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July 31, 2011

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Precast concrete for green construction

SHANGHAI is to use precast concrete on new residential buildings, in a bid to save energy and reduce construction pollution and noise.

The construction technology has been widely adopted in many developed countries, such as the United States and Japan.

Precast concrete - also known as PC - will raise construction costs, but Shanghai's government has decided to spend three years promoting it citywide and replace the current technique that involves concrete being produced on the construction site, a frequent source of complaints about noise and dust.

Major builders have been given incentives to use the technology.

PC will also reduce the impact of cement mixers - long the subject of complaints for spilling concrete and creating dust.

Mixers traveling between construction sites have also been involved in many accidents.

PC methodology will see main building parts produced to the same standards at construction workshops.

A builder needs only have the products transported to the construction site and assemble them there.

"Promoting PC technology will help maintain a better environment," said Xue Weichen, dean of the architecture college at Tongji University.

Architects also believe the new practice will lead to the standardized construction of more energy-saving and better-quality projects.

Shang Urban Construction Group, one of the construction groups supported by the government to advance the program, this week completed a building using PC technology. It will become a research and development center for future tests to improve the technology, said Zhang Yan, the group president.

Before the end of this year, the group will start work on two government budget housing buildings - a total of 2,500 households - using the technology.

PC will be introduced to commercial housing projects over next three years, said officials.


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