The growing population and increasing demand for faster construction and quicker returns on investment have led to the need for a transformation in traditional building methods. The construction industry has been around for over a hundred years, starting with the production of T-shaped beams and industrial-scale concrete elements.
One of the newer building technologies is the prefabricated light structure system, which was invented in the US about 35 years ago. The connections in this system are integral, unlike the Large Panel method, which uses cams and tongues. The structure is made in the form of rebar networks with a layer of polystyrene foam between them. The lightweight panels are welded to the foundation at the construction site, and the walls and roof are also welded together. Concrete is then sprayed onto the panels with air pressure through a pump, creating integrity in the connections and increasing the strength and stability of the structure.
The prefabricated light structure method is particularly advantageous in earthquake-prone areas like Iran, as it reduces the weight of the building and increases resistance to dynamic forces. It also allows for the protection of Islamic and Iranian architecture, as the panels can be designed to fit any style and shape desired.
The use of rebar networks in the walls also ensures building safety, as sudden collapse does not happen. The method of prefabricated light structures is recognized as the best method for Iran due to its superior advantages compared to other prefabricated technologies and its compatibility with the needs of most people for low-cost housing.
Prefabricated light structures offer numerous benefits, including substantial cost savings, which can contribute significantly to a country’s economic growth and prosperity. The use of this technology results in a 10% reduction in building costs, thanks to decreased cement usage and less steel rebar, which drops from 38 kg to 34 kg in traditional buildings. Moreover, buildings made with prefabricated light structures are lighter, require less raw materials, and are more energy-efficient due to thermal insulation, enhancing their lifespan and strength. Such buildings are also safer against earthquakes and noise pollution.
However, the production and installation of prefabricated elements require precision in dimensions and sizes to ensure proper placement in the building. Production and installation errors are allowable to accommodate slight differences between element sizes and designated installation spaces. Transporting prefabricated parts is crucial and must be done on time and accurately. Horizontal transportation should not exceed 90% of the vehicle’s weight capacity, while vertical transportation ranges from 90% to 60%. Additionally, storage is critical, and a detailed plan should be followed, including spacing between piles, identifying parts with labels, and ensuring that parts with the same form, specification, and size are stored together. Finally, before finishing parts, new orders must be prepared in advance to avoid delays.