can be equal in strength. The strength of concrete is commonly measured in pounds per square inch. So, meaning to say, a concrete block and a precast concrete section of the same size can have the same compressive strength and capacity to support loads. Both concrete block and precast concrete are nothing without steel reinforcements. It is a major factor that provides tensile strength. However, though they can both carry the same mass, the precast concrete wall has more interlocking cement paste that holds the wall together and resist the cracking force in comparison to the concrete block which depends mainly on the mortar filling the gaps between each block.
Both concrete block and precast would not be strong enough to hold pressure and load if they are not reinforced with steel bars. These steel bars are inserted through the hollows and sealed by cement into the openings. This provides more resistance to earthquakes and storms. A reinforced block is a key for a stronger and better house construction.
PRECAST ARE FASTER TO INSTALL
When it comes to house construction process, one of the deciding factor is the time. As we all know, a traditional concrete block is laid as an individual components and may take months to finish building. In comparison, a precast concrete can be installed as a single large unit which makes the job easier and faster. Also, precast concrete only requires less on-site labor as it is being help by machines and heavy equipment during the installation process. Less time will save you money and thus, accelerate the project faster than a traditional form of construction.