Construction with precast concrete elements is more than just an alternative to conventional construction with in-situ concrete. What is special about it is the use of concrete elements that are prefabricated in the factory under ideal conditions, transported to the building site and then assembled by manufacturing the necessary connections. Construction with precast concrete elements began in Europe at the start of the 1950s, following the Second World War, as an attempt to alleviate the housing shortage in those countries that had suffered the worst destruction. In building construction different systems were developed and applied. One system that achieved fame was that of large-format load-bearing slabs, which was particularly prevalent in Central and Eastern European countries. Construction with precast concrete elements first appeared in Portugal at the end of the 1950s with the manufacture of precast elements for housing construction, in particular for smaller residential buildings, almost at the same time as large-format slab systems similar to those used in East Europe. Systems were developed for the production of precast concrete elements of all shapes and sorts for use in building construction, underground constructions and the construction of infrastructures. This text is an edited version of the lecture held at the international seminar for precast concrete elements (precast construction throughout the world). The lecture is intended to present an overview from the Portuguese point of view of the use of different kinds of precast concrete elements, the greatest tasks to be overcome and the advantages of use.