Concrete walls are a common specification for bulk storage structures – including those used for agricultural storage of fertilizer, grain, wheat and corn. Many Legacy storage structures contain concrete walls. Precast concrete walls are especially popular, and have several advantages over cast-in-place (CIP) or site-cast concrete walls.
Concrete Wall Panels Increase Storage Capacity
Concrete walls have a high load-bearing capacity, allowing bulk material piles to extend to the very edges of the building. Using the entire building area for storage decreases the necessary building footprint, and in turn lowers the cost per bushel stored. Concrete walls are also unlikely to be damaged by impact or other accidents that can harm other building materials.
Bulk storage applications also benefit from design-build construction. With a design-built fabric structure, the building engineers create a model of the stored material and then design a building around it. With a building customized around business needs, the building operator realizes a faster return on investment.
Using Precast Concrete Reduces Construction Time
Precast concrete walls are fully manufactured and then delivered to the construction site. The panels are factory-cast in a controlled environment, allowing for tighter control of the mix and curing processes. The panels can be manufactured any time, even before construction permits are secured – with no delays due to weather. Once the panels arrive onsite, they are quickly lifted into place and construction continues without further delays for curing and drying.
Precast panels can be used in two ways – as the foundation for the building or to create storage bays inside. Storage bays are built especially fast, often in just a day or two. Storage bays can also be assembled after the walls and construction are complete, so construction crews have access to clearspan space and can work faster during primary construction.
Precast Walls Are Reconfigurable and Transferable
As the market changes, so do storage needs. With precast concrete walls, panels can be moved to create more or larger storage and blend bays. If the entire building will be relocated, the panels can be trucked and installed in the new location without loss of quality or integrity. This is especially useful for leased buildings and other temporary situations.
Concrete panels are also easy to clean and dry, allowing the building owner to cycle through different stored material. This increases the ability to store multiple materials and keep the storage structure full year-round.
Concrete Is Thermally Efficient
Fabric structures with concrete walls are thermally efficient. Both building materials tend to retain the inside temperature rather than magnify the outside conditions, creating a cooler environment to prevent excess sweating and spoilage in stored foodstuffs. Adding ventilation to the fabric structure further regulates the interior temperature of the storage building and creates an ideal environment for storage.
Agricultural commodity handlers who choose a fabric structure with precast concrete walls receive an ideal solution for storing bulk material.
Ready to learn more about a fabric structure for your bulk storage needs? Contact us for a personal consultation.