Each year, the National Precast Concrete Association honors excellence in the precast concrete industry through awards competitions. The Creative Use of Precast (CUP) Awards competition recognizes innovative applications of precast concrete in two categories: above-ground and underground. The Sustainability Awards competition rewards NPCA members for their sustainable products, practices and operations, highlighting the precast concrete industry’s continuing commitment to sustainability. The 2016 CUP and Sustainability winners – recognized at The Precast Show 2016 in Nashville – are highlighted below.
Superior Concrete Products
Project: Cleburne Precast Ranch Home
Location: Cleburne, Texas
What’s the most effective way for a precaster to showcase the versatility of its products? That’s the question Todd Sternfeld, owner of Superior Concrete Products, faced when he decided to create a ranchette from two existing buildings on the property of his manufacturing facility in Cleburne, Texas. The results of his efforts are a 600-square-foot rustic home and 150-square-foot shed that serve as a one-of-a-kind showroom. And, because Superior Concrete is located in Texas, no ranchette would be complete without a horse corral – especially one completely enclosed with precast rail fencing.
The project showcases a major advantage of precast concrete and its ability to mimic the look of other materials while saving time, money and promising little or no maintenance. Using only in-house design, labor and materials, Sternfeld and his team completed the project in less than five months. This included a green approach of using 100% of the products from overruns and materials deemed “unusable” due to minor defects. Instead of parking these unwanted products in the boneyard, the team transformed them through a creative use of stains and paints.
While Superior Concrete is known primarily as a full-service precast concrete fencing manufacturer and contractor, the ranchette broadens that perception by a considerable margin. The house includes: faux brick precast fence panels, precast stucco fence panels for the home’s interior and precast stone columns as accents. Wood rail precast fencing is used for the horse corral and entrance, and precast rails are used for the patio and sidewalk. Precast fence panel caps are used in the parking lot to simulate railroad ties, and a privacy fence is made of precast cobblestone with a decorative concrete wood-grain lattice trim.
“My goal was to build a prototype ranch complex showcasing the creative and unique uses of our modular precast fence components,” Sternfeld said. “Our products can be used for so much more than fencing. The ranchette successfully demonstrates the cost-effectiveness and versatility of using precast concrete in the construction of small houses, buildings and other projects.”
Utility Concrete Products LLC
Project: Counterfort Retaining Wall System
Location: I-90 Corridor, Illinois State Tollway
Utility Concrete Products developed a new retaining wall system that uses clay available on site, avoiding the costs associated with special backfill. The new system was specified for a major interstate project on Interstate 90 in Illinois, where 160,000 square feet of precast concrete Counterfort Retaining Wall was installed.
Project: Black’s Beach Custom Restroom
Location: La Jolla, Calif.
In La Jolla, Calif., alumni from the University of California-San Diego sought to install a restroom and lifeguard storage facility on an environmentally sensitive site. StructureCast saved the day with a custom precast concrete solution that met the stringent requirements of the California Coastal Commission. The structure was designed with a color palette that helped the precast blend in with the surrounding area.
Colorado Precast Concrete Inc.
Project: The White House Restroom Facility
Location: Center, Colo.
Project: Armenian Genocide Memorial Monument
Location: Las Vegas, Nev.
Universal Precast Concrete Inc.
Project: Bootleg Canyon Animals
Location: Boulder City, Nev.
Lindsay Precast Inc.
Project: Holden Arboretum Deer Deterrent Vaults
Location: Kirtland, Ohio
To a deer, an arboretum filled with rare and woody plants likely looks like a giant, welcoming salad bar. The problem for the Holden Arboretum in Kirtland, Ohio, was how to keep the deer away from the salad and still provide access to the public. Lindsay Precast provided the answer.
The 230-acre core of the massive, 3,600-acre arboretum is protected by an 8-foot-high wire and wood post deer fence. The fence protected the perimeter, but the deer could easily enter via the road and help themselves to the diverse range of plants in the ecologically sensitive area.
The solution was a set of steel grates set atop a vault. Cars could pass over the grate, but the deer – peering into the vault below – would not take the risk. Lindsay Precast, along with its fabrication division, manufactured two custom precast vaults and steel grating 20 feet long by 34 feet wide. The width was needed due to the jumping ability of deer, which can make leaps of up to 30 feet.
Lindsay constructed the 34-foot-wide, 4-foot-deep vaults in two pieces. The vaults create the void under the grating needed to deter the deer, similar to a cattle guard, and also allow for stormwater draining. The four pieces were set in one day.
Production began in early June 2015 and consisted of one pour for the base and a secondary pour for the vault walls. Each vault took five days to complete, including panel setup and stripping. Mentioning the project in the Holden Arboretum Leaves Magazine, president and CEO Clement Hamilton said that the project marked a major improvement for the facility. The local deer population would probably disagree!
Kistner Concrete Products Inc.
Project: Jacobs School of Medicine Stormwater Detention System
Location: Buffalo, N.Y.
With limited space and difficult site conditions, manufacturing a stormwater detention system for a new medical school at the University of Buffalo was no easy task. But Kistner Concrete Products’ 50,000-gallon stormwater detention structure fit the bill, meeting the project’s high tolerances, tight schedule and vigilant quality control.
Gainey’s Concrete Products Inc.
Project: Mississippi River Breasting Dolphins
Location: Mississippi River Port
Gainey’s Concrete Products manufactured a series of custom breasting dolphins – man-made marine structures that enable the berthing of a ship – for a port on the Mississippi River. Despite the design changing multiple times throughout the project, the precast met the exacting needs of the project and was delivered on time.
FIRST PLACE PLANT
Shea Concrete Products
Recycling Process Water
Location: Nottingham, N.H.
Lowering water usage, reducing waste, preserving resources and saving time can greatly impact a precast concrete plant while also protecting the environment. The employees of Shea Concrete Products in Nottingham, N.H., have changed the way they clean their tools, bucket and mixer and how they dispose of waste. By creating a new way to recycle their process water, Shea has saved resources and improved the quality of its facility and environment.
Shea designed a triple-filtering system that uses readily available materials, is inexpensive, easy to maintain, takes up little space and has solved a problem faced by many precast concrete companies.
All the washout water from the plant is now contained in a single location, which allows it to be reused in the mix the next day. The filtering system saves Shea an estimated 12,500 gallons of water per year at the Nottingham facility. The old way of rinsing off equipment and losing the water to the ground, rinsing out the pouring bucket and mixer into a washout bucket, and dumping it into an outdoor pit was time-consuming and wasteful. The simple new process saves time and money and is sustainable and healthier for the environment.
FIRST PLACE PROJECT
Project: Stormwater Detention
Location: Bakersfield, Calif.
StructureCast contracted with StormTrap LLC on behalf of the Los Angeles World Airports to manufacture, deliver and install a sustainable, modular stormwater detention system for the West Aircraft Maintenance Area Project at Los Angeles International Airport. This cost-effective water treatment system was chosen for its modular design, quick installation and small footprint.
StructureCast manufactured a total of 121 StormTrap components over 6 1/2 weeks for the system, which is designed to address sediment, oil/water separation, filtration and/or infiltration. StormTrap’s Stormwater LID (low impact development) solution makes efficient use of land and offers solutions that collect stormwater on site for use in irrigation or greywater inside buildings. LID solutions also address infiltration and bioretention and mimic pre-development hydrology at project sites.
This unique design also assisted the project in obtaining LEED certification, qualifying for sustainable sites, water efficiency, and materials and resources LEED credits. The system offers a sustainable stormwater solution to control the volume and timing of potentially damaging runoff and minimizes pollution by filtering oils, hydrocarbons, heavy metals, debris and trash from the water before it is discharged back into the groundwater system or harvested for further use.
PRODUCER PLANT HONORABLE MENTION
Upcycling Beats Recycling
PRODUCER PROJECT HONORABLE MENTION
Lindsay Precast – Colorado Springs
Project: Clear Springs Ranch Fish Passage
FIRST PLACE PLANT
The Road to Sustainability
Location: Burlington, Ont.
Laurel Steel is no stranger to sustainable practices in the plant. The company has had a waste reduction policy since 1992 and is always looking for ways to divert waste from the landfill. Its culture of reduce/reuse has led to a waste diversion rate of 98%. The company recycles or reuses paper and cardboard products, cans and bottles, wood, electronics, batteries, fluorescent lamps, compost, metals, steel dust, scale, aerosol cans and gloves. When the program started, the company sent about 21 metric tons to the landfill. It has reduced that to three tons or less in recent years.
In addition, Laurel Steel has replaced metal halide lamps with fluorescent lamps, reducing electrical consumption by 50% and saving more than 1 million kilowatt hours per year. Propane lift trucks have been converted to compressed natural gas, reducing carbon emissions by up to 95% and carbon dioxide by up to 11%. Among its other efforts, the company recently planted 33 trees in a local park and plans to plant a new tree for each employee who retires. These actions have won Laurel Steel several environmental awards over the years. Now it can add another: the NPCA Sustainability Award!
FIRST PLACE PRODUCT
Product: Lean Reinforcement GRID
Location: Albstadt, Germany
The solidian GRID is a non-metallic concrete reinforcement that does not corrode and offers a variety of advantages related to its light weight and easier handling capabilities. The solidian GRID is an alkali-resistant mesh composed of glass or carbon fibers coated with epoxy resin or Styrene-Butadiene rubber. It comes in a variety of options for different applications, including a stiff carbon reinforcement (Figure A); a flexible reinforcement (Figure B); an L-shaped cross-section (Figure C); and a free-form pattern called “freedom” reinforcement (Figure D).
The solidian GRID requires less cover than other reinforcement, so structures can be slender and lighter in weight without sacrificing durability. The solidian GRID also reduces the overall weight of the concrete element because it weighs 30%-to-90% less than common reinforcement. Sustainable benefits include the overall reduction in raw materials through a leaner design, lower transportation costs and reduced cost of concrete.
ASSOCIATE PLANT HONORABLE MENTION
G & K Services Inc.
Environmental Stewardship in Industrial Laundry Services
ASSOCIATE PLANT HONORABLE MENTION
99% Waste-Free Facility
ASSOCIATE PRODUCT HONORABLE MENTION
Product: Green Sense Concrete
ASSOCIATE PRODUCT HONORABLE MENTION
Concrete Batch Solutions
Product: Turbomatic and Curematic Thermal Energy Units
ASSOCIATE PRODUCT HONORABLE MENTION
Kalmar USA Inc.
Product: Making Every Move Count: The Kalmar ECG50-90L Electric Forklift