Why Wall Panel Construction Should be Top of Mind for New Projects
On a construction project, some decisions have narrow windows in which to be made. Choosing between precast and tilt-up wall panels is one such example.
When deciding between precast or tilt-up wall panels, the question shouldn’t be which approach is better. Both methods result in durable, low-maintenance products. Rather, owners and their construction teams should focus on which strategy will best serve the project’s unique needs, including a budget, schedule, location, building footprint, and size constraints.
Owners can ensure they are in the best position by engaging with their contractor from the project start. The contractor should be able to offer guidance on the advantages and disadvantages of both methods so that owners can make an informed decision.
Tilt-Up Wall Panels
Tilt-up panels are cast on-site and then tilted up into position. This method allows for tremendous flexibility in terms of panel width and height, provided there is enough space on the project site to build casting beds. In addition, contractors control the production process. If wall panel construction needs to be expedited, labor crews can be doubled up or even run extra shifts to ramp up volume.
In terms of drawbacks, tilt-up construction is subject to both the seasons and the weather. This makes timing an issue in colder and wetter climates. Production is also dependent on a strong local labor force. If there aren’t enough local subcontractors, panel construction will be delayed.
Precast Wall Panels
Precast panels are manufactured inside a factory. Production occurs year-round, regardless of the season or weather patterns. This can provide owners with greater flexibility for construction starts. Precast panels are well-suited for projects with a small footprint and in markets experiencing a labor crunch.
However, because the panels are made by a third party, they require more lead time for plan approval, production, and shipping. This is especially true in the current market, where high demand and COVID-19 restrictions have led to a shortage of precast panels. Owners who prefer to use precast panels need to commit to secure their place in the production line as early as possible.
Early Decisions Provide for More Options
At Miller-Valentine, we focus on building certainty from the outset. We prioritize decisions so that our customers can make informed decisions on or ahead of schedule to take advantage of all options available to them. That way, it feels less like rolling dice, and our customers can move forward with confidence.
For more information on the factors to consider when selecting a construction method, CALL TOLL FREE: 877-684-7687 | [email protected]