Can you give us a brief overview of precast conrete construction?
What exactly does it mean? How long does it exist? How has this sector evolved? And why is it important and capable of growth?
The history of reinforced concrete starts with Joseph Monier (1823 - 1906), a gardener who wanted to create the ideal (economically efficient & durable) flowerpot for greenhouse plants, as a replacement for wooden flowerpots. First he made flowerpots from "cement", a mixture of cement, sand, slag or gravel and water) and iron mesh. He exhibited his invention at the International Exposition of 1867 in Paris and applied for his first patent for garden containers, which was granted to him under the number 77165. -> July 16, 1867: "System of mobile iron and cement basins applicable to horticulture".
Monier obtained also a patent on sleepers, as well as patents on iron-reinforced concrete tanks, containers, pipes, basins and panels. This was the beginning of precast concrete elements or reinforced concrete construction.
Two aspects are essential for precast conrete construction. The first one is the production of precast concrete elements in one plant or in temporary production halls (directly at the construction site, such as segment production). The second is the transport and assembly of precast concrete elements at the construction site. The precast concrete construction industry is currently strongly moving towards digitalization and robotics that counteract the shortage of workers on the construction site.
In the last few years, we have launched strong investment initiatives within Kirchdorfer Concrete Solutions, the precast concrete division of the Kirchdorfer Group. However, it is also necessary to have internally qualified technical staff and managers in order to meet this challenge. The machine or IT supplier provides the basis. The company-specific adaptations are often underestimated, but they are no less important.