Precast concrete systems in developing vs. industrialized countries

Gul Polat*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Precast concrete technology is recognized worldwide as offering significant advantages. Despite the advantages they offer, precast concrete building systems' share in both Turkey and the U.S. is very low, especially when compared to many European countries. Since Turkey is a developing country that is technologically dependent on the developed world, low share of industrialized building systems is highly expected in that country. However, the U.S. is a developed and industrialized country, so it was very interesting to see that these systems are not extensively used in that country either. This study investigated the factors that prevent the extensive use of precast concrete systems in the U.S. and Turkey through an extensive questionnaire survey. The survey results revealed that the perceptions of the American vs. Turkish respondents on most of the factors that affect the use of precast concrete systems are significantly different from each other. While American respondents considered size and load restrictions on transportation, poor communication among parties, and lack of qualified contractors specialized in precast concrete systems as three most important barriers to the extensive use of precast concrete systems in the U.S. building construction market, Turkish respondents ranked lack of good communication among parties and lack of structural engineers and contractors specialized in precast concrete systems as the most important three factors that prevent the extensive use of these systems in Turkey. This study indicated that precast concrete users and manufacturers should recognize that the main reasons for low utilization of precast concrete systems predominantly depend on the prevailing conditions of the country in question.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-94
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Civil Engineering and Management
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010

Funding

Although the use of precast concrete components in seismic regions of the U.S. had been limited due to the uncertainty about their performance during earthquakes (Priestley and Tao 1993), that kind of consideration has drastically changed recently due to several research and development programs conducted mostly through the support of PCI and the National Science Foundation (NSF) in order to develop a more comprehensive seismic design methodology for precast concrete structures (Polat 2008b). On the other hand, the widespread damage to the precast concrete industrial facilities caused by the 1992, 1995 and 1999 earthquakes in Turkey had a significant impact on the economy of the country. Since nearly 93% of Turkey is located in the heart of an active seismic zone and major earthquakes frequently strike, it is very normal that the performance of precast concrete structures under seismic loads is one of the most important concerns of Turkish contractors, designers, and manufacturers (Tok-man and Eryilmaz 2004; Sezen and Whittaker 2006; YEMAR Report 2006). The funding for part of this study was provided by the Feyzi Akkaya Fund for Supporting Scientific Activities (FABED) and is gratefully acknowledged.

FundersFunder number
FABED
Feyzi Akkaya Fund for Supporting Scientific Activities
National Science Foundation

    Keywords

    • Building systems
    • Developing countries
    • Industrialized countries
    • Precast concrete
    • Questionnaire
    • Turkey
    • USA

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