Swords, the county town of Fingal, lying some ten kilometres north of the centre of Dublin, is a lovely place that was recently named as the third-best town in which to live in Ireland. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that it was the chosen site for a new 158-bed care home commissioned by the CareChoice Group and designed and built by Ganson.
This five storey flagship construction has been built with precast concrete units manufactured by Alcrete, part of the famous Shay Murtagh group. Alcrete has supplied the concrete slabs, stairs, twin and solid wall panels, and lift shafts. CareChoice was looking for safety and durability, and Ganson, working with the teams from Alcrete, found both in the sturdy and well-made components that comprise the heart of the new building.
Precast concrete is one of the safest materials available to the construction industry. Surpassing the requirements of the fire safety regulations with ease, it also offers risk mitigation during the building phase, as there is no necessity for the strenuous and difficult pouring and shuttering that was a factor in traditional concrete construction. Alcrete delivered the units to the site ready for immediate installation, a process that, with precast concrete, is usually completed with cranes rather than scaffolding and manual labour.
In a building that caters largely to the elderly, some of whom may be quite frail, noise reduction is also important. Pre-cast concrete, particularly Alcrete’s excellent solid wall panels, has superb sound-proofing qualities and requires minimal additional work in this respect.
The smooth finish of the concrete floor slabs and staircases means that the final surfacing is a safe and simple process. Carpeting, natural wood, or other modern synthetic finishes can be laid directly onto the concrete with little or no additional surface preparation. This is a time and cost-saving factor that is greatly appreciated by the increasing number of clients who are making precast concrete their material of choice.
The new facility is now open and is proving to be a popular home from home for its residents.