underground

Creative Use of Precast Awards

The National Precast Concrete Association’s Creative Use of Precast Awards competition recognizes innovative applications of precast concrete in two categories: Above-Ground and Underground. An independent panel of industry experts served as judges, and awards were presented during The Precast Show 2013 in Indianapolis. For complete descriptions of this year’s winning projects, please visit precast.org/awards.

Above-Ground Category

Universal Precast Stagecoach ClimberFirst Place

Universal Precast Concrete, Inc.
Project: Stagecoach Climber
Location: Yucca Valley, Calif.

The challenge was to produce a realistic, fun-for-kids playground piece while staying within budget constraints, and Universal Precast Concrete met the challenge with a 13-piece, exquisitely detailed precast concrete stagecoach. The realism attained through the intricate design and painting of each piece adds to the authenticity of the replica, which serves as a focal point for the park and an indestructible climbing piece for kids.

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INDOT U.S. 31 Project: Snaking Through the ‘High’ Country

US 31 Project IMGP0296INDOT’s U.S. 31 Keystone Avenue Project cuts through expensive real estate. With precast concrete designs, contractors are able to meet deadlines, create the community’s required aesthetics and build within a narrow corridor that minimizes right-of-way costs.

By Sue McCraven, Photos by NPCA

Carmel, north of Indianapolis, is an appealing and rapidly growing city. In the Arts & Design District, quirky life-sized statues beguile visitors, and upscale restaurants and shops are inviting. Pricey homes abound and the meandering commercial streets are graced with professional landscaping. Land here runs about $1 million/acre. Racing through the heart of Carmel and Westfield, the ever-busy Meridian Street (U.S. 31) is the major north-south artery for local businesses, shopping malls and residential areas. Commercial and municipal priorities demand continuous traffic access. Consequently, construction on this $35-million, 1-mile segment of U.S. 31 is hands-down a “high-visibility” project. From the trenches, project contractors and precast producers tell the story. Read More »

Meet a Precaster-Gainey’s Concrete Products

Aug 16, 2011
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This month we are pleased to feature Gainey’s Concrete Products as part of our Meet a Precaster blog series. The following answers have been provided by Gainey’s Concrete Products president, Greg Roache.


Q: Where are you located?
A: Holden, La., about 30 minutes East of Baton Rouge, La.

Q: How long have you been in business?
A: Celebrating our 30 year anniversary!

Q: How long have you been a member of NPCA?
A: Since we have been in business.

Q: Why did you join NPCA and what are the best benefits?
A: We joined and continue to be with NPCA to gain industry knowledge, connect with other precasters, and to stay current with equipment and technology.

Q: What products do you produce?
A: A full range of underground civil engineering products for transportation, water, stormwater, and sewer. Our extended aeration sewer treatment system is a top-of-the-line community sewerage system for housing developments from as small as 5 homes to as large as 500 (up to 200,000GPD). This system can also be used for commercial or institutional facilities of practically any size.

Q: Have you introduced any new products lately?
A: Precast ballasts, storm shelters, our line of HEAVY precast custom structures and a proprietary precast lining system for industrial and wastewater applications.

Q: What are the top attributes of precast concrete?
A: Quality, speed of installation, and flexibility. In other words: better, cheaper, faster!

Q: What has your company done to fight off the recession?
A: Market, market, market! (Have you seen our solid pink sales force?)

Q: What have you seen in your area as far as recovery?
A: We are fortunate to be in an area that has been spared the severe recession others have seen. The short term outlook is positive.

Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: To continue our growth strategy here in Southeast Louisiana through innovation, diversification, and operational excellence.

Please check out our past Meet a Precaster blog posts and if you’re an NPCA producer member and would like to be featured in a future Meet a Precaster post, please send an email to NPCA’s assistant director of communication, Kirk Stelsel.

2010 Underground CUP Awards Winners

Jan 30, 2011
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The National Precast Concrete Association’s 2010 Creative Use of Precast (CUP) Awards were given to recipients during The Precast Show 2011, held in Charlotte, NC  Jan. 27-29.

Underground-First Place

Front Range Precast received the first place award in the underground category for its work on a product that revolutionizes the way firefighters can battle rural blazes.

Typically, the goal of underground tank producers is to create watertight structures, but Front Range Precast turned that concept on its head with its Fire Foe product. Cast with holes distributed evenly around a 2,800-gallon tank, the Fire Foe allows water from a natural source such as a creek or river to naturally fill it. The excavation is lined with filter fabric and back filled in with large clean rock aggregate that acts as an additional filter against sand and dirt. Read More »

Safety First: Wieser Concrete Celebrates Safety Milestones

Oct 22, 2010
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Wieser Concrete, a member with four NPCA Certified Plants throughout Wisconsin, is celebrating safety in its latest newsletter. Its plant in Fond du Lac, Wis., which produces a wide variety of precast concrete products including septic tanks, bunker silo walls, a variety of other underground products recently celebrated four years of no loss-time injuries. Its plant in Maiden Rock, Wis. also celebrated one year with no loss-time injuries and is on its way to reaching the same milestone as the Fond du Lac plant.

In addition, Wieser produced a wastewater treatment system for Flying Horse Farms, a camp for children with serious illnesses founded by Paul Newman in 1988. The project included a 5,000 gallon trash tank; 20,000 gallon equalization tank; 12,000 gallon main treatment tank; 9,000 gallon bio ready tank; 20,000 gallon dosing tank; and 2,400 gallon bio ready tank. All this can be found in Wieser’s latest newsletter on its website at: http://www.wieserconcrete.com/connections.php

If your plant has news to share and you’d like to see it appear on the NPCA blog or on our Twitter or Facebook accounts, make sure to send your information our way.

Durability in the Precast Product

Durable precast concrete: the long-term solution for above-ground and below-ground application.

By Gary K. Munkelt, P.E.

Durability is an important concept to consider when it comes to specifying requirements for precast concrete products. Products used above or below ground may be exposed to harsh environmental conditions. Without durability, the concrete product may deteriorate at a rate much faster than the anticipated life span of 50 to 100 years.

Technology in concrete mix design has advanced rapidly for several decades. The need for higher strengths in high-rise buildings has been one motivation. Another driving force is the demand of the precast concrete industry for a mix providing durable concrete that will cure faster and provide high-early compressive strengths. Chemicals added to the “old-fashioned cement, sand, stone and water concrete” provide the industry with a low water/cement (w/c) ratio concrete having acceptable flow characteristics. Low w/c ratios in concrete lead to low permeability. Read More »

Tech Brief: Understanding Veneer and Precast Concrete

By Brian Miller

While precast concrete plays an important traditional role in both underground and above ground construction, it has many more creative uses than most design professionals and specifiers may expect.

In the 1960s, engineers and architects began combining precast concrete with traditional cladding materials. By marrying these two product lines, they were able to speed up construction and reduce weather-related delays and concerns. Buildings could be enclosed more quickly with a greater overall cost savings. From this marriage of quality and convenience, veneered precast concrete was born. Read More »

On-Time Arrival

Precast builds underground support for New Indianapolis Airport.

By Greg Snapper

With more than 8 million passengers served each year, Indianapolis International Airport has grown to become one of the Midwest’s busiest. That growth – as well as increased projections for future air travel – has sparked the construction of a new $1 billion main passenger terminal building and support facilities – structures that will extensively benefit from the use of precast concrete products.

The New Indianapolis Airport will feature a modern glass-enclosed passenger terminal building located between the two existing main runways along with new highway access, new and improved parking and support facilities, and improved utilities and airside operations. Integral pieces of this mega-project include multimillion dollar features specifying precast concrete. Read More »

Precast Underground Supports New Indianapolis Airport

Jul 22, 2009
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Precast builds underground support for New Indianapolis Airport.

By Greg Snapper

With more than 8 million passengers served each year, Indianapolis International Airport has grown to become one of the Midwest’s busiest. That growth – as well as increased projections for future air travel – has sparked the construction of a new $1 billion main passenger terminal building and support facilities – structures that will extensively benefit from the use of precast concrete products. Read More »