The National Precast Concrete Association’s Creative Use of Precast (CUP) 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 2015 in Orlando. For complete descriptions of this year’s winning projects, please visit precast.org/cup2015.
Universal Precast Concrete Inc.
Project: Baseball Glove
Location: Maidu Regional Park, Roseville, Calif.
Take me out to the playground
From the sound of a bat crushing a fastball to the sight of a star player racing toward home, there’s nothing quite like an experience at the ballpark. Thanks to some well-coordinated planning and a little ingenuity, a larger-than-life precast concrete baseball glove is bringing that experience out of the stadium and onto the playground.
To create the unique, 8,500-pound piece, Universal Precast Concrete manufactured a complex mold complete with the intricate stitching patterns typically found on a baseball and baseball glove. The complex curvature of the pieces meant the mold had to be fabricated with precise detail at all angles. Created in two parts, the ball and glove were cast with insets, allowing them to attach seamlessly. After casting, workers grinded the glove to hide the seams made by the mold, then stained and painted the piece. The baseball glove doubles as a playground climber and centerpiece for a California park, where it inspires the imagination of the children who play with it each day.
Project: Stress Ribbon Bridge
Location: Santa Cruz, Calif.
A ribbon runs through it
More than just a precast concrete bike path, the Broadway-Brommer Multiuse Project maximizes opportunities to educate, inform and inspire users of the Santa Cruz Arana Gulch and its resources. A key component of this pedestrian corridor that runs through an environmentally sensitive area is a 340-foot stress ribbon bridge.
With a goal of causing no environmental harm to the upland vegetation, StructureCast provided a no-impact solution. The company cast 32 precast concrete panels to compose the decking of the pedestrian bridge. After cable ribbons were strung across the gulch and attached to abutments on each side, installers placed each panel on the cable ribbon and slid them across the gulch one panel at a time.
Using this innovative technique and precast concrete decking, installation of the panels took just five days to complete, far less than the two to three months needed to erect a steel or cast-in-place structure. Using a precast design wasn’t just the best low-impact environmental solution; the deck panels are engineered to withstand 100-year storm flow events, providing an optimal resilient solution as well.
Hy-Grade Precast Concrete
Project: Custom Precast Concrete Washroom
Location: St. Catharines, Ontario
Form meets function in park utility building
What happens when a block-and-wood washroom in a public park looks woefully outdated next to the modern additions around it, including a new $20 million aquatic center? It’s replaced by a durable, visually-appealing custom precast concrete washroom.
Situated in the heart of St. Catharines, Ontario, Lester B. Pearson Park is a community focal point. With a revitalization project breathing new life into the 27-acre park, visitor numbers spiked. As a result, the local recreation cepartment wanted to continue rehabilitation by replacing a dated restroom facility with a new, modern structure. Looking to neighboring communities, city officials noticed several municipalities had replaced old block-and-wood washrooms with precast buildings, so the city approached Hy-Grade Precast Concrete requesting a signature design.
Hy-Grade’s team worked with the city on several concepts, landing on a challenging but dynamic design that included an unconventional footprint with a pitched roof featuring compound joints. Using 3-D modeling, the precaster ensured the compound angles at the roof joints would precisely match. Hy-Grade also worked closely with the plumber and electrician to preform openings and penetrations for the fixtures, eliminating the need to core drill holes on site.
Each panel has four different finishes and includes fine details around openings. After curing, all panels received a stain finish to match the city’s desired color scheme. Hy-Grade also designed and supplied custom columns and a steel structure to support the large roof overhang. Installers completed assembly of the seven exterior wall panels, eight interior partitions and four roof slabs in just five days. Hy-Grade’s innovative design and precision production emphasize the amazing versatility of precast concrete in a building that will serve the community for many years.
Bethlehem Precast Inc.
Project: Vertical Circulation
Location: Babylon, N.Y.
Leesburg Concrete Co. Inc.
Project: Boat Ramp Restroom
Location: Astatula, Fla.
Olympian Precast Inc.
Project: University Village South Building
Location: Seattle, Wash.
Universal Precast Concrete Inc.
Location: Storybook Woods Park, Elk Grove, Calif.
Sherman-Dixie Concrete Industries
Project: Brooks Run Modular Arch Span
Location: Highway 61, Bullitt County, Ky.
When a road widening project called for a new bridge to be built in Kentucky, precast concrete’s structural and cost benefits offered the most viable solution. Due to Federal Emergency Management Agency flood map restrictions, the bridge required a complicated “no rise” hydraulic design. Additionally, the design called for 23 feet of backfill from the top of the arch to the top of the road, a significant dead load for a 46-foot span. Sherman-Dixie provided the solution with its ECO-SPAN Versa Series Multiple Radius Arch.
The modular precast components worked well with the phased construction plan, which minimized traffic impact and eliminated costly and inconvenient detours. The existing bridge remained in service during the first phase while more than half of the new bridge was constructed. During the second phase, the work crew installed 24 of the 36 precast arch sections and traffic was shifted to the new bridge. The old bridge was then demolished and replaced by the remaining 12 arch sections. Some of the project’s many improvements include a wider road, a clear span opening that will minimize future maintenance and a higher roadway elevation. Overall, this precast solution demonstrates the enormous benefits of precast to all departments of transportation involved in accelerated bridge construction.
Project: Trash Trapper
Location: Los Angeles County, Calif.
Cleaning up a polluted waterway
Surrounded by refineries and busy streets, Harbor City’s Machado Lake in Los Angeles appears from a distance to be an unexpected metropolitan oasis. But get a little closer and the trash is hard to miss. To clean the polluted water bodies, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works researched possibilities and settled on a precast concrete design to enhance the lake, dispose of contaminated sediments and protect wildlife.
The city selected StructureCast to manufacture a precast concrete trash-trapping net and bypass structure system across the flood control area. The Wilmington Drain Project called for 11 trash trap chambers designed by general contractor Fresh Creek Technologies, each about 15 feet tall by 7 feet wide by 8 feet deep. In addition, the project called for one 12-foot-wide bypass structure and one 8-foot-wide bypass structure.
While StructureCast worked for almost four years with Fresh Creek Technologies to design and engineer the project, when it was time to cast the structures, time was of the essence. Delivery took place within 40 days of approved shop drawings and installation took just five days. It is estimated that it would have taken more than twice as long to cast the structures in place. The end result was a happy customer, repeat business and a clean water solution for Los Angeles.
Cape Fear Precast LLC
Project: Aircraft-Rated Precast Infrastructure
Location: Marine Corps Air Station, Jacksonville, N.C.
Precast with military precision
The P-705 Project was a partnership between Cape Fear Precast and a local contractor to expand the maintenance facility for the MV-22 Osprey aircraft. Cape Fear supplied dozens of aircraft-rated drop inlets, underground rainwater harvesting vaults, utility vaults, pump stations and sewer manholes for the expansion. By completion date, the precaster made 100 deliveries to the project.
According to Cape Fear, manufacturing the aircraft-rated, heavily reinforced box culvert was not complicated. Additionally, precast concrete was the obvious choice for the project, as the contractor saw no way that casting the structure on site could meet the aggressive timeline.
For Cape Fear, it was a matter of ramping up and pouring. The company started with all-new panel forms and poured six units a day. Time constraints prevented pre-fabricated wire mesh from being an option, but Cape Fear worked with its suppliers to develop new procedures for cage forming that enabled the individual mats to be preassembled and tied before the inner cores were set up.
Thanks to the use of precast, Cape Fear was able to successfully meet the project deadline. Overall, the company manufactured 150 units in just 25 days.
Atlantic Precast Concrete Inc.
Project: Princeton University Box Culvert
Location: U.S. Route 1, Princeton University Campus, N.J.
Project: Massive Stormwater Tunnel Cover
Location: Charleston, S.C.
Piranha Pipe & Precast
Project: Park Diversion Structure
Location: Sacramento, Calif.