Fabcon’s top-finish process allows different imprint patterns applied to the exterior face. Patterns that simulate brick and/or block patterns are available, including 4”x8” with a 1/2 running bond; 4”x12” with a 1/3 running bond; 4”x16” with a 1/2 running bond; 8”x8” stack bond; 8”x16” with a 1/2 running bond; and 16”x16” stack bond. Also available are 4”-on-center and 8”-on-center horizontal imprint lines.
Fabcon can also accommodate custom imprint patterns.
There’s more to Fabcon’s panels than a few shades of gray. Fabcon Precast gives a greater range of color than you might even be aware. By adjusting four very basic components (cement, aggregate, tinted pigments and matrix), our panels afford you a wide spectrum of color depth and nuance.
Standard finish on the wall panels is a natural gray concrete which will vary in color due to a variety of factors. Fabcon strongly recommends that natural gray concrete panels be painted or stained for aesthetic purposes. This application is not required to seal or protect the panels from air or moisture infiltration nor is it included in Fabcon’s scope of work.
Our exposed aggregate and sandblasted panels are available in a variety of aggregates, typically local to each plant location. The matrix of exposed aggregate finishes will be tinted to complement the natural color of the rock. The owner may select a different tint if so desired. Exotic aggregates can be shipped in from non-traditional sources at additional costs. However, aggregates not previously approved must be tested for compatibility and long-term viability, and this testing may impact project lead-times. White cement is another color option for exposed aggregate and sandblasted finishes.
When the exterior finish is specified as rib, rake, sandblast, water-washed, acid-etched, imprint, exposed aggregate, as examples, the interior building finish is the steel form side of the panel. However, when the steel form smooth surface is turned to the exterior, the interior finish can be a broom texture or troweled finish. In either case the steel form surface is high-density concrete and may contain small pit holes, which may require patching by others prior to finishing.
Fabcon manufactures a wide variety of profiles (rake, rib, imprint, flat, etc.) including both top-side extruded and form-side finishes, with or without formliners. Exposed aggregate finishes can be accomplished on the “top” face or form-side. Different levels of sandblasting can be done on the form-side. Local and specialty aggregates are available on standard width (8’) and special widths (up to 11 ft. 11-1/2 in. in MN, OH and KS; 13 ft. 5-1/2 in. in PA.
A unique and popular finish is to cast thin brick into the precast wall panels. Casting thin brick into precast concrete wall panels eliminates the masonry grout of traditional brick construction. This eliminates “tuck-pointing” maintenance for the life of the building and also eliminates the environmental impact and site disruption of brick construction. Cast-in thin brick is done with liners on the steel form-side of the panels. Cast-in brick is available in several materials, including traditional clay-fired brick and concrete from various suppliers. Custom finishes are available from Fabcon, including sandblasting and form-side exposed. Both finishes are available on the structural form-side of the wall panels.
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Yes. There are two methods of placing electrical in Fabcon’s wall panel system. First, boxes and conduit can be cast into the wall panels during production. There are special considerations, so talk to your Sales Engineer. Secondly, special billets that contain an open chase can be cast into the panels easily with nominal cost. This chase runs vertically in the panels, horizontally in the case of spandrel panels, in one or all six billets (3’ wide product). Electrical can be run from the top of the wall panel or cut in above the ceiling elevation to allow electrical lines to be dropped to the appropriate elevation and electrical boxes mounted flush in the wall. Openings for electrical boxes are field-cut into the panels by others. This system allows the greatest future flexibility for electric work.
Fabcon can install structural steel sections which attach to our wall panels. We do not set other structural steel, nor do we pour footings. Coordination of sub-contractors is by the general contractor or construction manager.
Either the steel or precast can be erected first. In the case where structural steel is erected prior to the panels, “freestanding” wall braces and dead-man anchors are used.
Seven- to eight-week lead times account for critical milestones, including complete architectural and structural information, final plan approvals, production time and delivery to the jobsite. Variables such as production capacity, panel dimensions, finish and opening complexity can impact lead time. Fabcon can, and often does, process projects on a shorter schedule depending on project specifics.
Fabcon erects our own products. Our field crews are union members and can work on any jobsite, including open-shop jobsites. Field erection crews are highly experienced and specialized in Fabcon products and can ensure timely, quality installation of Fabcon products on your job. It also creates one-party responsibility (Fabcon) for the design, fabrication and installation of the wall panels.
Fabcon is not the Engineer of Record. Our scope of work is limited to the design and manufacture of the wall panels, including installation and connections. Structural steel, pre-engineered systems, foundations and other structural elements are to be designed by others.
Fabcon employs professional engineers and drafters who design the panels’ overall structural and thermal properties, as well as planning their connections and installation. Coordination between Fabcon’s engineering department, other subcontractor/trade engineers and the Engineer of Record ensures our systems interface with others. Our customized engineering documents interface with manufacturing automation throughout our plants to meet strict MNL 116 tolerances.
Fabcon’s panels are manufactured in a controlled environment at their four plants: Savage, Minnesota; Grove City, Ohio; Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania; and Pleasanton, Kansas.
Fabcon will either cast in an opening or cut an opening depending on the application for the wall panel. Edges will be a minimum of 3 inches of solid concrete; in the cases of a cast-in opening, the edge surface is rougher in nature and may require some finishing. In the case of sawn openings, edges will be a sawn, smooth surface. In our 12” VersaCore+Green™ insulated sandwich panel, we can cast in wood blocking around the perimeter of openings as an option.
Demands on buildings change over time, and Fabcon buildings can be modified or updated to meet your current needs—whether adding daylight to improve employee efficiency, or adding pedestrian doors to meet updated fire codes. Fabcon is there to design, manufacture and install to keep your building current.
Yes. Fabcon requires notification prior to cutting new openings in existing buildings. If necessary, connections are added (either bolted or “mudded” in) to the adjacent panels to redistribute the load across the wall panels. The field crew will verify the location of drop-ins (insulation) and determine the most effective location for a connection plate. Single pedestrian door openings (3 ft. 4 in. wide) and window openings that are less that 4 ft. 8 in. wide can usually be sawn into the center of full-width panels without additional connections to adjacent panels, but this should be verified with Fabcon’s engineering department.
Fabcon’s precast wall panels are available in widths up to 11 ft. 11-1/2 in. from the MN, OH and KS plants. Panels up to 13 ft. 5-1/2 in. are available from the PA plant. Much of our volume is 7 ft. 11-1/2 in. width to take advantage of freight efficiently. All panel widths are designed to accommodate a 1/2” caulk joint resulting in an actual center-to-center dimension of 13 ft. 6 in., 12 ft. and 8 ft.
Panel thicknesses are available from 8” to 12” depending on product type, finish and amount of insulation. The 8” VersaCore+Green™ wall panel incorporates the billet technology (creating the panel’s core) and allows cast-in openings. The cross-section contains structural webs of concrete, which are continuous from the outside to interior surface. The 12” VersaCore+Green™ insulated sandwich panel uses the same 8” VersaCore structural section but adds 2-1/2” of continuous insulation and a 1-1/2” finish facade. The advantage of the 12” insulated panel is the continuous insulation and isolating the wall panel from solar effects.
Yes. Concrete in general is a very “green” or sustainable product. Fabcon has taken sustainability to a new level with VersaCore technology, which replaces hollow cores with EPS billets that increase the energy efficiency of the panel and reduce the consumption of cement and aggregate. VersaCore+Green™ uses higher recycled content while further increasing the energy efficiency, making it a contributing component in a project’s qualification under LEED. Compared to conventional composite panel designs, VersaCore+Green™ weighs 32% less than conventional composite panels while offering a 30% increase in R-Values.
Price per square foot of wall panels varies depending on the type of project, location, finish and functionality of the panels. While price per square foot may be a useful way to describe the wall panels, it is misleading in that different panels on a project have varying costs depending on the profile of the panel.
For example, a single piece located at a non-bearing area of the building will be more economical per square foot than a load-bearing panel with openings that feature a premium finish. Your sales engineer can explain in greater detail and suggest value-engineering ideas.
Precast and site-cast panels are both concrete products and offer advantages over both CMU and metal; however, there are differences. Fabcon’s precast is manufactured in a controlled environment with highly-skilled workers that specialize in the manufacture of precast products. Precast can be manufactured year-round with consistent, documented quality.
Site-cast is subject to variable weather conditions and restrictive pouring conditions. The site-cast manufacturing process limits access of other trades to the construction site and often impacts constructions schedules. Pouring panels on the slab often causes critical damage to the quality of floor slabs required in today’s buildings. Slab repour and replacement impacts both costs and schedules.
Precast wall panels are superior to block construction in a variety of aspects. During construction, precast wall panels can be erected faster and under harsher weather conditions. Precast is capable of handling larger structural loads and offers greater energy efficiency while reducing long-term maintenance costs. Fabcon wall panels also have the advantage of reducing air and moisture infiltration. Precast is less disruptive and requires less clean-up on-site.
Fabcon wall panels are designed to be load-bearing and are most efficient in that capacity. Fabcon wall panels can also be load-bearing with double tee, steel bar joist, wood laminate and pre-engineered roof and/or mezzanine systems. The wall panels can take shear loads as well as dead loads. Fabcon has engineers on staff to answer specific loading questions. These load-bearing panels can be and have been used as cladding only.
Both. Fabcon designs, manufactures and installs structural wall panels under both designations. The structural wall panel offers a variety of decorative finishes that rival architectural concrete panels. Under the guidelines of the PCI (Precast Concrete Institute), this is referred to as MNL 116. However, Fabcon also produces wall panels under PCI’s designation of MNL 117 architectural concrete precast. Consult your Sales Engineer to determine which architectural concrete delivers the best value for your project.
Fabcon specializes in the design, manufacturing and installation of structural precast concrete wall panels. These wall panels can be used in either a load-bearing or non-load-bearing configuration and are available in a variety of R-values as well as finishes. Many of our finishes rival those of more expensive architectural panels. Fabcon follows PCI (Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute) MNL 116 guidelines for structural components and MNL 117 for architectural products.
Fabcon has designed, manufactured and installed wall panels as tall as 62’ (varies from plant to plant) in length as a load-bearing unit. For multi-story structures, we have erected sixteen (16) story, all-precast load bearing structures. Fabcon’s system delivers the significant advantage of being able to go to greater heights and carry greater loads than competitive systems.
R-values represent the thermal resistance (transfer of heat) through materials and/or assemblies. The higher the value of R, the better thermal performance relative to resistance (convection and radiative) of heat moving through the material/assembly. R-values do not account for the radiative or convective properties of the materials, surface.
R-values are the inverse of thermal transmittance (U-value) of a material/assembly. R-values are easier to calculate for assemblies and are scalable for varying thicknesses of a material. R-values expressed in United States customary units are about 5.67 times larger than those expressed in metric (SI) units.
Yes, PCI (Precast Concrete Institute) outlines calculations to determine various fire protection levels. VersaCore+Green™ can be modified for “solid” areas to meet Fire Manual requirements for fire ratings up to 4 hours. Note that special treatment (fire stop material) of panel-to-panel joints is required beyond 1 hour.
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