PCI: 2019 Winter Ascent

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ASCENT速 IS A PUBLICATION OF PCI Executive Editor: Tom Bagsarian Executive Editor: Bagsarian Managing Editor:Tom Craig Shutt Managing Editors: Craig Shutt and Monica Schultes Contributor: Monica Schultes Editors: Stanton, Becky King and Nikole Clow AscentAmy Layout Concept: MB Piland Advertising Ascent Layout Concept:+ Marketing MBGraphic PilandDesigners: Advertising + Marketing RussellDesigners: Duncan and Justin Goode Graphic Ad Sales: Russell Duncan and Justin Goode Turner AdTrice Sales: Sales Specialist Trice Turner 312-583-6784 Sales Specialist sales@pci.org 312-583-6784 Reprint Sales and Subscriptions: sales@pci.org Tom Bagsarian Reprint Sales and Subscriptions: tbagsarian@pci.org Tom Bagsarian Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute: Robert Risser, PE, President and CEO tbagsarian@pci.org Industry Technical Review Team: Peter Finsen, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute: Corey Greika, Thomas Ketron, Ed Knowles, Jane Robert Risser, PE, President and CEO Martin,Technical Mark McKeny, Brian Miller, KimFinsen, Wacker, Industry Review Team: Peter and Roger Becker

Corey Greika, Thomas Ketron, Jane Martin, Mark POSTMASTER: Sendand address changes to McKeny, Brian Miller, Kim Wacker


A residence at thanks Fayetteville State University come together inhall a year to hollow-core comeslabs, together in a year thanks to hollow-core concrete changing the way we design buildings.


Insulated Wall Panels


is published quarterly by the Precast/ Prestressed Institute, 200 W. is Adams Ascent (Vol. 29,Concrete No. 1, ISSN 10796983) published St., Suiteby2100, Chicago, IL 60606. quarterly the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Copyright Institute, 2002019 W. Adams St., Suite 2100, Chicago, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute IL 60606. If you have a project to be considered, Copyright 2019 send information to Tom Bagsarian. Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute tbagsarian@pci.org

If you have a project to be considered, send information to Tom Bagsarian. ASCENT tbagsarian@pci.org HOW


WInter 2019

Winter 2019



Perkins+Will Architects

The new student housing at

The new student at places a focus on higher education to bolster ideas Longwood University, shownhousing in a Longwood shown in a rendering, will featureUniversity, a traditional and buildings that honor broader societal goals.

Precast Concrete Meets Today's Student Housing Demands

Precast Concrete Meets Today's remains high, universities embracing precast Student HousingareDemands concrete systems as a solution.

willwith feature look that rendering, was achieved load-a traditional bearing precast concrete wall panels look that was achieved with loadthat tie back to theprecast existingconcrete steel bearing wall panels frame. Rendering: Littleto the existing steel that tie back

As the demand for on-campus student housing remains high, universities are embracing precast 38 concrete systems as a solution. Builders capitalize on precast concrete components to rapidly

Making The Case for a Precast Stadium

frame. Rendering: Little

complete Canvas Stadium within an extremely aggressive building schedule.



complete Canvas Stadium within an extremely aggressive building schedule. Precast concrete architectural and structural components help designers meet the demands of evolving teaching methods.



Making The Case for a Precast Concrete Stadium

Builders capitalize concrete components to rapidly Universities Striveontoprecast be 'Nimble'

Universities Strive to be 'Nimble'

Case Study: Florida International University Projects,help Miami Precast concrete architectural and structural components

Located in a High-Velocity HurricaneofZone, FIU turns to precast concrete to designers meet the demands evolving teaching methods. build a resilient and beautiful campus.


Case Study: Florida International University Projects, Miami

Located in a High-Velocity Hurricane Zone, FIU turns to precast concrete to DEPARTMENTS build a resilient and beautiful campus.

Insight Michael D. Moss discusses the evolution of precast concrete. DEPARTMENTS 6 Headlines 4

News about precast concrete, producers, programs, and projects.




Michael Profile: D. MossArizona discusses the University evolution of precast concrete. University State ASU teams up with the PCI Foundation, and allows students

6in itsHeadlines precast studio to choose their projects. 66

News about precast concrete, producers, programs, and projects.

2018 Sidney Freedman Craftsmanship Award

Village is a visual testament to the versatility and complex 64USCUniversity Profile: Arizona State University

architectural design of precast construction. ASU teams up with the PCI Foundation, and allows students



The interdisciplinary architecture and design firm

30As the demand for on-campus student housing


Perkins+Will Architects

interdisciplinary architecture and design firm andThe buildings that honor broader societal goals.



performance and reduce weight by half, without increasing costs.

22places a focus on higher education to bolster ideas

additional mailing offices.

Periodical postage paid at Chicago, IL and Ascent (Vol. 29, No. 1, ISSN 10796983) additional mailing offices.

concrete slabs, changing the way we design buildings.

Next-Generation Precast 14Insulated Next-Generation Wall PanelsPrecast

Research aims to develop materials and design for precast insulated wall that double the Research aims to panels develop materials andthermal design for performance and reduce weight by half, precast insulated wall panels thatwithout double the thermal increasing costs.

Ascent, 200 W. Adams St., Suite 2100,

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Ascent, Chicago, IL 60606. 200 W. Adams St., Suite 2100, Periodical postage paid at Chicago, IL and Chicago, IL 60606.

A Renaissance Project A Renaissance Project

10A residence hall at Fayetteville State University

in its precast concrete studio to choose their projects. Continuing Education Opportunities 2018 Sidney Freedman Craftsmanship Award 6966Precast/Prestressed Concrete Design Resources






Village is afor visual to theresources. versatility and complex VisitUSC www.pci.org Bodytestament for Knowledge architectural design of precast concrete construction.

PCI-Certified Plants Directory

directory of PCI-Certified Plants, including a guide to product 68State-by-state Continuing Education Opportunities


groups and categories for reference in upcoming projects.


On the cover: Florida International

Student Academic Support Center.

Photo: Robin Hill.


Precast/Prestressed Concrete Design Resources

PCI-Certified ErectorsforDirectory Visit www.pci.org Body of Knowledge resources.

State-by-state directory of PCI-Certified Erectors, including a guide to

and aPlants guide specification 70classifications PCI-Certified Directory for reference in projects.

State-by-state directory of PCI-Certified Plants, including a guide to product groups and categories for reference in upcoming projects.

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12/21/18 12:58 PM

On the cover: Florida International Student Academic Support Center. Photo: Robin Hill.

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PCI-Certified Erectors Directory

State-by-state directory of PCI-Certified Erectors, including a guide to classifications and a guide specification for reference in projects.




12/19/18 1:50 PM





INSIGHT EVOLVING AND CHANGING PRECAST CONCRETE Michael D. Moss, president of the Society for College and University Planning, shared perspectives and insights about the state of construction in higher education with Ascent. What are the important current trends occurring now in higher-education construction?



We’re seeing more alternate delivery methodologies from design-build, construction manager at risk (CMAR), P3 [public-private partnership], and increasing interest in integrated project delivery (IPD). We expect to continue seeing tight budgets, emphasis on energy conservation, and attention to life-cycle costs. There’s greater collaboration earlier in the project design phase between the contractor and architect as they take a more integrated approach to how buildings and systems work together to create innovative, technology-rich, and sustainable environments. Higher education is trying to keep up with changing ideas and approaches for teaching and learning. Interdisciplinary partnerships are on the rise. Building flexibility is a common theme today across all project types. Systems and room layouts must morph and change as academic needs evolve. There are more “loft-like” spaces with longer clear spans to allow for a rich variety of space sizes, configurations, and technical ability. The future could see the integration of tech space or manufacturing that meets the needs of NASA, BMW, or other companies or initiatives. Other important higher-education construction issues include building systems that can be remotely controlled, buildings that are resilient in this time of increasingly turbulent weather patterns, and computer models that can predict the performance of buildings under different conditions. Clients are looking to future-proof their buildings.

How does precast concrete fit into this equation? How can the industry better meet the needs of the higher-education sector? Precast concrete technology has evolved and changed to meet the aesthetic demands of architects. Coloration, profile, and texture can be manipulated with precast concrete panels to create new and innovative façades that meet functional requirements, value-cost demands, and design expectations. Any material must be easy to maintain and clean but attractive to students. Consider warming up the color and utilizing radiant flooring as an asset, especially in populated areas. Think about how materials can be locally produced to help shorten the construction duration, make it more sustainably produced, and reduce the amount of labor required to install. Also, consider ways that materials and assemblies can help make more flexible and adaptable buildings, and expand the opportunity for change after the building is constructed.

The Society for College and University Planning develops individual and organizational planning capacities to strengthen and transform institutions of higher education. For more information, visit www.scup.org.

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Mixed-Use Building Features Façade ORLANDO, FLORIDA

Developers on the Lake House mixed-use project along a lakefront site near downtown Orlando wanted to create a high-end apartment complex suited to its upscale neighborhood. To achieve their combination of goals in speed, aesthetics, durability, and cost efficiency, they hired FINFROCK’s combined services as architect, engineer, contractor, and precast concrete manufacturer. FINFROCK in turn created an aesthetic design that features images from the neighborhood cast into the precast concrete façade’s finish. “We worked very closely with John Zeledon and his team at OneEleven Residential to create the final layouts and aesthetic design,” says Bill Finfrock, president. FINFROCK earlier worked on the Broadstone Winter Park project for Alliance Residential, where Zeledon was formerly a partner. “John was familiar with what we could do and challenged us to create something unique.” The photographic panels were cast for use in four locations, with imagery of the neighborhood. The goal was to pay homage to the locale’s current appearance in an area with many antique stores, alluding to its appreciation for the past. The images were photographed and replicated on the panels using chemical retarders to bring out the images (for more on this technique, see the article in the Fall 2018 issue of Ascent).

One image depicts a funeral home that once occupied the site with a large, distinctive sign, while others feature local neighborhood scenes. “As the neighborhood changes over the years, these images will remind people of what it looked like when the building was constructed,” Finfrock says. The other panels, varying in size but typically 12 ft wide by 34 ft tall, used a formliner to give them a deep, wavy texture. All were finished with an acrylic textured coating. The panels, 8 to 14 in. in thickness, serve to carry the load of the building and the company’s DualDeck flooring system. The flooring system consists of two 2.5-in.-thick wythes of concrete 12 to 14 ft wide that are separated vertically by a steel truss but without a longitudinal member. The design creates a code-compliant fire rating while reducing loads and handling requirements. The nine-story, 252-unit project includes 34,000 ft2 of office space and 2,563 ft2 of first-floor restaurant space. Amenities will cover 19,537 ft2 on several levels and will include an elevated pool deck, fitness, lounge, and clubhouse overlooking Lake Ivanhoe and downtown Orlando. In all, FINFROCK will manufacture and erect 2,294 precast concrete components over a six-month period beginning in early 2019. The project is scheduled for occupancy in 2020.

The Cummins Corporate Office Building., designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Kevin Roche in 1983, is being remodeled to bring the building into the 21st century, according to Bill Browne, president of RATIO Architects in Indianapolis, which is serving as architect of record. The renovation will involve updating the façade, comprising precast concrete wall panels with larger window openings and reworking interior layouts to make spaces more accessible. “It’s tired today,” said Brad Manns, Cummins executive director of global integrated services, during a presentation on the project at the 49th annual Preserving Historic Places conferences, according to a report in the local Republic newspaper. The modernist, 200,000-ft2 office building was built on a former railway site around the company’s first factory. It featured precast concrete and glass as its main façade elements. For the renovation, precast concrete panels are being supplied by Concrete Technology in Springboro, Ohio, while precast concrete roof panels were provided by American Precast in Indianapolis. Responding to employee feedback that the interior lacked energy and had a mazelike layout, architects eliminated many of the mirrors designed to draw in natural light (but reportedly created a “funhouse” atmosphere). Spaces were grouped for more collaboration and focus groups, with meeting space expanded to encompass all 115,000 ft2 on the lower level. Some exterior walls are being replaced with large panels of glass to bring in natural light and connect the interiors to the

natural setting. Doors also are being added to the façade to provide better access to the interior courtyard, which will include a water element. The $50-million dollar renovation is scheduled for completion in 2019.

Longwood University Renovates Housing FARMVILLE, VIRGINIA

Designers are remaking Curry and Frazer Halls, the dominant, 10-story studenthousing facilities on the edge of the campus at Longwood University. The new design makes use of the existing steel framing to clad the buildings with insulated precast concrete panels and create a more welcoming appearance. Interiors also will be updated to better serve contemporary student needs. The buildings, built in the 1960s, were originally constructed with concrete masonry units with a brick cavity wall with no insulation. The new panels, in a nominal 10 × 24-ft size, feature a noncomposite 5-2-3 section, with 2 in. of extruded polystyrene insulation sandwiched between two concrete wythes. Insulation and noncomposite pints both were provided by Thermomass. Gate Precast in Franklin, Tenn., is providing the precast concrete panels for the project. The 3-in. exterior wythes feature a variety of significant buildups, including cornices, false columns, and other decorative pieces to create visual interest and serve as an interesting “gateway” to the campus, according to Little, the national architectural firm on the project. Franck & Lohsen in Washington, D.C., is serving as design architect, while English Construction Co. in Lynchburg, Va., is the construction manager. The panels stack on the foundation and tie back to the steel frame, reducing the required load on the framing. The panels will help the buildings become the first on campus to achieve LEED v4 environmental sustainability guidelines. The interiors will still house approximately 400 students apiece, but the rooms will be reconfigured around gathering spaces. First-floor common areas will have the

feel of a hotel lobby, with centralized communal and study spaces and two kitchens. Laundry facilities also will move to the first floor from the basement, which will house only heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment. Renovating the building rather than demolishing it to build new structures will save tens of millions of dollars for the $60-million project as well as many months of construction time, according to officials. It also retains the basic buildings that many alumni remember fondly. The projects are being done in phases, with only 15 months allotted for each renovation. The Frazer renovation is underway now and is planned for completion in fall 2019. The Curry renovation will begin in May 2019, to be completed in August 2020. Summer 2019 will be the only period in which both projects are being worked on. For more on this project and trends with higher-education projects, see the article in this issue of Ascent.

County Materials Acquires Sanders Cos. WHITESTOWN, INDIANA

County Materials Corp. has acquired the Indiana-based manufacturing assets and real estate of the Sanders Cos., which includes the precast concrete manufacturing facility in Whitestown, Ind. The acquisition of Sanders Cos. adds to County Materials’ manufacturing capabilities in structural precast concrete products and expands its product line to include insulated sandwich wall panels.

ALP Supply Becomes AltusGroup Partner FAIRLESS HILLS, PENNSYLVANIA

ALP Supply has rejoined AltusGroup as an Innovation Partner and will lend its expertise and technical support to precaster members. It will especially focus on the development and refinement of proprietary anchorage and bracketing systems for the ARCIS line of precast, prestressed concrete panels. As A. L. Patterson, ALP Supply was one of the original AltusGroup Innovation Partners, which now includes nine members.

CTS, Concure Partner for Jointless Floor Slabs GARDEN GROVE, CALIFORNIA

CTSCementManufacturingCorp.,manufacturer of Rapid Set cement products and Komponent shrinkage-compensating cement for concrete repairs and new construction projects, has partnered with Concure Systems to provide the Komponent shrinkage-compensating jointless floor slabs. Integrating Komponent and Rapid-Set technologies minimizes or eliminates control joints and saw cutting, prevents joint-related flooring failures, and removes topical moisture remediation systems. The solution does away with delamination concerns for moisture-sensitive floor coverings or resinous floor systems and prevents reflective cracking and joint failures.

Submit your headline news for consideration in a future issue of Ascent to Tom Bagsarian at tbagsarian@pci.org.



HEADLINES Second PCI–fib Joint Bulletin Released CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute has joined with the International Federation for Structural Concrete (fib) to publish their second joint title, Precast Insulated Sandwich Panels (FIB-84-17). The bulletin, created by fib Task Group 6.11, features resources on bracing and using guy wires for insulated sandwich panels as well as how to handle imperfections and crack repair of insulated sandwich panels. For more details or to purchase the bulletin, visit fib-international.org/publications/fib-bulletins/precast-segmental-bridges-488-622-detail.html.

Illinois and Wisconsin. The sale will expand Oldcastle Infrastructure’s market reach into the upper Midwest.

AltusGroup Adds Precast Courses ATLANTA, GEORGIA

Spillman Co., a designer and manufacturer of custom wet-cast concrete forms, has joined with New Hampton Metal Fabrication (NHMF) LLC, an Afinitas company. The transaction expands NHMF’s product portfolio for the wet-cast concrete industry. Spillman represents the second addition to Afinitas’ wet-cast division.

AltusGroup has produced three one-hour online continuing-education sessions for architects and building teams. The courses are available through AEC Daily (at www. AECDaily.com), and each provides one American Institute of Architects continuing education unit in Health, Safety, and Welfare. The three courses are: “Ultra-thin Prestressed Precast Panel Technology,” which discusses lightweight precast concrete panel technology. “Creating Distinctive and Attractive Designs on Precast Concrete Faces,” which provides information about the technology behind graphically imaged precast concrete. “High-Performance Insulated Sandwich Walls Using Component Design,” which explains how high-performance, fully composite insulated precast concrete sandwich wall panels can be produced to achieve continuous insulation and structural performance, delivering increased R-values at lighter weights. AltusGroup also offers in-person lunchand-learn sessions for CEU credit, in which various precast concrete topics are presented to architects, engineers, and other building team members. For more information, contact info@altusprecast.com.

Oldcastle Precast Now Oldcastle Infrastructure

BASF Concrete Products Gain GreenCircle Certification

Spillman Joins with Afinitas, NHMF COLUMBUS, OHIO



Oldcastle Precast has changed its name to Oldcastle Infrastructure to more accurately reflect the breadth and impact of the company’s products and services as well as its strategic direction. The move also is designed to demonstrate Oldcastle’s connection to its parent company, CRH, a global building materials group. The company also announced that it has acquired Concrete Specialties Inc., a manufacturer of pipe and precast concrete products headquartered in Chicago, Ill. The company’s four manufacturing locations provide water-management products in

BASF now provides third-party-verified manufacturer inventory reports for all of its admixture and fiber products to meet the requirements of the LEED v4 Building Product Disclosure and Optimization – Material Ingredients, Option 1 credit. This verification provides BASF with the capabilities for certifying its entire portfolio of Master Builders Solutions products.

SlenderWall System Gains One-Hour Fire Rating MIDLAND, VIRGINIA

Easi-Set Worldwide’s SlenderWall architectural precast concrete cladding system

meets the requirements of the latest ASTM International Standard Test Methods for Fire Tests of Building Construction and Materials (ASTM E119-18a) and Application of Hose Stream (ASTM E2226-15b). The SlenderWall insulated composite panel contained the fire and held its structural integrity for the specified one-hour specified time period of resistance. The test was performed by a third-party lab, Intertek Building and Construction in York, Pa., and was performed on a panel containing 2 in. of architectural precast concrete, a 16-gauge steel stud frame, 6 in. of closed-cell polyurethane spray foam insulation, and 5/8-in. Type X gypsum board.

Wells Concrete Newest SlenderWall Producer ALBANY, MINNESOTA

Easi-Set Worldwide, a subsidiary of SmithMidland Corp., has added Wells Concrete Products Inc. as a licensed producer of SlenderWall architectural cladding. Wells Concrete builds and installs structural and architectural precast concrete products, serving customers in seven U.S. states and the Canadian province of Manitoba with its four precasting plants and eight office locations. The new lightweight panel system will help the company expand its market and meet the challenge of growing labor shortages, the company said.

Spillman Names Karnes Engineering Manager COLUMBUS, OHIO

Spillman Co. has named Matthew Karnes as its new engineering manager. He has gained experience with heavy machinery metal fabrication, finite element analysis, and weldment design while working at companies such as Pettibone, BOMAG America, and Honda.

Spancrete Promotes Schnell, Passint VALDERS, WISCONSIN

Spancrete has promoted John Schnell to vice president of Precast Operations North and Nicholas Passint to general manager of Spancrete Machinery.

Schnell has been with the company for 33 years and previously served as vice president of Spancrete Machinery. He will oversee precast concrete operations in the north, encompassing activities at the company’s Crystal Lake, Ill., and Valders, Wis., plants, and will be based in Valders. Passint was previously a product and business development engineer at Spancrete, leading the development of the RePlenish pervious precast concrete system. He will work from Spancrete’s machinery headquarters in Waukesha, Wis.


Edith Smith has been named manager of codes and standards for the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute. Before joining PCI, Smith served as a senior design engineer with Gage Brothers, a precast concrete producer in Sioux Falls, S.D. Smith will develop and implement PCI design specifications to be adopted by the building code. She will work with PCI volunteers and consultants to manage standards development and updates and will review technical papers and support committee work. Also, Donn Thompson has been named director of architectural precast systems. He will work directly with the architectural community nationwide to improve safety and cost effectiveness in the work environment. Thompson has more than 30 years of experience in the construction industry, including 14 years as an architect working with firms on commercial, institutional, and residential projects. He also spent 13 years with the Portland Cement Association, where he oversaw a variety of building-related programs.


phone: (312) 786-0300 email: info@pci.org www.pci.org

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Submit your headline news for consideration in a future issue of Ascent to Tom Bagsarian at tbagsarian@pci.org.





Renaissance Hall, a 336-bed residence hall at Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville, N.C., changed the way we design buildings. SfL+a Architects work for both private and state universities, designing a variety of building types from residence halls to academic buildings to sports facility spaces. We are not unfamiliar with getting urgent phone calls from a chancellor or director of facilities needing additional beds for the next year’s enrollment jump. In our history, we’ve used almost every structural system, from cast-in-place concrete to wood frame.

Below: Interior and lobby area. Photos: Jonathan C. Ward.

When housing needs to be delivered in less than a year, wood frame and village concepts were a reliable go-to approach where multiple smaller subcontractors could be used. In the case of the Renaissance Hall project, it was a dramatic change in project budget and construction manager, which turned a previously fast project schedule into a ridiculously fast one, with a design and construction time of 12 months for a more than 300-bed project in the center of Fayetteville State’s campus. We needed to have a strong design and construction team that could deliver this project. Our construction partner needed know the Fayetteville construction market well and have the ability to mobilize subcontractors quickly. Metcon Construction was brought on to our team as the construction manager at risk.



Timeline The schedule wasn’t the only time constraint. The University wanted a state-of-the art living and learning facility that would attract and retain students and keep them on campus. Leadership at Fayetteville State University envisioned a student housing building that would have a strong residential feel, significantly upgrade the quality of living on campus, and create a cohesive learning community for full-time students. The ultimate program resulted in a 336-bed student housing project. Typical student rooms are double-occupancy with a private, shared bathroom. There are 12 four-bedroom suites with kitchens, living rooms, and two private bathrooms. Common areas include a classroom, quiet study room, centralized laundry facilities, kitchen, activity room with exterior balcony, vending areas, student lounge, and exercise rooms. Exterior courtyards and pedestrian paths were designed to link the building to other campus buildings and create a welcoming outside environment for students to gather. The final building capped out with three stories and 82,000 ft2. In addition, university stakeholders desired a facility that would be a model for environmental stewardship and sustainable design, as well as a benchmark for future buildings constructed on campus. The building includes a ground-source geothermal system, superior insulated building envelope, high-performance glazing, reflective TPO, and high-efficiency mechanical, electrical, and plumbing fixtures to reduce energy use and enhance building performance. These features are designed to be used as teaching tools for students to increase awareness about environmental responsibility.

Renaissance Hall under construction. Photos: SfL+a Architects.

Schedule Benefits The schedule allowed for approximately 30 days per design phase to meet the fast-track time frame and begin releasing early foundation and geothermal contracts. Allowable review times for North Carolina’s State Construction Office were potentially longer than all of the design and construction phases. The design team, along with Metcon Construction, toured other fast-track projects around the state, listening to the challenges contractors and facility directors were experiencing on their campuses with the recent boom in student housing. After looking at several systems and approaches, we landed on a load-bearing and hollowcore precast (HCP) concrete slab system. While SfL+a has used precast concrete systems before on projects, using the precast concrete hollow-core slabs was new to the firm. We associated precast concrete hollow-core slab construction more with the hotel industry construction than with student housing. Metcon Construction had recently completed a large hotel and a student housing project using a proprietary metal stud system and was integral to the review of the precast concrete hollow-core slab system with respect to the project schedule and budget.

Permitting Benefits

Lobby area and open seating. Photo: Jonathan C. Ward.

The initial thought was to go with a lighter and thinner structural approach. The ultimate choice to go heavy with load-bearing masonry and HCPs seemed to be not only the most durable, but also the premium solution for a state-owned student housing market. Most of our university clients did not believe they could afford a concrete building and have relied on alternative construction methods to meet their schedules and budgets. The perceived cost and labor issues associated with load-bearing masonry were nonissues when weighed against the benefits the system allowed in detailing, plan review, permitting inspections, and construction. Using the load-bearing masonry and HCPs allowed fire ratings and assemblies to be provided without additional layers and specialty assemblies. The simplicity of the code summary, Underwriter’s Laboratory, and masonry wall details with HCP floor systems drastically cut the required review and approval time of the construction documents.

Main entrance for Renaissance Hall. Photo: Jonathan C. Ward.

Construction Benefits

Lessons Learned

During construction and once installed, the HCP panels from Coreslab delivered a structure and surface that could be immediately used as a working platform on the top surface and as a finished ceiling and structure for installing utilities from below. This allowed a fast-track construction process that enabled construction to proceed on two floors as soon as the slabs were placed. Subsequent trades could be brought in quickly to begin working, without having to wait for frame wall assemblies to be finished and inspected. The use of HCP slabs was critical to delivering the project on time and within budget.

Learning from our experience on Renaissance Hall, the design team partnered with Metcon Construction and Firstfloor Energy Positive to design a new class of high-performance educational facilities that would lead the industry in energy efficiency with integrated solar generation that introduced net-positive energy to the school industry. This new class of educational facilities was put to the test in Horry County, S.C., when the team was hired to design and build four middle schools and one elementary. (See “Life-Cycle Cost Analysis,” page 34, Summer 2018, Ascent.) Our team incorporated hollow-core slab in the floors and roofs and used the extruded cores for air distribution to the individual classroom spaces. In addition to the benefits of schedule, cost, and permitting, the HCP panels were an active part of the building’s performance, both supplying air directly and storing energy within the building mass. This approach was a key part in reducing the amount of time and cost required for purchasing and installing ductwork. Renaissance Hall and the demanding 11-month schedule introduced SfL+a Architects to HCP construction. The benefits HCP provides in scheduling, permitting, construction, durability, and life-cycle cost make it our go-to building material and construction method for all of our buildings, and, most importantly, our energypositive buildings and schools. ●

Long-Term Benefits It was discovered that by pairing the load-bearing concrete masonry unit walls and HCP floor and roof within a highperformance building envelope, the building mass retained the ambient heat and cooling of the interior spaces, becoming a passive storage component to the building. While not factored into the energy modeling of this building, it is believed the building mass of the building is one of the reasons this building has been recognized as one of the most energy efficient in the University of North Carolina system. The cornerstone of Renaissance Hall’s energy usage success is the closed ground-source geothermal system with 256 wells, which reduces the requirement to heat and cool outside air and ultimately helped the building achieve LEED silver certification.

Eric J. Lindstrom is design principal at SfL+a Architects in Fayetteville, N.C.



The San Diego International Airport project included 850 precast concrete panels and 300 infill wall panels. Photo: Clark Pacific.



BY MONICA SCHULTES It is common knowledge that buildings have traditionally been energy hogs. Globally, buildings and construction are responsible for 60% of electricity use, 12% of water use, and 40% of material resource use. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) believes next-generation building envelopes have considerable potential to reduce energy consumption in buildings. However, to make any serious progress toward that goal, any technologies must be market-ready with minimal cost impact to facilitate widespread adoption.

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One of the challenges in achieving this goal is that quality control can be difficult to enforce on a construction site without additional inspection costs, which can compromise the energy efficiency and durability of the building envelope. Prefabrication enables better quality control for an enhanced building envelope. Precast concrete was selected for this research for its high durability, best fit for commercial buildings, and certified quality control. DOE, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Dow Chemical, the University of Tennessee (UT), the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, and PCI are collaborating on a research project that will advance the building envelope using precast concrete insulated wall panels.

Rethinking the Building Envelope The next generation of precast insulated wall panel will be 50% lighter, and 200% higher thermal performance with a cost neutral design. Photo: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Gate Precast.

“The development of a high-performance concrete mix to allow precast concrete producers to reduce piece thickness translates to lighter cranes, fewer trucks, less concrete, and reduced costs."

Research is under way to advance precast concrete insulated wall panel technology by developing materials and design that double the thermal performance and reduce weight by half, without increasing costs. The main goal of this collaborative project is to promote passive envelope technologies that improve energy efficiency in new construction. This new and improved precast concrete insulated wall panel would be 50% lighter with a 200% increase in thermal performance, all in a cost-neutral design. To achieve this, the research team developed a multiprong approach that encompasses several technologies. The first advancement is a lighter-weight solution. To reduce the weight of typical precast concrete panel by half, the prototype wythes are a mere 1½ in. thick with a lower concrete density of 100 lb/ft3.

Weight-Loss Goals The new and improved high-performance concrete was developed by the researchers and chemists at ORNL and UT (Chattanooga). The slimmer version of a precast concrete insulated panel weighs 100 lb/ft3 at an estimated $300 per cubic yard. The team continues to tweak the high-performance concrete mixture proportions. “Precast concrete producers conducted trials with preliminary mixes, but we are trying to further optimize them,” says Diana Hun, sub-program manager for building envelopes at ORNL. “We reached the target concrete properties we were tasked to achieve, namely 600-psi flexural strength in 12 hours and the 100-pound density. Now, we are researching if we can further reduce costs.”

Thin Wythe: Non-corroding composite accessories stripping lifting insert prototype meets target loads. The Baseline diagram shows a typical insulated panel used today. The New Design cross section demonstrates a lighter panel with higher thermal performance. Photos and Diagrams: Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

New Design


New Design

1½" : 4" : 1½"

2" : 2" : 3"

1½" : 4" : 1½"

Concrete wythe


XPS insulation

Concrete densitywythes = 100 attached lb/ft3 to The assembly consists of two thin concrete weight = 25panels lb/ft2 depends insulation. “While the optimum Panel R-value of future on local building codes, we are using four inches of XPS [extruded polystyrene foam] for test purposes,” says Hun. “The development of a high-performance concrete mix to allow precasters to reduce piece thickness translates to lighter cranes, fewer trucks, less concrete, and reduced costs,” says Roger Becker, vice president of technical services for PCI. Lightweight concrete is nothing new; it has been around in various forms for centuries. While normalweight concrete typically weighs around 145 lb/ft3, lightweight concrete typically weighs 110 lb/ft3. Lightweight and normalweight concrete have comparable 28-day compressive strengths; however, this high-performance, lightweight concrete has higher early flexural strength. Steve Brock, senior vice president of engineering at Gate Precast, has been actively involved in field testing. “This mix reduces cracking without being prestressed. There is not enough concrete cover over any type of steel. We are testing carbon fibers, glass fibers, and stainless-steel wire reinforcement,” he says. “While this formula is more expensive, it is not cost-prohibitive. This version costs $300 per cubic yard, but you are using half as much concrete,” explains Brock. Another benefit is the ease of widespread adoption for the lightweight concrete. It was designed so as not to require major changes to precast concrete manufacturing facilities across the country.

Concrete density = 144 lb/ft3 Panel weight = 60 lb/ft2

XPS insu

Concrete density = 100 lb/ft3 Panel weight = 25 lb/ft2

Brock continues, “There really is nothing that unusual about the lightweight mix, except for the learning curve regarding additional admixtures and how to handle fibers. A typical precast facility might install additional silos to handle the increase in additives. Right now, we are handling small amounts for testing, but I don’t anticipate large changes to batch plants.”

Noncorroding Composites With ultra-thin panel sections, it is imperative that the researchers replace traditional steel accessories with noncorroding composite materials. “The lifting inserts were our first target,” says Hun. “We have achieved our goal by developing a noncorroding composite edge lifter with an ultimate load capacity of more than 12,000 pounds.” The new and improved inserts have broad appeal. Given recent steel tariffs and price escalations, the timing is excellent. “The intention was to use composites because the wythes are so thin you don’t have appropriate concrete cover,” says Brock. “Ultimately, we could use them in any type of product, not just insulated wall



Thermal Performance panels. The same thing for the lightweight mix—you can use the mix any time you want to lighten up a piece.” Hun agrees. “That technology can be easily transferred. The inserts can easily be used in precast or any concrete application where corrosion is a potential problem. This will have a broadreaching impact.” In addition to the noncorrosive aspect, the new edge lifters can eliminate thermal bridging. The composite materials have low heat transmittance. Research is still being conducted on the remainder of connectors used in precast concrete wall panels. Ultimately, the research will examine all types of lifters as well as gravity and tieback connectors made out of composite material. “Since PCI is involved I anticipate that potential manufacturers will be brought in to get their input, but right now it is too early in the research,” says Brock. “While ORNL is focused on insulated panels, this could also benefit architectural panels that are insulated in the field. Metallic connectors from panel to building would be eliminated,” says Becker. “Composite connectors are of benefit to noninsulated panels because if we are not using steel then we are no longer creating a thermal bridge through the field-applied insulation.”

The target to double the thermal performance of a typical precast concrete panel is achieved by adding insulation without increasing the panel thickness. The prototype uses 4 in. of insulation, which is twice the amount typically used. To establish a baseline panel (2 × 2 × 3 in.), ORNL performed hot box tests to measure the performance of current industry standards. “When we reach final panel configuration with composite lifters and thinner wythes, then they can do final hot box tests to compare,” explains Becker. Improved thermal performance is at the heart of this research. The original test examined a jointed configuration. The results reiterated that two lines of backer rod and caulk proved effective and heat loss was minimal. Instead of tackling the joint itself, the researchers are focusing on the more practical goal of improving the sealant and subsequently the air and water tightness of panel joints. Industry feedback helped to direct their efforts. The solution: a caulk that does not require a primer and uses self-healing polymers to make the whole system more durable. “Here at the lab [ORNL] we collaborate with researchers from various fields, so I reached out to the polymer chemists. We had to raise the bar because there are so many sealants available on the market,” explains Hun.

Left: While material costs for insulation, concrete, and composite accessories will increase the cost for foundations, transportation and installation costs will decrease for these lightweight panels. Right: The baseline panel is 2 × 2 × 3 in. and has concrete density of 144 lb/ft3. Photos: Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

“The end result is that our members who make insulated panels will have sufficient information to demonstrate to the marketplace that this system reduces operating energy as compared to conventional cladding materials.” Cooperative Agreement PCI and ORNL have a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) that enabled this opportunity for government, industry, and academia to jointly pursue common goals. The CRADA has made facilities and expertise available to collaborate and to develop technological knowledge into useful products. “Ultimately, PCI has first option for licensing any new technology developed as a result of the research. PCI is allowed to restrict use of that new technology to its members,” explains Becker. **“The end result is that our members who make insulated panels will have sufficient information to demonstrate to the marketplace that this system reduces operating energy as compared to conventional cladding materials.” “ORNL is receiving constant feedback from PCI and its members. This guidance is very helpful because we are getting input from the end user. Having that open communication expedites our work,” describes Hun.

Most of the research has focused on technologies for new construction. How could this research apply to the significant stock of commercial buildings constructed before energy codes? The research team has begun studying retrofits and how to improve energy efficiency in older buildings. Retrofit data would demonstrate to owners the energy savings from envelope renovations. Precast concrete has typically been used to its best advantage in new construction but has been too heavy for recladding projects in the past. With the new, lighter panels, precast concrete can be considered as a possible solution. The precast concrete envelope has not changed much in the past few decades, except for gaining a bit of weight. **“Not only can this new panel be advantageous in new construction, it can be considered for the reclad and over-clad market as well,” anticipates Brock. “If there was an old dorm that has poor energy performance and the college can’t afford to move students out for renovation, lightweight precast panels could be a viable solution.”



Casting in plant: High-performance concrete is optimized based on mechanical properties and cost. Photo: Gate Precast.


Moving Ahead

The multiprong investigation has already developed and spun off profitable ideas. One of the stand-alone concepts generated from this research is three-dimensional (3-D) printing of molds. ORNL researchers are encouraged to cross-pollinate ideas. Tasked with reducing production time, the team introduced an idea from a different proposal. Several precasters have already turned to 3-D printing to decrease the amount of time to create complex molds. (See the article on 3-D printed forms on page 10 of the Fall 2018 issue of Ascent.) The industry is also exploring how to improve business opportunities and provide precast concrete fabricators with the capability to run two cycles of casting every 24 hours. Nanotechnology is a promising research field that may significantly improve the mixture proportions, performance, and production of concrete, so it makes sense to increase production capabilities. Colloidal nano-silica added to a concrete mixture improves the time of strength development significantly. ORNL wanted to add that challenge as an extension of their research project. They are working with UT (Knoxville) to create mixture proportions that attain 500-psi flexural strength and 3500-psi compressive strength in six hours.

“All of this research can help energize the industry and prevent stagnation of market share. If we are able to match some or most of the goals that were established, it is great example of how a national lab can help the construction industry,” describes Hun. “While the research is progressing nicely, Gate Precast, for one, would love to have a lightweight product today. So speed is of the essence. Most likely the research project will use all of its five years,” explains Brock. As a result of this research project, there will be additional methods, materials, and resources to help designers, contractors, and owners create an energy-efficient and highperformance building. “If all we wanted to do was increase energy efficiency, we could simply add more insulation. But the caveat with this research is that the solution be cost-neutral,” says Brock. The research team is closing in on that ambition. Everyone benefits from improvements to thermal performance in building envelopes. While precast concrete industry professionals boast that the current system makes efficient use of the material, think of the positive impact a thinner wall panel will have. Ultimately, these new insulated sandwich wall panels are lighter, less costly, and easier to erect, with tremendous market potential. ●

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Diverse influences shape the future of higher education Perkins+Will is an interdisciplinary architecture and design firm established more than 80 years ago. Founded on the belief that design has the power to transform lives and enhance communities, they create healthy, sustainable places in which to live, learn, work, play, and heal around the globe. Perkins+Will is a leader in the higher-education sector with an extensive portfolio of work at more than 250 universities. Jeff Stebar, higher education practice leader and principal at Perkins+Will, shared his firm’s commitment to their highereducation practice. “Perkins+Will started in 1935 with a focus on education and has been involved in that market ever since— it is in our DNA.” Their over-arching philosophy is based on ideas and buildings that honor the broader goals of society.

Perkins+Will doesn’t just give lip service to that tenet; they truly believe in the power of education to resolve the challenges of the 21st century. “Architecture can frame that educational environment to ultimately help solve the world’s problems. That is why we do what we do,” explains Stebar. Stebar’s father was a major influence on both his decision to study architecture and his belief in the power of education. The elder Mr. Stebar persevered despite growing up in impoverished Appalachia during the Depression. He beat the odds and graduated high school while holding a job since the age of 10. Despite numerous difficulties enrolling and matriculating at Virginia Tech, he ultimately earned a master’s degree, graduated at the top of his class, and was recruited by General Motors in Detroit, Mich. The younger Stebar recalls time spent at his father’s famously fabulous place of work. His office was in the iconic General Motors Technical Center designed by Eero Saarinen, which exemplifies the International Style. GM’s world technical headquarters is nationally significant as one of the most important works of the architect and made an indelible impression on Stebar at a young age. “Those years observing that stunning campus imbued a love of design and architecture in me. My father’s journey also reminds me of the power of education to change lives for generations,” recalls Stebar. “That is how architecture and design came into my life. Now I try to complete the circle by affecting the lives of current students in their campus experience.”

Establishing a Common Vision Perkins+Will has developed a highly interactive process over the years to reach out to all stakeholders and determine their objectives, ultimately defining a common set of goals in a single benchmark statement. It is more about group dynamics than architecture. When their teams move through the design process they use that benchmark statement as a measuring stick. This collaborative method has proven more successful than trying to begin the design phase and later trying to reach consensus. Despite their streamlined process, it is still a challenge to work with large institutions. Universities have a variety of stakeholders, unlike working with a developer or a single decision-maker. It is especially apparent to Perkins+Will, because they frequently develop buildings like student unions that are shared across the entire university community, increasing the potential for divergent opinions.

San Jose State University Student Union (at right and previous page) The student union provides 24/7 access to program areas that include food services, event rooms, ballroom and meeting rooms, bookstore, recreation center, lounge spaces, theater, and a 350-seat lecture hall at the base level of the three-story east expansion. Photos: James Steinkamp.



One test facing designers is how to resolve the divergence between campuses with traditional architecture and their need to adapt contemporary, modern building programs. “That is the biggest challenge we face on many campuses. Some embrace the idea of ‘mixed separates’ and are open to a variety of different architectural styles that work together. Other campuses are more restrictive. They simply say, ‘This is who we are, and we don’t plan on changing.’ Everything on campus has to match,” explains Stebar. “Perkins+Will’s brand is modern, forward-thinking, progressive, and innovative. Our typical design style is more of a midcentury modern aesthetic. We understand fully that some college campuses are much more traditional,” says Stebar. “We are also devout contextualists. We want our buildings to be a positive part of the campus fabric, contributing to the overall quality of the student experience.” Many universities are committed to sustainability and wellness, in which daylighting plays a large role. A more modern, transparent building makes it easier to achieve an active, light-filled space, compared to an older, more traditional design. Many universities are embracing a transitional aesthetic so they can achieve the transparency and connectivity to the outdoors without being too abstractly modern. Stebar says, “They don’t want to turn their back on school traditions, but they want to attract and recruit new students. How to do both can be quite a conundrum, yet this is precisely where we excel.”

A Look Inside Just as the college campus of today looks different from a few decades ago, so too have students and student life changed. “Student expectations are so different now than what they used to be,” explains Stebar. “These students were reared on the instant search capabilities of Google, the immediate delivery of Amazon, and the service ambience of Starbucks. Their paradigm is this is how every institution should operate.” Today, students eschew large lecture halls that feature a chalkboard. As a direct response to these changing expectations, structures are being repurposed into more modern learning environments. The spatial orientation of the outdated classroom fosters what some say is an inefficient method of teaching that has been around for centuries. Now that information is so easily accessible, lecturing and lecture halls are not necessarily the environment in which students can learn most efficiently or effectively. Stebar maintains the trend is changing dorms into buildings focused on creating community, and moving away from libraries focused on books to spaces focused on people. That shift is generating a great deal of intentional repurposing of existing building stock on campuses. The transition of the college library is a perfect example. University administrators are reluctant to waste prime square footage in the middle of campus on a warehouse for books that few students

actually use, so libraries across the country are being reconfigured to create dynamic, student-oriented learning centers. And as students abandon the stacks in favor of online reference material, libraries are digitizing books and other printed materials, which has dramatically affected the way students conduct research. “This is evolutionary change in higher education. It is all about balancing their traditional university legacy with their aspirations to innovate,” describes Stebar. The transition of these building types is being driven by the desire to focus on the student experience. Perkins+Will calls it “the demise of the demise.” They believe the removal of the separation between traditionally separate functions, like a demising wall, has had a major impact on the interior and exterior of campus structures. “In the past, students would walk to a lecture hall for class, then on to the dining hall for dinner, continue over to other buildings that became silos for other specifically designed uses. Now we are seeing students seeking out locations where the function of one highly flexible and adaptable space is determined by the users and not by a sign on the door. The function or a space is defined by the etiquette of the users, rather than a preestablished purpose. These are social spaces as well as learning spaces. They are flexible and warm and inviting enough that students stay in that space for multiple functions,” adds Stebar.

University of Kanasas Integrated Sciences Building The design embraces the idea of “science on display,” showcasing the research, teaching, and core laboratories with the goal of providing inspiration and discovery for undergraduates aspiring to or considering a future in science. Situated along the Jayhawk Trail, the ISB’s grade level is designed with a high degree of transparency, inviting students into the building and blurring the line between building and landscape. Photos: Michael Robinson Photography.



Continuing Education While the interior functions on campus are radically changing, what changes are exterior façades experiencing? Traditionally, campuses were built with stone, brick, or masonry. Frequently this traditional exterior envelope created a barrier between the street and the vitality happening inside. As these buildings transition to more contemporary functions, their structure must transition, too. Most universities make decisions based on life-cycle costs. They do not depreciate their building over a few years and sell them to make a profit. They are going to maintain their assets for decades. “The flexibility of precast comes in to play when you can incorporate design flexibility as well as the permanence which is so important to universities. The idea is to build a flexible and adaptable environment in a ‘legacy-inspired box,’” describes Stebar. “Structures sometimes need to last 100 years being contextually sensitive and blend into campus. At the same time, the interior needs to be readily adaptable so it can serve any function. Building systems can be designed so that open spaces can be reconfigured easily.” “What tips the scales toward using a precast concrete system is the speed of construction, and the consistency and quality of the product,” says Stebar. Often you see embedded brick or stone on precast concrete façades to match or complement a campus style.

International Style Typically, you see the use of precast concrete on more modern or blended campuses that have embraced an international style, like San Jose State University (SJSU) in California. That is the interesting dichotomy where you have modern functions versus context-driven traditional style. The overriding project goal for the SJSU Student Union was to reinvigorate student life on the downtown San Jose campus by creating a more open, lively presence on campus. Perkins+Will’s design solution is both contemporary and contextual, weaving old and new environments into a single, unified center for student life. Using the existing concrete structure as a visual anchor, new wings on the east and west add lightness and transparency to the building’s composition. The two hemispheres of the higher-education world consist of the tuition-funded half designated for spaces that directly serve the student’s education, such as classrooms and student services. The other half is auxiliary services that have self-generated revenues like parking structures, student housing, dining facilities, and the like. Perkins+Will works on both sides of the ledger and clarifies that you can’t use tuition funds for the latter fee-based structures. “Precast is a more common solution where budget and speed are most important: on the auxiliary services side. Precast excels in situations where tight control of budget is critical,” says Stebar.

University of British Columbia's Orchard Commons The unique façade of the residential towers provides a defining identity for the University of British Columbia campus. The precast concrete panels were optimized using computational techniques to maximize repetition while maintaining an interesting appearance while meeting UBC’s sustainable energy goals. At nearly a half-million square feet, Orchard Commons will provide 1,048 residence beds and dining facilities, with academic and administrative space for UBC Vantage College, an innovative program for international students. Photos: Michael Elkan/ Perkins+Will.

“The flexibility of precast comes into play when you can incorporate design flexibility as well as the permanence which is so important to universities.”

P3 on the Rise

We are seeing more P3 (public-private partnerships) and designbuild delivery systems across the country. Perkins+Will recently completed a P3 project at the University of Kansas. Six different building types—including research laboratory, satellite student center, parking structure, and an energy plant—are all included in one large P3 project. The precast concrete research lab fits well into the campus because the ultimate client is the developer and the lab generates revenue. The University of Kansas private partner wanted to expedite the entire process and the buildings were finished two years ahead of a traditional delivery model. “We expect to see more precast solutions where efficiency-driven systems are valued in the P3 world,” predicts Stebar. At the University of Kansas, the 285,000-ft2 Integrated Sciences Building (ISB) was constructed under a P3 agreement between the university and Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate. Perkins+Will designed the ISB to maximize undergraduate engagement with faculty and researchers. By strategically colocating teaching and research labs on the same floorplate and linking them with collaboration spaces, the ISB will foster a new educational culture at the university.

For the Broader Good Although they function as an efficient business in the academic world, making a profit is not the top priority at Perkins+Will. “We donate one percent of our revenue in pro bono work, which is the equivalent of 25 full-time architects working and donating to the charity or cause of their choosing’” says Stebar. “We do this through local employees who are connected to their communities. We give back by designing buildings that honor the broader good at the local level.” “We are one of the highest ranked firms in resilience, wellness, and sustainability. It is more about people and the broader goals of society than solely the buildings, and where better to represent these goals than on a university campus,” says Stebar. “Education is the ultimate act of optimism.” Perkins+Will believes in the power of education and wants to complete that story for every student. ●




PRECAST CONCRETE MEETS TODAY'S STUDENT HOUSING DEMANDS BY MONICA SCHULTES Twenty million students are currently enrolled in colleges and universities in the United States. While enrollment continues to be flat, the availability of campus housing still lags behind. Housing shortages afflict campuses nationwide. Undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty and staff, often base their decision to attend colleges and universities on housing availability and options. Both public and private institutions are also increasing the use of publicprivate partnerships (P3), collaborative design-build, and integrated project delivery (IPD). Design-build and IPD work well because they give the team the opportunity for the kind of collaboration needed on higher-education projects. No matter what the delivery system, long-term owners like universities embrace the use of precast concrete for their new construction projects. Here is an example of how precast concrete systems earned high marks in a college setting.

Valparaiso University’s Beacon Hall forms the new northern gateway on campus. The prominent project used thin-brick wall panels with precast concrete surrounds that emulate limestone for the punched windows. Photo: Mariusz Mizera.



Above: The new residence hall provides living and learning experiences that contribute to the growth and development of students while enhancing their overall education at Valpo. Photo: Mariusz Mizera. Right: Large tub sections were cast monolithically and hung off the structure. Precast concrete medallions were added on-site to complete the Collegiate Gothic appearance. In total, 1072 pieces of precast concrete were used for this project. Photo: Coreslab Structures.

Beacon Hall, Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Ind. Valparaiso University (Valpo) was founded in 1859 as one of the first coeducational colleges in the United States. A private institution operated by the Lutheran University Association, Valpo enrolls about 4500 students and covers 350 acres. Almost two-thirds of students live on campus, as university regulations require nearly all underclassmen to live in residence halls. An integral part of the Valpo master plan is visual coherence and maintaining a consistent design standard. This vision is to be reflected across the campus, regardless of when and where the structures were built. As part of the transformation, the designbuild team of Mortenson Construction in Itasca, Ill., and FGM Architects in Chicago, Ill., were engaged to provide a new student residence hall on the northern edge of campus. The 85,000-ft2 Beacon Hall was the first suite-style residence hall at Valparaiso University and the first to be constructed with a precast concrete system. The building’s Collegiate Gothic architecture complements the campus housing aesthetic and includes four-, six-, and eight-bed suites. The residence hall also features a wide range of flexible common areas including study spaces, computer rooms, a nondenominational prayer room, laundry rooms, kitchenettes, ping-pong and billiards room, and an outdoor courtyard.

“Beacon Hall embodies Valparaiso University’s vision for staying true to its roots while embracing the changing needs of college students. The residence hall incorporates design elements from existing campus buildings while offering living arrangements and amenities popular with students and parents alike,” says Joel Sandridge, project development executive with Mortenson. Sandridge was project architect with FGM Architects during the Beacon Hall project. The new building was sited to create an attractive urban streetscape close to the front sidewalk. “Beacon Hall formed the new northern gateway, so it was important that it be prominent and well-designed,” explains David Yandel, principal at FGM Architects. He adds, “The Collegiate Gothic style includes gabled roofs, punched openings, and is solid in mass and composition. All those features can be accomplished with a precast solution.” The university provided input on the selection of materials, but because of the schedule, it was not a lengthy design process. “We seemed to get things right very quickly,” describes Yandel. “There was strong direction from the university, and they were exceptional to work with, along with the rest of the team.” “Valparaiso University insists on utilizing high-quality systems and materials. Using precast concrete gave them a lot of advantages: a 75-year facility life as well as an accelerated 12-month schedule,” recalls Sandridge.

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“During the precast installation, we were charged with leaving one whole side of the building open to slide in the pods. Precast shear walls had to be staggered and it required two mobilizations.”

Podcast The Beacon Hall project was design-build, with Mortenson leading the team that included FGM Architects, KJWW Engineering (now IMEG), and Coreslab Structures. Mortenson has extensive precast concrete experience in all higher-education segments. “Customers are starting to understand that precast is a great solution not only for speed, but quality as well. We have used precast extensively for speed to market and the institutional high quality that are so important to these long-term owners,” explains Sandridge. “The design-build team had to examine how to deliver this project as fast as possible. From notice to proceed to completion date, we were up against a tight schedule,” he recalls. Designbuild and precast concrete were both essential to meeting that deadline. Mortenson briefly considered other systems, but the idea of having one subcontractor to supply the entire solution— structure and enclosure—was appealing. “When you work with light-gauge steel or other systems, it requires a lot of other trades and complications. For example, the precast ceiling required just a skim coat on the underside to provide a high-grade finish, so additional materials were not required,” describes Sandridge. The design team made a few trips to visit Coreslab’s Indianapolis plant to discuss the process, expectations, and quality before production began. Samples and mock-ups were reviewed at the plant to achieve the closest match to the campus. Mortenson worked with Coreslab during schematic design so the exterior wall panels lined up properly with planned windows and joints.

Many “lean” practices were incorporated on the job, including prefabricated bathrooms pods. “Two of the most critical items were to design and coordinate the precast system and the bathroom pods. A physical mock-up was shipped to the site so that everyone could look, touch, and feel how each subcontractor would interact with the pod and how best to install them,” recalls Sandridge. The use of bathroom pods required extensive coordination with Coreslab because they affected their erection plan and schedule. “During the precast installation, we were charged with leaving one whole side of the building open to slide in the pods. Precast shear walls had to be staggered and it required two mobilizations,” explains Corey Greika, vice president and sales manager for Coreslab Structures (Indianapolis). At the top floor, precast concrete slabs support a structural steel frame to create a mansard roof that screens the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment. “This was a nice detail to have a parapet in precast and achieve the slate roof the university was looking for. It does double duty as it hides all the mechanical equipment,” says Sandridge. Mortenson’s attention to detail paid off during the design phase, when it became clear that the basement excavation would compromise an information technology duct bank that ran along the property’s north perimeter. By shifting the building footprint 12 ft south, the university avoided the cost and time of constructing a barrier to shore up the adjacent utility structures. Mortenson suggested tweaks to the original program to allow for a fully prefabricated structure. These suggestions saved time and money, and ensured a high-quality residence hall for the students, says Sandridge.

Facing page: The site lent itself to a slight cant to one leg of the building, making for a more spacious courtyard for students on the south side.

Prefabrication Streamlines Construction Designed to house 290 underclassmen, the new construction began in July 2013 and was completed before students arrived in August 2014. “The use of prefabrication was all about the schedule,” explains Sandridge. “The added benefit is the controlled environment that improves quality and accuracy. Subcontractors are not on top of each other in the field. There were a lot of benefits to this modular system.” “We worked within the context of precast bearing and demising walls, so it was actually a very nice system and did not inhibit our design creativity,” he says. “The only restrictions were to accommodate transportation of the panels. It was very flexible in the design and architectural vocabulary we were working within.” “In addition to the low-maintenance feature of precast, it also lent itself to improved acoustics in Beacon Hall. It separates the suites and dampens sound transmission from floor to floor,” adds Sandridge. The new residence hall also offers the safety and security of precast concrete construction to students and facilities personnel. It resists fire, mold growth, and pests while requiring minimal maintenance. More important to students today, precast concrete does not interfere with radio signals. Precast concrete is Wi-Fi-friendly; a good internet connection in every corner of the building is one of the most vital prerequisites for student life.

Above: The residence hall features a wide range of flexible common areas including study spaces, computer rooms, a nondenominational prayer room, laundry rooms, kitchenettes, ping-pong and billiards room, and an outdoor courtyard. Photos: Mariusz Mizera.

Greika recalls they first saw the drawings at 50% of design development stage. “We spent a fair amount of time working out the details for chase locations, where loads could be transferred down to the foundation, brick coursing, etc. Inside and out we had to nail down the decisions due to the accelerated schedule.” Coreslab proposed the use of Metrobrick® thin brick as the best match to campus architecture. “Because of the lead time for thin brick, it was imperative to select the right color and texture quickly. Any delay with the decision could affect our precast production schedule,” says Greika. “The decision to use concrete surrounds at every window saved time and money by eliminating corner bricks as much as possible,” he adds. “It also provided a nice accent to the punched windows. The projections had to be cast monolithically as large tub pieces which could be supported off the structure. That completed the Gothic features of the residence building.”



Construction Disruption

Precast concrete was delivered and installed over the harsh northern Indiana winter. Precast concrete stairs and landing units, hollow-core slab, and wall panels complete the entire structure, eliminating the need for additional trades on-site.

Because the residence hall is located on an active college campus, disruption avoidance was a key component to the success of the project. The team worked to maintain the Valpo student experience with strategies to avoid disruptions. This included noise restrictions during certain times of the day and off-site parking to keep the immediate vicinity of the project clear of obstructions. “Coreslab resolved the tight site by securing a temporary storage area in a former shopping center a short distance away. That allowed us to drop loads and limit the noise and traffic disruption by having only one or two trucks on-site at any time,” says Greika.

Three-Dimensional Modeling

Thin-brick panels were stored at the Coreslab Structures Indianapolis facility while the foundation work was underway. Due to the tight site with limited storage area, they used a nearby parking lot to shuttle pieces for just-in-time delivery.

Hollow-core slab provided a ready platform and speedy construction to meet the accelerated schedule. Photos: Coreslab Structures.

“Use of the BIM [building information modeling] really assisted in coordination and saved us headaches,” recalls Greika. “The structure is less than 90 degrees and not a true right angle. The corner details as well as brick patterns around the building were made possible with 3-D modeling. BIM was especially important to coordinate precast openings for the plumbing and mechanical systems.” “This was not a precast box,” explains Yandel. “There was some articulation to the façade. The entry of the residence hall welcomes students into the space. It was a tight site, and not a perfect rectangle. The site let us add a slight cant to one leg of the building, making for a more spacious courtyard on the south side of the building.” Inspired by the collegiate Gothic style of the University’s Guild Memorial Hall combined with the winter weather in northwest Indiana, and the schedule, “the idea of precast panels with inlaid brick was a perfect fit,” recalls Yandel. Precast concrete panels with thin brick cast off-site lessens weather-related delays that could slow installation of masonry veneers. “It made so much sense to use precast. Precast concrete is often used in apartments and other types of housing, so it lends itself to the residence hall solution. While there were some unique architectural features, it never dissuaded us from using precast for the solution here at Valpo.” Higher-education institutions are spending more money to build enticing, sophisticated, state-of-the-art facilities while juggling the maintenance costs of older structures. In some highdensity areas, academic institutions are taking responsibility for providing affordable housing options and a high-quality campus life experience. ●



Project Type: Higher education Size: 85,000 ft2 Cost: $27.2 million Designer: FGM Architects, Chicago, Ill. Owner: Valparaiso University Structural Engineer: KJWW Engineering Consultants (now IMEG), Rock Island, Ill. Contractor: Mortenson Construction, Itasca, Ill. PCI-Certified Precast Concrete Producers: Coreslab Structures (INDIANAPOLIS), Indianapolis, Ind.; StressCore, South Bend, Ind. (hollow-core slab) Precast concrete transfer beams were required for the open community space on the first floor. Beacon hall incorporates design elements from existing campus buildings while offering living arrangements and amenities popular with students. Photos: Mariusz Mizera.

Precast Specialty Consultant: CEG, Mount Prospect, Ill. Precast Components: 1072 pieces, including hollow-core slab, solid interior panels, solid thin-brick architectural exterior panels, bay windows, stair and landing units





Precast completion of the upper bowl. The stadium’s radial grid system required careful coordination between precast concrete and steel elements. Photos: Don Palmer, Stresscon.

Builders of Colorado State University’s (CSU’s) dramatic on-campus stadium in Fort Collins, Colo., now named Canvas Stadium, capitalized on precast concrete stadium components to rapidly complete the structure within an extremely aggressive building schedule. At the same time, they were able to target LEED gold certification and provide a durable, long-lasting, and low-maintenance college facility that includes multiple seating options and a long list of fan-favorite amenities. CAA ICON, an owner’s representative firm specializing in managing the construction of sports and entertainment venues, conducted the project feasibility study and was involved in evaluating building options. The stadium design team proposed two alternatives for the riser system: precast/prestressed concrete riser units and sandwich plate metal slab terraces and risers. According to an ICON representative, “CSU selected precast concrete for Canvas Stadium during construction per recommendation of the design team, Populous, to provide cost, schedule, and use benefits. Incorporating precast, in lieu of cast-in-place concrete at the lower and upper bowls, allowed for a greater amount of occupiable space under the seating sections. This space was used for player meeting rooms, locker rooms, and event space. The benefits of using precast concrete included schedule advantages and high-quality finishes.”

Open-house celebration of completed stadium. Precast concrete erection was completed two weeks early to meet an aggressive schedule.

Ben Stindt, senior architect and principal at Populous, adds that “using precast [offered] a two-fold advantage: known for its durability and ‘plastic’ nature, it can take nearly any form with the proper steel reinforcement, and it also advances the speed of construction. Precast components can be manufactured off-site in controlled conditions prior to construction, and then trailered to the site for immediate assembly.”

Promoting Precast Concrete To advocate for the use of the precast concrete system, John E. Dobbs, executive director of the PCI Mountain States Region (PCIMS) sent a lengthy letter to the CSU president and to the stadium design team. “It is imperative that all the known initial and future costs be considered,” the letter stated. “In addition, the performance criteria in



the areas of vibration, fire protection, acoustic, and heat capacity should be analyzed and exceeded.” Dobbs suggested that the design team consider life cycle costs versus first cost. Beyond the initial cost, the team should take into account early replacement and long-term maintenance costs for each system and bring them to present value. PCIMS estimated that the cumulative maintenance cost of the SPS metal riser system would be $1.75 million more than that of the precast concrete system. The figure included estimated required annual maintenance and touch-up for each system, as well as the requirement to periodically reapply protective coatings to avoid deterioration on the metal risers and protective antislip material. The estimate was based on an assumed 50-year life and used data from the NACE International Corrosion 2008 Conference. Costs should also be considered for the attachment of items to the riser tread section of each system, Dobbs noted. Gaskets or grommets may be required for the SPS product. In addition, holes must be placed in the proper locations, and incorrect placement requiring repairs can be expected in some locations. Precast concrete risers in outdoor stadium applications, the letter continued, have been used for decades with typical life spans of 50 to more than 75 years. SPS metal risers do not have a proven history in either outdoor stadium applications or Colorado-type climates. Precast concrete risers, Dobbs added, have an inherent fireresistive characteristic, while an SPS system would require additional fireproofing. In addition, the longevity of applied fireproofing to the SPS system is reduced when the surfaces reach temperatures in excess of 120°F. Metal terrace bench systems also collect solar heat, and the heat capacity of the SPS product may cause the surface temperature to exceed safe levels. A review of vibration and acoustic qualities was also suggested, and it was noted that the inherent damping of precast concrete risers is approximately 5%, but only about 1.5% for the SPS system. Finally, the PCIMS letter affirmed that the precast concrete material would be produced locally, would employ local trades, and would provide local support, while the SPS system would not be manufactured locally. Thanks to these life cycle cost advantages, safety benefits, quality characteristics, and long-term durability, the precast concrete stadium solution was selected. Dwight Gilbert, project manager at Martin/Martin Consulting Engineers, claims that the project “always wanted to be

Thanks to these life cycle cost advantages, safety benefits, quality characteristics, and long-term durability, the precast concrete stadium solution was selected.

precast concrete.” At one point, he says, the team did investigate the option of using a steel sandwich plate system. “Precast ended up being selected,” he adds, “based on cost and on the assumption that precast was the more solid material. It’s tried and true.”

Precast Rakers and Beams The new stadium’s lower bowl includes precast concrete rakers, treads, and risers, and cast-in-place columns. The fascia or spandrel panels around the stadium are also precast concrete. The upper bowl consists of precast concrete treads and risers on structural steel framing. The tower element in the west stands is composed of structural steel. Field walls on the structure’s west side are precast concrete. On the south side, the lower bay of the bowl is actually on grade and uses cast-in-place walls. Above these are precast concrete walls. The playing field sits 6 ft below street level.

Precast concrete components completed: The CSU stadium is believed to be the fastest-built college stadium in the country. Photo: Stresscon/EnCon.

A Multipurpose Venue The design vision for the exciting new stadium was based on a simple principle: “Fans expect a stadium which is approachable at the personal scale, yet heroic at the sport level,” says Stindt. CSU’s multipurpose venue fits the bill. The structure is designed to host civic, community, educational, cultural, and commercial activities, as well as concerts and sporting events such as soccer, lacrosse, and, of course, football. It also incorporates an $18-million, 82,000-ft2 academics, student advising, and alumni center on the east side. A seven-level structure in the stadium’s west stands contains football operations, luxury suites, club sections, loge boxes, a Hall of Champions, and, at the top, a press box. The stadium’s northwest field level has a weight room, training room, and HydroWorx pools. The $220.1-million facility has a capacity of 41,200 people, including 10,000 designated student seats, 148 outdoor club seats, 879 indoor club seats, 22 luxury suites each seating 16

people, and 43 loge boxes each seating four to six people. A 360-degree concourse around the stadium and large open patio space provide unobstructed views of the playing field. Amenities include an 11,600-ft2 Stadium Club, 112 concession stands, a 1200-person hospitality area, expanded tailgating options, a 50 × 84-ft high-definition video scoreboard and sound system, and high-quality Wi-Fi. The stadium is compatible with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), with premium seating ADA options and access. There is 78,000 ft2 of covered concourse space. A plaza on one side of the building provides landscaped space for year-round events. The stadium even features an end-zone terrace sponsored by New Belgium, complete with a full-service bar. Even the artificial turf on the field is fan-friendly. It alternates between two shades every five yards to give the appearance of a natural grass field mowed in opposite directions. In addition, the



Early morning removal of triple risers from the casting forms. Photo: Stresscon/EnCon.

turf includes a Rams’ head logo (the school logo) at the center of the field, Mountain West logos at the 25-yard lines, the words “Colorado State” in each end zone, and “Sonny Lubick Field” along each sideline. “Canvas Stadium is now recognized as one of the premier Division I collegiate football stadiums in the country,” says the CAA ICON representative. “The high level of quality finishes, great sightlines, efficient use of space throughout, while being located in the heart of the CSU Campus and Fort Collins, signifies a very successful project for the University.”

Designed to Fit with a Need for Speed In addition to a cost-effective structure and creating an exciting experience for game attendees, the design criteria for the stadium included another imperative from the university: blend the stadium into the surrounding campus architecture. “Colorado State University has a beautiful campus with historic limestone buildings,” explains Stindt, “but over the last 50 years, midcentury modern architecture has really set the architectural aesthetic. The new stadium picks up on the style with natural stone; large, vertical entrance gates; and horizontal expanses of glass and metal wall systems. The vision was to help create an open and connected campus through incorporation of the architecture and beautiful landscape. ”Inside the stadium,” Stindt continues, “the Rocky Mountain Front Range is a backdrop on one side, with the other offering views of the campus architecture while also allowing event-goers to watch game day activities and everyday campus life.”

Beyond design, the client’s most pressing concern was to have the new stadium ready for the opening day of football in August 2017. The incentive for accelerating construction was significant: a $1 million penalty for every game that the football team could not play in the new stadium in the 2017 season. Under a construction-manager-at-risk delivery method, the project broke ground in September 2015. With a 20-month construction schedule, the project has remained on budget and on time. To facilitate construction, the team used four-dimensional modeling by tying three-dimensional CAD project elements to timed procedures in the P6 schedule using Synchro PRO project management software. This helped develop phase plan workflows and created elaborate monthly mock-ups that projected what the project would look like at the end of each month. “The biggest challenge was the aggressive schedule,” confirms Jim Davis, project manager for Stresscon Corporation. “We were awarded [the contract] in September of 2015 and had to start manufacturing by January 2016,” he explains. “We had to first get four riser forms fabricated by Hamilton Form Company in that time frame, including getting approval on coordination of the cross sections of the risers. We received the forms at the end of December and started production in January. With forms built and production going, we were still dealing with changes on the drawings to some degree. We used two production facilities, our main plant at Colorado Springs, Colorado, and our sister plant EnCon Colorado located in Thomton, Colorado. We produced from January to August of 2016 and averaged nine pieces a day.” Erection started April 24 and finished on September 18—two weeks early. “We had to bring in a second crane and crew in July, and we finished with two cranes and two crews to meet the deadline on erection,” says Davis. “We didn’t have any weather days. But we had lightening and wind that would shut us down. We worked ten hours a day, six days a week.” According to Davis, it’s believed the CSU facility qualifies as the fastest-built college stadium in the country.

Construction Challenges Another major challenge for Stresscon was the grid system for the bowl seating area. The stadium has a radial grid, so every bay is slightly different from the one adjacent to it. There is little repetition and a lot of differentiation. “With the radial grid system, none of the pieces were the same,” Davis explains. “Every piece was different. This was a big challenge, big in production and big in lay out in the field. Our contract required us to help Mortenson do prepours on the cast-in-place section to ensure proper locations for embeds and ledges to receive our products. That took a major team effort. “The lower bowl was much easier for us because we used our own rakers on cast-in-place columns. The upper bowl was steel

Forms produced utilizing 3D printing for concrete exterior systems offers solutions for a complex facade.

As part of a research project to verify the transformative possibilities of 3D printing for concrete applications, Gate Precast Company is using 3D printed forms in the production of a 42-story tower in Brooklyn, NY, clad exclusively with polished and acid-etched architectural precast concrete.

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Through a design-assist relationship, Gate Precast, Two Trees, and architecture firm COOK FOX refined some of the window profiles on the tower to make it cost effective and practical to make use of the 3D printed forms. The multi-faceted window panels include aluminum framing and glass pre-assembled and caulked at the manufacturing facility prior to shipping to the jobsite, streamlining the installation of the faรงade. Casting on the 3D printed forms also provided the added benefit of incredibly sharp details and improved finishes.

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[framing] and we had a lot of lay out issues, requiring much back and forth collaboration. We needed the steel in the right place to receive our risers.” Careful coordination was required between precast concrete and structural steel, agrees Gilbert. “Stresscon was brought on after we were more or less finished,” he says, “so we had to make a lot of assumptions of what the precast sizes and members would be. In the end, we designed the steel under assumptions based on previous experiences [with precast concrete]. Once they [Stresscon] got on board, we worked out the details on how they wanted to connect. We met their requirements for ease of construction and also met the requirements for transferring the loads and allowing movement in the bowl.” Stadium designers, continues Gilbert, “wanted to have a really open concourse architecturally so people could move freely and get to the concessions, like a typical pro-style stadium. But that resulted in having the front edge of the upper bowl hanging out about 15 feet beyond the column line. We designed [cantilevered] steel riggers to go out that far and we ended up adding struts to pick up the front of those to make sure [the framing] was stiff enough for vibration requirements and deflection. The back end of the stadium had a similar situation. It’s actually a longer cantilever off the column line because the structure extends farther out on the back side.” On the stadium’s east side, framing extends up and forms the light standards.

Targeted for LEED The use of precast concrete components in the stadium construction also provided a good percentage of the points toward gaining LEED certification, including having fly ash in the concrete and using recycled content in the reinforcing bars. In addition, an on-site waste management system during construction recycled concrete and metal waste. In all, 1500 tons of debris were removed from the site and over 1200 tons were diverted from the landfill. According to the university, LED field lighting will cut energy costs by over 40% over the life of the stadium. ●




COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY CANVAS STADIUM LOCATION: Fort Collins, Colo. Designer: Populous, Kansas City, Mo. Owner Representative and Project Manager: CAA ICON, Greenwood Village, Colo. Structural Engineer: Martin/Martin Consulting Engineers, Lakewood, Colo. Contractor: M.A. Mortenson Company, Denver, Colo. PCI-Certified Precast Concrete Producers: Stresscon Corporation/EnCon United, Colorado Springs, Colo. Specialty Precast Concrete Engineer: CEG (The Consulting Engineers Group Inc.), San Antonio, Tex. PCI-Certified Precast Concrete Erector: EnCon Field Services LLC, Denver, Colo., and Precision Precast Erectors LLC, Post Falls, Idaho Precast Concrete Components: 1117 pieces of precast concrete were used; see sidebar below.

■ 626 triple risers averaging 38 ft long, with some 50 ft long ■ 124 double risers averaging 28 ft long ■ 86 raker beams for the lower bowl with a 24 × 48 in. cross section and average length of 32 ft ■ 39 flat slabs used in the upper bowl to create a patio off the media building, with a mixture of 4- and 6-in. slabs ■ 15 field walls ■ 116 spandrels or fascia panels averaging 35 ft long, 28 of which are architectural concrete that provide the skin on the outside of the upper bowl and feature a buff colored, acid-etched architectural finish; the rest are grey concrete

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PRECAST CONCRETE ARCHITECTURAL AND STRUCTURAL COMPONENTS HELP DESIGNERS MEET THE DEMANDS OF EVOLVING TEACHING METHODS BY CRAIG SHUTT Facility needs at universities and colleges are evolving. Teaching techniques change, funding sources shift, and technology impacts every facet of academic life. Those factors add to other ongoing needs, such as tight construction schedules, strong aesthetic plans, and concerns about preparing for the future. Designers often find that precast concrete architectural panels and structural framing systems can help meet this array of challenges.

“Universities definitely are thinking today in terms of creating more nimble and adaptable buildings,” says Mark Jolicoeur, principal at Perkins+Will Inc. in Chicago, Ill. “We often talk in terms of making designs for these buildings more ‘nimble,’ as so many trends impact what goes on in the buildings, and they will be here a long time.” Foremost among these trends is a change in teaching techniques. “Group learning has become one of the biggest trends to impact our design of spaces,” says Fabian Kremkus, design principal at CO Architects in Los Angeles, Calif. “Classes are being taught in modules that vary from large to small groups. The lessons are problem-based, with a professor who floats from group to group to give advice and critique progress and then has a closing lesson on the experience.” The goal, he notes, is to better replicate the work environment. “The tiered lecture hall is going away,” he says. “We’re creating more flexible, flat-floor spaces with strong technological support, including monitors all around the room and spaces for students with laptops.” This also affects finishes, adds Jolicoeur, with more walls covered with materials that can be written on to work through problems and then erased. “Each client varies, but there is definitely more learning with visual materials and collaboration,” Jolicoeur says. Interiors also include more transparency, allowing those walking through the halls to see activities. “It creates more excitement if others see what’s going on in an environment that’s more active than lecture halls.”

Administrators at Longwood University in Farmville, Va., are speeding construction on two large studenthousing buildings on campus by reusing the existing steel frame and enclosing them with insulated precast concrete walls, as seen in this rendering of the finished design. Rendering: Little.



Tighter Schedules Although those layout needs change, other challenges stay the same—especially tight schedules. “Schedules are always a driver, especially on residence halls,” says Richard Naab, project manager at Little, a national architecture and design firm. “Universities have sold those beds ahead of time, and they need to be there.” The deadlines remain constant, no matter what delays prevent design and construction from starting, notes Thomas CarsonReddig, a partner at Little. “It’s a crazy market today,” he says. “Some programs are too tight with their schedules. We always want more time, of course, but we have to find ways to make it work in the time we’re given. We have to be smart about how we design and what materials we use to ensure everything is completed on time.”

Kremkus agrees. “Everybody wants to be faster today; time is always an issue on these projects.” CO Architects addresses the demands by creating early bid packages for such elements as foundations, which go out while other drawings are completed. “We create as many early packages as possible to get things moving. As a result, there is more prefabrication going on to speed up the process,” he says. “The faster the envelope can go up, the better. Precast concrete helps with that a great deal.”

Top: The new student housing at Longwood University, shown in a rendering, will feature a traditional look that was achieved with precast concrete wall panels that tie back to the existing steel frame. | Bottom: Prior to removing the exterior to replace it with architectural precast concrete panels, the student-housing buildings at Longwood University in Farmville, Va., featured 1960s-era looks that were not especially welcoming to the adjacent town. Rendering and photo: Little

Several finishes, including inset thin brick, have been used on the insulated architectural precast concrete wall panels used on the new residential buildings at Longwood University. A variety of architectural ornamental pieces also are being cast. Photo: Gate Precast.

Rehabilitation Helps Schedules This need for speed has led more schools to evaluate rehabilitating buildings to return them to service faster, notes Little’s CarsonReddig. “When you can retain a portion of the building, such as its steel frame, you can provide a significant upgrade and a faster enclosure. That allows interior trades to begin work faster, speeding the schedule tremendously.” Little took that approach on a project now underway at Longwood University in Farmville, Va., Two 1960s-era residence halls are being rebuilt from their existing steel frame, with insulated precast concrete walls cladding the structures. They replace concrete masonry units with a brick cavity wall with no insulation. The insulated panels, which are stacked on the foundation and tie back to the steel frame, will help the buildings become the first on the campus to achieve LEED v4 environmental sustainability guidelines. Carson-Reddig explains that this approach was taken for the project, which is being done as a construction-manager-at-risk with Franck & Lohsen in Washington, D.C., as design architect, due to the tight schedule and aesthetic needs. “The design architect wanted

a traditional look for the building, and precast concrete provided a lot of versatility in achieving the look we wanted.” Little worked closely with precaster Gate Precast in Oxford, N.C., to create the architectural panels. “These are the two largest buildings in town, and they serve as a gateway from the town to the campus,” Carson-Reddig says. “Taking the building down to its structural frame gave us the opportunity to create a new image that provided a transition to welcome the town to the campus.” The buildings feature two-story columned entries reminiscent of turn-of-the-20th-century hotels, presenting a dramatic face to the town. The jack arches in the brick inlay panels created a key challenge for the precast concrete producers, adds Mo Wright, marketing director at Gate. “They would have been difficult to do in the field,” he notes. “But being able to prefabricate them allowed us to cut them ahead of time and deliver them to be set in the mold.” Using thinner precast concrete panels helps with rehabilitation projects, as they can be supported more easily on existing frames. They provide a variety of benefits, especially to speed construction through prefabrication, which can include installing glazing and other materials before installation. CO Architects also is working on a new five-story science building at California State University at Sacramento that uses a thin-panel precast concrete system from Clark Pacific in West Sacramento. “Thinner panels, if they’re efficient, are good, especially as they reduce the amount of concrete while retaining the benefits,” says Kremkus. “There’s a definite trend to making shells lighter and thinner without a lot of additives while still achieving the look you want.”



The new Science Building at California State University at Sacramento includes a variety of programmatic needs, including laboratories for biology and chemistry along with classrooms, offices, a planetarium, and an observatory. All needs were met by using a total–precast concrete structural framing system that supports thinwall precast concrete panels. Photo: CO Architects.

Funding Sources Change Another key trend impacting design and delivery methods is the need to use alternative funding sources as traditional ones dry up or focus on buildings with specific functions. “Many governmental bodies say they will only fund projects with academic uses, not housing units or parking,” says Naab. “Those projects have to find other ways to get built.” Longwood’s student-housing revisions were funded by the university’s foundation, which has strong support among alumni, he notes. “Each university has its own circumstances and resources, and many, especially residential halls, are looking to public-private partnerships [P3] for funding.”

“Higher-education clients are institutional by nature, and they make decisions for the long term” In those situations, administrators work with a developer to create housing on-campus or nearby, and the developer funds construction, manages the building, and collects revenue while reserving the units for students. One example is the Piedmont Central Housing & Dining Hall at Georgia State University, a 1150bed student-housing building that is the state’s first P3 project. The 252,000-ft2, 11-story residence hall was built and is operated by Corvias Campus Living for the university. It houses first-year students, with a design intended to help them meet and socialize. Eight programmatic concepts were developed, including such activities as exercise rooms and meeting spaces, with each floor offering a different program suggested by varying color coding. To help achieve both short- and long-term goals, designers used a total–precast concrete structural system, including architectural

Left: The Piedmont Central Housing & Dining Hall at Georgia State University, a 1150-bed student-housing building, is the state’s first public-private partnership project. It features a total–precast concrete structural system, including architectural wall panels. Right: Three finishes were used on the exterior façade of the new student housing at Georgia State University: a medium sandblasted buff color replicating limestone, cast-in red thin brick, and vertical runs with a smooth finish that were painted in the school’s signature blue color with a high-performance stain after installation. Photos: Metromont Corp.

wall panels on the building. Metromont in Hiram, Ga., fabricated the precast concrete components. Choate Construction was brought onto the project early, creating a construction-manager type of collaboration with architectural firm Cooper Carry in Atlanta, Ga. The team decided on the precast concrete structural fame early in the process, owing to the tight schedule and subcontractor availability. The exterior panels were cast in both 10- and 11-in. thicknesses, with 3 in. of beadboard insulation sandwiched between two wythes of concrete. That gave the panels an R-value that exceeded the energy-code requirements while saving time for finishing. Both the exterior and interior sides were finished. The floor system features the precast concrete producers Metrodeck system, which consists of inverted-tee beams with beadboard insulation ribs covered with a poured topping. The combination creates a sturdy floor component with voids that reduce weight while expanding its length, similar to hollow-core without being an extruded product. Three finishes were used on the exterior façade: a medium sandblasted buff color that replicates limestone, cast-in red thin brick, and vertical runs with a smooth finish that were painted in the school’s signature blue color with a high-performance stain after installation.



The new University Center at Case Western Reserve University blends a variety of exterior materials, including precast concrete, glass, and lightweight aluminum panels. Material selections emphasized functionality, aesthetics, and efficiency, and served to delineate various functions in the building. Photo: Perkins+Will.

Long-Term Outlook A key component for many projects is the client’s emphasis on the long-term outlook. “Higher-education clients are institutional by nature, and they make decisions for the long term,” says Jolicoeur. “They don’t have a developer’s mentality of flipping the building in a few years. Universities are expecting these buildings to be on their campuses for 50 to 75 years, and they are looking at both first cost and long-term costs as important factors.” As a result, there has been a movement toward rain-screen designs that provide a protective exterior barrier as a cladding system. “It has to offer long-term value with durability, low maintenance, and especially performance,” he says. “Any vulnerable point is getting more attention. Administrators realize that if they save money on their initial finishes and on the skin and roof, it can lead to trouble.” That has created a movement away from materials such as traditional brick façades that offer a lot of joints. It also has focused attention on vulnerable points, such as where the walls and roofs connect. A wide variety of materials can meet these needs, he notes, including glass, metal panels, and precast concrete.

Perkins+Will recently completed a project at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) that blends a variety of exterior materials, including precast concrete. The new Tinkham Veale University Center, constructed at the heart of the campus on a difficult, restrained site, was added above a parking structure, requiring no additional structural load. The building was designed as a connecting bridge between the original Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University, which joined in 1967 to create CWRU. “The materials selected emphasize functionality, aesthetics, and efficiency,” Jolicoeur explains. Double-wall glass makes the building more open and inviting, lightweight aluminum plate cladding serves as a rain screen and represents machine-like refinement, and architectural precast concrete panels provide an aesthetic that differentiates program areas, such as the standalone restaurant open to the community. P+W recently completed a health science building at the University of Cincinnati with a cladding of architectural precast concrete panels with ribbon glass running through them with zinc at the base. Combining administration office space, faculty

offices, classrooms, and interdisciplinary space, the 110,000-ft2 building was designed to be “agile,” serving today’s needs yet also focused on future needs of practitioners, faculty members, students, and staff. “The interdisciplinary approach encourages inquiry and exploration,” the firm says. The building is divided into two fourstory wings connected in a V shape at a central atrium that serve as a hub for social and collaborative interaction. The building also helps meet a public mission of outreach, with a secondary entrance provided along the façade in close proximity to the elevator core within the adjacent parking structure. The building opened in the fall of 2018. “Architecture for higher-education projects is evolving toward making buildings contextually fit their academic use while also fitting with the campus aesthetics in some way,” Jolicoeur says. “Some buildings are iconic and signature statements, but most have to complement their surroundings.”

Sustainability Designs Grow This long-term view provides one reason why administrators are encouraging more sustainable designs. Perkins+Will’s CWRU project, for instance, was designed to achieve LEED gold certification. “Sustainability is highly desired,” says Jolicoeur. “Certainly, the ability to do the same amount while paying for less energy is a top priority. We have to evaluate and emphasize the return on investment with each material selection. Some approaches make more sense than others, but that varies with the project, the site, and the client. There are a wide range of options.” Some projects, he notes, make use of geothermal energy sources, but it’s on a case-by-case basis. Tying into an existing system also makes sense if the capacity and location are available. One such project was recently completed at Clemson University in Clemson, S.C., where administrators increased enrollment to 25,000 students (from 18,000), which required adding student housing. That led to the development of the Douthit Hills Student Dormitories, a $212-million residential village completed in 2018. The complex comprises seven residential buildings in two groupings along with a student hub. The development was planned



area lighting that can be remotely programmed to shut off when not in use. Achieving this goal was helped by the use of all–precast concrete structural systems, consisting of insulated wall panels, columns, beams, slabs, and MetroDeck flooring systems. The components are being provided by Metromont Corp. General contractor Holder Construction had seen the work done by the precast concrete producer on a student-housing project at the Savannah College of Art & Design and realized that the total–precast concrete system would help win the bid by providing competitive pricing and a fast schedule for completion. Metromont worked closely with the two architectural firms on the project, The Boudreaux Group (east side) and Clark Nexsen (west side) to rework the layout to achieve an open feel. Horizontally stacked wall panels allowed the precast concrete producer to incorporate more punchouts for windows and doorways without compromising the structural load-bearing ability.

New Products Aid Sustainability

Douthit Hills Student Dormitories, a $212-million residential village at Clemson University, comprises seven residential buildings in two groupings along with a student hub. All eight buildings, which feature a total–precast concrete framing system and architectural panels, will be LEED-silver certified. Photo: Metromont Corp.

as “a bold statement that tells students and visitors they’ve arrived at one of the nation’s top schools,” the university says. It is reportedly the largest undertaking in both size and cost in Clemson’s history. The east side of the project contains three residential buildings housing first-year students. The 780-bed complex includes space for staff and residential advisors and is adjacent to parking and green space that offers a buffer between town and campus. The west side consists of four residential buildings housing 700 upperclassmen, with about 400 of the beds replacing existing housing units. The studio and two- and four-bedroom apartments feature oversized windows, courtyards, and landscaped walkways. The central hub, with a contemporary glass front and tall columns, separates the two housing developments. It contains a dining facility, campus bookstore, fitness center, coffee shop, and other social amenities. All eight buildings will be LEED-silver certified and contain sustainable features such as directional, nonintrusive LED parking

A variety of new products are helping achieve higher sustainability goals. Solar panels, for instance, are gaining attention, as costs come down and their appearances change. “Their cost is reaching the point where they’re more practical,” says Jolicoeur. “When they reach the point where grants aren’t required to help fund them, they’ll really take off.” Adds Kremkus, “The big players are creating panels that look more like part of the built environment. That offers more opportunities to incorporate them unobtrusively. We’re seeing more of a trend toward incorporating energy generation into all types of building envelopes.” The ability of insulated precast concrete sandwich wall panels to eliminate thermal breaks while providing both interior and exterior facings has drawn attention to both their energy-saving benefits and their speed of erection. Little specified such panels for Opus Hall, a residential building for Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and they were fabricated by Gate Precast. The panels featured a 4.5-in. interior structural wythe of concrete, 2 in. of continuous insulation, and a 2.5-in. exterior wythe inset with thin brick. The noncomposite sandwich wall design eliminated thermal bowing, while the Thermomass fiber-composite connectors eliminated thermal bridging. The walls created no cavity where moisture could collect and provided a fire endurance rating of more than four hours, a sound transmission class rating of 54, and an exposed interior concrete wall that maximized its thermal mass effect.

When the project was completed, thermal imaging was done for each façade of the eight-story building. It showed a continuous, solid mass of blue (that is, cold) with no hot spots, indicating virtually no loss of heat energy through the precast concrete walls. “We often do thermal imaging today to prove the building’s energy performance,” says Naab. “The benefit of creating no thermal breaks is significant.” Cutting-edge technology also is required, although that standard constantly changes, creating more challenges. “Technology has become a key building service,” says Jolicoeur. “We need to plan for it as a service and how it can be logically stacked.” Wireless connectivity is critical, but buildings still require space for servers and equipment. “Wi-Fi is only good for so much,” notes Kremkus. “Heavy research needs servers and hard wiring.” Cooling is a big concern, as is data and electrical wiring accessibility. “When we use concrete, we need to plan these services well in advance to ensure there are no cuts required in the field,” says Carson-Reddig. “It takes more time, but it’s not difficult if you’re working together.”

Total–Precast Designs Grow In some cases, designers find total–precast concrete structures provide the best combination of benefits in speed, economy, aesthetic versatility, durability, and others. That was the case for CO Architects’ Science building for Sacramento State. The building, which houses laboratories for biology and chemistry along with classrooms, offices, a planetarium, and an observatory, features a total–precast concrete structural framing system that supports the thin-wall precast concrete panels. Sundt Construction Inc. in Sacramento is the general contractor on the project. Perkins+Will often uses a total–precast concrete system for spaces that require large, open floors. That most often arises for them with high school designs. “We use precast concrete systems for gymnasiums, as we can provide column-free spaces and create

Top: Architects at Little specified insulated precast concrete sandwich wall panels to clad Opus Hall, a residential building for Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. The 9-in.-thick panels feature 2 in. of continuous insulation. Photo: John Cole. Bottom: When Opus Hall, a residential building at Catholic University of America, was completed, architectural firm Little performed thermal-imaging studies to find areas of heat loss. The use of insulated precast concrete panels helped ensure there were none. Images:Thermomass.

sophisticated articulation on the exterior that adds depths and shadows,” Jolicoeur says. “Integrating insulation into the walls while creating a panel with both the interior and exterior surfaces creates an efficient design. These buildings don’t have to look like a Costco any more, despite their utilitarian nature.” Total–precast concrete designs often win the day with parking structures, which are becoming more important to universities but more difficult to fit onto tight campuses. “Land is very rare these days for large buildings like parking structures, but campuses need them to serve students,” says Kremkus. “Most institutions want to consolidate efficiently to make the best use of parking.” A strong example of what can be achieved was created at Sacramento State in a new six-story, 1750-car on-campus facility that was designed to blend and complement the dense trees of the nearby arboretum. Designed by Dreyfuss + Blackford in Sacramento, the structure features precast concrete columns, beams, double tees, spandrels, and other components fabricated by Clark Pacific, which also served as general contractor.




Many designers (including a number quoted here) belong to the Society for College & University Planning (SCUP). The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based group has more than 5000 members who engage and share knowledge through a variety of conferences, trend reports, online resources, and social-media platforms. The members consist of all types of planning officers, including chancellors, research directors, architects, engineers, contractors, and environmental planners. About 60% of members work for public and private institutions of higher learning, while 38% are consultants and architects. The rest are nonprofits and government agencies. “SCUP members share a common interest in the teaching, learning, and sharing of information about college and university planning in all its forms,” the organization says. To learn more about the association, visit www.scup.org.

“Because of the increased erection speed possible with the precast solution, the overall project schedule was more aggressive and intended to be completed over a single school semester,” says Thomas Ketron, director of marketing at Clark Pacific. Its design achieved Parksmart Gold certification from the Green Building Certification Institute for the U S. Green Building Council, making it the highest performing, most sustainable parking structure on campus.

Creating Gateway Statements Aesthetics are a key ingredient for every design, no matter its location. More attention is being paid to buildings on the edges of campus, where they are more likely to interact with nearby neighborhoods. “‘Gateway’ buildings at the edges of campus are receiving more attention, as they make a statement as people arrive at the university,” says Jolicoeur. Those buildings often have more leeway in fitting into an existing architectural style established many decades earlier. Little gained that leeway in designing the appearance for the Longwood University student residences.

“Their position at the gateway to the university was very important, especially as they were so tall and prominent,” says Naab. The ability to create a similar but distinct appearance was critical. “In the past, schools have wanted to match their existing look exactly, and that can be challenging. Today, they’re more open to adapting that style to create a more contemporary look. And precast concrete panels make it easier to find a solution, because there are more brick colors available and the joints can be made to look more realistic.” The designers often do large-scale mock-ups of brick panels to review with clients prior to making a final choice. “Being able to choose among different brick, ‘mortar’ [background concrete], and trim colors creates a lot of options if universities are open to experimenting.” CO Architects often works with clients wanting a new style, Kremkus says. “They don’t call us if they want a conservative or traditional look. We aren’t a good fit. Our clients typically are looking for a sense of place and a design that caters to functionality, but the building also must make a forward-thinking statement about how its material are used.” Material costs are a growing concern, as pricing often changes from specification to purchase. “Rising material costs are impacting us more all the time,” says Kremkus. “Those costs impact everyone and require us to try to save money other places later on.” CarsonReddig agrees, noting that some material costs are rising as much as 1% per month at times. “It makes it difficult to try to construct the project from the design that was created. There needs to be a buffer built in to allow for that, and we have to be smart about our estimates.”

Delivery Systems Expanded These challenges are leading universities to look more closely at alternative delivery systems, especially design-build. “The biggest trend underway is the use of design-build for more projects,” says Kremkus. “Owners want to mitigate risk and transfer it to the build team. They want more assurances on price to avoid overages. We have to meet those parameters and prove we will deliver the project as outlined by its program requirements and budgets.” Administrators typically provide specific programmatic needs developed with a planning team that consists of architects, engineers, planning consultants, and users. This input culminates in an “almost room-by-room” program, he says, which is then fleshed out by the designers. “This approach is new in the past four to five years.”

A new six-story, 1750-car on-campus parking facility at the University of California at Sacramento was designed with precast concrete columns, beams, double tees, spandrels, and other components to help meet an aggressive schedule. The new parking structure, which features a total–precast structural framing system, achieved Parksmart Gold certification from the Green Building Certification Institute for the U. S. Green Building Council, making it the highest performing, most sustainable parking structure on campus. Photos: Clark Pacific.

Design-build works somewhat differently from a P3 project, he adds, in that it lets the designer work with the contractor one step from the university. In a P3, the developer hires the team and works directly with administrators. “The collaborative design-build process works very well in either case,” Kremkus says. “The dialogue is a big part of these methods, and we welcome that.” Naab agrees. “Design-build allows an early dialogue to ensure all the implications of a design for its constructability are understood and handled. It helps to have the contractor at the table.”

Adapting to the Future Designing in industries that are evolving how they perform and that involve so many technical and diverse functions—sometimes within the same building—means designers must pay closer attention to new ideas in technology and many other fields. They must anticipate where higher-education designs are going and be there to greet them as they arrive. “Universities are looking for more adaptability and flexibility in their learning spaces,” says Carson-Reddig. “Administrators expect their buildings to last for decades, but how the spaces are used changes very rapidly today. We have to rethink how we design and build to address those changes. There are interesting dialogues underway about the evolution that is taking place.” Jolicoeur agrees. “The only thing we know for sure is that we don’t know what the future will bring. Yet we need to prepare ourselves for it. That means we have to be designing for adaptability.” Fortunately, materials such as precast concrete offer the adaptability, flexibility, durability, and aesthetic versatility to help address those challenges. “We definitely need to be creating more nimble and adaptable buildings than we have in the past,” Jolicoeur says. “But the work we have done and that others have done have shown that the ante is being upped for what can be done with precast concrete.” ●





BY MONICA SCHULTES Florida International University (FIU) is Miami’s first and only public research university, offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. FIU emphasizes research as a major component in its mission to be worlds ahead. The university also has other challenges. Its location in hurricane-prone South Florida makes it subject to the High-Velocity Hurricane Zone requirements of the state building code. With the help of a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant, FIU earned the designation of Disaster-Resistant University. Several code-plus measures ensure the continuity of operations critical to the research and clinical functions on campus. In addition to constructing their campus with resiliency in mind, FIU’s Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work is now home to the Academy for International Disaster Preparedness. The Academy is now a path for students exploring the field of international disaster management, humanitarian relief, emergency preparedness, and homeland security.

Perkins+Will continues to inform spaces and interior experiences. FIU interior spaces are flexible, adaptable, and nimble with how furniture is used. Photo: Robin Hill.



Designing for Resiliency In South Florida it is no surprise to see precast concrete on many campus structures. “In this region, maintenance, operations, and resiliency are so important in the design of higher education projects. Precast concrete is a way of allowing these institutions to manage their operations, maintenance, and envelope criteria in a cost-effective way,” says Pat Bosch, design director at Perkins+Will Miami. When FIU developed design guidelines several years ago, they specified precast concrete for all new construction. Perkins+Will has been working with FIU for ten years, initially on a master plan for their main campus. That evolved to all of their campuses as well as design guidelines, landscape, and infrastructure framework. “When we created the design guidelines, we considered the next generation of their buildings,” recalls Bosch. Perkins+Will then took on the design of Academic Health Center (AHC) Buildings 4 and 5 that would be the embodiment of that new vision. “AHC 4 and 5 are hybrid buildings. They are highly efficient, smart buildings from the interiors to the envelopes,” explains Bosch. “AHC 4 and 5 are gateway projects and part of the master plan. We wanted to create structures that work together to tie the existing campus to the new precinct. They are meant to convey that buildings work in community as do the colleges, and so the connectivity between buildings was important.” FIU has a clear vision of how to develop a sustainable campus environment, one that fosters innovative and interdisciplinary learning and research. The master plan and design guidelines are meant to reinforce FIU’s identity through the articulation of precincts, edges, buildings, and open spaces, creating a more compact urban environment.

Where Science Meets Art “Perkins+Will is very client-centric,” says Bosch. They worked closely with FIU and to generate ideas that met this vision. Concepts were developed around “where science meets art.” Perkins+Will used analytics to harvest daylight, self-shade, and ultimately create the next generation of learning and research environments. All of this was incorporated in the final design. Both buildings have a very specific attitude to the north and self-shading on the south. That mapping of solar exposure and heat gain determined the design of the buildings. In Florida, sun and water are the two main enemies. “People think they have to make buildings insular to protect from sun and heat. If only we understood that buildings can self-protect and self-shade, it is a win-win situation,” describes Bosch.

Facility Planning The FIU administration were collaborative yet challenged the design team at Perkins+Will. They embraced the concept of interdisciplinary research and education. The academic mission was the integration of graduate, undergrad, and health sciences into one cohesive campus. Because of that model, building ownership is less identified with the individual schools. “The mandate was that no department was to own their own laboratory or research area. There were dry and wet areas and shared spaces. The focus was on transparency and how to showcase learning,” explains Bosch. The parametrics of the precast concrete façade on Science Classroom Complex/AHC4 focused on heat mapping and shadowing. The university directed that the design provide all faculty members with the same view and same windows. “The structure was to speak to the ethos of what we are doing: being conscious environmentally, being innovative scientifically, and creating buildings that deal with well-being,” recalls Bosch. A modular façade was developed, as were the spaces behind them. The modules rotated and adapted depending on sun exposure. A logarithm located where more shade was needed, and the panels rotated in two directions. Where less shade was required, the panels became flat. That whole dynamic reacts to solar and heat exposure. “Gate Precast was very collaborative. We utilized Revit models to communicate with their engineers to maximize efficiencies with the precast module. We also planned how deep, how wide, and how they would be supported off the structure,” says Bosch. “Working with Perkins+Will and FIU has been very challenging, which is fun for us,” says Bryant Luke, vice president, special operations, for Gate Precast. “They push the capabilities of the material as well as us as precasters to create some unique processes and projects to meet their vision.”

FIU Student Academic Support Center (above and facing page) This four-story multipurpose student support complex serves as the welcome center and an integrated service facility for students to conduct university business. One of the distinctive architectural features on the building is the angled light wells on the east and west walls of the buildings. Architectural precast concrete with a burnished finish alternates with glass windows and storefronts. The window opening fins provide natural day lighting while keeping interiors cool. Photos: Robin Hill (above photos and bottom photo on facing page) and Miami In Focus (top photo on facing page).

“People think they have to make buildings insular to protect from sun and heat. If only we understood that buildings can self-protect and self-shade.” Precast concrete was the only enclosure option that could create so many different shade patterns. Gate Precast developed protruding sunshade boxes around the window openings with angles that vary from 0 to 15 degrees horizontally and pitched down as well. Gate Precast overcame major production challenges as to how to construct window block outs with extreme negative draft. Wooden molds were constructed from as many as 12 separate pieces that were numbered for ease in reassembling after stripping. “This project was one of the most difficult casting jobs we have undertaken. The way the sun shades project outward at a downward angle and turn to the left that vary from panel to panel was quite a challenge,” recalls Luke. Negative draft is the bane of precast concrete producers. “An even bigger challenge was just envisioning how this would work. If it were not for BIM [building information modeling], we would not have been able to produce the 148 panels with over 1000 openings,” describes Luke. “Using BIM technology was a necessity on highly complex projects like this.”



Left: FIU Student Academic Support Center (SASC) This four-story multi-purpose student support complex serves as the welcome center and an integrated service facility for students to conduct university business. One of the distinctive architectural features on the building is the angled light wells on the east and west walls of the buildings. Architectural precast with a burnished finish alternates with glass windows Below: FIU College of Business MANGO Building College of Business and FIU Online FIU opened the Management and New Growth Opportunities (MANGO) building in 2014 with two floors dedicated to online education. The $35 million building, which also houses the school of accounting, the department of management and international business and the college of business academic advising office, was clad in precast concrete panels. and storefronts. The window opening fins provide natural day lighting while keeping interiors cool.

Miami Fusion

Photos: (This Page) All photos provided by Gate. (Facing Page) All photos provided by Miami In Focus.

“Gate has produced eight projects with FIU over the years; they have a very eclectic campus,” says Luke. FIU embraces this diverse approach with a variety of buildings types and architecture around campus. Architectural precast concrete allows for those differences in design, textures, and finishes. “We have really enjoyed working with FIU to showcase the myriad ways architectural precast can accomplish these things,” describes Luke. Each building in the new precinct had to work well with others on campus, both aesthetically and in the circulation patterns they create. “We went for different coloration than some past projects,” describes Bosch. “We are bringing a more neutral palette to the university, which helps reduce maintenance in terms of weathering. The neutrality of the color also makes for an inclusive environment so that the buildings are not competing against each other.” Concrete is very apropos to this region and very common in Florida; the quality control and maximum efficiency make it a good fit. Operational efficiency of materials and maintenance are priorities at FIU. “They also want to leverage their budget and at the same time portray this vision of innovation,” says Bosch. In keeping with that initiative, windows were installed at the plant to save time and money on the Science Classroom Complex/AHC4 project. Before delivery to the site, each precast concrete panel was preglazed, caulked, and inspected. Inspections are done on the ground, so no lift is required. There are also life safety benefits when installing an all-inclusive section of wall, including solid area, window caulk, air, thermal, and vapor barrier. Controlled plant conditions also result in a more consistent fit and finish, compared with finalizing off-the-ground assembly of the exterior envelope in the field.

FIU SCIENCE CLASSROOM COMPLEX/ACADEMIC HEALTH CENTER 4 (AHC4) The ultramodern 137,000- ft2 AHC4 creates a gateway to the Academic Health Sciences district within the main campus. AHC4 stands out for interweaving technology into the design and construction process and within the facility itself to create a progressive learning environment. The six-story, cast-in-place concrete structure features an exterior skin of architectural precast concrete panels with preglazed punched window openings, metal panels, and curtainwall. It houses a mix of classrooms and staff offices, 145-seat auditorium, advanced research laboratories, wet and dry laboratories, and flexible research space.

International Style These projects used traditional precast concrete panels. “In the future, we would like to use lightweight panels, whether it be GFRC [glass-fiber-reinforced concrete] or other technologies that meet hurricane codes. The next evolution of these panels would reduce mass and weight of this material,” predicts Bosch. “The design community has put the precast industry on notice that we need to advance the use of lighter-weight precast concrete panels,” says Luke. “We are embracing that in our development of ‘GateLight’ products. Lighter, thinner panels are needed to advance the entire industry,” he predicts. (See the feature story on precast concrete insulated wall panels on page 14 of this issue.) “Gate Precast covers almost two thirds of the U.S., and no other single market challenges us like the City of Miami and FIU,” says Luke. “This region really pushes the boundaries of precast concrete. We like being challenged to develop new methods to achieve our common goals on these high-profile projects.”

Perkins+Will were also challenged to design buildings where science meets art. “These structures are sculptural representations of the ethos of FIU. They welcome you in their transparency and create outdoor spaces that are sheltered and thoughtful in terms of nature and campus. They are forward-thinking in terms of technology; they are flexible. With everything FIU is putting forth to enhance the student learning experience, the buildings are a physical manifestation. As an architect, I love their monumentality and their gentleness in how they position themselves on the site,” says Bosch. The FIU administration is creating an identity for this institution, both physically and philosophically. As a young institution, they are building a foundation for a coveted college experience. ●





BY MARTY MCINTYRE, PCI FOUNDATION In a typical design studio, the students are assigned a project, given a program, and allowed to choose a material. When the PCI Foundation paired with assistant director and clinical assistant professor Philip Horton and clinical associate professor Warren Murff at Arizona State University (ASU) and Tpac Architectural and Structural Precast Concrete (an EnCon company), the teaching team decided to turn things around on the students.

The students kick off the semester with a research exercise, looking at material on the standard precast concrete “kit of parts.” They also have a chance to explore some case studies of precast concrete projects from around the world. At the same time, the students spend time at the Tpac plant in Phoenix and engage with professionals from the precast concrete industry who visit the students in the studio.

Current Projects on View

Jason Lien, EnCon United executive vice president, meets with Christina Lufkin, Emily Kellogg, and Susan Liu, ASU architecture students in the ADE 421 design studio to help the students develop the precast concrete elements of their studio project. Photo: Philip Horton.

The plant tour allows students to see familiar projects and begin to understand the scale and complexity of precast concrete. “One of the cooler things we saw was the rebar for a tub section being formed up while we were there,” says Horton. “That tub session is for an extension to the sky train at Sky Harbor International Airport. That sky train is going to fly over the existing Terminal 2, and then Terminal 2 will soon be demolished. A new modern terminal will be built there, along with a hotel. But because it flies over the existing Terminal 2, there’s a 300-foot span, and so the students got to see that being formed up. “We also saw some of the engineering, to understand how there are two sections that are cantilevered, and then there’s a third section that will get dropped in, and it will all get post-tensioned. It was a great learning exercise for the students. Whenever you talk to students about the idea of a 300-foot span, their eyes get pretty big.”

Above: Elias “EJ” Fink, vice president of operations at Tpac Architectural and Structural Precast Concrete, meets with Juan Garcia and Henry Erives, ASU architecture students in the ADE 421 design studio, to help the students develop the precast concrete elements of their studio project. Photo: Philip Horton. Right: ASU students in the ATE 362 architectural technology course taking a plant tour at Tpac Architectural and Structural Precast Concrete with Professor Elizabeth Brack. Photo: Isaiah Jones-Lane.

Students Choose Projects The class turns next to innovations in precast concrete research. This can include three-dimensional printing, fiberglass formwork, or thin concrete. Students will also hear premier architects speak, such as Charles Renfro from Diller Scofidio + Renfro, whose firm designed the precast concrete museum The Broad in Los Angeles, Calif.

Reclaiming Design Through teaching this course, Horton has learned more about emerging technologies in precast concrete that will be attractive to architects who wish to reclaim their stake in the overall design and construction of a project. The students working with industry and understanding the technology help them understand that the precast concrete industry embraces the concept of design-assist, or involving the architect with the precast concrete producer as early in the project as possible. “One thing that we’ve been talking about for years from the architecture side of the world is that increasingly, architects have given away a lot of their stake in a project; the construction management industry has taken up a lot of that territory,” says Horton. “Being able to do things like taking on the design not just of the building, but also taking on the design of the molds and walking through the geometry of the panel that we want to have at the end, is helpful.”

During the last part of the semester, students begin work on their final studio projects. Rather than providing them with a program and having them all work on the same project, Horton and Murff ask students to choose a project of their own devising that is a good candidate for precast concrete design. “ASU has students invent independent projects where they establish their own programming requirements,” says Horton. “The student population is diverse in culture and the projects range in size, use, and location. The students have done an amazing job researching precast solutions from all over the world and are applying those concepts to their programming. It is an amazing sight to have them open to a precast solution, how they can adopt their programming requirements for the use of precast, or think of unique precast systems to meet the programming requirements.” One group of students is designing a soccer stadium in Lagos, Nigeria. “The project location is a landfill full of trash, so we are trying to see if we can utilize some of the trash, like plastic and rubber from tires,” says Henry Erives. There will be a community center that will be integrated into a park and the stadium. Alissa Hernandez, a student from the border town of San Ysidro in San Diego, Calif., is designing a port of entry. It’s an interesting project because it is such an intimate one for Hernandez, having gone to school on one side of the border while living on the other and going back and forth regularly. ●





USC VILLAGE IS A VISUAL TESTAMENT TO THE VERSATILITY AND COMPLEX ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN OF ARCHITECTURAL PRECAST CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION The Oxford-inspired USC Village project is a multiple-building complex that encompasses the many facets and intricate details of Collegiate Gothic architecture. The project provides University of Southern California students and faculty retail and dining options on the ground floor, with student support services and housing on the remaining floors.

A wall panel is erected at the project site. Photo: Coreslab Structures.

The five-story buildings feature precast concrete thin-brick wall panels that incorporate the many design elements typical of this style of architecture. Students and faculty will appreciate the dramatic addition to the world-class campus for years to come. The Village is a visual testament to the versatility and complex architectural design that can be accomplished with architectural precast concrete construction. “This project was the largest individual development the school had ever tackled,” says Jon Clausen, vice president and general manager at precast concrete producer Coreslab Structures LA. “The volume of unique and challenging details coupled with an extremely tight schedule demanded a high level of commitment from every team member.” The architecturally significant panels are the culmination of a well-planned, time-sensitive operation that used thin-brick-clad precast concrete wall panels as the basis for design. Each erected panel includes several previously cast pieces inset into larger forms that include the various collegiate gothic architectural features. The base panels are the university’s own unique color blend of thin brick that was held in place using elastomeric thin-brick formliners. Typical pieces include separate window surrounds, cornices, medallions, and other design elements that were carefully coordinated and placed in the forms before the final pour. More than 1.5 million bricks were hand-placed into the elastomeric liners, providing the basis for the highly controlled random patterns. Coreslab searched for solutions that would minimize on-site time and assembly to improve the schedule. Ultimately, a monolithic panel incorporated additional precast concrete pieces poured into the larger panels, saving time, site congestion, and money for the customer. One early challenge was that the panels were not fully designed when production was to begin. Coreslab’s in-house engineers communicated regularly with the design team to ensure the changes and enhancements being drawn were incorporated into production.

Top left and right: The five-story buildings of USC Village feature precast concrete thinbrick wall panels that incorporate many design elements typical of Collegiate Gothic architecture. Bottom left: Concrete is poured into the form at the Coreslab Structures plant. Bottom right: More than 1.5 million bricks were hand-placed into the elastomeric liners, providing the basis for the highly controlled random patterns. Photos: Coreslab Structures.

Noteworthy Craftsmanship

Project Details The project included 1050 erected wall panels; however, there were more than 3000 individual precast concrete pieces in the final product. The size and scope of the project lent itself to work with Dura Art Stone. Through a partnership, the producer from Mountain View, Calif., provided most of the window surrounds and trim pieces to the Coreslab facility. This allowed for the smooth flow of pieces needed to cast these multicomponent panels and maintain the demanding schedule. “We’re proud to have partnered with Dura Art Stone to provide the majority of the trim units,” says Clausen. “We worked shoulder to shoulder with the Dura Art team throughout all phases of design, production, and installation.” Typical pieces included separate window surrounds, cornices, medallions, and other design elements that were carefully coordinated and placed in the forms before the final pour. Reinforcing bars and other anchors extending from the previously cast pieces were tied to the panel cages to ensure accurate final placement before the pour. Once poured out, the various elements became a single panel ready for final finishing, delivery, and installation.

Each erected precast concrete panel is really a series of smaller pieces that are incorporated into the final casting to create one larger panel. This creative thinking provided a complete panel, which saved time and money and created jobsite efficiencies. The intricacy of the design details was a challenge and required close communication and coordination between the producer’s engineering team and the architect. The tight schedule meant that panels were not fully designed as the producer went into production. Changes and modifications created planning and production challenges that were overcome almost daily. Detailed assessment and production scheduling updates of the various panel components was paramount to maintain production flow and ensure that the component pieces were ready when needed. The smaller pieces were engineered, detailed, and released into production ahead of the larger pieces. This just-in-time scenario fed the smaller components into production as needed. Erected pieces typically included a cornice, window surrounds sills, medallions, and other trim pieces. These smaller component pieces were required ahead of time to support the casting schedule of the multipart erected panels. They were designed and formed using numerous elements, including foam, wood, fiberglass, and steel-forming elements. Each piece followed intricate and sometimes challenging forming to achieve the owner’s and architect’s vision. ● Each year, the Sidney Freedman Craftsmanship Award recognizes PCI-certified plants for excellence in manufacturing and craftsmanship of architectural precast and glass-fiber-reinforced concrete structures and individual components. Visit www.pci.org in the spring for information on submitting for the 2019 award.




PCI Continuing Education PCI is a registered continuing education provider with the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and the National Council of Examiners of Engineers and Surveyors (NCEES). PCI also has registered programs with the International Code Council (ICC). PCI’s educational offerings include a variety of programs to fit your schedule and preferred learning environment, such as webinars, seminars, lunch-and-learns, and online education. To learn more, visit pci.org.

Distance Learning Opportunities


PCI conducts lunch-and-learn presentations and seminars on an ongoing basis.

> WEBINARS PCI webinars are presented live each month by industry experts on a variety of topics from design and construction to sustainability and more. All webinars are FREE, one-hour long, and presented twice during the webinar week, at noon Pacific (3:00 p.m. Eastern) and noon Eastern. Webinars provide an inexpensive way to stay up to date on new materials, products, concepts, and more while earning continuing education credits. Visit pci.org for the full webinar schedule and registration information. > PCI ELEARNING CENTER The PCI eLearning Center is the first education management system dedicated to the precast concrete structures industry. This free 24-hour online resource provides an opportunity for architects and engineers to earn continuing education credits on demand. Each course includes a webinar presentation recording, reference materials, and a quiz.

In-Person Learning Opportunities > S E M I N A RS A N D WO R K S H O P S PCI and its regional affiliates offer seminars and workshops all over the United States on a variety of topics. Visit pci.org for up-to-date seminar listings, additional information, and registration. U P C O M I N G S E M I N A RS A N D WO R K S H O P S :

Quality Control Schools Level I-II L AS V E G AS, N V

Tuesday, January 22 –Thursday, January 24, 2019 CFA L AS V E G AS, N V

Tuesday, January 22 –Thursday, January 24, 2019 Visit www.pci.org/schools or www.pci.org/events for more information and to register. > LUNCH-AND-LEARNS PCI’s lunch-and-learn/box-lunch programs are a convenient way for architects, engineers, and design professionals to receive continuing education credit without leaving the office. Industry experts visit your location; provide lunch; and present on topics such as sustainability, institutional construction, parking structures, aesthetics, blast resistance, the basics of precast, and many more. Visit pci.org for a list of lunch-and-learn offerings and to submit a program request.


Photo: LS3P.



PCI develops, maintains, and disseminates the Body of Knowledge for designing, fabricating, and constructing precast concrete structures and systems. It is from this Body of Knowledge that building codes, design guides, education, and certification programs are derived. Please visit pci.org for all of these design resources and more.

Architectural Precast Concrete Color and Texture Selection Guide, 2nd Edition (CTG-10) The “Architectural Precast Concrete—Color and Texture Selection Guide” has been reprinted with 12 new color and texture pages, plus identification pages with mixture designs. This includes nine new color pages with two new colors per page, two pages of new formliners, and one page of new clay brick-faced precast. The numbers in the guide have not been changed, so that there is no confusion between the old and the new versions. This is a visual guide to assist architects in the initial selection of color and texture for architectural precast concrete. Illustrating more than 500 colors and textures for enhancing the aesthetic quality of precast concrete panels, the guide is an extension of the information included in the architect-oriented Architectural Precast Concrete manual (MNL-122). Cements, pigments, coarse and fine aggregates, and texture or surface finish with various depths of exposure were considered in creating the 287 6.75- by 11-in. color plates, the majority of which display two finishes on the same sample. The materials used to produce the samples are identified in the back of the guide for handy reference. The three-ring binder has removable inserts.

Architectural Precast Concrete, 3rd Edition (MNL-122) This fully revised edition includes new sections on sustainability, condensation control, and blast resistance. You’ll get extensive updates in the areas of color, texture, finishes, weather, tolerances, connections, and windows, along with detailed specifications to meet today’s construction needs. Includes full-color photographs and a bonus DVD.

Precast Prestressed Concrete Parking Structures: Recommended Practice for Design and Construction, 3rd Edition (MNL-129-15; e-pub) Decades of research have proven that precast, prestressed concrete is a cost effective, durable solution for parking structures. Over 140 pages present the latest concepts in design and construction, including 16 pages of full-color photography and many details and design examples. This is the most comprehensive publication of its kind.

Designer's Notebooks – Free The PCI Designer’s Notebooks provide detailed, in-depth information on precast concrete relevant to specific design topics such as acoustics, mold, and sustainability.





Visit www.pci.org for the most up-to-date listing of PCI-Certified Plants.

When it comes to quality, why take chances? When you need precast or precast, prestressed concrete products, choose a PCI-Certified Plant. You’ll get confirmed capability—a proven plant with a quality assurance program you can count on. Whatever your needs, working with a plant that is PCI-certified in the product groups it produces will benefit you and your project. • You’ll find easier identification of plants prepared to fulfill special needs. • You’ll deal with established producers—many certified for more than 30 years. • Using quality products, construction crews can get the job done right the first time, keeping labor costs down. • Quality products help construction proceed smoothly, expediting project completion.

Guide Specification To be sure that you are getting the full benefit of the PCI Plant Certification Program, use the following guide specification for your next project: “Manufacturer Qualification: The precast concrete manufacturing plant shall be certified by the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute Plant Certification Program. Manufacturer shall be certified at time of bidding. Certification shall be in the following product group(s) and category(ies): [Select appropriate groups and categories (AT or A1), (B1,2,3, or 4), (C1,2,3, or 4), (G)].”

Product Groups and Categories


Wet-cast, nonprestressed products with a high standard of finish quality and of relatively small size that can be installed with equipment of limited capacity such as sills, lintels, coping, cornices, quoins, medallions, bollards, benches, planters, and pavers. C AT E G O RY A 1 – A RC H I T E C T U R A L C L A D D I N G A N D LOA D - B E A R I N G U N I T S

Precast or precast, prestressed concrete building elements such as exterior cladding, load-bearing and nonload-bearing wall panels, spandrels, beams, mullions, columns, column covers, and miscellaneous shapes. This category includes Category AT.

> GROUP B – BRIDGES Please note for Group B, Category B1: Some precast concrete products such as highway median barriers, box culverts, and three-sided arches are not automatically included in routine plant audits. They may be included at the request of the precast concrete producer or if required by the project specifications. C AT E G O RY B 1 – P R E C AST C O N C R E T E B R I D G E P RO D U C T S

Mild-steel-reinforced precast concrete elements that include some types of bridge beams or slabs, sheet piling, pile caps, retaining-wall elements, parapet walls, sound barriers, and box culverts. C AT E G O RY B 2 – P R E ST R E S S E D M I S C E L L A N E O U S B R I D G E P RO D U C T S

Any precast, prestressed element excluding super-structure beams. Includes piling, sheet piling, retainingwall elements, stay-in-place bridge deck panels, and products in Category B1. C AT E G O RY B 3 – P R E ST R E S S E D ST R A I G H T- ST R A N D B R I D G E M E M B E RS

Includes all superstructure elements such as box beams, I-beams, bulb tees, stemmed members, solid slabs, full-depth bridge deck slabs, and products in Categories B1 and B2. C AT E G O RY B 4 – P R E ST R E S S E D D E F L E C T E D - ST R A N D B R I D G E M E M B E RS

Includes all products covered in Categories B1, B2, and B3. G R O U P B A – B R I D G E P RO D U C T S W I T H A N A RC H I T E C T U R A L F I N I S H

These products are the same as those in the categories within Group B, but they are produced with an architectural finish. They will have a form, machine, or special finish. Certification for Group BA production supersedes Group B in the same category. For instance, a plant certified to produce products in Category B2A is also certified to produce products in Categories B1, B1A, and B2 (but not certified to produce any products in B3A or B4A).

The PCI Plant Certification Program is focused around four groups of products, designated A, B, C, and G. Products in Group A are audited to the standards in MNL–117. Products in Groups B and C are audited to the > G R O U P C – C O M M E R C I A L ( ST R U C T U R A L ) standards in MNL–116. Products in Group G are audited C AT E G O RY C 1 – P R E C AST C O N C R E T E P RO D U C T S according to the standards in MNL–130. The standards Mild-steel-reinforced precast concrete elements including sheet piling, pile caps, piling, retaining-wall referenced above are found in the following manuals: elements, floor and roof slabs, joists, stairs, seating members, columns, beams, walls, spandrels, etc. • MNL–116 Manual for Quality Control for Plants and Production of Structural Precast Concrete C AT E G O RY C 2 – P R E ST R E S S E D H O L LOW- C O R E A N D R E P E T I T I V E P R O D U C T S Products Standard shapes made in a repetitive process prestressed with straight strands. Included are hollow• MNL–117 Manual for Quality Control for Plants core slabs, railroad ties, flat slabs, poles, wall panels, and products in Category C1. and Production of Architectural Precast Concrete C AT E G O RY C 3 – P R E ST R E S S E D ST R A I G H T- ST R A N D ST R U C T U R A L M E M B E RS Products Includes stemmed members, beams, columns, joists, seating members, and products in Categories C1 and C2. • MNL–130 Manual for Quality Control for Plants and Production of Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete C AT E G O RY C 4 – P R E ST R E S S E D D E F L E C T E D - ST R A N D ST R U C T U R A L M E M B E RS Products Includes stemmed members, beams, joists, and products in Categories C1, C2, and C3. Within Groups A, B, and C are categories that identify G R O U P C A – C O M M E RC I A L P RO D U C T S W I T H A N A RC H I T E C T U R A L F I N I S H product types and the product capability of the individual These products are the same as those in the categories within Group C, but they are produced plant. The categories reflect similarities in the ways in with an architectural finish. They will have a form, machine, or special finish. Certification for Group which the products are produced. In addition, categories CA production supersedes Group C in the same category. For instance, a plant certified to produce in Groups A, B, and C are listed in ascending order. In products in Category C2A is also certified to produce products in C1, C1A, and C2 (but not certified other words, a plant certified to produce products in to produce any products in C3 or C4A). Category C4 is automatically certified for products in the preceding Categories C1, C2, and C3. A plant certified > G R O U P G – G L AS S - F I B E R - R E I N F O R C E D C O N C R E T E ( G F R C ) to produce products in Category B2 is automatically These products are reinforced with glass fibers that are randomly dispersed throughout the product and are qualified for Category B1 but not Categories B3 or B4. made by spraying a cement/sand slurry onto molds. This produces thin-walled, lightweight cladding panels.



Visit www.pci.org for the most up-to-date listing of PCI-Certified Plants.

> ALABAMA Forterra Building Products Pelham, (205) 663-4681 Gate Precast Company Monroeville, (251) 575-2803 > ARIZONA Coreslab Structures (ARIZ) Inc. Phoenix, (602) 237-3875 Rocla Concrete Tie Inc. Tucson, (520) 447-8257 Stinger Bridge & Iron Coolidge, (520) 723-5383 Tpac, An EnCon Company Phoenix, (602) 262-1360 > A R K A N S AS Coreslab Structures (ARK) Inc. Conway, (501) 329-3763

B4, C4 A1, C4, C4A

A1, B4, C4, C4A C2 B4 A1, B4, C4, C4A

C4, C4A

> CALIFORNIA Bethlehem Construction Inc. C3, C3A Wasco, (661) 391-9704 Clark Pacific A1, C3, C3A, G Fontana, (909) 823-1433 Clark Pacific C4, C4A Adelanto, (626) 962-8751 Clark Pacific A1, B3, C4, C4A, G Woodland, (530) 207-4100 Con-Fab California, LLC B4, C4 Lathrop, (209) 249-4700 Con-Fab California, LLC B4, C4 Shafter, (661) 630-7162 Coreslab Structures (LA) Inc. A1, B4, C4, C4A Perris, (951) 943-9119 KIE-CON Inc. B4, C3 Antioch, (925) 754-9494 Midstate Precast, LP A1, C3, C3A Corcoran, (559) 992-8180 Oldcastle Precast Inc. B4, B4A, C2, C4A Perris, (951) 657-6093 Oldcastle Precast Inc. C2 Stockton, (209) 466-4215 Precast Concrete Technology Unlimited dba CTU Precast A1, C3, C3A Olivehurst, (530) 749-6501 StructureCast A1, B3, C3, C3A Bakersfield, (661) 833-4490 Universal Precast Concrete Inc. A1, B1, C1 Redding, (530) 243-6477 Walters & Wolf Precast A1, G Fremont, (510) 226-9800 Willis Construction Co. Inc. A1, C1 Hollister, (831) 623-2900 Willis Construction Co. Inc. A1, C1, G San Juan Bautista, (831) 623-2900 > C O LO R A D O EnCon Colorado Denver, (303) 287-4312 Plum Creek Structures Littleton, (303) 471-1569 Rocky Mountain Prestress LLC Architectural Plant Denver, (303) 480-1111 Rocky Mountain Prestress LLC Structural Plant Denver, (303) 480-1111 Rocla Concrete Tie Inc. Pueblo, (719) 569-4003 Stresscon Corporation A1, B4, Colorado Springs, (719) 390-5041

B4, C3 B4, C3, C3A

A1, C3, C3A

B4, C4 C2 B4A, C4, C4A

> CONNECTICUT Blakeslee Prestress Inc. Branford, (203) 481-5306 Coreslab Structures (CONN) Inc. Thomaston, (860) 283-8281 Oldcastle Precast Avon, (860) 673-3291 United Concrete Products Inc. Yalesville, (203) 269-3119

A1, B4, C4, C4A A1, B1, C1 B2, C2, C2A B3, C2

> D E L AWA R E Concrete Building Systems of Delaware Inc. Delmar, (302) 846-3645 Rocla Concrete Tie Inc. Bear, (302) 836-5304

B3, C3 C3

> F LO R I DA Building Blocks GFRC, LLC G Kissimmee, (214) 289-9737 Cement Industries Inc. C3 Fort Myers, (800) 332-1440 Colonial Precast Concrete LLC C2 Placida, (941) 698-4180 Coreslab Structures (MIAMI) Inc. A1, C4, C4A Medley, (305) 823-8950 Coreslab Structures (ORLANDO) Inc. C2 Okahumpka, (512) 250-0755 Coreslab Structures (TAMPA) Inc. A 1 , B 3 , C 3 , C 3 A Tampa, (813) 626-1141 Dura-Stress Inc. A1, B4, B4A, C4, C4A Leesburg, (352) 787-1422 Finfrock Industries Inc. A1, C3 Apopka, (407) 293-4000 Gate Precast Company A1, B4, C3, C3A Jacksonville, (904) 757-0860 Gate Precast Company A1, B2, C3 Kissimmee, (407) 847-5285 International Casting Corporation C4 Hialeah, (305) 558-3515 Leesburg Concrete Co. Inc. C1A Leesburg, (352) 787-4177 Metromont Corporation A1, C3, C3A Bartow, (863) 440-5400 Precast Specialties LLC C4 Fort Pierce, (772) 266-5701 Skanska USA Civil SE B4 Pensacola, (757) 578-4147 Spancrete C2 Sebring, (863) 655-1515 Stabil Concrete Products LLC A1 St. Petersburg, (727) 321-6000 Standard Concrete Products Inc. B4, C3 Tampa, (813) 831-9520 Structural Prestressed Industries Inc. C4 Medley, (305) 556-6699 > GEORGIA Atlanta Structural Concrete Co. Buchanan, (770) 646-1888 Coreslab Structures (ATLANTA) Inc. Jonesboro, (770) 471-1150 Metromont Corporation Hiram, (770) 943-8688 Standard Concrete Products Inc. Atlanta, (404) 792-1600 Standard Concrete Products Inc. Savannah, (912) 233-8263 Tindall Corporation, Georgia Division Conley, (404) 366-6270 > H AWA I I GPRM Prestress LLC Kapolei, (808) 682-6000

C4, C4A C2 A1, C3, C3A B4 B4, C4 C4, C4A

A1, B4, C4, C4A

> I DA H O Forterra Building Products Caldwell, (208) 454-8116 Teton Prestress Concrete LLC Idaho Falls, (208) 552-6606

A1, B4, C4 B4, C3

> ILLINOIS ATMI Precast A1, C3, C3A Aurora, (630) 896-4679 AVAN Precast Concrete Products Inc. A1, C3 Lynwood, (708) 757-6200 County Materials Corporation B4, B4-IL, C4 Salem, (618) 548-1190 Dukane Precast Inc. A1, B3, B3-IL, C3, C3A Aurora, (630) 355-8118 Dukane Precast Inc. A1, C3A Naperville, (630) 355-8118 Dukane Precast Inc. A1, C3A Plainfield, (815) 230-4760 ICCI Illini Concrete LLC B3, B3-IL Tremont, (309) 925-2376 Illini Precast LLC B4, B4-IL, C3 Marseilles, (815) 795-6161 Lombard Architectural Precast Products Co. A1, C2, C2A Alsip, (708) 389-1060 Mid-States Concrete Industries LLC A1, B3, B3-IL, C3, C3A South Beloit, (815) 389-2277 Spancrete C2 Crystal Lake, (815) 215-8230 St. Louis Prestress Inc. C3 Glen Carbon, (618) 656-8934 Utility Concrete Products LLC B1, B1A, C1, C1A Morris, (815) 416-1000 > INDIANA ATMI Indy C2, C2A Greenfield, (317) 891-6280 Coreslab Structures (INDIANAPOLIS) Inc. A1, C4, C4A Indianapolis, (317) 353-2118 Hoosier Precast LLC B3, C1 Salem, (815) 459-4545 Illini Precast-Speed, LLC C3 Charlestown (708) 562-7700 Precast Specialties A1, B1 Monroeville, (260) 623-6131 Prestress Services Industries LLC B4, B4-IL, C4, C4A Decatur, (260) 724-7117 StresCore Inc. C2 South Bend, (574) 233-1117 > I OWA Advanced Precast Co. Dyersville, (563) 744-3909 Forterra Building Products Iowa Falls, (641) 648-2579 MPC Enterprises Inc. Mount Pleasant, (319) 986-2226 PDM Precast Inc. Des Moines, (515) 243-5118 Rail One USA Clinton, (563) 522-2795 > K A N S AS Coreslab Structures (KANSAS) Inc. Kansas City, (913) 287-5725 Crossland Prefab LLC Columbus, (620) 249-1414 Fabcon Precast, LLC Pleasanton, (913) 937-3021 Prestressed Concrete Construction LLC Newton, (316) 283-2277 Stress-Cast Inc. Assaria, (785) 667-3905

A1, C3, C3A B4 A1, C3, C3A A1, C3, C3A C2

B4, C4 A1, C1 C3, C3A A1, B4, C4, C4A C3, C3A





Visit www.pci.org for the most up-to-date listing of PCI-Certified Plants.

> KENTUCKY Bristol Group Precast A1, B3, B3A, C3, C3A Lexington, (859) 233-9050 de AM-RON Building Systems LLC B3, C3, C3A Owensboro, (270) 684-6226 Forterra Building Products B1, C1 Louisville, (800) 737-0707 Gate Precast Company A1, C3, C3A Winchester, (859) 744-9481 Prestress Services Industries LLC B4, C4, C4A Lexington, (859) 299-0461 > LO U I S I A N A Alfred Miller Contracting Lake Charles, (337) 477-4681 Atlantic Metrocast Inc. New Orleans, (504) 941-3152 Boykin Brothers LLC Baton Rouge, (225) 753-8722 dp Concrete Products LLC Vinton, (337) 515-7368 F-S Prestress LLC Princeton, (318) 949-2444 Fibrebond Corporation Minden, (318) 377-1030 > MAINE Superior Concrete LLC Auburn, (207) 784-1388 > M A RY L A N D Atlantic Metrocast Inc. La Plata, (301) 870-3289 Larry E. Knight Inc. Reisterstown, (410) 833-7800 > M AS S AC H U S E TT S Oldcastle Precast Inc. Rehoboth, (508) 336-7600 Precast Specialties Corp. Abington, (781) 878-7220 Unistress Corporation Pittsfield, (413) 629-2039 Vynorius Prestress Inc. Salisbury, (978) 462-7765 > MICHIGAN International Precast Solutions LLC River Rouge, (313) 843-0073 Kerkstra Precast Inc. Grandville, (616) 224-6176 Kerkstra. Precast Inc. Trenton, (616) 224-6176 M.E.G.A. Precast Inc. Shelby Township, (586) 294-6430 Mack Industries Inc. Kalamazoo, (330) 635-5945 Peninsula Prestress Company Grand Rapids, (517) 206-4775 > M I N N E S OTA Crest Precast Inc. La Crescent, (800) 658-9045 Fabcon Precast LLC Savage, (952) 890-4444 Forterra Building Products Elk River, (763) 441-2124 Molin Concrete Products Co. Lino Lakes, (651) 786-7722 Molin Concrete Products Co. Ramsey, (651) 786-7722 Taracon Precast Hawley, (218) 216-8260 Wells Concrete Albany, (320) 845-2229

C3 C2 A1, B4, C3, C3A B2, C2 B4, C4 C1, C1A

B2, C1

B2, C2 C2

B4, C3 A1 A1, B4, C4, C4A B3, C2

A1, B3, C3, C3A A1, B3, C3, C3A C3 A1, C3, C3A A1, B4, C3, C3A B4, C1

B3, B3A, C3, C3A A1, B1, C3, C3A B4, C2 C3, C3A A1, C1, C1A A1, C3, C3A A1, C3, C3A

Wells Concrete Rosemount, (507) 380-6772 Wells Concrete Wells, (800) 658-7049

C3 A1, C4, C4A

> MISSISSIPPI F-S Prestress LLC Hattiesburg, (601) 268-2006 Gulf Coast Pre-Stress Inc. Pass Christian, (228) 452-9486 J.J. Ferguson Prestress-Precast Inc. Greenwood, (662) 453-5451 Jackson Precast Inc. Jackson, (601) 321-8787 Tindall Corporation, Mississippi Div. Moss Point, (228) 246-0800 > MISSOURI Coreslab Structures (MISSOURI) Inc. Marshall, (660) 886-3306 County Materials Corporation Bonne Terre, (573) 358-2773 Mid America Precast Inc. Fulton, (573) 642-6400 Prestressed Casting Co. Ozark, (417) 581-7009 Prestressed Casting Co. Springfield, (417) 869-7350 > M O N TA N A Forterra Building Products Billings, (406) 656-1601 Missoula Concrete Construction Missoula, (406) 549-9682 > N E B R AS K A American Concrete Products Co. Valley, (402) 331-5775 Concrete Industries Inc. Lincoln, (402) 434-1800 Coreslab Structures (OMAHA) Inc. LaPlatte, (402) 291-0733 Enterprise Precast Concrete Inc. Omaha, (402) 895-3848

B4, C4 B4, C4 B4 A1, C2, C2A A1, C3A

A1, B4, C4, C4A B4 A1, B1, C1 C4 A1, C3, C3A

B4, C3 A1, B3, C3, C3A

B1, B1A, C1, C1A B4, C4, C4A A1, B4, C4, C4A A1, C2, C2A

> N E VA DA Western Pacific Precast Sloan, (702) 623-4484

B4, C3

> NEW HAMPSHIRE Newstress Inc. Epsom, (603) 736-9000

B3, C3

> NEW JERSEY Boccella Precast LLC C2 Berlin, (856) 767-3861 Jersey Precast B4, C4, C4A Hamilton Township, (609) 689-3700 Northeast Precast A1, B3, C3, C3A Millville, (856) 765-9088 Precast Systems Inc. B3, C3 Allentown, (609) 208-1987 > NEW MEXICO Castillo Prestress, a division of CRMC, Inc. B4, C4 Belen, (505) 864-0238 Coreslab Structures (ALBUQUERQUE) Inc. A1, B4, C4, C4A Albuquerque, (505) 247-3725 > N E W YO R K David Kucera Inc. Gardiner, (845) 255-1044 Lakelands Concrete Products Inc. Lima, (585) 624-1990 Oldcastle Precast Selkirk, (518) 767-2116

A1, G A1, B3, B3A, C1, C1A B3, C3, C3A

The Fort Miller Company Inc. Greenwich, (518) 695-5000 The L.C. Whitford Materials Co. Inc. Wellsville, (585) 593-2741

B1, B1A, C1, C1A B4, C3

> N O RT H C A RO L I N A Coastal Precast Systems LLC Wilmington, (910) 604-2249 Gate Precast Company Oxford, (919) 603-1633 Prestress of the Carolinas Charlotte, (704) 587-4273 Utility Precast Inc. Concord, (704) 721-0106

B4, C2 A1, C3 B4, C4 B3, B3A

> N O RT H DA KOTA Wells Concrete Grand Forks, (701) 772-6687

C4, C4A

> OHIO DBS Prestress of Ohio Huber Heights, (937) 878-8232 Fabcon Precast LLC Grove City, (952) 890-4444 High Concrete Group LLC Springboro, (937) 748-2412 Mack Industries Inc. Valley City, (330) 460-7005 Mack Industries Inc. Vienna, (330) 638-7680 Prestress Services Industries of Ohio LLC Mt. Vernon, (740) 393-1121 Rocla Concrete Tie Inc. Sciotoville, (740) 776-3238 Sidley Precast Group, a division of R.W. Sidley Inc. Thompson, (440) 298-3232 > OKLAHOMA Arrowhead Precast LLC Broken Arrow, (918) 995-2227 Coreslab Structures (OKLA) Inc. (Plant No.1) Oklahoma City, (405) 632-4944 Coreslab Structures (OKLA) Inc. (Plant No.2) Oklahoma City, (405) 672-2325 Coreslab Structures (TULSA) Inc. Tulsa, (918) 438-0230 > OREGON Knife River Corporation Northwest Harrisburg, (541) 995-4100 R.B. Johnson Co. McMinnville, (503) 472-2430

C3 A1, C3, C3A A1, C3, C3A C3 B3A,C3 B3, C3 C2

A1, C4, C4A

A1, C3, C3A

A1, C4, C4A

B4, C3 B4, C4

A1, B4, C4, C4A B4, C3

> P E N N SY LVA N I A Architectural Precast Innovations Inc. A1, C3, C3A Middleburg, (570) 837-1774 Brayman Precast LLC B3, C1 Saxonburg, (724) 352-5600 Concrete Safety Systems LLC A1, B3, B3A, C3, C3A Bethel, (717) 933-4107 Conewago Precast Building Systems A1, C3,C3A Hanover, (717) 632-7722 Dutchland Inc. C3 Gap, (717) 442-8282 Fabcon Precast LLC A1, B1, B1A, C3, C3A Mahanoy City, (952) 890-4444 High Concrete Group LLC A1, B3, C3, C3A Denver, (717) 336-9300 J & R Slaw Inc. A1, C3, C3A Lehighton, (610) 852-2020 Nitterhouse Concrete Products Inc. A1, C4, C4A Chambersburg, (717) 267-4505



Visit www.pci.org for the most up-to-date listing of PCI-Certified Plants.

Northeast Prestressed Products LLC Cressona, (570) 385-2352 PENNSTRESS, a division of MacInnis Group, LLC Roaring Spring, (814) 695-2016 Say-Core Inc. Portage, (814) 736-8018 Sidley Precast Group Youngwood, (724) 755-0205 Universal Concrete Products Corporation Stowe, (610) 323-0700

> RHODE ISLAND Hayward Baker Inc. Cumberland, (401) 334-2565

B4, C3

A1, B4, C4 C2 C3 A1, C3, C3A


> S O U T H C A RO L I N A Florence Concrete Products Inc. B4, C3, C3A Sumter, (803) 775-4372 Metromont Corporation A1, C4, C4A Greenville, (864) 605-5000 Metromont Corporation C3 Spartanburg, (864) 605-5063 Smith-Columbia B2, C1 Hopkins, (803) 708-2222 Tekna Corporation B4, C3 North Charleston, (843) 853-9118 Tindall Corporation, South Carolina Division A1, C4, C4A Spartanburg, (864) 576-3230 > S O U T H DA KOTA Forterra Building Products Rapid City, (605) 343-1450 Gage Brothers Concrete Products Inc. Sioux Falls, (605) 336-1180 > TENNESSEE Construction Products Inc. of TN Jackson, (731) 668-7305 Gate Precast Company Ashland City, (615) 792-4871 Mid South Prestress LLC Pleasant View, (615) 746-6606 Ross Prestressed Concrete Inc. Bristol, (423) 323-1777 Ross Prestressed Concrete Inc. Knoxville, (865) 524-1485

B4 A1, B4, C4, C4A

B4, C4 A1, C3, C3A C3 B4, C3 B4, C4

> T E X AS American Concrete Products B3, C3 Dallas, (214) 631-7006 Coreslab Structures (TEXAS) Inc. A1, C4, C4A Cedar Park, (512) 250-0755 CXT, Incorporated - Buildings B1, B1A, C1, C1A Hillsboro, (254) 580-9100 East Texas Precast A1, C4, C4A Hempstead, (281) 463-0654 Enterprise Precast Concrete of Texas LLC A1, C3A Corsicana, (903) 875-1077 Gate Precast Company A1, C3A Hillsboro, (254) 582-7200 Gate Precast Company C2 Pearland, (281) 485-3273 GFRC Cladding Systems LLC G Garland, (972) 494-9000 Heldenfels Enterprises Inc. B4, C4 Corpus Christi, (361) 883-9334 Heldenfels Enterprises Inc. B4 El Paso, (915) 799-0977

Heldenfels Enterprises Inc. San Marcos, (512) 396-2376 Legacy Precast LLC Brookshire, (281) 375-2050 Lowe Precast Inc. Waco, (254) 776-9690 Manco Structures Ltd. Schertz, (210) 690-1705 NAPCO Precast LLC San Antonio, (210) 509-9100 Texas Concrete Partners LP Elm Mott, (254) 822-1351 Texas Concrete Partners LP Victoria, (361) 573-9145 Tindall Corporation San Antonio, (210) 248-2345 Valley Prestress Products Inc. Houston, (713) 455-6098 Valley Prestress Products Inc. Eagle Lake, (979) 234-7899

> U TA H Forterra Building Products Salt Lake City, (801) 966-1060 Harper Precast Salt Lake City, (801) 326-1016 Olympus Precast Bluffdale, (801) 571-5041 > VERMONT Joseph P. Carrara & Sons Inc. Middlebury, (802) 775-2301 William E. Dailey Precast LLC Shaftsbury, (802) 442-4418

B4, C4 A1, C4, C4A A1, C3, C3A C4, C4A A1, C4, C4A B4, C4 B4, C4 A1, C3, C3A B2 B4

A1, B4, C4, C4A, G B1, C1A A1, B3, B3A, C3, C3A

A1, B4, B4A, C3, C3A A1, B4, B4A, C3, C3A

> VIRGINIA Atlantic Metrocast Inc. Portsmouth, (757) 397-2317 Coastal Precast Systems LLC Chesapeake, (757) 545-5215 Hessian Company LTD t/a Faddis Concrete Products King George, (540) 775-4546 Metromont Corporation Richmond, (804) 665-1300 Rockingham Precast Harrisonburg, (540) 433-8282 Smith-Midland Midland, (540) 439-3266 Shockey Precast Group Winchester, (540) 667-7700 Tindall Corporation, Virginia Division Petersburg, (804) 861-8447 > WAS H I N G TO N Bellingham Marine Industries Inc. Ferndale, (360) 380-2142 Bethlehem Construction Inc. Cashmere, (509) 782-1001 Concrete Technology Corporation Tacoma, (253) 383-3545 CXT Inc., Precast Division Spokane, (509) 921-8766 CXT Inc., Rail Division Spokane, (509) 921-7878 EnCon Northwest LLC Camas, (360) 834-3459 Oldcastle Precast Inc. Spokane Valley, (509) 536-3300 Wilbert Precast Inc. Yakima, (509) 325-4573

> W E ST V I R G I N I A Carr Concrete, a division of CXT Inc. Williamstown, (304) 464-4441 Eastern Vault Company Inc. Princeton, (304) 425-8955

B4, C3 B3, C3

> WISCONSIN County Materials Corporation B4, B4-IL Janesville, (608) 373-0950 County Materials Corporation B4, C3 Roberts, (800) 426-1126 International Concrete Products Inc. A1, C1 Germantown, (262) 242-7840 KW Precast LLC B4, B4-IL, C4A dba Illini Precast - Burlington, (708) 562-7770 MidCon Products Inc. A1, C1 Hortonville, (920) 779-4032 Spancrete A1, B4, C3, C3A Valders, (920) 775-4121 Stonecast Products Inc. A1, C3A Germantown, (262) 253-6600 > W YO M I N G voestalpine Nortrak Inc. Cheyenne, (509) 220-6837


> MEXICO Dura Art Stone Inc. Tecate, (800) 821-1120 PRETECSA, S.A. DE C.V. Estado de Mexico 52, (555) 077-0071 Willis De Mexico S.A. de C.V. Tecate BC, MX 52, (665) 655-2222

A1, C1A A1, G A1, C1, G


B4, C4 A1, B4, C3

APS Precast, a division of C&S Group Operations Ltd. Langley, (604) 888-1968

A1, B4, C3, C3A


Strescon Limited Saint John, (506) 633-8877

A1, B4, C4, C4A

N OVA S C OT I A A1, C3, C3A B4 A1, B2, C2, C2A A1, C4, C4A A1, C4, C4A

Strescon Limited Bedford, (902) 494-7400

A1, B4, C4, C4A


Artex Systems Inc. Concord, (905) 669-1425 Global Precast Inc. Maple, (905) 832-4307 Prestressed Systems Inc. Windsor, (519) 737-1216

A1 A1 B4, C4

QUEBEC B3, C2 B1, C3, C3A B4, C4 B1, C1, C1A B2, C2 B1, B1A A1, B4, C4

Betons Prefabriques Trans. Canada Inc. A1, B4, C3, C3A St-Eugene De Grantham, (819) 396-2624 Betons Prefabriques (Bombadier Plant), A1, C2 Alma, (418) 668-6161 Betons Prefabriques (Papeterie Plant), A1, C3, C3A, G Alma, (418) 668-6161 Prefab de Beauce Inc. A1, C3 Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce, (418) 387-7152 Saramac 9229-0188 Quebec, Inc. A1 Terrebonne, PQ, (450) 966-1001

> UA E Arabian Profile Company Glass Reinforced Product LLC Sharjah, 971(6) 5432624


B3, C3, C3A





Visit www.pci.org for the most up-to-date listing of PCI-Certified Erectors.


When it comes to quality, why take chances? When you need precast or precast, prestressed concrete products, choose a PCI-Certified Erector. You’ll get confirmed capability with a quality assurance program you can count on. Whatever your needs, working with an erector who is PCI-certified in the structure categories listed will benefit you and your project. • You’ll find easier identification of erectors prepared to fulfill special needs. • You’ll deal with established erectors. • Using a PCI-Certified Erector is the first step toward getting the job done right the first time, thus keeping labor costs down. • PCI-Certified Erectors help construction proceed smoothly, expediting project completion.

Guide Specification To be sure that you are getting an erector from the PCI Field Certification Program, use the following guide specification for your next project: “Erector Qualification: The precast concrete erector shall be fully certified by the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) prior to the beginning of any work at the jobsite. The precast concrete erector shall be certified in Structure Category(ies): [Select appropriate groups and categories S1 or S2 and/or A1].”

Erector Classifications The PCI Field Certification Program is focused around three erector classifications. The standards referenced are found in the following manuals: • MNL–127 Erector’s Manual - Standards and Guidelines for the Erection of Precast Concrete Products • MNL–132 Erection Safety Manual for Precast and Prestressed Concrete

> ARIZONA Coreslab Structures (ARIZ) Inc. Phoenix, (602) 237-3875 Steel Girder LLC dba Stinger Bridge & Iron Coolidge, (502) 723-5383 Tpac, An EnCon Company Phoenix, (602) 262-1360 > CALIFORNIA MidState Precast L.P. Corcoran, (559) 992-8180 Walters & Wolf Precast Fremont, (510) 226-9800 > C O LO R A D O EnCon Field Services LLC Denver, (303) 287-4312 Gibbons Erectors Inc. Englewood,, (303) 841-0457 Rocky Mountain Prestress LLC Denver, (303) 480-1111 > CONNECTICUT Blakeslee Prestress Inc. Branford, (203) 481-5306 > F LO R I DA Concrete Erectors Inc. Longwood, (407) 862-7100 Coreslab Structures (MIAMI) Inc. Medley, (305) 823-8950 Florida Builders Group Inc. Miami Gardens, (305) 627-8900 Pre-Con Construction Inc. Lakeland, (863) 688-4504 Prestressed Contractors Inc. West Palm Beach, (561) 741-4369 Specialty Concrete Services Inc. Umatilla, (352) 669-8888 Toronto, LLC Apopka, (407) 293-4000

A, S2 S1 A, S2

A, S2 A

A, S2 A, S2 A, S2


A, S2 A, S2 S2 A, S2 S2 A, S2 S2

W.W. Gay Mechanical Contractor Inc. Jacksonville, (904) 388-2696

> GEORGIA Bass Precast Erecting Inc. Cleveland, (706) 809-7583 Derr and Isbell Construction LLC Roswell, (770) 910-9996 Jack Stevens Welding LLP Murrayville, (770) 534-3809 Precision Stone Setting Co. Inc. Hiram, (770) 439-1068 RGR Erectors, Inc. Cleveland, (706) 809-2718 Rutledge & Sons Inc. Canton, (770) 592-0380 SE Precast Erectors Inc. Roswell, (770) 722-9212 > I DA H O Precision Precast Erectors LLC Post Falls, (208) 981-0060 > ILLINOIS Area Erectors Inc. Rockford, (815) 562-4000 Continental Erectors, LLC La Salle, (815) 666-4003 Creative Erectors, LLC Rockford, (815) 229-8303 Mid-States Concrete Industries South Beloit, (800) 236-1072 > INDIANA Chicago Steel Construction, LLC Merrillville, (219) 947-3939 > I OWA Cedar Valley Steel Inc. Cedar Rapids, (319) 373-0291 Industrial Steel Erectors Davenport, (800) 236-1072

A, S2

S2 A, S2 S2 A, S2 S2 S2 A

A, S2

A, S2 S2 A, S2 S2


A, S2 S1

> C AT E G O RY S 1 – S I M P L E ST R U C T U R A L SYST E M S This category includes horizontal decking members (e.g. hollow-core slabs on masonry walls), bridge beams placed on cast-in-place abutments or piers, and single-lift wall panels. > C AT E G O RY S 2 – C O M P L E X ST R U C T U R A L SYST E M S This category includes everything outlined in Category S1 as well as total–precast, multiproduct structures (vertical and horizontal members combined) and single- or multistory load-bearing members (including those with architectural finishes). > C AT E G O RY A – A R C H I T E C T U R A L SYST E M S This category includes non-load-bearing cladding and GFRC products, which may be attached to a supporting structure.

Northwest Steel Erection Inc. Grimes, (515) 986-0380 Tricon Construction Group Dubuque, (563) 588-9516 US Erectors Inc. Pleasant Hill, (515) 243-8450

> K A N S AS Carl Harris Co. Inc. Wichita, (316) 267-8700 Crossland Construction Company Inc. Columbus, (620) 442-1414 Griffith Steel Erection Inc. Wichita, (316) 941-4455

S2 A, S2 A, S2

A, S2 S2 A, S2

> LO U I S I A N A Alfred Miller Contracting Lake Charles, (337) 477-4681


> MAINE Reed & Reed Inc. Woolwich, (207) 443-9747


> M A RY L A N D DLM Contractors LLC Upper Marlboro, (301) 877-0000 E & B Erectors Inc. Pikesville, (410) 360-7800 E.E. Marr Erectors Inc. Baltimore, (410) 837-1641 EDI Precast LLC Upper Marlboro (301) 877-2024 L.R. Willson & Sons Inc. Gambrills, (410) 987-5414

A, S2 A, S2 A, S2 A, S2 A, S2

> M AS S AC H U S E TT S Prime Steel Erecting Inc. North Billerica, (978) 671-0111

A, S2

> MICHIGAN Assemblers Precast & Steel Services Inc. Saline, (734) 368-6147

A, S2



Visit www.pci.org for the most up-to-date listing of PCI-Certified Erectors.

Construction Specialties of Zeeland Inc. Holland, (616) 772-9410 G2 Inc. Cedar Springs, (616) 696-9581 Midwest Steel Inc. Detroit, (313) 873-2220 Pioneer Construction Inc. Grand Rapids, (616) 247-6966

> M I N N E S OTA Amerect Inc. Newport, (651) 459-9909 Fabcon Precast LLC Savage, (952) 890-4444 Molin Concrete Products Company Lino Lakes, (651) 786-7722 Wells Concrete Maple Grove, (800) 658-7049 > MISSISSIPPI Bracken Construction Company Ridgeland, (601) 922-8413 > MISSOURI Ben Hur Construction Company Earth City (314) 298-8007 JE Dunn Construction Kansas City, (816) 474-8600 Prestressed Casting Co. Springfield, (417) 869-7350 Demien Construction Company Inc. Wentzville, (636) 332-5500 > N E B R AS K A Central Nebraska Steel LLC Kearney, (308) 627-6683 M&M Steel Erection Inc. La Vista, (402) 614-0988 Moen Steel Erection Inc. Omaha, (402) 884-0925 Patriot Steel Erection Omaha, (402) 431-2744 Topping Out Inc. dba Davis Erection–Omaha Gretna, (402) 731-7484 > NEW HAMPSHIRE American Steel & Precast Erectors Greenfield, (603) 547-6311 Newstress Inc. Epsom, (603) 736-9000 Pinnacle Precast & Steel Erectors Inc. Manchester, (603) 493-1669 > N E W J E RS E Y J. L. Erectors Inc. Blackwood, (856) 232-9400 JEMCO-Erectors Inc. Shamong, (609) 268-0332 Jonasz Precast Inc. Westville, (856) 456-7788 Kenvil United Corp. Kenvil, (973) 927-0010 TCN & Co., LLC Marlton (856) 685-0904 > N E W YO R K Gotham Structures NY, LLC New York, (212) 260-0208 Koehler Masonry Corp. Farmingdale, (631) 694-4720 Oldcastle Precast Selkirk, (518) 767-2116 Tutor Perini Corporation Civil New Rochelle, (914) 739-1908

S1 S2 A, S2 A, S2

A, S2 S2 S2 A, S2

A, S2

S2 A, S2 S2 S1

S2 S2 A, S2 A, S1 A, S2

A, S2 S1 S2

S2 A, S2 A, S2 S1 A, S1

S1 S2

> N O RT H DA KOTA Comstock Construction Inc. Fargo, (701) 892-7236 Magnum Contracting Inc. Fargo, (701) 235-5285 PKG Contracting Inc. Fargo, (701) 232-3878

S2 A, S2 S2

> OHIO Precast Services Inc. A, S2 Twinsburg, (330) 425-2880 Sidley Precast Group, a division of R.W. Sidley Inc. S2 Thompson, (440) 298-3232 > OKLAHOMA Allied Steel Construction Co. LLC Oklahoma City, (405) 232-7531

> VIRGINIA The Shockey Precast Group Winchester, (540) 667-7700 > WISCONSIN J. P. Cullen & Sons Inc. Janesville, (608) 754-6601 Miron Construction Co. Inc. Neenah, (920) 969-7000 Spancrete Valders, (414) 290-9000 The Boldt Company Appleton, (920) 225-6212


S2 A, S2 A, S2 S2


> P E N N SY LVA N I A Century Steel Erectors S2 Kittanning, (724) 545-3444 Conewago Precast Building Systems A, S2 Hanover, (717) 632-7722 High Structural Erectors LLC A, S2 Lancaster, (717) 390-4203 Kinsley Construction Inc. t/a Kinsley Manufacturing S2 York, (717) 757-8761 Nitterhouse Concrete Products Inc. A, S2 Chambersburg, (717) 267-4505 > SOUTH CAROLINA Davis Erecting & Finishing Inc. Greenville, (864) 220-0490 Florence Concrete Products Inc. Florence, (843) 662-2549 Steel Clad Inc. Greenville, (864) 246-8132 Tindall Corporation Spartanburg, (864) 576-3230 > S O U T H DA KOTA Fiegen Construction Co. Sioux Falls, (605) 335-6000 Henry Carlson Company Sioux Falls, (605) 336-2410 > TENNESSEE Mid South Prestress LLC Pleasant View, (615) 746-6606 > T E X AS Coreslab Structures (TEXAS) Inc. Cedar Park, (512) 250-0755 Gulf Coast Precast Erectors LLC Hempstead, (832) 451-4395 Precast Erectors Inc. Hurst, (817) 684-9080 S 'N' S Erectors Inc. Arlington, (817) 823-8016 > U TA H Forterra Structural Precast Salt Lake City, (801) 966-1060 IMS Masonry Inc. Lindon, (801) 796-8420 OutWest C & E Inc. Bluffdale, (801) 446-5673 > VERMONT CCS Constructors Inc. Morrisville, (802) 888-7701

A, S2 S2 A, S2 A, S2

A, S2 A, S2


A, S2 S2 A, S2 S2

A, S1 A S2


A, S2 S1




Photo courtesy of USC/Gus Ruelas.

The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute’s (PCI) certification is the industry’s most proven, comprehensive, trusted, and specified certification program. The PCI Plant Certification program is now accredited by the International Accreditation Service (IAS) which provides objective evidence that an organization operates at the highest level of ethical, legal, and technical standards. This accreditation demonstrates compliance to ISO/IEC 17021-1. PCI certification offers a complete regimen covering personnel, plant, and field operations. This assures owners, specifiers, and designers that precast concrete products are manufactured and installed by companies who subscribe to nationally accepted standards and are audited to ensure compliance. To learn more about PCI Certification, please visit

p c i .o rg /cer ti fi cati on

Premier Partners Level 3

Level 2

Level 1

Structural Engineering Consultants DUBAI . OMAHA . ORLANDO

“High Concrete saw our design as a wonderful opportunity to really show off their skills, talents and products. It has been a sincere joy to work with a group of precasters who are as engaged as they have been, willing to roll up their sleeves to work on solutions rather than seeing obstacles, and I am sure that they are proud of their efforts as much as we are.” Kai-Uwe Bergmann, AIA, RIBA, partner, BIG—Bjarke Ingels Group


Photograpy © Rasmus Hjortshøj—COAST

1200 Intrepid at the Philadelphia Navy Yard is the newly completed precast concrete work of art designed by worldrenowned starchitect Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). The front entrance façade gently curves inward while stretching outward creating a startling and gravity-defying visual that mimics the curved bows of the nearby battleships. The unique engineering requirements of the project meant that the gravity



loads flowed directly to the ground and were not tied to the steel frame. Almost every piece of the front entrance façade is unique. This very complicated project presented a challenge that required an innovative solution using technical, engineering and creative expertise, and would not have been possible without the use of BIM and 3D modeling. For more information on this project and others visit us at www.highconcrete.com/news.