Precast Structures: What to Consider on Your Next Project

Posted on Tuesday, December 12th, 2023 by
In Structural, tagged in
precast structures

Using precast structures, like manholes and junction boxes, on a project can offer several benefits. However, they aren’t the perfect fit for every site. In this article, we share when to use them and what to consider before installation.

Precast structures are used a lot because they are often less expensive than cast-in-place and provide the same results. They cut down on labor in the field and can help with the timeline. For example, clients don’t have to wait 28 days for the concrete to cure. They are also constructed in a controlled environment that in general can provide a higher quality product.

precast structures

However, when it comes to saving money, it’s important to look at the total cost. Don’t forget to factor in manufacturing, transportation, and installation. For some sites, a crane might be required to place the structure. Consider each component to create an accurate budget.

Another important consideration when making this decision is the site. For example, the location might make it difficult to build the forms and bring in concrete. In that instance, precast might be easier.

The production timeline for precast structures can vary. It depends on the contractor and manufacturer’s workloads. Order early, so the manufacturer can fit you into their schedule.

Our team is often tasked with performing the calculations used to create precast structures. After an order is placed by the contractor, it can take us a week or two to produce the necessary information. For manholes and junction boxes, we look at geotechnical, concrete strength, and the specific loads that apply. We also perform a structural analysis.

Quality control is critical to producing the best solution. Have the engineer of record review the shop drawings to make sure what is being built will work. Otherwise, you can end up with a manhole or junction box that can’t be used, delaying your schedule and adding additional costs.

When it’s time for installation, have the equipment needed ready to go when the shipment arrives. Clear communication between the contractor and the manufacturer is key. This will keep construction moving forward.

To learn more about our structural team’s capabilities, contact Jason Davis at

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