Project Highlights: Panel System: Architectural Precast and GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete)
Project Size: 140,000 sq.ft. of Architectural Precast consisting of 885 Panels. 2,700 sq.ft. of GFRC consisting of 22 panels.
Multiple mix design colors in one panel Simulated Stone form liner with post applied stain
Christopher High School, a new two story, 1,800 student facility in Gilroy, California, is laid out in a broad sweeping curve similar to the infield on a baseball diamond. The design's fan shaped layout, with aquatic center/gymnasium complex at one end and a performance arts theater at the other end, allows for spacious outdoor learning environments around a central amphitheater style quadrangle, which serves as the social hub of the campus. A monumental open air, entry canopy directs students into the central outdoor area. The canopy is supported by six massive pillars that reinforce the school's belief in the "six pillars of character."
The school's two story plan maximizes open space for on site field sports and sweeping views of the nearby foothills. The City of Gilroy, once known as the "Garlic Capital of the World," now targets technological growth by aligning with nearby Silicon Valley. The concept and sophisticated design of the new school seeks to balance the agrarian past with a high tech future. Decorative garlic bulbs and paw prints (the school's team is the "Cougars") are sculpted into the entry lintels. Phase I of the project, which opened in 2009, accommodated 900 students, consisted of a two story building with 36 classrooms, library, computer lab, kitchen, cafeteria and administrative offices. Phase II, allowing for another 900 students and completed in 2012, includes additional classrooms, an aquatics center that features an activity pool and a 13 lane competition pool, gymnasium, locker room, and a 248 car parking lot. Sustainable design features included the Precast concrete. The panel components use partially recycled rebar reinforcement, were fabricated locally and 93.5% of construction waste was recycled. Precast Solution Precast concrete cladding was a key element in the school design. Designed to look like natural stone, the precast panels, simulate the Classic Revival style of 1912 Gilroy and convey a collegiate and timeless architecture. The architectural precast panels were manufactured using a simulated stone form liner with post applied stain. Multiple mix design colors were used in each panel. Other components were given a light and medium sandblast finish. A key factor in the selection of precast cladding for the new school was the durability of precast concrete. An extensive life cycle cost analysis by BCA Architects evaluated various "skin" systems. The decision was made to utilize an integral color precast concrete panel system based on a number of factors:
* Durability. With an institutional environment such as a high school, it is critically important to design an exterior skin system that can withstand the test of time that students impose on the structure including the ability to quickly and easily remove graffiti. To date, there have been no incidents of graffiti.
* Aesthetics. The design possibilities of precast allowed the architects to create an environment that challenged the students to excel. Student Academic Performance Index (API) scores, in fact, have increased significantly.
* Payback. Unlike precast, other finishes, including stucco, require extensive maintenance, notes Paul Bunton, AIA, president of BCA Architects. "Although the upfront cost of precast concrete panels was higher than other finishes," Bunton says, "precast concrete will save the District millions of dollars over the life of the facility by significantly reducing their deferred maintenance costs."
Willis Construction has been providing Architectural Precast Concrete building panels and products for the construction industry since 1979. Willis Construction is dedicated to providing Owners, Architects, and General Contractors with the design and engineering expertise necessary to meet the building challenges of today and the future. The quality, durability, and long life of Architectural Precast Concrete, Thinshell, and GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete) systems provide a wide range of design options for virtually every type of building. Contact us to decide which system would be best suited for your next project.
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