Project Highlights: Project Size: 56,890 SF consisting of 192 Thinshell Precast panels and 114 Architectural Precast panels Precast Panel System: Thinshell and Architectural Precast
Integral colored precast concrete cast with form liner emulates the rich red color of historic sandstone.
Spray foam insulation applied to thin shell precast concrete at the plant enhances energy efficiency.
The project was completed five months ahead of schedule.
2021 PCI National Award Winner Special Award for Sustainable Design
"Our team's challenge was to design and construct a building that combined high quality, durability, and a long life with minimal maintenance," From the outset, the primary design objective was to create a beautiful and resilient building that would be efficient and operational for generations to come. The designers chose precast concrete because they knew it would deliver the desired durability and timeless appearance that the client was seeking - while staying within their budget. Finally, the use of precast concrete mitigated construction challenges in the busy urban setting, allowing the project to be completed five months ahead of schedule. "We and our client love the fact that we were able to achieve a natural look and feel in our building's exterior envelope, while still adhering to budget realities," "The client is extremely pleased with the outcome." Deryl Robinson VP, Griffin Structures
The final $162 million design features a six-story office building on top of two levels of underground parking, with a freestanding 7,200 sq ft conference center. The owner originally wanted the feature walls to be made of sandstone to match the courthouse; however, that wasn't a cost-effective option, says the project's architect, Melody Tang of LPA Design Studios. Instead, the design team elected to construct the feature walls out of colored precast concrete that was designed to exactly match the color of the sandstone while also meeting other project goals. "The ability to seamlessly blend freestanding architectural precast concrete walls around the site and ground floor with an efficient, lightweight, thin precast concrete shell was critical in achieving the overall design aesthetic," Tang says.
The design team reviewed many material samples with the precast concrete fabricator before finding the right match for the project. The final solution features an integral-colored precast concrete to emulate the rich red color of the historic sandstone, and thoughtful detailing of mitered corners and full returns of the panels gives the precast concrete the appearance of natural stone. "This accomplishment was made possible thanks to close collaboration between the construction manager, the precast concrete producer, and the architect," Weekly meetings throughout the course of construction ensured that aesthetic goals were met while taking into consideration logistical challenges of casting the panels at the plant, transporting them to the site, and installing and aligning them in the field.
To enhance the energy efficiency of the design, spray foam insulation was applied to the thin-shell precast concrete at the plant. "Attaching insulation directly to the skin of the panel minimized heat transfer between the exterior and interior of the building," says Jeremy Hart, Director of Civic and Cultural Design for LPA Design Studios. That helped the building receive a LEED Silver rating and reduced its projected energy use from the baseline standard by 76%. "An efficient building skin was critical to the ability to achieve performance goals established by the owner and design team," says Hart.
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.
* 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.