What is Precast Concrete?


Precast concrete is a construction material that is prepared and cast in a controlled factory environment, away from the actual construction site. The process involves pouring concrete into moulds or forms, allowing it to cure and harden, and then transporting the finished components to the building site for installation. These precast concrete elements can include walls, columns, beams, slabs, staircases, and other structural or architectural components.

The advantage of using precast concrete lies in its superior quality control due to the controlled manufacturing conditions. The factory environment allows for precise mixing of concrete, ensuring consistent strength and durability. Additionally, precast concrete products are typically produced in a more efficient and timely manner than on-site casting, resulting in reduced construction time and costs.

Once delivered to the construction site, precast elements are lifted and assembled into their intended positions using cranes or other specialized equipment.

Precast concrete finds applications in a wide range of construction projects, including commercial buildings, bridges, parking structures, highway barriers, and residential schemes. Its versatility, durability, and efficiency make it a popular choice for modern construction practices.

What is Precast Concrete made from?

Precast concrete is made from a combination of cement, aggregates, water, and additives. Here’s a brief description of these materials:

  • Cement: Cement is a fine powder, typically composed of limestone, clay, and other minerals. It acts as the binding agent in concrete, chemically reacting with water to form a strong paste that binds the aggregates together. Portland cement is commonly used in precast concrete production.
  • Aggregates: Aggregates are inert granular materials, such as sand, gravel, crushed stone, or recycled concrete. They make up the bulk of precast concrete and provide the structural strength and bulkiness. The selection of aggregates depends on the specific application and desired properties of the concrete.
  • Water: Water is essential in the concrete mix to facilitate the cement hydration process. During hydration, the cement particles react with water, forming a paste that coats and binds the aggregates together. The amount of water used influences the concrete’s workability, strength, and curing time.
precast concrete production


  • Accelerators: These additives help speed up the rate of cement hydration, leading to faster setting and early strength development. They are particularly useful in cold weather conditions or when a quick demoulding and handling of precast elements are required.
  • Retarders: On the contrary to accelerators, retarders slow down the cement hydration process, prolonging the setting time. This is beneficial in hot weather or when there is a need for more extended workability time for intricate or large precast components.
  • Water Reducers (Plasticizers): Water-reducing admixtures, also known as plasticizers or superplasticizers, reduce the amount of water required to achieve a desired workability. By allowing a lower water-to-cement ratio, they enhance concrete strength and durability while improving its flowability and ease of casting.
  • Air-Entraining Agents: These additives introduce tiny air bubbles into the concrete mix, which act as a relief mechanism during freeze-thaw cycles. The entrained air prevents the build-up of internal pressure, reducing the risk of cracking and spalling caused by frost action.
  • Pozzolans: Pozzolans are supplementary cementitious materials that are added to the mix to improve concrete’s long-term strength and durability. Common pozzolanic materials include fly ash, silica fume, and ground granulated blast furnace slag.
  • Fibre Reinforcements: Fibres, such as steel, glass, or synthetic fibres, can be added to precast concrete to enhance its tensile strength and toughness. Fibre-reinforced concrete is particularly useful for applications where crack control and increased impact resistance are essential.
  • Corrosion Inhibitors: These admixtures help protect embedded steel reinforcement from corrosion caused by exposure to harsh environmental conditions, such as chloride or sulphate attack.
  • Shrinkage Reducing Admixtures: These additives help mitigate the potential for shrinkage cracking in precast concrete by reducing the overall drying shrinkage.
  • Colouring Agents: For architectural or aesthetic purposes, colouring agents can be added to precast concrete to achieve a wide range of colours and textures.

The precise mixture of these materials is carefully controlled and optimized based on the specific requirements of the precast concrete product being produced. The process of mixing, pouring into moulds, and curing in a controlled factory environment ensures consistent quality and performance of the precast elements.

precast concrete production

What are the benefits of Precast Concrete?

Using precast concrete offers a range of significant benefits in various construction projects. Here’s a factually accurate description of these advantages:

Quality Control

Precast concrete is manufactured in a controlled factory environment, ensuring a high level of quality control. The use of standardised moulds, precise mixing, and curing processes result in consistent and uniform products with reliable strength and durability.

Time Efficiency

Since precast elements are cast off-site, construction schedules can be significantly accelerated. The precast components are ready for installation when they arrive at the construction site, reducing on-site labour and construction time.

Cost Savings

Despite the initial investment in moulds and equipment, precast concrete can lead to cost savings in the long run. Reduced on-site labour, faster construction timelines, and minimised waste contribute to overall project cost efficiency.

Durability and Strength

Precast concrete is known for its excellent durability and strength. The controlled manufacturing process ensures that the concrete achieves its optimal strength, resulting in resilient structures that can withstand environmental and load stresses.

Design Flexibility

Precast concrete allows for a wide range of shapes, sizes, and finishes. The use of reusable moulds and the ability to customise designs cater to various architectural and engineering requirements, enabling creativity in construction projects.

Reduced Environmental Impact

The manufacturing process of precast concrete generates less waste compared to traditional on-site casting. Additionally, precast elements can be recycled and reused, reducing the overall environmental impact of construction.

Weather Independence

Precast concrete production is not as susceptible to weather conditions, as it takes place indoors. This reduces delays caused by adverse weather, making construction timelines more predictable.


The controlled environment of precast concrete manufacturing minimises the risks associated with on-site construction, improving safety for workers and reducing accidents.

Structural Efficiency

Precast concrete components can be engineered to be lighter and thinner while maintaining their structural integrity. This leads to more efficient use of materials, reduced dead loads, and potential cost savings.

Fire Resistance

Precast concrete inherently offers excellent fire resistance, making it a preferred material in buildings where fire safety is a priority.

Minimal Maintenance

Due to its durability and resistance to wear and tear, precast concrete requires minimal maintenance over its lifecycle, resulting in long-term cost savings.

What are the options for Precast Concrete Structures?


ThermabeamTM is an insulated concrete flooring system that combines both high performance expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation and structural grade reinforced concrete. This forms a continuous layer of insulation across the entire ground floor.



Hollowcore planks provide a floor which can single-span greater distances than many other structural floor designs, eliminating unnecessary supporting walls or steels to reduce spans.

hollowcore slab


Wideslab is available in 1.2m or 2.4m planks to dramatically reduce crane lifting time on site. Cast in lifting system, fully anchored, are designed so that the units can be lifted from the trailer into final position without the need for cradles, chains or bearing into position.


Precast Concrete Stairs

Precast concrete stairs provide a safe means of escape in event of fire and can be installed instantly, they can be used in every development type where there is a requirement for access and egress. All our stair and landing units are designed, manufactured, delivered, installed by our approved installation teams to the highest standards.

precast stairs

Lift Shafts

Lift shafts can be built from 1200mm each way up to 2750mm, in increments of 50mm. Wall thickness starts at 150mm, but this can be increased to 200mm or 250mm. Our standard lift design supports all loading from the lift equipment during installation, operation, and maintenance.

lift shafts

Dock Leveller Systems

Dock levellers are designed to allow access onto vehicles whose heights vary from that of the loading dock or those that require the reach of a dock leveller to bridge the gap between the loading dock and the vehicle floor.

When constructing a loading dock, efficiency, durability, and safety are all essential requirements.

dock leveller systems


Warmbeam® suspended modules are thermally efficient in achieving and exceeding the thermal requirements of part L of the building regulations without the need for additional insulation.


Beam and Block

Provides a cost effective and easily installed flooring system. It can be used on both ground and upper floors and are available in 150mm and 225mm depths.

beam and block