Providing Innovative Solutions to Creative Precast Designs

Architectural Precast Concrete, Thinshell, and GFRC - Willis Construction Co, Inc.

Contra Costa Administration Building

Location:
Martinez, CA

Owner:
Contra Costa County

Architect:
Fentress

Structural Engineer:
Thornton Tomasetti

General Contractor:
Hensel Phelps

Project Size / Precast Panel Systems:
Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (35,000 SF / 167 Panels)
Landscape Precast (2,200 SF / 48 Panels)

Project Highlights:
Four different color mix designs. Two different custom form liners created. One used for the entrance clock tower and another for running white spandrel panels. White color given a light sandblasted finish. Darker color for wall panels given a medium sandblasted finish.

2022 PCI National Merit Award: Government and Public Structure Honorable Mention

Project Overview

Designers of the new four-story government building in Martinez, California, wanted to provide a visual connection between the building skin and the surrounding landscape. They determined that precast glass-fiber-reinforced concrete (GFRC) panels would be the best way to achieve that vision.

While several materials were initially investigated, collaboration between the contractor, designers, and owner’s representatives led to the selection of GFRC panels, which were chosen for their low cost, durability, ease of maintenance, and aesthetic benefits. The choice allowed the team to integrate custom integral colors, a stone facade look for the clock tower, and custom designed “wave art” panels that visually recall the water in the nearby bay and rolling hills surrounding the city. Panelizing the exterior skin with GFRC panels also resulted in faster envelope-closure during construction, facilitating one of the owner’s primary goals of maintaining an accelerated schedule. Net Zero

To create the three-dimensional (3-D) wave panel design, the designers began with computer and 3-D-printed models. Then, they worked closely with the precast concrete producer subcontractor to develop fiberglass molds and mock-ups to determine the final finish and color. By arranging the panels in different combinations, including flipping some upside down, the team was able to create an entirely custom look using only three unique molds.

The clock tower, featuring textured GFRC, was designed to mimic the look of the natural stone featured in many of the nearby historic buildings, blending civic character with a warm and welcoming entry.

At the pedestrian level, retaining walls, planters, and bollards made from architectural precast concrete seamlessly match the GFRC. By using precast concrete panels that were almost indistinguishable from the original cultured stone, the team was able to cut roughly six weeks from the project timeline. While the use of GFRC slightly increased the upfront construction budget, the added benefits far outweigh the initial costs. The use of GFRC reduces the building’s energy use from the baseline standard, which helped the building achieve LEED Gold status. To enhance the energy efficiency of the design, spray-foam insulation was applied to the back of the panels in the shop to create a continuous and consistent thermal barrier.

Based on operational data since the building opened, the structure is now operating at Net Zero Energy rating.

Willis Construction is one of the leading Architectural Precast Concrete manufacturers and installers in the Western United States. We are 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.

Noteworthy Precast Projects

Contra Costa Administration Building

Contra Costa Administration Building

Martinez, CA
  • GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete) and Architectural Precast
  • 2022 PCI National Award Winner
Hollywood Park Office

Hollywood Park Office

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  • Pre-Glazed GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete)
  • 2022 PCI National Award Winner
1550 Mission Street Housing

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Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

Los Angeles, CA

Projects in Progress

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10th & O Street Office

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1700 Pavillion

1700 Pavillion

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  • Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete
Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla - Tower II

Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla - Tower II

La Jolla, CA
  • Architectural Precast

Willis Construction, San Juan Bautista, CA: We are Precast Concrete and GFRC Specialists Willis Construction has been providing Architectural Precast Concrete building panels and products to the construction industry since 1979. Willis Construction has consistently risen to meet the changing and challenging needs of the construction industry with innovative and creative precast concrete design solutions. We have had the opportunity to work with excellent Owners, Contractors, Architects and Engineers. We are qualified, competent, competitive, enjoy our work, and are good team members for any project. We look forward to the opportunity to work with you.

* PCI Certification confirms that a manufacturing plant has an ongoing quality assurance system in place. PCI Certification requires that the plant must consistently demonstrate their commitment to quality principles and procedures. A 120 point audit examines all aspects of plant operation including engineering practices and management commitment.

PCI Certified