Precast concrete systems have certain characteristics to consider that will influence the construction depth, span length, layout and stability of the system. In precast concrete construction, most of the structural elements of the project are manufactured at plants away from the construction site and get delivered to the project site, where they simply need to be erected in accordance with the project’s plans.
Here are some considerations you’ll need to keep in mind when working on precast concrete construction projects in Idaho:
- Sequence: All precast concrete parts need to be erected in the proper order. The erection plan should contain the full erection sequence, so make sure you have analyzed this part of the plan carefully before you actually start putting up any of the precast members. There is often a reason why the sequence occurs in the way it does, so you should not deviate at all.
- Safety: As with any type of construction project, it is crucial that you follow proper safety procedures while handling and erecting your concrete structure. Any machines and equipment you use in setting up your precast concrete elements should be properly maintained and load tested, and should only be used by people who are trained or certified to do so. You should also make sure you follow all safety procedures outlined in the erection plan. This means erecting the precast units in accordance with the tolerances provided by applicable building codes, unless there are other tolerances used in the specifications and design you have.
- Bracing: Precast concrete members should be properly braced and supported during every phase of erection to ensure their structural integrity, as well as to ensure proper alignment of all elements. This bracing is just temporary until the permanent structural connections are finished, but it’s crucial to use that bracing to prevent an accident from occurring.
- Rigging: You should have a rigging system for handling and setting up any precast elements you have. This requires you to carefully and thoroughly plan that system in advance, and to equalize loads between lifting points on some types of precast elements, including flat slabs and beams. You may also require certain lifting accessories to get the precast elements up safely. These accessories could include slings, cables, shackles or hooks. When selecting these accessories, make sure to consider the forces on all operations involved in the erection of the precast units.
- Shims: During the course of erecting the precast concrete units, you may need to use some leveling shims to make sure everything sits at the proper level. These shims should be made out of a durable material and be capable of withstanding the full load of the concrete being placed on top of it. This support should be steady and capable of preventing any movement from occurring until the element gets fully incorporated into the main structure of the concrete project.
For more information about what you need to consider as you undertake a precast concrete construction project in Idaho, contact the experts at Mason & Associates today.