High-Performance Precast Concrete

Today’s architects and engineers are under constant pressure to deliver beautiful, durable structures with shrinking budgets and tighter schedules. The winners of the 2013 PCI Design Awards Competition, sponsored by the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, demonstrate the ways that precast concrete is helping them meet those goals.

This year’s winners showcase the versatile high-performance attributes that precast, prestressed concrete can bring to a project. Award recipients include bridges that feature precast concrete spans extending for more than 100 ft (30 m); homes with the resilience and durability to withstand earthquakes, hurricanes, and sea air; and buildings that meticulously replicate historic architectural designs with cost-effective solutions that will last for decades.

Precast concrete also enabled all of the winners to accelerate construction, often while working in extremely tight site conditions with minimal effects on traffic, the community, and the local environment.

The awards were presented for six bridges and fourteen buildings in Mexico, the United States, and Canada. Award categories covered an array of building types, including Best Parking Structure, Best Mixed-Use Building, and Best Religious Structure, along with a variety of bridge types and lengths. Special awards were also given for the Best Sustainable Design, the Best All Precast Solution, and the Harry H. Edwards Award for Industry Achievement.

Why the industry loves precast concrete

The 11 judges were drawn to the combined versatility, efficiency , and resiliency that precast concrete brought to the winning projects.

Judge Maher Tadros noted that precast concrete helped several bridge designers overcome many of the financial, environmental, and structural obstacles they faced. “Precast was not the only choice, but it was the best choice … because of all the advantages it offers: economy and high performance all in one package,” he says.

Judge Loren Risch pointed to the unique value that precast concrete brought to the many projects involving historic structures. “You can salvage a bridge that is cherished and loved by a community, and that bridge will be there for a long time to come because of precast concrete,” he says.

Each of this year’s award winners proved that precast concrete is not just a practical solution. It brings beauty, strength, and efficiency to all types of structures and will continue to be a go-to material for engineers and architects seeking high performance.

“Precast is clearly an extremely efficient system,” says judge Beth Broome. “It’s structural, it’s architectural, it has immense potential.”

This site showcase the winning projects selected by the bridges, buildings, and special awards juries.