A Brief History of Precast Concrete and Forms

What would our society today look like without precast concrete? Precast concrete is a pivotal factor in our ability to develop and innovate. In order to better understand just how imperative precast innovations have been to the developed world, we have decided to take a closer look at the history of precast concrete and forms.

Ancient Rome

Builders in ancient Rome would use concrete for a variety of things. The innovative network of tunnels culverts and most famously aqueducts were created in part because of a revelation the builders had. They realized that it would expedite the building process if they poured the concrete moulds.

These ancient structures have stood the test of time and are still standing strong today. Although the foundation has been laid for thousands of years, no pun intended, the technology has only gotten stronger and stronger.

Rome was not built in a day, it was built with precast concrete forms.

Modern World Use

John Alexander Brodie and Yannick Macken developed precast paneled buildings in 1905. This allowed for houses to be built quicker and cheaper than ever before. However, the qualities of the houses still remain and to this day, you can visit many of the original precast paneled buildings.

Precast panels allowed for houses to be built quicker and cheaper than ever before.

Today the precast concrete field has turned into two sub-industries, the precast concrete products industry and the pre-stressed concrete industry. The precast concrete products industry consists of utility, underground, and other non-pre-stressed products, and the pre-stressed industry, while also precast, applies tension to the steel to carry the loading factors required. These products are usually found in building and bridge support members as well as parking garages. Both industries are governed by the National Precast Concrete Association (NPCA), Precast Concrete Structures Association (PCSA) and the Precast/Pre-stressed Concrete Institute (PCI).

Del Zotto Makes Precast Concrete History

Del Zotto Forms

Born in 1901, William Mario Del Zotto was an immigrant from Italy to the U.S. during the beginning of the European Arena of World War II. He worked as a brick layer in the coke ovens of U.S. Steel in Duluth, MN. William Mario helped his son William John Del Zotto, born in 1942, get started in the precast concrete business, and continued to give him advice well into his retirement up to his death in 1984. Del Zotto Manufacturing was started by that only son, William John Del Zotto.

Bill started out making steps and step forms, then septic tanks and septic tank forms. From those early forms, Bill built smarter forms by making them safe and easy to strip, pour and maintain. He invented and patented hundreds of precast forms and equipment. This took the precast industry to an entirely new level.

What would the world look like without precast concrete? Let us know how we can help you with your precast form needs.