Precast Concrete Engineering

Precast concrete, when manufactured under an efficient quality control system, is one of the best things to happen to civil engineering

Shay Murtagh’s position at the top of the tree when it comes to precast concrete engineering has been further assured by the installation of Structural Research and its new IT system. Now, its customers can keep themselves fully informed of the progress of their projects in real-time, a collaboration that is already proving its value in scheduling and project management.

Precast concrete, when manufactured under an efficient quality control system, is one of the best things to happen to civil engineering and the associated building trades for decades. Expensive, difficult and time-consuming shuttering, pouring and levelling has been eliminated, and with it the dependence upon fine weather that made scheduling an almost impossible task, and often led to projects running, not only over time, but sometimes seriously over budget.

Now, a wide range of concrete components can be manufactured off site in factory-controlled conditions, and delivered on a ‘just in time’ basis to the site, cutting out the expensive and inconvenient factor of storage.  Project management, of which ensuring that components are on site and on time forms an essential part, has been greatly simplified, along with financial and scheduling control.

Shay Murtagh customers work with Structural Research’s expert consultants and designers on their projects from the outset; the survey of potential sites, through purchase, planning, design, scheduling, construction and completion.  The system is simple and streamlined, and safety and environmental factors have been improved in the process.

Precast Concrete Engineering | Structural Research

Precast concrete components, tested by modern quality control systems, fault-free and tailor-made for the purpose, arriving on site as and when needed, is an advance that has been hailed with relief by site managers, architects, designers and end users.

With Structural Research, Shay Murtagh’s reputation, not only for quality products, but also for co-operation with its clients has taken another stride into the future.

We Design for manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA). Our design process methodology is based on a methodical series of steps, grounded on extensive research and years of expertise. These steps ensure the conceptualisation of a reliable solution, capable of fulfilling all the design requirements deemed necessary at every individual job.

The evaluation of the design requirements is generally based on the use of state-of-the-art European Standards (EN) currently implemented, with a higher emphasis in the Eurocodes (EN 1990-1999). The National Annexes developed by each individual country are also taken into account, allowing easy and seamless integration of our solutions in multiple locations.

When the need arises, the recommendations of other verified and legitimate entities is also considered. This includes the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN), The International Federation for Structural Concrete (FIB), National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI), British Standards (BS) and the American Concrete Institute (ACI).

Our Services

Besides the below typical sectors and products, we can Engineer Bespoke projects and also adapt, adjust and engineer your onsite project in an Offsite efficient concrete structure

Main Sector and Products

Bridges for Road and Railway sectors, High-Speed Railway and Footbridges

  • Abutments and Cill beams
  • Piers
  • Prestressed Beams up to 50m span
  • Permanent precast concrete formwork or GRC/GRP,  for onsite deck
  • Parapets
  • Kerb

Culvert for small roads, pathways or flowing water passing beneath roads, railways or embankment

  • Box-Culvert
  • UAN
  • Portal
  • U-Section
  • Double Cell Culvert
  • Mammal Shelf
  • Fish Baffles
  • Wing walls. ‘I’, ‘L’ or ‘T’ shape retaining walls, Reinforced soil, Head beams, Drainage Outfall

Storage Tanks for Water Storage Reservoirs, Aeration, Clarifier/Settlement, SBR, Anoxic, Picket Fence Thickener, Slurry Storage and Bio-gas.

  • Post-tensioned Circular Tanks up to 48.72m diameter with modular prestressed panels up to 8m height
  • Post-tensioned Rectangular Tanks
  • Reinforced Tanks
  • Precast Launders

Multi-Story Buildings for residential, commercial and industrial.

  • Wall frame system with solid or twin walls
  • Load bearing and non-load bearing sandwich wall systems
  • Lift Shaft cores, stairs and landings
  • Solid and lattice girder slabs

Geosystem for Retaining soil, Reinforced soil slopes, and bi-articulated segments for tunnels.

  • Hexlok System
  • Gridlok System
  • Archlok System

Retaining Wall for civil infrastructures, residential and commercial building projects, storage bays.

  • ‘L’ shape walls up to 6 metres height
  • ‘T’ shape walls up to 6 metres height
  • Modular Ribbed Wall up to 8 metres height
  • Reinforced Soil
  • Kentledge Block Systems

Cladding for Residential, Commercial and Industrial buildings and Civil Infrastructures.

  • Architectural Panels
  • Architectural Columns
  • Balconies
  • Parapets
  • GRC – FRC

Hard Landscaping.

  • Benches
  • Retaining walls
  • Planters
  • Copings
  • Steps


Aligned with the Government Construction Strategy published by the UK Cabinet Office in 2011, that required that by 2016, the government projects shall be done based on a fully collaborative 3D BIM to reduce the costs and the carbon footage driven by construction industry. Shay Murtagh developed his internal implementation for BIM methodologies. The aim of this was not only to follow the requirements of one of our key clients but also to use it to enhance the general growth of the group on Digital Technologies. This strategy clearly benefited the communication flow between the different companies inside the group and the stakeholders which is reflection of the centralisation of information as a single source of truth.” The right information in the right hands at the right time.


Our Digital Construction procedures allow us to tailor our Models to suit bespoke Employer’s Information Requirements (EIR) and follow the latest Standards for Building Information Modelling (ISO 19650 or the previous standards PAS 1192, BS 1192).

Shay Murtagh services for BIM can include the following uses:

We use BIM/Digital Construction to develop and manage the DesignFabrication and Installation of Precast Concrete projects for the public and private sectors. We use object-oriented 3D models with embedded information such as materials, mix designs, finishes, unique identifiers for QA, weight, pipeline status and many others. This technology enables us to understand the different implications on several design solutions helping our clients to make the best decisions, leading to financial savings, improved performance and outcomes.

Once the Design and General Arrangements are approved we produce and detail, for each precast piece, a pack of information for manufacturing. This will ensure the precast piece  is produced to the agreed standard. This information also includes a Bill of Materials (BOM) to allow an automatic and accurate costing through our ERP System. The information could be printed or, preferable, visible in a digital device anywhere  anytime.

We design for Inspection and quality control check list is part of the information pack. Through a QR Code system that identifies each unique precast piece, Quality control could access to an mobile Shay Murtagh APP to follow and fill the Quality Assurance Checks.

Structural Research promote inside the group a Culture of continuous development and innovation that involves all people. Everyone is important and engaged.

Our Target

We combine surveillance, technological forecasting, creativity, internal and external analysis in order to select ideas for:

  • Efficient Structural Design in Precast Concrete
  • Streamline Digital Construction
  • Develop new products and manufacture processes
  • Bespoke projects in Precast Concrete
  • Sustainability in Design, Production, Delivery and Installation

Case Studies and Partnership

  • Dynamic Analysis of bridges deck with precast prestressed beams for High-Speed Railway. FEUP – Faculty of Engineering of Porto University
  • Dynamic Analysis of High-Speed Railway precast bridges. SEMC 2019 International Conference – Cape Town – South Africa
  • Post-tensioned Connections of Precast Prestressed Beams for High-Speed Railway Bridge. IPVC/FEUP – Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo and Faculty of Engineering of Porto University
  • Application of BIM/Virtual Reality Methodologies to Precast Concrete Structures. UM – Minho University
  • Polypropylene Fibres in Precast Concrete pieces FRC – IPVC – Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo
  • The CNC Process using data from BIM – FEUP – Faculty of Engineering of Porto University
  •  Carbon Infrastructure Supplier Development Plan alongside with a client and the Supply Chain Sustainability School 

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