Precast concrete is a construction material that is produced
by casting concrete in a reusable mold, which is then cured in a controlled
environment before being transported to the construction site. Precast concrete
has gained popularity in recent years due to its various advantages over
traditional site-cast concrete. This essay will discuss the benefits of precast
concrete, its applications, and the future of this material in the construction
One of the most significant advantages of precast concrete
is its durability. Precast concrete structures have a longer lifespan than
traditional site-cast structures due to their increased resistance to
weathering, wear and tear, and other environmental factors. Precast concrete
can also withstand natural disasters, such as earthquakes and hurricanes,
making it a popular choice in areas prone to such events.
Precast concrete is also cost-effective as it reduces the
need for on-site labor, which can lead to savings in terms of time and money.
Since precast concrete is manufactured off-site, it can be produced in a
controlled environment, reducing the risk of errors and improving the quality
of the finished product.
Another benefit of precast concrete is its versatility.
Precast concrete can be cast into various shapes and sizes, making it an ideal
material for a wide range of applications. It can be used for walls, floors,
roofs, and even bridges. Precast concrete can also be produced in different
colors and finishes, providing a wide range of design options for architects
The use of precast concrete is not limited to large-scale
construction projects. It is also becoming increasingly popular in residential
construction due to its various advantages. Precast concrete is ideal for
constructing prefabricated homes, which are faster to build, cost-effective,
The future of precast concrete looks promising, with the
growing need for sustainable and eco-friendly construction materials. Precast
concrete can be produced using recycled materials, reducing the environmental
impact of construction projects. In addition, precast concrete structures have
a lower carbon footprint than traditional site-cast structures, making them a
more sustainable option.
In conclusion, precast concrete is an excellent material for
construction due to its durability, cost-effectiveness, versatility, and
sustainability. With the growing need for sustainable construction materials,
precast concrete is likely to become more popular in the future. Its benefits
make it an attractive option for architects, builders, and homeowners alike.
Precast Concrete Market Dynamics
DRIVERS in Precast
The precast concrete market is influenced by several
drivers. One of the main drivers is the need for reduced construction time and
cost-effective products. Precast concrete construction offers a significantly
reduced construction time, which leads to a reduction in human labor, resulting
in cost savings. Precast components are produced in factories under a
controlled environment, enabling easy adjustments and real-time monitoring.
Compared to cast-in-situ constructions, precast construction uses fewer
resources, such as cement, steel, water, energy, and human labor, generating
less waste in the factory and at the construction site. The precast
construction method allows parts of an entire building to be made even before
the completion of the foundation for the same. Modular constructions take only
four to eight weeks to be completed and assembled, while conventional on-site
constructed buildings require twice the time for construction of a similar-sized
structure. Improved quality and productivity, shortened construction time, and
reduced waste generation make this type of construction method cheaper and a preferable
choice for end users.
The global precast concrete industry is expected to experience
substantial growth over the forecast period due to several factors. Rapid
industrialization and urbanization in emerging economies, rising focus on
developing high-quality infrastructure around the world, and emphasis on green
building projects are major drivers in the industry. Precast concrete is used
in the production of building components, such as wall panels, sound walls,
manholes, highway barriers, and building foundations. Compared to other
alternatives, precast concrete structures are more durable, stronger, and can
be easily constructed in a shorter period of time.
RESTRAINTS in Precast
One of the main restraints of the precast concrete market is
the volatility in raw material prices. Raw materials and energy used in precast
concrete have unstable prices, and sudden increases or decreases in price
affect the profit margin of manufacturers. Cement, aggregates, sand, and other
materials are the primary raw materials used for manufacturing precast concrete
products. Fluctuations in the prices of energy and crude oil, which are used
for manufacturing and transporting these materials, cause volatility in the
prices of these raw materials, leading to price variations in finished
Despite the advantages of precast concrete, such as reduced
cost, time, and labor, and improved construction quality through process
standardization, there are still some challenges to overcome. However, being
constructed in a closed and controlled facility, precast modules are less
affected by adverse environmental conditions, such as excessive moisture, heat,
and pollution. In addition to this, factors such as improved work-zone safety
for workers, easier material handling, and minimized need for scaffolding are
encouraging contractors and builders to adopt the precast concrete technique.
Precast concrete is reinforced with reinforcing bars, high
tensile strength strands, or a combination of both, and it is manufactured
using industrialized methods. The building is divided into components that are
manufactured in a precast concrete plant and transported to the site using
special transportation equipment. Due to the pre-manufactured elements,
precasting reduces construction time.
Precast Concrete Market
The precast concrete market is expected to see significant
opportunities arising from the rise in renovation and remodeling activities
across the globe. Government organizations in emerging economies are investing
in commercial and industrial infrastructure development by initiating various
programs and projects, which will drive the expansion of the precast concrete
The increasing number of renovation and remodeling
operations in non-residential spaces, including hotels and resorts, is expected
to boost the demand for precast concrete. Furthermore, the growing investment
from industry players in industrial construction is anticipated to propel the
adoption of precast concrete, creating new opportunities in the market.
Precast concrete walls offer design flexibility and improved
profitability, which is expected to drive the demand for precast architectural
building components over the forecast period. With the expansion of cities,
there will be a surge in demand for office buildings, hospitals, schools,
shopping centers, apartments, and parking garages, thereby further increasing the
demand for precast concrete.
The precast concrete market is likely to experience high
demand in rail applications due to rising awareness about its benefits, such as
durability, low maintenance costs, improved track elasticity, and enhanced ride
quality. Moreover, the benefits of greater weight, minimum lifecycle cost,
improved geometric retention of the rail track, and environmental friendliness
are expected to drive further growth in the industry.
CHALLENGES in Precast
One of the major challenges facing the precast modular
construction industry is the volatility of transportation charges. This
industry heavily relies on transportation services to move raw materials from
suppliers and modules from the factory to the installation site. These
transportation charges include costs such as fuel, workforce, warehouse, and
handling charges. While smooth production is ensured as long as these services
are available at reasonable prices, transportation charges are highly
unpredictable and subject to sudden fluctuations. In the event of a rise in
transportation costs, the production costs of the overall project will also
increase, which not only affects the transportation cost of modules but also raises
the raw material cost for the manufacturer. This increase in costs can result
in inflated prices of modular buildings for end-users. Consequently, end-users
may opt for conventional construction techniques, leading to a slowdown in the
precast modular construction market. Thus, the volatile transportation charges
create an unpredictable business environment for the precast concrete market.
Despite this challenge, the precast concrete market presents
significant opportunities for growth due to investments in infrastructure and
real estate development. In emerging nations, private and government-led
investments are flowing into infrastructure and residential sectors to meet the
demand for housing and urbanization. Precast concrete structures are cast and
cured offsite and delivered when required, thus eliminating the need for
on-site storage space. Furthermore, they require minimal labor and small cranes
for installation. As a result, these benefits are projected to drive growth in
the residential segment of the precast concrete market over the forecast
period. Additionally, precast concrete is one of the most popular construction
materials used for building office structures.
The girders made of precast concrete are projected to be the
fastest growing element of the precast concrete market. These girders are
primarily utilized in constructing bridges and large structures. To hasten the
construction of bridges, girders are prefabricated in the factory, transported
to the site, and assembled at the desired location of the primary construction.
This type of girder does not require falsework, making it a preferred choice
for accelerated bridge constructions where fast construction, minimal traffic
disruption, and environmental impact are crucial factors. The use of
high-performance concrete in the production of precast girders provides
tremendous strength, durability, and economic viability.
Precast walls used in commercial buildings are manufactured
off-site, resulting in time and space savings. Additionally, the speed and ease
of building precast structures promote their use in parking structures. Precast
concrete structures are ideal for constructing noise-cancellation walls due to
their surface design that minimizes ambient noise from highway traffic or trains.
The design flexibility offered by concrete makes it suitable for outdoor
applications such as climbing walls, skate parks, and fences. Furthermore, the
demand for precast concrete products is anticipated to rise due to
infrastructure development programs in emerging economies. The construction of
public utility structures such as dams, bridges, and flyovers is expected to
boost the demand for these products.
The non-residential segment is expected to dominate the
precast concrete market in terms of both value and volume in 2021. According to
the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the recovering manufacturing sector
and growing retail facilities are expected to ensure optimistic future growth
of the market. The industrial sector is projected to drive the building
construction upturn in 2022 and 2023, while the institutional sector is
forecast to begin its recovery this year and accelerate moving into 2023, driving
the demand for non-residential construction during the forecast period.
Asia Pacific is anticipated to be the fastest-growing
regional market, with a projected Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 6.6%
during the forecast period. The region's outstanding economic performance is
expected to foster growth, while stringent regulations limiting CO2 emissions
are likely to push product demand due to its low pollution characteristics. In
the United States, the increasing growth rate of the industrial sector is
expected to drive product demand over the forecast period. Furthermore, the
demand for the product is anticipated to see rapid growth due to building
contractors and customers' inclination towards eco-friendly, cost-effective,
and modern construction solutions.
The precast concrete market is projected to be dominated by
the elemental construction segment in terms of both value and volume during the
forecast period. Using precast elements ensures that the final structure has an
excellent finish, strength, dimensional tolerances, adequate consistency, and
quality controls. Constructing an entire structure using precast elements
speeds up the construction process, reduces time spent on site, lowers labor
cost, and decreases propping and scaffolding costs. These factors make the
elemental construction segment the most popular construction type among
builders and contractors.
In 2021, the Europe region accounted for the second-largest
revenue share in the precast concrete market. Nordic countries were among the
first countries in the world to adopt precast technology, making the product
highly penetrated in the European construction industry over the forecast
period. The growth in GDP in Europe is attributed to increasing private
investments in emerging economies, and the significant recovery of the
construction industry, coupled with the rising product penetration, is expected
to drive the region's growth. Germany, a leading construction market, has high
investments in the construction sector, supported by factors such as favorable
government incentives, digitization, economic confidence, resource efficiency,
and a circular economy.
Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest-growing region
during the forecast period. Emerging economies in the region are expected to
experience significant demand for precast concrete due to the expansion of the
construction industry resulting from rapid economic development and government
initiatives toward infrastructural development. The growing population in these
countries represents a strong customer base. Tremendous growth in residential
and non-residential construction, along with cost-effective, time-efficient,
and low-maintenance solutions, is driving the growth of the precast concrete
market in Asia-Pacific.
Precast Concrete Market Key Players
- CEMEX S.A.B. DE C.V.
- BORAL LIMITED
- LAFARGEHOLCIM LTD
- BALFOUR BEATTY PLC
- CRH PLC
- SKANSKA AB
- FORTERRA, INC.
- DEVINCI PRECAST
- ATCO CONCRETE PRODUCTS N.V.
- BEAVER GULF PRECAST CONCRETE
- TINDALL CORPORATION
- GULF PRECAST CONCRETE COMPANY L.L.C.
- LAING O'ROURKE
- THE PRECAST GROUP
- JULIUS BERGER NIGERIA PLC
- OLDCASTLE INFRASTRUCTURE, INC.
- PRECA SOLUTIONS INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED
- VME PRECAST PRIVATE LIMITED
- MACKAY PRECAST PRODUCTS
- COLTMAN PRECAST CONCRETE LTD.
- METROMONT CORPORATION
- SMEET PRECAST
- MSE PRECAST LTD
Recent Developments in Precast Concrete Market
The precast concrete market has been experiencing
significant growth in recent years, driven by the increasing demand for
construction materials that are durable, sustainable, and efficient. Precast
concrete offers numerous advantages over traditional cast-in-place concrete,
including faster construction times, higher quality, and lower costs. Here are
some recent developments in the precast concrete market:
Increasing use of 3D
3D printing technology is increasingly being used in the
precast concrete industry to create complex structures and forms that would be
difficult or impossible to achieve with traditional methods. This technology allows
for greater precision, speed, and efficiency in the manufacturing process,
leading to increased productivity and cost savings.
materials and manufacturing processes
Advancements in materials science and manufacturing
processes have led to the development of new, high-performance precast concrete
products. These include ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC), which is
stronger and more durable than traditional concrete, and self-healing concrete,
which has the ability to repair cracks and other damage on its own.
Growing demand for
sustainable construction materials
Sustainability has become a key driver of the precast
concrete market, as more architects, engineers, and builders seek out materials
that have a lower environmental impact. Precast concrete has several
sustainable features, including a lower carbon footprint compared to
traditional concrete, and the ability to be recycled at the end of its useful
Increasing use of
automation and robotics
The use of automation and robotics in precast concrete
manufacturing is becoming more widespread, as it allows for greater efficiency
and accuracy in the production process. This trend is expected to continue as
the industry seeks to streamline operations and reduce labor costs.
The precast concrete market is also being driven by the
growth in infrastructure development projects around the world. Governments and
private investors are increasingly investing in transportation, energy, and
water infrastructure, which requires large quantities of precast concrete
products such as bridge girders, utility poles, and retaining walls.
The precast concrete market has seen several noteworthy
developments in recent years. One such development is the partnership between
Boral Limited and Calix Limited in May 2022. The partnership was formed to
explore the possibility of constructing a carbon capture plant in the NSW
Southern Highlands. Boral Limited was granted funds from the Commonwealth to
employ Calix's carbon technology to assess the feasibility of a
commercial-scale plant. The proposed plant aims to capture and compress up to
100ktpa of CO2 emissions that result from the decomposition of limestone in
LafargeHolcim made a significant move in January 2021 by
acquiring Firestone Building Products from Bridgestone Americas for USD 3.4
billion. This acquisition demonstrates LafargeHolcim's commitment to expanding
its portfolio and strengthening its position in the market.
In June 2020, Balfour Beatty's joint venture company Gammon
Construction secured a contract to deliver tunnels and associated works for an
automatic people mover (APM) and baggage handling system (BHS) at the Hong Kong
International Airport. This project highlights the increasing demand for
precast concrete in transportation infrastructure.
Skanska's contract win from Kanta-Hame Hospital District in
February 2021 is another significant development in the precast concrete
market. Skanska will build a new hospital in Hameenlinna, Finland,
demonstrating the growing trend of using precast concrete in the construction
of large-scale public infrastructure.
In conclusion, the precast concrete market has seen several
significant developments in recent years, such as partnerships, acquisitions,
and contract wins for large-scale infrastructure projects. These developments
demonstrate the market's increasing demand for precast concrete and the
industry's continued growth.