In a recent blog post, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates highlighted the ubiquity of concrete across the world and specifically asked his readers, “Have you hugged a concrete pillar today?”
As Gates points out, concrete has been instrumental in the expansion of cities across the globe over the past several decades. In China, concrete has been crucial. How crucial? In the U.S. we have used 4.5 gigatons of cement over the past century. China used 6.6 gigatons in just two years from 2011-2013! With this much cement in use, it should come as no surprise that precast concrete products are everywhere.
How prevalent is precast? Imagine you’re going to a football game this weekend. On your way down the highway, you cross over precast concrete bridges and cruise past precast sound walls, which provide noise abatement for residents along the roadway. When you arrive, the stadium includes precast columns, panels, double tees and more. And when you return to your neighborhood, you can sleep in comfort knowing that your home was built with a durable precast concrete wall system.
Everywhere you went today, precast was all around you but largely out of sight, including the manholes, pipe and other precast concrete structures that move our water. If you stopped by a playground, your children might have enjoyed a unique precast concrete stagecoach while you sat on an innovative precast concrete bench, enjoying the cool breeze.
So what does all of this use of precast concrete mean for the future? As Gates points out, more and more people are joining the global middle class, resulting in an ever-increasing need for the building materials – like concrete – that make modern infrastructure systems possible.
Thankfully, precast concrete producers are the infrastructure people, standing ready to supply all of the products needed to keep the world moving forward. From paving slabs to utility structures and beyond, the manufactured concrete products industry is poised to meet the challenges of tomorrow, today.
To learn more, find precast producers in your area.