Precast Concrete: A History

Precast concrete continues to be used today for a wide variety of construction projects, for everything from home construction to landscaping. But where does the idea of precast concrete originate?

Here’s a brief history of precast concrete for your enjoyment. To learn more about how we’re able to create concrete foundations in Tennessee using precast materials, reach out to Warrior Precast LLC today.

Going way back

As is true of many of today’s major construction methods and styles, precast concrete has its origins in ancient Rome. The Romans developed a process that involved pouring concrete into wooden molds, which they would then cart to construction sites. They would use volcanic ash and lime to create their concrete-like material, which was extremely durable and used in some famous Roman landmarks and infrastructure.

The Colosseum, for example, is one of the most famous landmarks in the world, and relied significantly on the use of this type of concrete building method, as did many buildings in and around the nearby Roman Forum.

Significant advancements in this process didn’t really occur until the late 1800s and early 1900s, when John Alexander Brodie, a famous British engineer, developed the idea for precast reinforced concrete. His concept involved creating a style of concrete that would emphasize the use of affordable and efficient construction parts. He would create panels that would be able to be used for simple, effective and inexpensive concrete building. This method became so popular that it quickly took off around the world, and resulted in much greater standardization of the concrete building industry.

By the mid-20th century, the United States was experiencing a building boom. Soldiers came home from World War II and were starting families and building houses of their own. They began moving away from city centers and building more in suburbs, where they could have more land of their own and be away from the hustle and bustle of big city life.

This building boom, along with the accompanying baby boom, resulted in a demand not just for more housing, but also advanced building methods, higher-quality infrastructure and more resources in general. As such, the nation’s engineers, architects, construction teams and designers went back to the idea of using precast concrete as first implemented by the Romans and later improved and perfected by people like Brodie.

Precast concrete became a staple of bridges, shopping centers, stadiums and other large buildings and pieces of infrastructure. Over time, it became heavily relied upon for schools, churches, ramps, office buildings, malls, apartment buildings and more. Even many concrete foundations in Tennessee and beyond are made using precast concrete.

The role of precast concrete today

Today, the uses for precast concrete and methods of construction involving them continue to evolve and expand. There is so much more to explore in the world of concrete to allow us to continue improving our building methods and the way we implement concrete in various forms of construction.

If you’re interested in learning more about precast concrete, its benefits and how you could potentially implement it in your upcoming construction project, we encourage you to contact the concrete contractors at Warrior Precast LLC today with any questions you have.

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