Within the last year there has been a massive increase in the awareness and use of pre-cast construction in the Pattaya condo development market. We have seen many of Bangkok’s major developers come into the Pattaya market and start using the more effective and speedy process of pre-cast construction.
Projects like the Lumpini Towers on Sukhumvit Road, close to Bangkok Pattaya Hospital was completed within 12 months from start of construction. This is a project consisting of two towers of 32 floors each, with over 700 units. This example show how quick and, if well managed, construction of condominiums can be.
The reason many of Bangkok’s developers will use the pre fabrication system is due to the location and the ease of access to their construction sites. The advantage of having all of the walls and floors of a project made off site is the ease to get the materials to form those parts of the building together in a spacious area. To form an entire wall, lift that wall onto a truck and then fit it into place with a crane save the developer not just time, but man power, money and the logistical nightmare of getting all the materials to the walls location and to form all of those elements together.
Pre-Cast is like Lego. The basic elements of any precast project are to make sure you have the correct part of the “lego” in place and ready to be fitted when it is required. This is where the logistics and planning of such a large project come into effect and also save the developer time and money. When segments of the project come onto site on the rear of the delivery trucks, it should be that those parts are lifted directly from that truck and into place. This also benefits on confined space projects with storage areas being required and man power.
Precast paneling can be form in pretty much any size or shape. The main aspect of the sizes that are cast are whether the trucks that transport them to site are capable and the street around the site can accommodate those trucks. Also to take into consideration is the cranes and lifting equipment to place all the segments into place.
There are around 68 kilograms to one square foot of reinforced standard density concrete. So when you are forming, let’s say a standard sized wall panel for a ring beams structure here in Thailand, you would be looking at around 8.7 tons in weight for a 20cm thick wall. Now you can understand the weight ratios involved.
Obviously one of the main aspects of developing any project is the cost of construction. So, is precast cheaper to use than the more common in-situ system? I believe there are many aspects that would determine this. Many we have touched base on, being access, location, ease of storage, man power and the timing to get the project completed in the in-situ form.
I believe that with the way Pattaya is moving forward, with infrastructure becoming more and more over run. Traffic is becoming a consist weekend nightmare. The amount of local development shows that resourcing materials and having such delivered on time is becoming more challenging. To be able to have such a major part of any project formed off site and bought to the project will need to be considered by most of the local modern day developers.
I was recently speaking to one of Pattaya’s best renowned housing developers about this form of construction. He is constructing single storey luxury villas. He has seen how this benefits his projects ability to speed up the construction process, but one of the best particles he recognized was the fact that precast can be formed pre insulated.
So are we going to see a shift in the construction systems used and implements here in Pattaya? Over the years the developers have had to change their designs and marketing strategies to meet client demand. With the speed essence now becoming a factor in this market, with many projects being marketed, but with few actually starting, others seeming to take years to complete, maybe this is the way forward. Let’s hope the developer can see this.