Precast technology has a number of benefits, but somehow, in most construction cultures, these benefits do not necessarily lead to increased use of this technology. One example of this is Germany, where the share of precast in the total building output has more or less remained the same over the years, at least based on the statistics provided by local concrete associations. In my 16 years of career in the construction industry, this has been quite a disappointment to me – why isn’t a better technology gaining more popularity? The market share of hollow-core technology in Germany is estimated to be only 10%, whereas, in Finland for example, similar statistics are at 45%.
Peikko’s DELTABEAM® brought the change into Germany’s floor market
Recently, the Peikko’s DELTABEAM® has been selected for more and more German projects, which has also effected the local flooring market.
One of the root causes of this change can be seen as technical – Peikko received a new, revised and improved technical approval from Deutsche Institut für Bautechnik (DIBt) for its DELTABEAM® composite beam.
See more at: Deutsche Institut für Bautechnik (DIBt)
Also, Peikko organized extensive fire tests at the fire laboratories of MFPA Leipzig, and showed the solid performance of both its DELTABEAM® and the hollow-core in these tests. See more at White Paper: DELTABEAM® in combination with hollow-core slabs in fire case - Fire test program 2020
The above two factors facilitated the selection of DELTABEAM® combined with hollow-core flooring, and made the investors feel more comfortable on the choice.
This positive development could also be the result of the commercial factors, as more competent engineering resources of Peikko have been guiding the customers to select the most optimal solutions for their projects.
But, all in all, as Peikko’s DELTABEAM® has been selected for more projects, so have the hollow‑core slabs. During 2021, in Germany, at least 100,000 m2 hollow-core slabs have been used in combination with DELTABEAM®.
So, is 100,000 m2 a lot then?
Based on the statistics, the above amount equals to some 3-4% increase of the German hollow‑core consumption on year-to-year growth. Looking at this from the manufacturing standpoint, the amount equals the theoretical annual capacity of one smaller size hollow-core factory, with a staff of some 10 persons. And these 10 persons working in a factory environment would equal at least 50-60 persons that would otherwise be on the building site all year along, trying to cope with cast‑in‑situ molds in all weather conditions.
I am proud that Peikko has brought the change of improving the efficiency in frame construction in Germany, a change that will continue to expand. Which country could be the next one to see a positive shift in productivity?