In this issue, Precast Solutions hears from Michael Tetzloff, LEED AP, with ZGF Architects.
What’s your background and area of expertise?
I am a licensed architect in the state of Washington. I’m based out of ZGF Architects’ Seattle office.
What types of projects do you typically oversee?
My experience is primarily within large commercial office projects with tenants from the technology sector.
What are some noteworthy projects on which you’ve specified precast concrete?
One of our most noteworthy projects is the Southport Office Campus in Renton, Wash. It consists of three office towers within a shared multi-leveled podium. Within this podium are amenities, including indoor and outdoor conference rooms, lobby functions, office space and an above-grade parking structure.
ZGF’s Seattle office also has incorporated precast concrete into local projects, including:
- The award-winning Helen Sommers Building in Olympia, Wash. Precast-insulated spandrel and stair cladding complements the stone exterior.
- Previous projects on Microsoft’s Redmond, Wash., campus, including Building 83, where we used custom-formed profile precast panels and frames, allowing us to achieve complex architectural forms. This proved to be an economical, durable strategy supporting the rapid installation of the window system without additional framing.
- Providence Regional Medical Center’s Marshall and Katherine Cymbaluk Medical Tower in Everett, Wash. Precast concrete was used as an exposed structural element supporting masonry walls throughout the base of the building.
Why was precast chosen for the Southport project?
For the Southport Office Campus, we needed a cost-effective material to clad a large percentage of the exterior that could provide variability, texture and durability. We also needed a product that could be installed quickly and meet a high level of detail and quality.
What benefits does precast concrete afford you?
We were able to define multiple molds for the cladding that could be turned 180 degrees to give us truly random patterns of panels while also keeping us within an economical manufacturing range.
The quality of the shop-applied finish and the large size of the panels allowed us to reduce labor hours in the field and quickly install our beautiful exterior. The precast engineers from Olympian Precast were amazingly helpful and, along with the general contractor, Exxel Pacific, the whole team shared our vision for a beautiful application.
How do you see the role of precast concrete changing in the future?
While most of the cladding at Southport does encompass the parking garage, we also showcased it at our outdoor pavilion – considered the jewel box of the project. Using the panels more often in higher sensitivity areas challenges the mentality that this is a back-of-house product. I see precast further pushing the limits of how highly detailed forms can be installed quickly, economically and with environmentally-conscience water-to-cement ratios.