Hollowcore Walls – Thinking Outside the Box

Hollowcore is as close as you can get to a precast commodity product – mass production with a high degree of versatility in spanning capabilities make it one of the most commonly specified structural floor elements – from residential to commercial buildings and far beyond. It’s not uncommon for producers to be manufacturing millions of square feet of hollowcore per year from a single facility.

However, did you know that you can also use hollowcore for walls?

Many hollowcore production systems offer wall panel kits which convert the joint keyways into simple tongue-and-groove format for use in wall systems.

Also, special topping machines and reveal kits are available to apply an architectural layer to the top side (such as ribbed, exposed aggregate or colored face mixes), adding value to the finished product.

Best suited for building envelopes with large, flat walled areas such as commercial box buildings and distribution warehouses, the benefits are clear:

  • Economical mass production in a quality-controlled factory environment results in a better finished product
  • Rapid production and erection gets the product on-site and in final position sooner
  • The connections are simple, and elements can be used either as structural (vertical) or infill (horizontal)
  • Because hollowcore can span long distances, additional support from other members is minimized, resulting in better overall economy
  • Hollowcore uses much less reinforcement per unit mass than other wall types, including other precast wall panels

Not convinced? Consider that hollowcore can be produced and sold for 40-50% of the cost of wall panels on average, producing savings for developers and opportunities for producers.

Want to know more about hollowcore walls?

We invite you to visit the following link and download the Hollowcore Walling Manual, which provides a brief introduction to the advantages and some technical information (light reading):

https://www.nationalprecast.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/HCWallsManual.pdf

To go more in-depth PCI MNL 126-15E provides very detailed information and design standards for hollowcore walls:

https://0201.nccdn.net/4_2/000/000/03f/ac7/PCI-Manual-for-the-Design-of-Hollow-Core-Slabs-and-Walls–3rd-Edition-MNL126-15.pdf

You can also consult your hollowcore equipment supplier of choice who can also provide guidance on conversion kits and production methods / best practices.

Are you a producer of hollowcore walls? If so we would love to hear from you on any insights you might have, you can contact us at: