Skip to main content

Non-residential buildings

Commercial buildings benefit from improved green credentials, rapid installation of a high quality product and a very wide range of potential design options.

The benefits of precast flooring in commercial buildings include:

  • Quality of product
  • Finish
  • Speed of installation
  • The material’s high thermal efficiency

Case study example: PCE Ltd - Volkswagen Car Showroom, Service Centre, MSCP, London.

PCE has delivered a multi-functional building for Volkswagen over 5 floors, offering areas for a showroom, service centre, offices and car parking (7300m2) to a busy congested London site. They worked with main contractor Longcross to win the project with an alternative tender by proposing a precast solution. This solution utilised innovative GT slabs, box units for stair/lift cores, removed a central row of columns, reduced lorry loads, reduced operatives on site, incorporated architectural circular white columns and delivered the project earlier. Furthermore, 3-D modelling during design and tight production control avoided clashes and erection delays.

The project is a credit to PCE and their precast manufacturer suppliers, British Precast members: FP McCann, Evans Concrete, Banagher Precast and Ebor Concrete.


Concrete’s inherent properties are ideally suited to the education sector - its reputation for durability offers important savings in repair and maintenance within the school environment. Furthermore, whole of life savings can be attributed to concrete’s thermal mass which is acknowledged to be a valuable solution to the problem of overheating and its associated cooling costs.

Precast concrete manufacturers can supply a wide variety of external finishes, whilst details such as solid floors and insulated walls deliver concrete’s acoustic benefits and contribute to a building’s fire safety. There are many reasons to use offsite build systems, including:

  • Greater speed of construction
  • Factory production enables optimal finish
  • Reduction of trades required onsite
  • Reduction of waste
  • Greater quality control

Non-Domestic Buildings

Masonry offers high quality facing materials that are cost effective for large projects but also down to the smallest scale. It can also provide structural elements: vertical load bearing and stability walls as part of the building enclosure or as internal partitions, providing fire enclosure, additional security and acoustic separation. It’s robustness and durability means it is particularly useful for reducing maintenance in areas likely to suffer high wear and tear.

  • Brick cladding on public buildings is aesthetically pleasing and conveys warmth and dependability.
  • Rendered concrete block cladding is becoming more common, often perceived as modern and provides colour options.
  • Concrete block facing on industrial buildings is functional: it provides security and is resistant to damage from moving plant.
  • Concrete blocks as internal partitions provide strength to support fixings, are low maintenance because of their robustness and provide good acoustic performance.
  • Concrete blocks as fire walls (providing fire separation when an internal partition) because of concrete’s inherent fire performance credentials.

Masonry can provide the building envelope which together with internal walls or columns can be designed to provide structural requirements of vertical load bearing and stability for low rise buildings (typically up to 4 storeys) .  For taller buildings it can also form the building envelope, but tends not to be part of the vertical load bearing structure but rather as facing or  infill. Taller buildings can be constructed from masonry cross wall construction, but this is far less common nowadays.