I joined precast business in the early 80’s. Since then basics of the business have not changed too much but the usage of precast is widening every year. People are after fast, practical and private housing solutions. These have been the precast advantages from the day one.
Precast business is not stagnated though. I would describe it to be a field of small incremental change. There have been several radical innovations in the pipeline during the years, such as 3D facades developed in the project Dimenssio in the early 90’s. The timing and competencies were just not right then. Nowadays, when 3D printing technology has taken giant leaps to become an everyday reality, I’m just thinking that should we dig into this idea again?
Industrial and affordable building solution for fast urbanization
Precast has also always been an option when deciding on the building construction method. This applies on not only housing projects, but also on industrial and commercial building. Nordic countries have been in the front row of this building method development during the years.
In today’s world precast projects are started more and more in the areas with no precast building traditions. Social pressure to find industrial and affordable building solutions achievable for large populations is high.
More precast knowledge across the whole value network
Within these new markets, the knowledge and know-how of safety and sustainability in precast should be supported actively. Development needs to be done in the building construction value networks – with architects, structural designers, builders and manufacturers.
The importance of the right and up-to-date knowledge is underlined even more now, when Internet has the strong role in the solution and supplier search. Internet is a perfect channel to get familiar with the global offering. But the offered options need support and validation by real and local references and adaptable technological solutions lasting time. One example of the required knowledge could be precast solutions’ material efficiency.
With these thoughts and experiences, it is my delight to continue my precast career more as an advisor and hunt my dream of a state-of-the-art 30-line hollow-core slab factory!
Eero Virtanen, Commercial Director, Elematic