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    • Why Hollowcore is Preferred for Fire Safety

      Why Hollowcore is Preferred for Fire Safety

      Fire safety is an important consideration for every structure, but certain buildings, such as apartments, schools, warehouses, and hospitals, have stricter fire resistance and containment requirements. Hollowcore is a preferred building material for these applications due to its safety advantages.

      Inherent Fire Resistance

      Prestressed concrete is a passive fire protection (PFP) system, slowing the effects of smoke and fire without activation or assistance. This inherent fire resistance involves temperature regulation and structural resilience, making hollowcore a great choice for buildings with greater fire protection needs.

      Heat Transmission

      A material’s heat transmission refers to how effectively its mass limits temperature increase on the opposite side of a fire. Prestressed concrete has a slow rate of transmission, meaning the heat of a fire on one side of a wall will not transfer quickly to the other side of the wall.

      Additionally, concrete is chemically inert and does not combust. This advantage prevents toxic fumes from being released into the building and contains fires within a controlled space.

      Structural Protection

      In addition to limiting heat transfer between walls, prestressed concrete is also preferred for its structural resilience to fire. Hollowcore walls have sufficient strength to endure severe temperatures without collapsing, preventing the spread of a fire and lessening costs of repair.

      To determine the fire endurance of hollowcore, refer to the International Building Code and the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute’s “Design for Fire Resistance of Precast/Prestressed Concrete.”

      Safety Tested and Approved

      Hollowcore is tested and rated to meet fire-resistance requirements and maintain fire ratings for up to three hours. The fire endurance of concrete is determined by the American Society for Testing & Materials (ASTM) E119, which identifies the procedures and materials used to manufacture quality, fire-resistant building components.

      Use County Prestress’ Hollowcore for your next project by contacting our Customer Service Team at (708) 562-7700.

      Learn more by viewing our Hollowcore Product Brochure and Project Gallery.

    • Low Life Cycle Cost of Insulated Sandwich Walls Provide Long-Term Savings

      Low Life Cycle Cost of Insulated Sandwich Walls Provide Long-Term Savings

      The low life cycle cost of County Prestress’ Insulated Sandwich Walls (ISWs) offer a compelling solution for construction projects. Their efficient installation, durability, and low operating costs contribute to long-term savings.

      Efficient Installation

      ISWs are fabricated off-site in a controlled environment, enabling year-round production regardless of weather conditions. Panels can be produced while the construction site is being prepared, and there’s no need for extra space to be prepared at the site for casting and curing panels.

      Installation usually requires smaller crews compared to other building envelopes, streamlining labor coordination. Notably, ISWs act as both exterior and interior walls, requiring no additional finishing work or insulation. They can even be produced with custom patterns to provide aesthetically pleasing facades, eliminating the need for additional masonry work.

      Additionally, County Prestress’ enhanced production capacity accommodates shorter lead times, helping projects achieve an earlier return on investment.

      Unmatched Durability

      ISWs exhibit exceptional resistance to fire, wind, and forklift damage, ensuring a robust and enduring structure that can withstand challenging working conditions. The high-performance panels, composed of a cement-rich material with a low water-cement ratio, maintain both appearance and structural integrity over time.

      Low Operating Costs

      Structures built with insulated sandwich walls offer low operating costs because of their energy efficiency. The panels’ built-in layer of insulation helps maintain indoor air temperatures,  contributing to significant long-term savings for the building's owners.

      Use County Prestress’ Insulated Sandwich Walls for your next project by contacting our Customer Service Team at (708) 562-7700.

    • Empowering Youth with Heart Haven OutReach

      Empowering Youth with Heart Haven OutReach

      Heart Haven OutReach, also known as H2O, serves teens experiencing challenges through research-based programs. County Prestress partners with the organization to transform the lives of underserved teens through caring relationships and programs that support healthy emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual development. Heart Haven OutReach offers one-on-one mentoring, tutoring, support groups, life skills training, leadership training, and community service opportunities. Middle and high school students can participate in field trips, in-school groups, and summer activities.

      County Prestress partners with local nonprofits through the Sonnentag American Foundation. The Foundation aligns support with four key service areas: Hunger & Homelessness Support, Service Member & Veteran Support, Sexual Abuse & Domestic Assault Services, and Mentoring & Skills Building.

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