The Creative Use of Precast Awards (CUP) recognize projects that promote the innovative and cost-saving advantages of precast concrete over other materials.
ABOVE GROUND FIRST PLACE
Port of Oswego Floating Docks
Location: Oswego, N.Y.
The words “floating” and “precast” are not typically used synonymously, but that was exactly the task Jefferson Concrete Corp. faced when the Port of Oswego Authority in New York decided to build a 630-foot dock for Lake Ontario.
The harbor faces the winds and fury of storms that push across the lake unabated for 193 miles. The Port Authority wanted a solid docking system that could not only provide a stable platform for boaters, but serve as a breakwater for the inner harbor.
The Port Authority looked at many options before settling on Marinetek, a Finland-based company that specializes in precast solutions for docking needs, but the company did not have a plant close enough to the harbor to efficiently serve the project. After a careful search, Marinetek chose Jefferson Concrete because it had the expertise to cast the project to its exacting specifications.
The size and extremely tight tolerances made it crucial to execute each step of the process with absolute precision. Eight of the pieces were 65 ½ ft. long, 11 ft. 9 in. wide and 4 ft. 3 in. tall, weighing in at 103,588 lbs. The two remaining pieces were 52 ½ ft. long, 11 ft. 9 in. wide and 4 ft. 3 in. tall, weighing 81,548 lbs. each.
To cast the pieces, Marinetek shipped a mold from Florida, and throughout the casting process an expert from Marinetek monitored each step meticulously. A deviation of even a ¼ in. on the large Styrofoam flotation voids would cause the dock to list in the water and be unstable.
In order to bear the Marinetek name, Jefferson Concrete needed to provide an exact finish that would be consistent with other Marinetek products worldwide. The Styrofoam floats underneath were coated to keep out marine organisms and every piece of metal used was galvanized to inhibit corrosion.
Handling each piece required devising a cabling system that could lift the massive pieces at no more than 3 degrees from vertical, with only two acceptable blocking areas for storage and shipping.
Despite all the challenges, the dock pieces performed exactly as desired once in place on the lake, with each floating above the minimum 21 in. of clearance required and perfectly level. The result is a beautiful, low-maintenance surface that is so stable it does not even appear to be floating.
Jefferson Concrete Corp.
22850 Murrock Circle
Watertown, NY 13601
ABOVE GROUND SECOND PLACE
Virginia Tech Hahn Hurst Basketball Facility
Location: Blacksburg, Va.
Virginia Tech University officials knew one thing for sure when they decided to build a new practice facility for their basketball teams: They wanted it to stand out as one of the best practice facilities in the country.
To achieve that lofty goal, the university’s project manager specified a top-of-the-line interior, but also turned to Cannon Design to create an exterior that blended with existing buildings on campus but also created a “wow” factor.
Architect Tae Jung created a design that included incorporating “Hokey Stone,” a natural stone facade that can be found on buildings throughout the campus, with precast concrete panels that matched the stone. To make the building truly unique, Jung developed a series of shapes and figures that were to be cast directly into the panels to give it a signature look. The design called for Virginia Tech logos, basketballs, the school crest and shapes that resemble the keys of a piano to be cast directly into the panels.
Smith-Midland Corp. hand-built the custom wooden forms that would give the panels the desired look. The forms were created in a couple of weeks, and a mock-up was provided for the school to review. Over the next eight weeks, the plant painstakingly cast each of the panels, ensuring the finish was of the highest quality and 100% consistent, and that each cast shape was crisp. When the project was completed, it exceeded expectations. “We had a really good reaction,” Jung said.
5119 Catlett Road
P.O. Box 300
Midland, VA 22728
ABOVE GROUND THIRD PLACE
The Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest Brig
Location: San Diego, Calif.
In 2010, the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest set out to add 100,000 sq. ft. to it’s 200,000 sq. ft. prison facility. The No. 1 priority was to significantly decrease construction time while increasing the quality control, maintaining structural integrity and aesthetic appearance, as well as provide a more durable and low-maintenance facility.
The request was a tall order, but entirely possible to achieve with precast concrete. The housing facility, which was specially designed as a total precast concrete building, added 120 beds for men, a separate 80-bed unit for women, a new galley, two mess decks to feed 200 prisoners, two medical examination rooms and additional offices for correctional staff.
Among the pieces cast for the project by Oldcastle Precast Modular were 200 five-sided precast concrete cells, monolithic balconies and 49 wall panels to create the parapets to support the roof structure, which wrapped the perimeter of the secured building envelope.
The cell modules and other precast building components were produced in highly innovative precision forms, using 5,000 psi concrete and steel reinforcing. They were then shipped to the site fully fitted with pre-installed furniture, plumbing, lighting fixtures, special anti-graffiti epoxy interior wall paint and exterior side wall insulation. This allowed the project to finish one week ahead of schedule despite the short timeline.
The project was designed to achieve LEED Silver certification and to meet the military’s Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection standards. The state-of-the-art facility incorporates precast cells that contain recycled content and regionally harvested materials, and a parking lot made from recycled asphalt and concrete.
The precast-based process reduced labor costs, on-site construction costs, and erection and finish work time by at least one-third. It also overcame shortages of construction workers and provided the Navy with a durable, low-maintenance and highly secure facility.
Oldcastle Precast Modular
200 Keystone Drive
Telford, PA 18969
UNDERGROUND FIRST PLACE
Location: Eagle, Colo.
The goal of underground-tank precasters has always been to create a 100% watertight structure, but Front Range Precast turned that concept on its head when it created an innovative new product for fire departments in its region.
In urban settings, firefighters are able to simply hook up to a hydrant that draws from a municipal water supply. But the task of fighting a blaze in a rural setting makes the task much more difficult. With no access to municipal water, trucks must make costly trips to and from the nearest water supply, and the results can be devastating.
To combat this common problem, the precaster developed a precast concrete tank thatdid the exact opposite of most tanks. Cast with 100 uniform, tapered holes distributed evenly around the 2,800-gallon tank, the new structure allows ingress of water from a natural source such as a creek or river. The tank can be poured and stripped, and the perforations cleared in just two days.
A tank was installed in rural Eagle, Colo., outfitted with a dry hydrant and set next to the water source so that the groundwater flows over, and surrounds, the tank. The excavation was lined with a filter fabric and backfilled with large, clean rock aggregate that acts as an additional filter. The installation also has manhole access to the tank, as well as an air vent with an insect screen.
After installation, it was time for testing. With their hoses connected to the tank, the firefighters began pumping with 500-gallon and 1,000-gallon nozzles. The water level did not drop in the tank. The combination of automatic recharge and storage make the tank perfect for fighting fires such as the devastating Four Mile Canyon fire that occurred early in 2010 in Boulder, Colo.
Front Range Precast
5439 North Foothills Highway
Boulder, CO 80302
UNDERGROUND SECOND PLACE
Rancho Cucamonga Pedestrian Undercrossing
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
When the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) decided to add a second rail line to the Southern California Regional Rail Authority’s Rancho Cucamonga Station, it provided a much-needed boost to daily travelers and helped greatly increase productivity and revenue.
However, it also created a major challenge that required an innovative solution as passengers were forced to cross the unguarded railroad tracks by foot. In order to ensure the safe flow of pedestrians using the station, it was determined that an underground passageway was needed.
Given the extensive daily rail traffic, the line could be shut down for no more than 48 hours, making time of the essence. In addition, the tunnel needed to structurally withstand the forces of one of the busiest rail lines in California; meet aesthetic requirements on the interior; and meet stringent, multilayer inspections on a tight budget.
Only one material could meet all the requirements, so SANBAG chose precast construction and commissioned StructureCast due to its proven track record. A box culvert cast into 16 sections was produced, including skylights with cast-in block, approach slab lintels and platform units. The segments, weighing 58 tons each, needed to be cured, pre-fit, delivered and ready for installation at 7 a.m. on the first day of construction in order to conclude installation by midnight – a total of 17 hours for installation of the precast segments.
All sections were inspected and loaded onto trucks the day prior to delivery. The delivery was staggered with the first piece arriving on site at 7 a.m. and subsequent pieces arriving throughout the day. Installation started on time and the last piece was set just after 11 p.m. The city, SANBAG, and even the rail line were all pleased with the results. The use of a precast concrete design and the “just in time” delivery system allowed this project to be an overwhelming success.
8261 McCutchen Road
Bakersfield, CA 93811
UNDERGROUND THIRD PLACE
Canadian National Intermodal Yard
Location: Chicago, Ill.
The underground stormwater management market has become a competitive battleground for plastic, steel and precast concrete products. Each system claims a variety of benefits, but for years StormTrap has been seen as a leading brand.
Utility Concrete Products was the first company to install a StormTrap system, and has now been chosen to install the first StormTrap II product. The newly designed product offers additional benefits that ensure precast remains the best option for specifiers.
For Canadian National’s new intermodal automated gate system in Chicago, the system offered a 20% savings versus a cast-in-place option, and was chosen over steel or plastic. Despite the installation crew being new to the system, the StormTrap II system was installed in just one day, instead of several weeks for a cast-in-place system.
There was also no time needed for curing or coverage to final grade. Once installed, the surface was immediately ready for construction traffic loads. The system installed is able to store 35,847 ft.3 of stormwater and is comprised of 78 total pieces. Each piece is 5 ft. 2 in. tall and pieces were cast in three lengths.
Another advantage is easy access to the system after installation due to the clear spans and open galleries the system allows. Throughout the life of a stormwater detention system, debris and other settlement from stormwater collects in the storage systems. The arch, matrix boxes and corrugated pipe configurations of other materials make it difficult, if not impossible, to clean.
Utility Concrete Products, LLC
2495 West Bungalow Road
Morris, IL 60450
ABOVE GROUND HONORABLE MENTION
Coyote Ridge Correctional Center
Location: Connell, Wash.
Oldcastle Precast Modular
200 Keystone Drive – Telford, PA 18969
(215) 257-2255 – www.oldcastleprecast.com
Andrew S. Rosell Memorial Fire Bowl
Location: Diamond Lake, Wash.
2215 East Brooklyn – Spokane, WA 99217
(509) 325-4573 – www.wilbertprecast.com
Malibu Legacy Park
Location: Malibu, Calif.
Universal Precast Concrete, Inc.
P.O. Box 641296 – San Jose, CA 95164
(408) 799-8888 – www.universalprecast.com
North Main Corona Metrolink Parking Structure
Location: Corona, Calif.
8261 McCutchen Road – Bakersfield, CA 93311
(661) 883-4490 – www.structurecast.com
UNDERGROUND HONORABLE MENTION
City of Gonzales Pump Station #19
Location: Gonzales, La.
Gainey’s Concrete Products, Inc.
28021 Coker-Vail Road – Holden, LA 70744
(225) 567-2700 – www.gaineysconcrete.com
Verona Avenue Reconstruction
Location: Elizabeth, N.J.
Garden State Precast –
P.O. Box 702 – Farmingdale, NJ 07727
(732) 938-4436 – www.gardenstateprecast.com