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The main factor that contributes to the success of a precast building project is
‘integration’ of all building professionals. Professionals stated here include architects,
engineers, clients, contractors and sub-contractors. The involvement of all players at an early
stage is critical to a precast project.

The fundamental mindset of all professionals has to be changed to achieve “Total

Building Performance”. Conventionally, consultants are more concerned with meeting clients’
needs, regulatory requirements, design soundness and functionality while clients are more
concerned with cost and the end product. Contractors, on the other hand, are more concerned
with the building process.

Very often, contractors are tasked to convert a traditional cast in-situ (Architectural and
Structural) design to a precast design. The design development will involve modification to the
consultants’ design intent. As such, it is not uncommon for the contractor to face strong
resistance from the consultant team. This is to be predicted as any player tends to be defensive
if his ‘professional’ views are being challenged.

Today, the fragmentation approach towards design and construction among the
professionals within a project is evident in most projects. A shift in paradigm is crucial to
achieve success in any project. This section attempts to provide a guide for the construction of
a precast project. The reader should refine the contents by consultation with professionals and


The contractor should consider the following:

• All safety issues on site when handling precast elements, especially so when working
within a tight site
• The lifting capacity of the crane used
• The working boom-radius of the crane
• The suitability of construction materials for the purpose of use, i.e. sealant, grouting, shim
plate, propping etc
• Co-ordination with the precaster and specialist supplier to achieve the best performance
and working method - precaster often provide relevant technical requirements to the
contractor during the design development phase to avoid discrepancy

A Quick Check

• Ensure the correct panel before hoisting

• Ensure the crane lifting capacity before hoisting the panel
• Ensure the desired crane’s working radius
• Ensure the anchorage for the propping does not damage cast-in building services
• Ensure the desired Reduced Level (R.L.) of panel-base by adjusting the shim plate. Shim
plate to be at an interval of 500mm c/c
• Ensure the desired verticality/position is achieved
• Estimated time to install a typical precast element is 1/2 to 3/4 hour

Construction Requirements

• Elements of control Alignment,

Verticality and Levels

• Tolerance level

1. For Wall
• Vertical deviation +2 mm, -2 mm
• Horizontal deviation 0 mm

2. For Beam & Slab

• Departure from intended horizontal position, +2 mm or –2 mm
• Departure from intended vertical position, +2 mm or – 2 mm
Joints for different structural connections:
 Jointing of column to footing
 Jointing of column to beam on top of column.
 Jointing of column to beam at an intermediate functions.
 Lengthening of columns.
 Jointing of beams.
 Forming of joints of arched structure.
 Joining of joints f post tensioned structures.
Joining of precast to monolithic reinforced concrete structures.
This joint is usually rigid but also can be hinge. A rigid joint can be made by placing the
column into a calyx of the footing or by using a welded joint. The figure shows the three
variations of this method.
Can be used for smaller.
The depth of the calyx is dimensioned according to the long or side length of the column.
The depth of the calyx should be equal to 12.5% of the length of the column. The opening
of the calyx is 6-10 cm greater in all direction than the class of the column. This is
enabling the vibrator to be operated while concreting at the bottom of the calyx of checked
by levelling before concreting. A similar steel plate is also put on the lower end of the
column when positioning the column. These two steel plates must be on each other. The
dimensions of these steel plates are frame 100x100x10 to 150x150x10 mm a chord into
the concrete after the column is put in placed properly plumbed two advantages of the
calyx joint should be mentioned.

The disadvantages of the calyx joint are more suitable for small columns. In
the case of large columns requiring a calyx depth of which is greater than 1 m.

One method of forming a hinge like joint consists either or placing to beam on to a
small cantilever protracting fram the column or of putting it on the bottom of an adequately
shaped opening left out of the column shaft. The beam rests temporarily on a tongue like
extension on a steel plate placed in this opening on the supporting surface the tongue is also
furnished with a steel plate anchored into the concrete. The other parts of the tongue are
supported after the placing has been finished with concrete cast
through an opening left for this purpose.
Hinge like joining of girder to column:
• Opening for casting.
• Subsequent concreting.
• Steel plate.


Columns are usually lengthened at floor levels. An intermediate lengthening should

be avoided it possible.
The lengthening of columns can be executed similarly to the joining with
footing, accordingly the upper columns rests on the lower ones by a tongue like
extension. The steel bars of the main reinforcement are joined by overlapping looped steel bars
a welding. There after the stirrups have to be placed of finally the joint must be concreted.

The functions of beams can be affected either by overlapping the protracting steel bars
or by welding them together.

The method illustrated in the fig presents a dry joint of beams which is called a bolted
front. The advantages of this joint are immediate bearing capacity.

Precast arches are usually produced and assembled in the form of three hinged
structures. When the constant load has already been applied the centre joint is frequently
eliminated. The omission of the centre joint increases the rigidity of the structures. Naturally
arched structures can also be precast in a piece i.e. in the form of two hinged ones.
Hinges of arched structures can be made by using either steel shors are more expensive,
but the centre transmission of forces is enhanced by their use of forming of joints on an arched
The arrangement of the Centre junction and the end hinge of an arched structure. This
method was used in the construction of the hall for the middle rolling train in D.O.Sgyor. The
structure was precast of assembled in the form of a three-hinged arched transformed lates into a
two-hinged one.

Post tensioned structure can generally be joined for more simply then the usual
reinforced concrete structures, by using post tensioning it can be ensured that in the entire
structure. The joints included only compressive can develop consequently the problem of
joining can be solved in a very easy manner namely by placing plane surfaces side by side and
then filling the gaps with cement mortar by so doing longer beams can also be produced from
shorter precast member. Thus is post tensioned structures the forming of joints does not cause
Sketches on solution of principles relating to the joining of post tensioned structure are
to be illustrated in the fig. all these joints are of course rigid and moment bearing. It is not
permissible for the mortar which is to be poured into the ducts of the stressing cables to avoid
this cable ducts are joined by placing a shore piece of tube or rubber ring into the duct itself.
A rigid point of these kind established between a column two girders supported by the
former after the casting of the gaps and hardening of the mortar, the short inserted cables and
stressed and so rigid joint is established.



It frequently occurs that a monolithic beam has to be joined to a precast column. In this
case the function can be established in the same way as already been described in the previous
paragraph an joining namely by placing the end of the beam either on to a cantilever protruding
from the column or into an opening formed into the columns shaft.
When making the joint, first of all a 2.5 cm deep cavity is chiselled out of the siole of
the precast column. The bottom of this cavity should be roughened so as to attain a belter band
between the concrete of the monolithic beam and the precast column.
An Expansion joint is an assembly designed to safely absorb the heat –induced expansion
and contraction of various construction material to absorb vibration or to allow movement due
to ground settlement or earthquakes they are commonly found between sections of sidewalks,
bridges, railway tracks, piping systems, and other structures.
A design specification shall be prepared for each expansion joint application. Prior to
writing the expansion joint design specification it is imperative that the system designer
complicity review the structural system layout and other items which may affect the
performance of a expansion joint particular attention shall be given to the following items the
system should be reviewed to determined the local and type of expansion joint which is most
suitable for the application. Both the EJMA standards and most reliable expansion joint
manufacturers.catalogs provide numerals examples to assist the user in this effort. The
availability of supporting structures of anchoring and guiding of the
system and the direction and magnitude of thermal moments to be absorbed must be
consider when selecting the type and location of the expansion joint.
Expansion joints are designed to provide stress relief in piping system that are loaded by
thermal movements and mechanical vibration. To deal with the various forces on the joint they
require fiber reinforcement which guarantees both flexibility and strength. conventional
expansion joints are reinforced using prefabricated fiber pipes, the use of these fiber pipes
makes it impossible to control the orientation of the fiber on complex shape such as the below
of the expansion joint. In both case the inability to use the fiber in the optimal way leads to the
following disadvantages. High material cost

The diagrams below illustrated the sequence of installation for the precast beam-slab system:

The Procedure

• Setting Out

1. Surveyor to set cross reference.

2. Transfer grid and mark wall position on slab.
3. Mark 100mm offset line from rear building
4. Offset wall position by 200 mm.
5. Secure 2x2 timber to the floor at wall edge to
guide wall.

• Wall Positioning

1. The first wall in place has to be the partition wall at

the rear.
2. Mark a line parallel to and 100mm from the external
edge of the wall.
3. Place shim plate @~500 c/c on the floor and level to
wall soffit. Shim plate may also be placed on Non-
shrink mortar bed and allow to set.
4. Adjust position of the dowel bar.
• Wall Adjustment

2. Position adjacent walls and plumb wall corners at

200 mm offset
3. Adjust verticality until within +2 or –2 mm
4. Ensure the four faces of every walls are adjusted
5. Position string 250 mm from face of walls
6. Walls within the same line are to be adjusted within
same tolerance
7. Ensure air-pocket is fully grouted.

• Beam Setting Out

1. Cast wall joint.

2. Mark 1 m reference line.
3. Confirm pocket level. Position shim plate to
correct beam soffit level if required.
4. Mark position of beam on floor.
5. Hoist beam in place and check top level.
6. Plumb beam to verify position on floor below.
7. Ensure beam verticality with a spirit level.
8. Wedge beam against pocket and grout the gap
between the beam and the wall.

• Slab Setting Out I

1. Position the slab temporary supports and adjust the

slab soffit level approximately.
2. Raise the height of the supports about 5 mm above
slab soffit level.
• Slab Setting Out II

1. Hoist slab in place on top of beam and

2. Verify level of every plank soffit at four
corners and center.
3. Adjust level of temporary support

• Staircase

1. Position landing or slab and verify soffit

level at four corners.
2. Adjust level to within tolerance.
3. Position shim plates at staircase support
location to correct level.
4. Verify level difference between pegs on
top and below.
5. Hoist staircase in place.
6. 10mm gap between precast plank and
Dovetail Joint Installation procedure.
1) IS 11447-1985: Code of practice for construction with large panel
2) S 15916-2010: Building design and erection using prefabricated concrete –
Code of practice Indian standard.
3) IS 19517-2010: Building design and erection using mixed composite
construction – Code of practice Indian standard.
4) ACI 318-08 – Manual of concrete practice.
5) Code of practice for precast concrete construction 2003 – Govt. Hong kong –
Buildings department.
6) BS 8110 – Part1
7) NZS 3101:part1:2006 – Chapter 18 – Precast concrete and composite concrete
flexural members.
8) Canadian Standards Association – Design of concrete structure – A2303-04
9) Seismic design considerations for precast concrete shear wall connections-
paper on experimental results – K.A soudki, J.S.West, S.H Rizkalla, Department of
civil engineering, university of Mauitoba.
10) Seismic design provisions for precast concrete structures in ACI 318.
11) FIB: Commission c6: prefabrication-TG 6.2:Connections- structural
connections for precast concrete buildings
12) Development of seismic design criteria for connections in jointed precast
concrete structures – Dr. Donglas P. Clough.
13) Earthquake resistant design criteria for precast concrete structures – FRANZ
14) Park, R., “A perspective on the seismic design of precast concrete structures
in New Zealand”, PCI Jl., May – June 1995, Vol. 40, No.3, pp. 40-60
15) Martin, jose Ma. Rioboo, “A precast prestressed concrete structural system
for building located in high seismic zones”, PCI Jl., March – April 1990, Vol. 35,
No.2, pp 22–49.
16) Martin, jose Ma. Rioboo, “Design considerations for precast prestressed
concrete building structures in seismic area”, PCI Jl., May – June 1991, Vol. 36,
No.3, pp. 40-55.
17) Pekau, O. A. and Hum, Denis, “Seismic response of friction jointed precast
panel shear walls”, PCI Jl., March – April 1991, Vol. 36, No.2, pp. 56-71.
18) Ochs, Jay E. and Ehsani, Mohammad R., “Moment resisting connections in
precast concrete frame for seismic regions”, PCI Jl., Sept. – Oct. 1993, Vol. 38,
No.5, pp. 64-75.
19) Restrepo, Jose I., Park, R. And Buchanan, Andrew H., “Tests on connections
of earthquake resisting precast reinforcd concrete perimeter frames of buildings”,
PCI Jl., July – August 1995, Vol. 40, No.4, pp. 44-61.
20) R.K. Khare, M.M. Maniyar, S.R. Uma, V.B. Bidwai, “Seismic performance
and design of precast concrete building structures: an overview”, Jl of Structural
engineering, Vol. 38, No. 3, August-September 2011 pp. 272-284.
21) Englekirk, Robert E., “Seismic design considerations for precast concrete
multistory buildings”, PCI Journal, May – June 1990, vol. 35, No. 3, pp 40-51.
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