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2013 Celebrating 25 years of Excellence in Arizona

INSIDE: Structural Superiority Timeline: 25 Years Signature Projects Q&A with Ron Harman

p. 76 p. 80 p. 82 p. 86

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Congratulations Coreslab Structures on your 25th anniversary!

IIDa Coreslab strUCtUres: CelebratING 25 Years oF eXelleNCe IN arIZoNa BY PETER MADRID

STRUCTURE SUPERIORITY Coreslab Structures celebrates 25 Arizona’s most high-profile buildings


hen Ron Harman talks about the product for which his company is known, you would think he was talking about a precious metal or gem stones. He uses words such as “strong” and “fl awless” in his description. Harman is Vice President and General Manager of Coreslab Structures, a manufacturer of precast/ prestressed concrete products and hollowcore slabs. The company is celebrating 25 years of producing precast/prestressed self consolidating concrete products that have been used in the construction of some of Arizona’s most high-profi le buildings. Some include:  The Burton Barr Central Library in Phoenix;  Fountainhead Office Plaza in Tempe;  Arena in Glendale;  The Maricopa County Superior Court Tower in Phoenix. “One of the things that has been important about our product is its ability to continue to adapt our product to be more cost effective and high performance,” says Harman, who opened the Phoenix office 25 years ago. “That’s one of the things we hang our hat on. Self consolidating concrete is a technology that is still relatively new. The process is a huge benefit in that it makes concrete a more sustaintable product.” Precast concrete has become one of the most popular building materials because its strengths satisfy today’s demanding requirements. In 1975 Coreslab Limited entered the precast/ prestressed concrete industry with the purchase of a Hollowcore

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manufacturing operation in Burlington, Ontario, Canada. Throughout the late 70’s and early 80’s this operation evolved into a premier producer of Hollowcore slabs and related precast concrete products servicing both Ontario and the Northeastern U.S. In 1987, after a partnership restructuring, a newly invigorated Coreslab initiated an expansion strategy that continues to this day. In early 1988, Coreslab purchased its first structural facility in Phoenix, followed that same year by one in Austin, Texas. “Some of our more prominent structures, such as the Burton Barr Library, have great history with the company,” Harman says. “(Renowned architects) Will Bruder and DWL Architects won numerous awards for the design. It was also one of the first structures that met all the criteria for LEED certification.” When it comes to Coreslab Structures’ bread and butter, one need look no further than some of the West’s largest parking structures. According to Harman, precast makes more sense for that type of project as it has less impact on the site, it is efficient, and construction time is faster. In Arizona, Coreslab helped build the Chase Field (Bank One Ballpark) parking structure in 1997, the East Economy Parking facility at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in 2000 and the Grand Canyon University parking structure in 2011. Its largest structure to date is the 2 MSF Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino parking structure in Las Vegas in 1997. Coreslab has built lasting relationships with some of Arizona’s top general contractors, architects and engineers. “Their reps are always knowledgeable and bring specific


years of helping construct some of with its precast concrete products technical information to the table regarding their product, precast concrete,” says Mike Edwards, principal at DAVIS Architecture. “Our most recent project we completed with Coreslab was Fountainhead. The Coreslab team cast several test panels for the parking garage and the office buildings for our review until we were satisfied. And they brought their sandblasting expert to the site to do touchup work on some of the precast panels after they were in place due to color shifting.  “You could tell they wanted the project to look perfect when they were done. As you can imagine, precast concrete is very durable, both literally and visually. It has a ‘solid’ look to it compared to some lesser expensive exterior building materials, such as stucco or EIFS. “They are great to work with,” Edwards adds. “They seem to always be the precast concrete contractor at the table on all of my projects that have precast concrete work.” Cliff Paul, principal of PK Associates Consulting Structural Engineers, has personally worked with Coreslab for more than 30 years. PK has worked with Coreslab since PK’s formation 20 years ago. “I have always enjoyed our working relationship and have found their team to always be very creative, cost conscious, and committed to work excellence,” Paul says. The most recent project PK Associates and Coreslab have partnered on is the CyrusOne Data Center in Chandler. It was a difficult, factpaced, precast data center. “Coreslab provided great solutions to the project,” Paul says.

“CyrusOne Data Center is the largest building of its kind in the U.S., with 110 megawatts of power capacity generated from a substation right on the property. The CyrusOne data center is a marquee facility and one of the most advanced data centers in the industry, featuring energy-efficient technology, cutting-edge design, and enterpriseclass standards.” “Coreslab has a great management team,” Paul adds. “I have always VP / GM of Coreslab Ron Harman found them to be highly photo/ Lillian Reid professional, responsive, and ahead of the curve with design solutions and ideas.” Ryan Companies US, Inc. has worked with Coreslab for more than 15 years. “We’ve performed a number of successful projects with Coreslab,” says Ryan Director of Construction Services Steve Jordan. “We find them to be extremely collaborative, professional, and very good to work with.” 77

IIDa Coreslab strUCtUres: CelebratING 25 Years oF eXelleNCe IN arIZoNa

The Coreslab management team (above seated) VP/GM Ron Harman; (standing L to R) Projects Manager Ron Vancs, Director of Business Development Rick Reichenberg, Operations Manager Charlie LeMaster and Controller Denise Millanes. (Opposite page) The Maricopa County Superior Court Tower in Downtown Phoenix.

The two most recent Coreslab/Ryan partnerships stand out for different reasons, Jordan says. The Maricopa County Superior Court Tower project (15 stories, 695,000 SF on a tight urban site) had numerous challenges and a significant portion of the building facade was precast with several finish profi les. With that many stories, Jordan explains, the engineering aspects become a factor in the design. “Our design collaboration was enhanced with Coreslab’s BIM capabilities, so we were able to integrate their designs into our building model which was very effective and efficient,” Jordan says. The most recent collaboration was on the NAU San Francisco 78 | September-October 2013

parking structure (6 stories in the heart of NAU’s campus). It stood out, Jordan says, because of Coreslab’s flexibility, especially in the preconstruction phase. In order to meet the fast track schedule, materials had to be procured early. “During an unforeseen 6-week legislative issue out of our control, Coreslab bridged the gap to ensure the materials were procured to meet the schedule,” he says. “This was done at a time when the market was still down, so the strength of their company benefited the NAU project. “Precast can assist with schedule, and in tight site conditions,” Jordan adds. “Its quality, which is prefabricated in a controlled environment, was most beneficial

for installation in Flagstaff, especially during the winter. Sustainability is applicable on many levels, including regional materials, which was a specific criteria on the Maricopa County Superior Court Tower, not to mention the economic impact of employing local ancillary businesses in their process.” Sundt Construction also has enjoyed a relationship of more than 20 years with Coreslab. “We have a very rich history with Coreslab,” says Sundt COO Eric Hedlund. “They have done a large number of projects for us, and have always performed with excellence. “We will frequently bring Coreslab on as a pre-selected specialty contractor and utilize their expertise in reducing the cost and schedule of a project, and maintaining or enhancing quality outcomes for a client. Those early selection projects have all been a success due to Coreslab’s participation. “Coreslab’s leadership has always been responsive and solutions oriented,” Hedlund says. “The value they bring to our team is directly related to the value they provide Sundt and our customers. They have consistently shown their expertise in adding value. Looking ahead to the next 25 years of Coreslab Structures and its precast concrete products, Director of Business Development Rick Reichenberg says the future is bright. “In the years to come, we believe that designers and builders

will continue to be focused on specifying materials that are sustainable, manufactured in a quality controlled environment and provide reduced construction costs,” Reichenberg says. “Coreslab is uniquely positioned to offer products and services to meet that demand.”

Steve Jordan

Mike Edwards

Eric Hedlund

Cliff Paul


IIDa Coreslab strUCtUres: CelebratING 25 Years oF eXelleNCe IN arIZoNa BY LEE ANNE BARRICK


uch has changed the past 25 years for Coreslab Structures. Technology, the facility and its staff have expanded and adapted to clients’ changing needs. Coreslab has earned a reputation for excellence in service, conceptual vision, product fabrication and on-site installation. A look back as Coreslab celebrates a quarter century of excellence in Arizona.

Coreslab Structures acquires a production facility in Phoenix, the first for the company in the U.S.

The Hollowcore production facility is installed.

Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall parking structure goes up.


1989 2013

1990 2011 The Grand Canyon University parking structure opens.

Construction begins on the Pima County Courts Building in Tucson.

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The Charles Schwab Data Center in Phoenix is selected as Best Precast Office Building by the Precast Concrete Institute.


Intel Fab 12.

1994 2010

A banner year for the company: the introduction of the 12-foot wide Double Tee and the completion of Fountainhead Office Plaza in Tempe, two office buildings, a 10-story and 6-story, and a 5-level parking structure; and the Grand Canyon University Arena.

New York New York Hotel & Casino’s 10-level parking structure goes up, the tallest on the Las Vegas Strip at the time.


Coreslab increases Double Tee production to 100,000 SF per week.

A core cast machine is installed for Double Tee production. It greatly increases efficiency and quality.

1996 2008 The Maricopa County Courts Tower rises in Downtown Phoenix.

Mandalay Bay’s 2 MSF parking structure is the largest project of its kind to be built by Coreslab.

1997 2007

Scottsdale Quarter’s two parking structures are built.

The East Economy Parking facility is built, the first of two parking structures for Sky Harbor Airport. Coreslab introduces self consolidating concrete.

1998 2004

The Sky Harbor Rental Car Center comes on line.

2000 2002 Arena, home of the Phoenix Coyotes, is built.


Coreslab: ProjeCts BY JACOB GREEN

burton barr central librarY (1993) contractor: Sundt construction arcHitect: will bruder architects engineer: tlcP Structural, inc. owner: city of Phoenix This iconic Arizona library is one of acclaimed architect Will Bruder’s proudest pieces of work. When he was assigned the project, though, he was presented with the challenge of having to complete it at less than $100 per square foot. With such a significant budget constraint, he says it was an early decision to utilize precast concrete, and was glad he did. “It was probably one of the most expressive precast concrete jobs in the late 20th century, where every part is scaled, proportioned, and detailed to be the architecture of the building,” he says. The project, which he referred to as “a point of pride in our city,” boasts flexibility as one of its virtues, and he notes that Coreslab allowed that to happen.

cHaSe field (bank one ballPark) Parking Structure (1997) contractor: core construction arcHitect: Peter a. lendrum architecture engineer: tlcP Structural, inc. owner: arizona Sports authority Architect Brian Moore, while working at Peter A. Lendrum Architecture, had never designed a parking structure until he was assigned the one that would accompany the new home of Arizona Diamondbacks, Bank One Ballpark, now called Chase Field. With the high-profile assignment of accommodating Arizona’s first MLB franchise, Moore hired Coreslab, which he says became “an invaluable resource.” Coreslab, he adds, worked with the design team in coming up with structural and aesthetic ideas, as well as consulting him on the limitations and opportunities of the structure. One challenge, he says, was integrating the brick from the ballpark into the design of the parking garage. Despite the fact that tolerances for precast and brick are much different, Coreslab was able to find the aesthetic he was looking for. “The entire team was happy with the final project. It integrates well with the city and the ballpark, and has stood up well over time.”

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Projects Fountainhead Office Plaza (2010) Contractor: Sundt Construction Architect: DAVIS Engineer: TLCP Structural, Inc. Owner: Metro Commercial Properties With the University of Phoenix as tenant, Fountainhead Office Plaza helps mold the landscape of Tempe. Mike Edwards, architect at DAVIS, says it was one of his most unique projects, noting the distinctive lake that separates the two main towers. In taking on a 440,000 SF office property, Edwards relied on Coreslab’s precast, in part he says, because of its customer service. “They were always willing to let us in the yard to help improve panels and choose colors, and even came out to the parking structure upon completion with a sandblaster to touch up spots,” he says. “I’ve worked with subcontractors in the past where you have to twist their arms to fix problems, especially minor problems. Coreslab was always willing to come out for whatever we needed.” (Glendale) Arena (2002) Contractor: Tutor Perini Building Corporation Architect: HOK Sports+Venue+Event Engineer: Martin Harper & Associates, Inc. Owner: City of Glendale In order to complete the arena in time for the Phoenix Coyotes season, Ken Schacherbauer of Tutor Perini Building Corporation had to operate on a tight schedule. In taking steps to expedite the construction, Coreslab were brought in early on. The precast work was extensive, utilizing Coreslab’s work for a variety of the structure’s attributes. Despite challenges — including having to set precast at night — he says, “They were very cooperative and involved in the design of the concrete structure, and met our schedule.” Schacherbauer and Coreslab managed to beat the expedited schedule, giving Arizona hockey fans a new venue to watch their Coyotes. “It was great to see the structure go up, and turn it over to the owner on time,” he says.


Coreslab: ProjeCts grand canYon univerSitY Parking Structure (2011) contractor: Pono construction arcHitect: architect & Planners international, inc. engineer: Pk associates owner: grand canyon university When Campus Development Manager Bob Machen was planning the development of a new parking structure at Grand Canyon University, he wanted to avoid having it look exactly like a parking garage. He also wanted it completed on time and on budget. Coreslab Structures, he says, managed to fulfill all of his objectives. “The way they do their construction, they were exactly what we were looking for,” Machen says. “They did everything in advance, and under budget. As a person that’s hiring someone to do something, that’s exactly what you’re looking for.” Machen says he still receives compliments on the aesthetic of the building.

MaricoPa countY SuPerior court tower (2010) contractor: gilbane/rYan coMPanieS uS, inc. arcHitect: gould evans+dMJM design engineer: Paragon Structural design owner: Maricopa county Todd McMillan of Gilbane has been working with Coreslab for the past 11 years, so when he was given the large project of designing the Maricopa County Superior Court Tower, he wanted someone he knew he could rely on. “They’ve been one of our top performers over the years because they consistently produce quality,” he says. The scale of the project meant that early design was necessary, he adds, in order to ensure it could handle the large weights the project entailed. He says that Coreslab was able to meet this objective, adding, “having that good and accurate information early on added value to the project.” Coreslab kept him involved in the design phase, he says, allowing him to choose the coloration and mimic some of the architectural elements of the historical downtown courthouse. “I was thrilled with the final product,” McMillan says. 84 | September-October 2013

Projects Ocotillo Corporate Center (2003) Contractor: The Weitz Company Architect: DLR Group Engineer: DLR Group Owner: Wells Fargo One of the most eye-catching buildings in Chandler, the Ocotillo Corporate Center followed a rigorous design process. According to Chris Harper of The Weitz Company, the owners had “a very specific look they were looking for, and it was a very complex system.” Coreslab, he says, spent a significant amount of time ensuring its work met the vision of the owners. “They spent a lot of time on understanding the project,” Harper says. “They really knew what the owner was looking for.”

Phoenix Art Museum (2004) Contractor: Kitchell Architect: Todd Williams Billie Tsien & Associates Engineer: Severud Associates Owner: City of Phoenix In the construction of this unique Phoenix landmark, Felix Ade, project manager at noteworthy New York City architectural firm Todd Williams Billie Tsien & Associates, wanted to find a way to tie the building to the fabric of the city. The precast technology that Coreslab specialize in, he says, is something the city is known for, and was the perfect way to blend his New York City architectural style with something unique to Phoenix. “We haven’t found this technology anywhere else in the world, but it really added to our project in Phoenix,” Ade says. “It was very simple and economic to use their panels, and we were very happy with the outcome because it provided us with a very good finish.”




RON HARMAN Vice President & General Manager

Q: what has coreslab structures done over the past 25 years to keep pace with the challenges in the construction industry and to meet the needs of your clients? A: Our focus has always been on continuous improvement and to provide a quality product at a competitive price to our clients. We have invested heavily in our production facility over the years and have increased our double tee production to 100,00 SF per week, added a hollowcore production facility, added a new batch plant, and introduced self compacting concrete to the marketplace. Q: in the past 25 years, coreslab structures

has grown to 17 production facilities that are located throughout north america. how has the collective construction knowledge and resources of all of those facilities benefitted coreslab structures in the phoeniX market?

A: Each one of the 17 production facilities is unique and

diversified to their market area. That range of diversification within the Coreslab family of companies is a huge benefit and allows for sharing of technologies and construction methods. Also, many of our clients also do work in other regions of the country as well and have the benefit of working with a familiar precast supplier who is also located near their project.

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Q: for the past several years, designers

and owners are more focused on sustainability in their building projects. how does coreslab structures meet the sustainability reQuirements that the design community seeks?

A: Precast concrete is specified by designers because it

does have sustainable characteristics that can be used in the calculations for LEED certification of a building. The precast concrete products that we manufacture include a significant amount of recycled material including y ash, an additive to the concrete mix, and rebar and mesh manufactured from recycled steel.

Q: what are the factors that have made Coreslab Structures a success for the past 25 years? A: The character of our company has always been built around three things — safety, quality and customer service. Working in a precast concrete facility is hard work, and every day brings new challenges. It is very important that we provide our employees a safe working environment and provide them with the tools and technology to produce a quality product. Another big reason for our success has come from the support and the relationships that we have developed with our clients. Q: The delivery methods for construction projects have changed greatly over the years from the traditional Design-BidBuild to the more recent Design/Build and Construction Manager At Risk. What capabilities does Coreslab Structures offer for delivery of a building project?

A: One of our core strengths is preconstruction. We

have tailored our sales and estimating departments to assist designers and contractors at the conceptual stages of a project and offer advice on structural framing, construction methods, scheduling and budget pricing. We have worked extremely hard over the years to gain a high level of trust from our clients. We consider ourselves experts in precast concrete construction and with that assertion comes the responsibility of collaborating with our clients at every phase of the project to ensure that the information that we provide is reliable and accurate.

Ron Harman has been with Coreslab Structures Arizona for 25 years, since it opened its operations. Prior to Coreslab, Harman was with Phoenix-Redi Mix and Stanley Structures as quality control manager and architectural production manager, totaling 33 years of experience working at the Phoenix plant from its construction in 1980. Professional leadership includes serving as chairman of the Plant Certification Committee and a member of the Quality Activities Counsel for the Prestressed Concrete Institute. Born in Nebraska, Harman moved to Arizona more than 56 years ago and graduated from the University of Arizona. He and his wife, Karen, have three grown children. 87

Coreslab Structures  

Celebrating 25 years of Excellence in Arizona