Can precast concrete technology be implemented in regions with high seismic activity?
Precast concrete technology is well suited to regions with high seismic activity. Depending on the building type, occupancy, and architectural geometrical requirements, different precast structural systems can be adapted to withstand lateral loads during an earthquake.
As an example, it is recommended that a residential mid-rise ten-storey building in a seismic zone is constructed using a wall-frame structure. This structure consists of structural precast walls, pre-stressed hollow-core slabs with structural toppings, and internal non-load-bearing
ACOTEC partition walls.
How are precast elements connected?
Depending on the project’s design and building requirements, different precast structural solutions are implemented: either a precast wallframe structure with structural walls and hollow-core slabs, or a precast column-beam frame with hollow-sore slabs. For a very large span, a double tee slab solution can be used.
Connections between different precast elements are designed depending on the structural configuration requirement. They can be designed for either vertical shear or horizontal forces, moments in three directions, or even torsional stresses.
There are either dry or wet connections for different precast elements. Dry connections are achieved using mechanical connections with bolting or steel mechanical parts welded on-site. Wet connections are made using reinforcement and by concreting the joint at the site.
Why should we use hollow-core slabs in a building?
Hollow-core slabs have numerous advantages over normal reinforced slabs. The pre-stressed slab system requires only 3 to 4 kilos of strands per square meter of slab area. Hollow-core slabs have voids in the range of 28 to 48 percent of the cross-section area, which leads to remarkable savings in material consumption. It also reduces the dead weight of structure and makes the overall building design more economical.
Comparing to a normal reinforced slab production system, hollow-core slabs are highly atomized. Two or three people can handle the operation of an entire plant.