Today it is possible to introduce additional efficiencies in concrete construction by combining precast concrete with cast-in-place. To take advantage of these efficiencies though, the building owner and his designer must modify some of the traditional procedures for designing and constructing buildings.
If the design-competitive bidding approach is used, specifications can be drawn up to offer cash incentives to bidding contractors who can suggest design options that will result in lower cost or faster completion. The advantage goes to bidders who are in a position to offer more efficient combinations of conventional and prefabricated concrete construction.
In recent years leading contractors have moved prefabrication of concrete to the jobsite. When elements are cast on the construction site their size is limited only by the size of the cranes available to handle them. Larger units allow more structure to be put in place faster with fewer joints and connections. One of the most common types of prefabricated or site-precast concrete structures is the tilt-up building.
Widespread acceptance of site-precast concrete has led to the development of design aids to help the engineer or detailer and of standardized hardware to help the constructor. Inserts for lifting, bracing and anchoring large members are widely available.