Header photo courtesy of Shea Concrete Products.
The owners of Shea Concrete Products knew it was time for a change. They had long ago outgrown their 2,000-square-foot headquarters building, and it was, according to company president Greg Stratis, “falling down around them.”
After three years of designing and building, the company officially moved into its new 13,000-square-foot headquarters in Amesbury, Mass., in 2018. Stratis said while designing the building, they focused on two things: the environment and their employees.
“We wanted an office that was a good work environment for our employees, and as a family, we decided that we would follow LEED design practices to try to get it certified,” Stratis said.
Stratis said sustainability is an important issue for the Shea family. The company already recycles water and trash and uses solar panels. Building a new headquarters that followed LEED practices was the next step in protecting the environment.
He said following LEED design practices focused them on items like lighting, HVAC systems and other machinery. They were even able to add more solar panels to accommodate the larger office.
The company also focused on making the building a better working environment for its employees. The new building has a gym that is open to any Shea Concrete employee. They have even hired a nutritionist and trainer available to employees.
“Our goal is to make sure they are happy at work,” he said. “It’s important to us that they are comfortable at work and that we offer benefits to make their life better.”
When it came to what materials to use to make this all possible, there was only one answer – precast concrete. The new facility’s exterior is structural precast concrete walls with a brick finish texture. Along with the precast elevator shaft and underground infrastructure, the building and parking area incorporates about 600 yards of precast concrete.
“Wherever we could, we wanted to use precast,” Stratis said. “We liked the idea that we could say we built it rather than buying the materials for a steel building.”
Stratis said one of the most important features of the new facility is a multi-purpose room for training. Since opening, they have hosted hundreds of engineers, contractors and other specifiers for seminars and also regularly conduct employee training in the space.
“It’s been a big improvement so far,” Stratis said. “We’ve been using it for training ever since we opened up, and now when we advertise these seminars, we can say, ‘Hey, come check out our LEED-designed building’ and use that as a marketing tool.”