5 Facts You Didn’t Know About Precast Concrete

Things You Didn't Know About Precast Concrete

While many people take it for granted, concrete is one of those materials that has found its way into every aspect of our lives, a lot like petroleum, or plastic. Take a look around you – your driveway, your way to work, the foundation of your house, your plumbing – it is all possible because of the foundation of concrete.

To help open your eyes to the impact that the development of precast concrete has had on the world, here are 5 little known and sometimes inspiring facts about the everyday material.

  1. Rome’s Pantheon is one of the earliest examples of precast concrete technology, as Emperor Hadrian had the 16, 60 ton columns quarried in Egypt, transported up the Nile river, and across the Mediterranean Sea.
    source: Engineering Rome
  1. Sugar is a well known “retardant” of precast concrete (and concrete in general) and is often used to adjust the setting times, especially in emergencies or in warm weather.
    source: The Telegraph
  1. The global precast concrete market was estimated to be worth approximately $47.1 billion in 2015. It is targeted to hit $58.7 billion by 2022.
    source: Precast Concrete: Wikipedia
  1. In our modern world, the first precast concrete paneled buildings were pioneered in Liverpool, England, in 1905 by then Liverpool city engineer, John A. Brodie.
    source: Precast Concrete: Wikipedia
  1. Thomas Edison was a pioneer in many fields, including prefabricated housing. In 1908 and 1909, Edison designed a series of complex cast-iron molds to serve as forms for his concrete houses. Edison’s molds, once assembled, would produce in a single operation, walls, floors, stairways, roof, bath and laundry tubs, as well as conduits for electric and water service. A single house would require a mold composed of 2300 pieces. In the end only a few houses were ever built as the initial investment and the complexity of each project was enormous.
    sources: Concrete Construction, Engineering and Technology History