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Cost-Effective Solutions - Life-Cycle Costs

Precast concrete provides low on-going costs for maintenance, repair and other needs that add material and labor costs. Generally, precast concrete components, even those exposed to weather, require little maintenance. A regular inspection and routine recaulking of cladding panels every 15 to 20 years is all that may typically be required.

Panels can be washed with strong chemicals and cleaners without losing their color, and UV rays will not cause them to fade, as will happen with paint.

Parking structures, more than any other building type, require routine maintenance. The severity of the wear and exposure demands will depend on the structure’s location, environmental conditions and maintenance schedule. Based on national surveys, precast concrete parking structures provide superior resistance to deterioration. Components produced by PCI-certified plants in particular use durable concrete mixes with specialty curing can be created that cannot be achieved in the field.

In general, there are three types of maintenance: housekeeping, for general upkeep; preventive maintenance, with periodic checkups and cleaning of components; and structural repairs, due to spalling, cracking or other wear issues. All of these are minimized with the use of precast concrete components.


* Costs for fireproofing and caulking are the same for a total precast system and cast-in-place concrete.


Cost-Effective Solutions:

  • Life-Cycle Costs

* Savings shown are based on comparisons conducted by a nationally recognized estimating firm using two prototypical office buildings: a four-story, 100,000-square-foot building and an eight-story, 200,000-square-foot building. Both were constructed with a total precast building system and each offered a footprint of 113’ x 227’. These buildings were compared to similar prototypes constructed with steel or cast-in-place frames and brick veneer or precast enclosures. Charts courtesy High Concrete Group LLC, Denver, Pa.
Inset-Brick Precast Panels vs. CMU with Brick
Examples of recent school projects in the Southeast show how precast panels compare to typical brick construction.  Names and locations have been deleted.
Source: Institutional Resources, LLC. 2003