PATH - A Public Private Partnership for Advancing Housing Technology

PATH Case Study

ndustrial-Strength Homes for Everyday Living


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[IMAGE: Workers maneuver a precast concrete wall panel before it is braced and welded in place.]"When footings are being poured, we make sure to have the 1/4 weld plates placed around the perimeter, 6 foot on center. The weld plates match up with equally spaced plates cast into the panels, which allows for temporary welds during erection and bracing, with locations accurately marked. We then arrange for the erection crew and the delivery of panel components. Depending on their length, we sometimes use telescoping trailers that accommodate up to 40-foot panels."

"Once the building is erected, the electrician makes the conduit connections, final adjustments are made, and then our grouting crew locks in all the floor and wall panel connections. Grouting a single-family house (with 5,000 psi grout) can usually be completed in one or two days. Windows and other materials can then be stored inside the building to protect against weather damage and theft. We have our own in-house erection crew and grout finishers, but Dukane can provide an experienced crew of erectors and grout finishers for builders who don't have personnel qualified to handle precast wall systems."

Technology Highlights

This project included the following PATH-profiled technologies:

"One major attribute of this double-wall system is that the perimeter interior walls are prefinished and don't need to be furred, insulated, or even drywalled. Having a smooth, factory-finished wall that is paint-ready definitely has its advantages. Plus, wall systems manufactured at a plant, in a controlled environment, makes for a more predictable product."

"Of all the trades, electrical is affected most by the use of precast concrete walls. The concrete panels come from the factory containing electrical boxes and conduit, so electricians are required to make conduit hookups once the panels are erected."

"Sometimes we use commercial subcontractors since they tend to have more experience working with concrete.

Other times we find ourselves working with new subcontractors to teach them about building with precast concrete panelized systems. We have to instruct our painters on the proper materials and techniques. For example, we use an anti-carbonation elastomeric paint rather than a cheaper, nondescript paint and primer. Drywall contractors only have to focus on framing interior partition walls and soffits, rather than hanging drywall on all the interior walls."

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Content updated on 9/6/2006

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