In-situ, precast and tilt-up concrete walls
Concrete can be cast in-situ or precast between vertical formwork to produce walls that carry vertical and/or horizontal loads in structures. Unless such walls are of massive proportions, the concrete will usually be designed and reinforced with steel rebars in accordance with Eurocode 2 Part 1. Concrete walls also serve as earth retaining walls in, for example, basements of buildings.
Where concrete walls retain water or other liquids design and construction will be in accordance with Eurocode 2 part 3. The surfaces of many concrete walls provide the final visual or architectural finish. In this case, to achieve the best possible plain formed finish with the minimum occurrence of blemishes, special consideration must be given to the formwork and release agents used the concrete specification and way in which the concrete is placed.
Most concrete walls can be precast, usually in a specialist supplier’s factory, but on some occasions in a precasting facility on site. The precasting of wall sections can have considerable benefits in providing precise, factory controlled tolerances and finishes, with units being able to be constructed ahead of other building in a structure.
In-situ concrete walls can also be cast horizontally on the ground on a specially prepared base near their final location. The walls can then be lifted and tilted up into the vertical position. This is commonly called ‘tilt-up construction’. The technique can have potential economic benefits.