Prefabrication Incorporating Factory Engineered Concrete

Building construction in the UK using prefabricated concrete panels is outlined. Initially used for repetitious designs such as hotels and student accommodation, it is now also used for more complex structures, such as luxury apartments in city centre regeneration developments.

The system consists of large panels which provide structural loadbearing and partition walls. The floors are pre-stressed planks with solid reinforced pre-cast panels. Floor diaphragm action provides stability, and the walls are structurally connected by horizontal and vertical in-situ concrete stitched joints. Horizontal internal and peripheral ties, together with vertical ties in accordance with BS 8110, provide robustness and prevent disproportionate collapse. All loadbearing wall panels have vertical corrugated mild steel duct formers into which reinforcement is inserted during erection. The thermal storage capacity of the concrete structure contributes to a stable temperature environment. The development of factory-applied external finishes may eliminate the need for external scaffolding.

Primary author(s): Ruffell T

Source: Build.Eng.

            June, 2003, p.20-21

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