Honorable Mentions

Justice and Correctional
Christopher S. Bond U.S. Courthouse in Jefferson City, Mo.

The Christopher S. Bond U.S. Courthouse in Jefferson City, Mo., is a testament to the clean lines and rich facade that can be achieved with precast concrete.
The 118,000 ft2 (11,000 m2) facility is a cast-in-place structure with thin granite and limestone cast into a solid panel precast concrete facade. The design featured multiple elements in varying shapes and curves, ranging from 3 to 6½ in. (75 to 160 mm) thick and in some areas as large as 8 × 10 ft (2.4 × 3 m). It also included several precast concrete column wraps, a cantilevered trellis, and a stone face precast concrete top cornice.

The most compelling feature of the design—and the most difficult to work with—was the thin granite and limestone elements, which weighed up to 1400 lb (635 kg) each and were cast into larger precast concrete elements that were up to 10 × 40 ft (3 × 12 m) in overall size. To accommodate the weight of the stone, the project team developed a special dual-vacuum suction-cup system to handle the elements in the production facility without damaging them. The elements were then shipped vertically in specially made racks to avoid damage.

Along with providing the compelling stone finish in a cost-effective package, the use of precast concrete substantially reduced construction time, consolidated trades on the jobsite, and reduced waste on-site, all of which contributed to the project’s LEED certification goals.
“A granite and limestone building of this nature would have to be built over a much longer period of time, with a great deal of additional complexity, and at a much greater cost,” says Dirk McClure of Enterprise Precast Concrete. He notes that the use of precast concrete helped the overall project come in $3.5 million under budget.

PHOTO CREDITS

 

PROJECT CREDITS

Owner: U.S. General Services Administration, Philadelphia, Pa. 
Design Architect: Kallmann McKinnell & Wood Architects, Boston, Mass.
Associate Architect: SFS Architecture, Kansas City, Mo. 
Precaster: Enterprise Precast Concrete Inc., Omaha, Neb. 
Precast Concrete Specialty Engineer: Rupperecht Engineering, Omaha, Neb.
Engineer of Record: Walter P. Moore & Associates, Kansas City, Mo.
Contractor: JE Dunn Construction, Kansas City, Mo. 
Project Cost: $67.7 million
Project Size: 118,000 ft2 (11,000 m2)

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Government and Public Buildings
U.S. Freedom Pavilion and Boeing Center in New Orleans, La.

The U.S. Freedom Pavilion and Boeing Center in New Orleans, La., is a soaring glass and concrete structure that rises dramatically from the National WWII Museum Campus. The pavilion is phase six of an ongoing 240,000 ft2 (22,300 m2) expansion of the space. The 30,000 ft2 (2800 m2), 100 ft (9.1 m) tall building makes a powerful architectural statement anchoring the entire museum campus.

Precast concrete was a key element in achieving a combination of strength and transparency in the design. The sloping facades consist of a series of horizontal precast concrete panels that are 8 ft (2.4 m) high with a 100 × 200 ft (30 × 61 m) footprint. Trapezoids and parallelograms are the two repetitive shapes that make up the individual precast concrete panels on the building elevations.

On the northern façade, the U.S. Freedom Pavilion has a 100 ft (30 m) tall curtain wall facing the museum’s parade ground. To enhance the visitor experience, the U.S. Freedom Pavilion features a wall of windows spanning the center of the space through which visitors can view several iconic aircraft hung from long-span trusses inside the museum. It also has elevated bridges for closer viewing of the aircraft and dramatic LED screens for viewing historical film footage.
There are no 90-degree angles in the precast concrete panels. Horizontal joints align but are tapered, and all vertical joints are offset. Precast concrete’s ability to be formed in different shapes, angles, and sizes made it the perfect choice for this museum.

PHOTO CREDITS

 

PROJECT CREDITS

Owner: The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, La.
Architect: Voorsanger Mathes LLC, New Orleans, La. 
Precaster and Precast Concrete Specialty Engineer: Gate Precast Co., Monroeville, Ala.
Engineer of Record: Weidlinger Associates Inc., New York, N.Y. 
Contractor: Woodward Design+Build, New Orleans, La. 
Project cost: $21 million
Project size: 36,000 ft2 (3300 m2)

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Religious Structure
Brigham City Utah Temple in Brigham City, Utah

The Brigham City Utah Temple is a sacred landmark to the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Designers of the new temple captured that religious significance with a precast concrete design that features a pristine white facade, intricate detailing, and two soaring spires that can be seen from across the valley.

The temple consists of 230 precast concrete panels cast using one concrete mixture with two finishes. A key feature of the mixture proportions was the use of high-quality white dolomite aggregate that imparted the brilliant white finish that sparkles in natural light. Medium sandblast was the predominant finish, with heavier sandblasting at the base.

The two spires were created by plant-assembling four large wedge-shaped precast concrete elements and then adding a massive obelisk-shaped cap piece to complete the assembly.

Decorative precast concrete site work encompassed 100 additional panels, including large wall panels, spandrel elements integrated with the window system, ornate column covers, and a screen wall enclosure at the roof levels. Many of the panels feature a delicate peach blossom motif that was achieved through a combination of advanced machining and hand craftsmanship to create the initial mold. Urethane was poured into the mold to create multiple negatives that were then used during the precast concrete panel fabrication process.

Along with delivering the aesthetic detail sought by the owner, the use of precast concrete accelerated construction and minimized disruption in the neighborhood. Panels were fabricated and stored offsite until the day they were needed, which minimized effects on the congested jobsite. Cladding was completed in just one month, which enabled interior finishes to commence earlier than expected.

PHOTO CREDITS

PROJECT CREDITS

Owner: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah
Architect: FFKR Architects, Salt Lake City, Utah
Precaster and Precast Concrete Specialty Engineer: Clark Pacific, West Sacramento, Calif.
Engineer of Record: ARW Engineers, Ogden, Utah
Contractor: Big D Construction Corp., Salt Lake City, Utah
Total Square Footage: 35,600 ft2 (3310 m2)

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Single Family Award
eNJoy House in Washington, D.C.

In 2011, a team of architecture and engineering students from the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and Rutgers University entered the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon with a precast concrete single-family home. It was the first time a precast concrete house was part of the competition.

To meet the criteria of the decathlon, the team had to build a house that was solar powered and no more than 1000 ft2 (93 m2). It would also be judged in 10 objective and subjective categories, including engineering, affordability, comfort, market appeal, and energy balance.

The team came up with a design that features 27 reinforced concrete panels for the roof, wall, and floor assemblies composed of one layer of expanded polystyrene foam sandwiched between two layers of concrete. The house's concrete panels are all-in-one modular units, which eliminated the need for additional trades on the building site.

The house is divided into three main segments that could be quickly placed and bolted together, which accommodated the need for fast assembly on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., as part of the competition. The precast concrete roof is a bowl shape calibrated for optimal solar and rain collection. The roof cantilevers over the north facade almost 10 ft (3 m), which provides a sense of lightness, as though the roof is floating above the clerestory windows below.

The entry didn’t win, but it drew a lot of attention and delivered valuable lessons to the students and the architecture community about the benefits that precast concrete brings to sustainability. 

PHOTO CREDITS

 

PROJECT CREDITS

Owner and Architect: New Jersey Institute of Technology College of Architecture and Design, Newark, N.J.
Precaster: Northeast Precast, Millville, N.J.
Engineer of Record: ARUP New York, N.Y.
Contractor: Skanska USA Building Inc., Parsippany, N.J.
Project Cost: $450,000
Project Size: 1000 ft2 (93 m2)

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Custom Solutions Award
VA Medical Center Chapel in Orlando, Fla.

The new VA Medical Chapel in Orlando, Fla., is a quiet space dedicated to healing and honoring wounded veterans, but the design is far from subdued.

The interior of the chapel stretches two stories high and draws light both from above and the east through a precast concrete wall perforated with irregularly shaped window blockouts and recesses. The oddly shaped window panels create a fun facade that invites people to come inside.

The precast concrete system uses a closed-foam insulation behind some areas and an integrated insulation on the exposed interior elements, which increased the energy retention within the building. In addition, the backs of the panels are exposed inside the chapel and feature a surface finish nearly identical to the face of the panel.

Initial testing of mock-up panels revealed that the timing of the removal of the backside recess blockouts was critical. The concrete mixture had to be sufficiently set that the recess sides would not collapse yet the concrete could still be workable enough to steel trowel. The recesses were so large that they trapped significant amounts of air, resulting in voids that could not be steel troweled out.

To remedy these issues, the recesses were blocked out to a depth substantially deeper than their finished dimension, then placed separately the next day. This not only eliminated the trapped air voids and provided a workable surface for steel troweling inside the recess, it allowed more time to be dedicated to the nonrecessed surface to provide the necessary smooth troweled finish.

PHOTO CREDITS

PROJECT CREDITS

Owner: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Orlando, Fla.
Architect: RLF Architects, Orlando, Fla.
Precaster and Precast Concrete Specialty Engineer: Gate Precast Co., Kissimmee, Fla.
Engineer of Record: Allan and Conrad Inc., Winter Park, Fla. 
Contractor: Turner Construction, Orlando, Fla.

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Higher Education/University
Henry W. Bloch Executive Hall for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Kansas City, Mo.

Designers of the Henry W. Bloch Executive Hall for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Missouri in Kansas City were struggling to find a cost-effective way to create a masonry-style design that fit their budget. Precast concrete panels provided the perfect solution.

Initially, cladding was envisioned as a conventional rain screen system with a steel frame and air barrier; however, a cost analysis by the general contractor concluded that traditional rain screen would cost 25% more than a precast concrete design.

To achieve the desired masonry-style facade, the precast concrete producer, Enterprise Precast Concrete, clad a five-color random blend of terra cotta tiles into 19,200 ft2 (1780 m2) of large, insulated composite precast concrete sandwich panels. The production team followed precise color-coded instructions in the production facility to carefully place each individual piece of tile to create the unique colorful pattern. An overlapping ship lap joint in the terra cotta tile created shadow transitions, similar to a conventional rain screen.

In addition to significant cost savings, the precast concrete panels offered thermal performance, high-performance integrated design, and LEED energy points, meeting the overall goals of sustainability and making it an ideal choice for this project.

PHOTO CREDITS

Jacia Phillips

PROJECT CREDITS

Owner: The University of Missouri in Kansas City (UMKC), Kansas City, Mo.
Architect: BNIM/Moore Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners
Precaster and Precast Concrete Specialty Engineer: Enterprise Properties, Omaha, Neb.
Engineer of Record: Structural Engineering Associates, Kansas City, Mo.
Contractor: JE Dunn Construction, Kansas City, Mo.
Project Cost: $21,800,000
Project Size: 68,000 ft2 (6300 m2)

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Bridges with Main Span from 76 to 149 Feet (23 to 45 m) Award
Bronco Arch Bridge in Denver, Colo.

The IH25 Bridge over the Platte River is a Denver, Colo., landmark structure, carrying more than 200,000 vehicles across its span every day. The bridge consisted of steel arches supporting the superstructure and was dubbed the Bronco Arch Bridge by local residents due to its proximity to Mile High Stadium. Like many bridges in the United States, this 60-year-old structure was seriously deteriorated from overuse, which caused it to receive one of the lowest sufficiency ratings in Colorado.

In response, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) prepared a new design, which was bid in 2011. The contractor, Lawrence Construction Co., retained Summit Engineering to prepare a Value Engineering Redesign as part of an accelerated bridge construction initiative. With the cooperation of CDOT, Lawrence and Summit prepared a new design with extensive use of precast concrete to enhance the structure while reducing erection time, shortening the overall schedule and lessening the effect on existing traffic, the hallmarks of accelerated bridge construction.

The new structure was built on the same location as the original bridge but is shorter and has a wider deck to increase traffic capacity and accommodate four through lanes of traffic in both directions. The new structural scheme features a rigid frame consisting of a precast concrete superstructure and substructure with integral connections on flexible foundations. At either end of the bridge, the substructure featured fully precast concrete piers founded on drilled shafts and abutments that were constructed under the existing bridge prior to demolition. The superstructure consists of a precast, posttensioned concrete deck slab supported on eight continuous spliced precast concrete girder lines. The rigid frame design enhanced the structural efficiency and stiffness of the system, which allowed for greater optimization of the precast, prestressed concrete elements. The extensive use of precast concrete elements greatly reduced the construction time and minimized the number of construction phases. Thanks to the extensive use of precast concrete in this project, a vital urban structure was rebuilt within budget and schedule with minimal inconvenience to the citizens of Colorado.

PHOTO CREDITS

 

PROJECT CREDITS

Owner: Colorado Department of Transportation, Denver, Colo.
Engineer of Record: Summit Engineering Group Inc., Littleton, Colo.
Precaster: Plum Creek Structures, Littleton, Colo.
Precast Concrete Specialty Engineer: Summit Engineering Group Inc., Littleton, Colo.
Contractor: Lawrence Construction Co., Littleton, Colo.
Project cost: $14.2 million
Bridge length: 371 ft (113 m)

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Bridges with Main Span More Than 150 Feet (46 m) Award
Garden State Parkway Bridge over the Mullica River in Bass River Township, N.J.

The Garden State Parkway Bridge over the Mullica River in New Jersey features 1230 ft (375 m) precast concrete girders, which are among the longest continuously posttensioned girders used anywhere in the United States. It’s one of the many unique qualities that precast concrete brought to this project.

The use of precast concrete sections and posttensioning allowed the engineers to maximize the span lengths to a full 220 ft (67 m) while reducing the footprint within the waterway. The six-span bridge has seven prestressed concrete spliced girders sitting on pier caps. Each pier cap is supported by three 8 ft (2.4 m) diameter drill shafts that extend over 150 ft (46 m) below the mud line, with abutments constructed on prestressed concrete piles protected with articulated concrete block mattresses, which also provide inspection access.
This design choice minimized the number of piers in the water, which reduced the impact on the river ecosystem and enabled all in-river work to be completed within a tight six-month construction window.

The engineers also estimate that the precast concrete design cost $5.1 million less than a comparable steel option. Most important, it resulted in a high-performance structure. This was proved when Hurricane Sandy devastated the region just one year after the bridge project was complete. The storm destroyed many structures, but all of the precast concrete elements in the Garden State Parkway Bridge survived unharmed, demonstrating the durability and superior performance of precast concrete for bridge construction.

PHOTO CREDITS

 

PROJECT CREDITS

Owner: New Jersey Turnpike Authority, Woodbridge, N.J.
Engineer of Record: PB, Lawrenceville, N.J.
Precaster: Precast Systems, Allentown, N.J. 
Precast Concrete Specialty Engineer: Freyssinet, Sterling, Va. 
Contractor: Agate Construction Co., Ocean View, N.J.

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