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In the recent years, the construction industry continues to be troubled by the time, budget, and quality constraints. The search for better strategies to improve each aspect has resulted into the proposal of innovative approaches that pursue to combine construction materials and methods to optimum effect. One of the concepts created is Hybrid Concrete Construction, a method of construction which integrates precast concrete and cast in-situ concrete to make best advantage of their different inherent qualities, which offers the construction industry stakeholders a wide range of benefits in terms of cost, buildability, and safety.
Even though the structural frame of a building represents only 10 percent of the total construction cost, the type of material to be used for the frame has relatively large effect for later processes. The use of concrete has further advantages in estimating whole-life costs, which is an important factor to owner-occupiers and PFI operators. For example, the thermal mass of concrete can moderate energy demands in cooling and heating buildings. Construction of hybrid concrete structures provides good quality and greater speed during construction making it more economical. Thus, cost of Hybrid Concrete Construction is less compared to normal construction.
Considering the buildability, Hybrid Concrete Construction makes use of the properties of precast and cast in-situ concrete where they are most appropriate, making the construction relatively simple and logical. The use of Hybrid Concrete Construction encourages design and construction decisions to be resolved at design stage which also means that a percentage of the frame is manufactured by a skilled workforce in a weatherproof factory, resulting in faster construction and better quality.
When it comes to safety, since high proportion of the work for a Hybrid Concrete Construction project is carried out in the precast factory it offers more safety to workforce during construction process. The plan for safety procedures for installation of these members can be made based on site conditions. This, in advance, reduces the chance of accidents at construction site by providing successive work platforms on a generally less disturbed workplace.
In conclusion, Hybrid Concrete Construction (HCC) produces simple, buildable and competitive structures. The client is given better value and the contractor benefits from increased off-site component manufacture, safe and faster construction and consistent performance. However, HCC is not the only new concept developed for improved concrete construction. This means that the concrete industry is a competitive one and is able to adapt with the rising demands of construction.
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