The hard facts: why concrete is still one of the best products in construction

Concrete is one of the best construction materials.

Steel and wood may work in some contexts, but when it comes to commercial construction, no other material is as versatile as concrete.

Here, we’ve highlighted 10 key reasons why it’s a superior material.
  1. Concrete is cheap. Compared with steel and polymers, the cost of concrete production is very low. And, unlike many other building materials, concrete is fireproof, so there’s no need to spend additional money on fireproofing.
  2. Concrete hardens all year round. The physical properties of poured concrete mean it sets and hardens at a wide range of ambient temperatures, so it can be used regardless of the weather outside.
  3. Concrete can be water resistant. Compared with steel and wood, concrete performs very well underwater, resisting corrosion for hundreds of years.
  4. Concrete can withstand high temperatures. Aside from being able to withstand temperatures up to 900°, concrete is a poor conductor of heat, which means it is excellent in situations where fireproofing is required.
  5. Concrete creates energy-efficient buildings. Concrete has a naturally high Solar Reflective Index (30+) which keeps buildings cooler than those made with steel and glass.
  6. Concrete helps reduce industrial waste. Concrete can be made using a wide variety of industrial waste products, including slag and glass, which means it’s an environmentally responsible material.
  7. Concrete can be poured on site. Fresh concrete is malleable, so it can be used in situations where complex or unique shapes are required (e.g., concrete floors).
  8. Concrete is versatile. As well as pouring, concrete can be hand-applied, sprayed, grouted and precast, making it suitable for a wide range of uses.
  9. Concrete is a low-maintenance material. Unlike steel and wood, concrete does not need to be coated or treated in order to withstand weather conditions.
  10. Precast concrete offers even more benefits. Choosing precast concrete products from a manufacturer such as Austral Precast has a range of additional advantages:
    • It saves even more money. Precast elements can be manufactured concurrent with the start of early site work, reducing the overall duration of your job. Working with a reputable precast manufacturer such as Austral Precast guarantees your concrete elements will be perfect first time – no need to fix on-site defects.
    • It contributes to site safety. Most precast products are accessible and trafficable, so workers can safely access the next part of the construction site. The majority of precast products are installed directly from the truck into position, reducing the need for scaffolding. And using precast products reduces the number of workers needed on your site, preventing congestion and improving overall safety.
    • It arrives in peak condition. Using precast concrete means you know the material is at its best when exposed to aggressive loads. Concrete that is poured in situ needs time to set and there is a risk that loads will be applied to the concrete before it achieves peak strength.
    • It’s better for the environment. At your site, the use of precast products reduces air pollution, noise and debris. At Austral Precast HQ, precise measurements and recycling capabilities mean your products are produced in an environmentally sensitive manner.

Austral Precast offers the whole of structure solution using precast concrete.

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