You are on page 1of 17


The concept of precast (also known as prefabricated) construction includes those buildings where the majority of structural components are standardized and produced in plants in a location away from the building, and then transported to the site for assembly. These components are manufactured by industrial methods based on mass production in order to build a large number of buildings in a short time at low cost. The main features of this construction process are as follows: 1. The division and specialization of the human workforce 2. The use of tools, machinery, and other equipment, usually automated, in the production of standard, interchangeable parts and products This type of construction requires a restructuring of the entire conventional construction process to enable interaction between the design phase and production planning in order to improve and speed up the construction. One of the key premises for achieving that objective is to design buildings with a regular configuration in plan and elevation.

High quality product Labor related savings Savings in time Overall efficiency is greatly increased Mass production is easier and quick Protected and controlled production environment Potential for lower production costs and other cost savings Independence of climatic conditions The disruption of traffic is avoided Ensures high degree of Safety


In view of the limitations inherent in the closed system, an open system which allows greater flexibility of design and maximum coordination between the designer and precasted has been proposed. This system is plausible because it allow the precasted to produce a limited number of elements with a predetermined range of product and at the same time maintaining architectural aesthetic value.
In spite of many advantages inherent in an open system, its adoption experiences one major setback. For example, joint and connection problem occur when two elements from different system are fixed together. This is because similar connection technology must be observed in order to achieve greater structural performance.

Open prefab systems based on an appropriate production level and small, easily to handle elements with rationalized production methods have attracted the attention of housing experts as an important option for arresting the rapidly rising escalation in the costs of material and labor. Building Centers in different regions of India have been instrumental in propagating several of these prefab systems at the grass-root level. These are of two types: 1. Partial open prefabrication system 2. Full open prefabrication system

Partial Prefabrication

Partial prefabrication can be usefully employed for practically every part of a building - foundations, walling systems, doors and windows, roofing systems, lintels and staircase elements. Costs of a roof being one of the major components of the construction outlay in any building project, one of the thrust areas has been the prefabrication of roofing elements

Large Panel Prefabrication System

The designation large-panel system refers to multistory structures composed of large wall and floor concrete panels connected in the vertical and horizontal directions so that the wall panels enclose appropriate spaces for the rooms within a building. These panels form a box-like structure. Both vertical and horizontal panels resist gravity load. Wall panels are usually one story high. Horizontal floor and roof panels span either as one-way or two-way slabs. When properly joined together, these horizontal elements act as diaphragms that transfer the lateral loads to the walls. Depending on the wall layout, there are three basic configurations of large-panel buildings: Cross-wall system. The main walls that resist gravity and lateral loads are placed in the short direction of the building. Longitudinal-wall system. The walls resisting gravity and lateral loads are placed in the longitudinal direction; usually, there is only one longitudinal wall, except for the system with two longitudinal walls developed in Kazakhstan. Two-way system. The walls are placed in both directions.

Thickness of wall panels ranges from 120 mm for interior walls to 300 mm for exterior walls. Floor panel thickness is 60 mm. Wall panel length is equal to the room length, typically on the order of 2.7m to 3.6 m. In some cases, there are no exterior wall panels and the facade walls are made of lightweight concrete.
In this system, vertical wall panel connections are accomplished by means of groove joints, which consist of a continuous void between the panels with lapping horizontal steel and vertical tie-bars. Horizontal joint reinforcement consists of dowels projected from the panels and the hairpin hooks site-welded to the dowels; the welded length of the lapped bars depends on the bar diameter and the steel grade. Vertical tie bars are designed for tension forces developed at the panel intersections.

Lateral stability of a large-panel building system typical is provided by the columns tied to the wall panels. Boundary elements (called bulbs) are used instead of the columns as stiffening elements (Stiffeners)at the exterior, as shown in Fig. The unity of wall panels is achieved by means of splice bars welded to the transverse reinforcement of adjacent panels in the vertical joints. Longitudinal dowel bars placed in vertical and horizontal joints provide an increase in bearing area for the transfer of tension across the connections. The techniques to be adopted depend upon the needs of the client and the level of the economy to be achieved Large panelled buildings are also built very fast and this is one of the methods of solving the housing problem in the country. Large panel partial prefabricated system is much more economical than full prefabricaed system

1. A ferrocement is a thin wall of reinforced cement, where layers of continuous mesh are covered on both sides with mortar. 2. Ferrocement elements are durable, versatile, light and waterproof. 3. A ferrocement channel (FC) is a longitudinal element of a curved section (often semicylindrical). It is precast using moulds. 4. A ferrocement channel uses less cement and steel while having the same strength as the same RCC. 5. FC are used for floors or roofs, but are bad thermal insulators. 6. A major cost reduction is achieved compared to RCC. 7. A simple and cheap manufacturing set up is needed but the areas for prefabricating and curing need to be quite large. 8. It is easy to acquire the skill and easy to manufacture. 9. A constant quality control is needed during the manufacturing process and a proper curing is needed for one month 10. If the channels are not manufactured on site, transportation has to 11. be organized while taking care against damage. 12. Ferrocement channels are lifted into place and can immediately be joined together in order to provide a shelter. 13. No need of scaffoldings, shuttering, concrete mixer or vibrator.



General concept of earthquake resistant design There are some general concepts or rules to prevent damage during earthquake to minimize life losses based on the knowledge of the building performance and damage during past earthquakes (Boen, 1997). They are: a. symmetry of the plan in both axes and simple shapes b. adequate strength structures, not brittle, able to deflect or deform a considerable amount c. using resisting elements, i.e. bracing or structural shear walls d. rigid joint between beams and columns e. an integrated walls and roof with the main structure f. well connected to foundation and the earth g. good quality of the materials h. fire resistance

Lower production time (parallel production, can be produced during winter) High quality level, constant production conditions, not depend on local labor skill and equipments, climate during construction etc. Lower production cost (reduction of cost for formwork and false work in site) Better finishing Using eco friendly and recycled materials

Standard parts of the Smart Modula are: a. Foundations are made of concrete 1:3:5 (the compressive strength about 15 MPa). Usually the shape is trapezoid 50 cm height and 50 x 50 m2 base areas. The foundations are connected together by beams and columns by bolts through plates. b. Columns are made of hollow square section steel, galvanized 90 micron. They are joined or tied firmly to the foundation and horizontal beams by bolts. The ends of the columns are connected with beams to form a rigid frame. On the top and bottom end of the column there is metal plate. c. Floors are made of concrete 1:3:5 or floors tiles such as ceramic. d. Beams are made of light lips channel, galvanized 120 micron. In the top connection (connection between columns and beams) strengthened with knee L profile. -4e. Walls are made of pre-fabricated materials (strerofoam, Portland cement and cellubond mixture). Between walls and main frame is connected or strengthened by powder coating U wall-clamps vertically and horizontally. The U clamp is connected to the main frame by self taping screws. Between walls are connected by powder coating H-plate. f. Roof frame is made of Zincalume profile C-75x40x1, be tied firmly to the frame structure. Roof is made of pre-fabricated Styrofoam tile or supplied by other products for example Zincalum 0,33 mm thick (Lysact Ausdek) g. Doors and windows are made of wood, aluminium, PVC or other materials. Windows have glass for lighting.


General description of Smart Modula Smart Modula House is kind of pre-fabrication house that is designed to fulfill the needs of low income groups. The house module is easy to be installed, comfortable, durable and strong. To build a Smart Modula house (36 m2) needs only 2-3 days. The shape of the house can be modified easily; even the house itself can be moved without much trouble. Adding accessories such as changing the doorwindow frame is possible.

1. 2. As the Precast elements have to behave monolithic on erections, extra reinforcement may be necessary to take care of handling and erection stresses. Temporary props may be required in some cases, before the in-situ concrete joints achieve strength. Cracks may develop at the joints between the Precast and in-situ concrete due to shrinkage and temperature stresses. To overcome them, extra steel is required across the joint. As there are chances of leakage/seepage through the joints between the precast components, extra care is required to make them leak proof. Criteria for selection of prefab in India: In India, the technology adopted for housing components should ensure that the production and erection technology be adjusted to suit the level of skills and handling facilities available under metropolitan, urban and rural conditions. In other words, the structural systems and components selected should ensure minimum material utilization with maximum structural advantage. However, the component and systems so designed need to be manufactured and erected by manual means in villages, semi-mechanical techniques in towns, and more or less fully mechanical operations in the metropolitan cities.



All the work performed at one permanent location. Short to medium service life of a typical product. High degree of repetition and standardization.

Work dispersed among many temporary locations. Long service life of a typical product. Small extent of standardization; each project has distinctive features.

Small number of simplified tasks necessary to produce a typical product.

Workplace carefully adjusted to human needs. Comparatively stable work force. Unified decision-making authority for design, production, and marketing. All tasks performed at static workstations.

Large number of tasks requiring a high degree of manual skills necessary to complete a typical construction project.
Rugged and harsh work environment. High turnover of workers. Authority divided among sponsors, designers, local government, contractor, and subcontractors. Each task performed over large work area with workers moving from one place to another.

The Limitations of Prefabrication are:

1. Small number of units required may prove to be uneconomical. 2. Special connections, such as special bearings to transmit the vertical and horizontal loads, can add cost to the system. 3. Waterproofing at joints. 4. Transportation difficulties. 5. Need for cranes.