Architects love to design buildings with design elements such as precast concrete window panels and sills, beams, wall panel details, decorative concrete blocks, precast concrete moldings, walls, wall systems, and retaining walls. Concrete that is cast on site can’t look as good as precast architectural concrete products for one simple reason: we create precast concrete elements face down, which minimizes the air holes. When the panels are tilted up, the face is smooth. Don’t we all want to look forever young?
Take a look at the accents of elegance we’ve added to commercial and institutional buildings, such as the Science and Music Buildings at Albuquerque Academy, the Albuquerque Convention Center and the Lockheed Martin Building.
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Here’s an idea of what goes into producing architectural precast concrete:
- Shop drawings are produced in house for architect/owner approval.
- After shop drawings are approved, they are sent to our form shop where the forms are built in-house by our carpenter and Foam Cutter.
- After the forms are set up, any necessary elements will be placed into the forms (all elements necessary are determined in the design phase of the project i.e. steel cages, selding plates, lifting inserts, etc).
- Concrete is then placed into the form and finished to each job’s specification. Most all exposed surfaces are poured face down to eliminate bug holes and to keep a clean, smooth surface.
- After the concrete has reached a minimum strength of 1000 psi, the product is pulled from the form and sent to our finishing department.
- The finished piece could have a number of finishes ranging from Smooth, or Acid Etched to an Exposed Aggregate finish. All products are sealed with a concrete sealer unless stated otherwise.
- The final product will be picked up by the customer or delivered to job site by Materials, Inc.
- 28 day compressive strength of 4000 psi (pounds per square inch)
- 4-7% air entrained (adds small voids to prevent freeze/thaw cracking)
- Fiber Reinforcement (when necessary or specified)
Forms: Smooth surface fiberglass or other materials
Colors: Grey, buff, or integral color and opaque concrete stains available
Finishes: A range of sandblast texture or smooth cast