Precast vs Block Construction

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Ready Block is one of the leading suppliers of Barbados’ primary construction staple, concrete blocks. These blocks come in a multitude of sizes and upon order confirmation, is delivered straight to site for customer and project management convenience. It is the company’s ability to manufacture, sell and deliver quality concrete blocks backed by superior customer service that puts them at the top of the market.


Precast vs Block Construction, Ready Block, Construction Caribbean


Concrete Blocks

The concrete block has remained the most common construction material. With the Caribbean subject to a history of disasters ranging from floods to hurricanes, it is a top priority that the materials used in the construction of our built environment are as structurally sound and disaster resilient as possible. At its core, concrete block construction has been a staple in achieving this in Barbados, and throughout the Caribbean.

Precast vs Block Construction

When it comes down to it, the defining factor between precast and block work construction is whether the priority lies in cost or time management. Pre-cast concrete has an almost doubled increase in product price with lower installation costs. Block work, on the other hand, comes at a significantly less cost, with funds being more directed towards the construction process. Despite the benefits of both, concrete block construction is still at its height in demand and is the leading material for residential projects.

Benefits of Concrete Block Construction include:

  • Structural longevity
  • Resistant to strong winds, floods, and fire
  • Mold and termite resistance
  • Soundproofing
  • Insulation against cold and heat, reducing energy costs
  • Ideal for foundations and basement walls – stronger than poured concrete
  • Can be assembled quickly and reinforced with steel rods



OMNIDEC Precast System

OMNIDEC is a Ready Block roofing and flooring system comprised of precast panels that provide the direct equivalent of an in-situ slab. This system can be installed in a variety of building types, including, commercial and industrial, public, and residential building projects. This process requires far less time than the traditional plywood sheet building method. This ease of installation of the OMNIDEC system has been highly rated by contractors at Ready Block for years.

Benefits of Omnidec Precast include:

  • Equally suitable for steel and concrete framed structures and masonry buildings
  • Designed to carry a wide range of loads
  • Electrical and plumbing services are easily accommodated
  • Protects you against ire for long periods
  • Large areas of a floor can be erected in a short space of time

Completed OMNIDEC projects:

  • Sandals Resort, Christ Church, Barbados
  • New Gajah Building, Millhouse, St. Thomas, Barbados
  • Westmoreland Hills Condos, St. James, Barbados
  • Zinnia Condos, Fitts Village, St. James, Barbados
  • Royal Westmoreland, St. James, Barbados
  • Private homes located in Barbados include:
    • Countryside
    • Sandy Lane
    • Rowans Park
    • Halcyon Heights
    • Mt. Standfast


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Custom Lego Blocks and Capping Blocks

The Ready Block team has also begun experimenting with making precast stackable concrete lego blocks out of custom shaped molds, offering a simplistic construction solution for elemental jobs.  This results in a faster, more accessible installation process. The blocks have the ability to be easily manoeuvred, dismantled and reconfigured to serve a multitude of purposes and are a structurally sound system with zero need for steel reinforcement, groundwork or fixings, making them the ideal flexible building material.

Lego Blocks can be used for:

  • Retaining walls
  • Flood defence walls
  • Agricultural plant buildings
  • Warehouses
  • Custom storage bays
  • Partition walls
  • Security blocks

Having been in the manufacturing of building blocks since 1971, Ready Block Ltd will continue to develop new ideas and methods to make building safer and more environmentally friendly for the Barbados landscape.


The article is taken from the March 2018 Issue of Construction Caribbean Magazine.



Additional Reads:-

Know your Concrete Block: Quality and Utility

Ready Mix: Barbados’ Construction Staple

Concrete: How to achieve strength and durability

Cement: Build Faster, Stronger, Greener with Resilience








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Michaela Gomes

Graduating class of 2016 from The University of Sheffield’s undergraduate architecture program, Michaela now works as an architectural assistant at MGA inc. with plans of resuming studies for her masters degree in 2018. Her prime interests in the field include humanitarian and social architecture - focusing on the development of communities through people centric design. After obtaining her full qualification she plans on bringing some of these ideas to Barbados in hopes of improving government housing and urbanism in the island. Contact:

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