2016 CUP Awards Winners
Above Ground Category
Superior Concrete Products – Cleburne, Texas
Cleburne Precast Ranch Home
What is 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 – 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 the creative use of stains and paint.
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 Superior brick precast fence panels for building exteriors, Superior precast stucco fence panels for the home’s interior and Superior precast stone columns as accents. Wood rail precast fencing is used for the horse corral and entrance, and Superior precast rails are used for the patio and sidewalk. Superior precast fence panel caps are used in the parking lot to simulate railroad ties, and a privacy fence is made of Superior 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 – I-90 Corridor, Illinois State Tollway
Counterfort Retaining Wall System
Developing a new product line involves careful research with a touch of calculated risk. But as Utility Concrete Products knows, with the proper planning it can result in increased business opportunities.
Early in 2013, Utility Concrete began preliminary research and design work on a new retaining wall line. The precaster hired a team from a local university that included a structural engineering professor and his graduate students. This group analyzed the wall system with the latest software, providing a full-scale test and report.
Because the innovative system uses clay that is already on site, it avoids the costs associated with special backfill that typically must be shipped to the site. The size of the precast pieces also plays a role: Face units cover either 13 feet of longitudinal length when the wall is higher than 10 feet tall or 26 feet when it is under 10 feet tall. On average, the longer profile allows for approximately 280 square feet of face surface per piece, giving the contractor more square feet per pick and eliminating joints that can negatively affect aesthetics.
With product development complete, the Utility Concrete team won a bid to supply the wall for a major interstate corridor on I-90 owned by the Illinois State Toll Authority. The job required 160,000 square feet of retaining wall up to 32 feet tall. The design/build specification gave the contractor freedom to choose either cast-in-place or precast. By selecting Utility Concrete’s newly developed Counterfort Retaining Wall system, the contractor reduced costs and finished the project on time. And the results speak for themselves!
StructureCast – La Jolla, California
Custom Precast Concrete Washroom
Located along the southern California coast, the iconic Black’s Beach sits on the La Jolla shore with the bluffs of Torrey Pines rising 300 feet above. The property technically belongs to the University of California-San Diego, but it is also a coastal waterfront sanctuary and the site of a Native American burial ground.
When alumni from UCSD sought to install a restroom and lifeguard storage building on the environmentally sensitive site, they had to meet the stringent requirements of the California Coastal Commission to obtain permission for the structure. Enter StructureCast, with the perfect precast concrete solution.
There was no water and no digging of any kind allowed, so StructureCast could not install a vault under the restroom building. With limited access to the beach, the components had to be manufactured in sections at the StructureCast plant in Bakersfield and post-tensioned on the job site. StructureCast designed the restroom building with vault seats inside the structure and installed water tanks in each room to supply the stainless steel sinks for hand washing. Working with UCSD and Safdie Rabines Architects, a San Diego architectural firm, they added solar panels to supply power for the electric door locks and LED lighting. StructureCast, along with the architect, was instrumental in obtaining Coastal Commission approvals and coordinating the color pallet to fit with the surrounding area. The result is a restroom and storage building that blends into the aesthetic of the area and that will provide many years of service for this beautiful community.
Colorado Precast Concrete Inc. – Center, Colo.
The White House Restroom Facility
StructureCast – Las Vegas, Nev.
Armenian Genocide Memorial Monument
Universal Precast Concrete – Boulder City, Nev.
Bootleg Canyon Animals
Lindsay Precast Inc. – Kirtland, Ohio
Holden Arboretum Deer Deterrent Vaults
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 stormwater 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, like a cattle guard, and also allow for draining stormwater. 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. Installation took just one day. 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. – Buffalo, N.Y.
Jacobs School of Medicine Stormwater Detention System
When designers of a state-of-the-art medical facility wanted to include a stormwater detention system, they turned to a state-of-the-art material: precast concrete. Envisioned as a “medical school for the 21st century,” the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Buffalo in Buffalo, N.Y., will be a $375 million, 628,000-square-foot facility when it is completed in 2017. The construction includes space for a stormwater detention structure – but from initial planning stages, it looked like a tight fit.
The design was still being finalized when Kistner Concrete Products submitted a bid that fit the complicated requirements. Kistner proposed its precast concrete Kon-Structure post-tensioned 50,000-gallon stormwater detention structure for the facility with the promise that the system would fit into the limited space and site conditions. The complex project required multiple redesigns, high tolerances, a tight schedule and vigilant quality control.
The Kistner team manufactured 19 vertical culvert tank sections to fit the tight space: 10 sections measuring 5 feet wide by 7 feet tall and nine sections measuring 5 feet wide by 9 feet tall. The project required precision designing and manufacturing since the sections needed to fit neatly into a 20-foot-deep excavation with only four inches of clearance. The sections were also designed to meet H-20 structural loading specifications and stormwater retention regulations.
Casting the structure on site would have disrupted the construction site and schedule, so precast was an obvious choice. Good planning and teamwork between Kistner and the contractors enabled the tank system to be installed in just two days.
Gainey’s Concrete Products Inc. – Mississippi River Port
Mississippi River Breasting Dolphins
While it may sound more like a National Geographic TV episode to landlubbers, in seafaring parlance, a “breasting dolphin” plays an important role in providing access to the shore for a ship. Dolphins are man-made marine structures that are embedded in the bedrock which extend above the water level near the shore, enabling the berthing of a ship. Dolphins are also used to display signage (like speed limits) near shore. When used as part of a pier system, a series of dolphins can drastically reduce the overall size of the pier.
When Gainey’s Concrete Products of Holden, La., took on the project of creating custom breasting dolphins for a Mississippi River port, they knew it would be a challenge – but they were up for it. From setup to mold removal, it took three days to complete each deck. One of the biggest challenges was casting an 8-foot, 2-inch-thick steel plate into the deck. Gainey’s welded Nelson studs into the plate and pipe in a specified 9-inch pattern. The pipe had to be cast flush with the top of the concrete. The pattern was rotated in a specific angle with reference to the deck.
The design changed multiple times throughout the project, causing the precaster to alter drawings and rethink fabrication methods for each change. In the end, the project was accurately fabricated and delivered on time.
2015 CUP Awards Winners
Above Ground Category
Universal Precast Concrete Inc. – Roseville, Calif.
StructureCast – Santa Cruz, Calif.
Stress Ribbon Bridge
Hy-Grade Precast Concrete – St. Catharines, Ontario
Custom Precast Concrete Washroom
Bethlehem Precast Inc. – Babylon, N.Y.
Leesburg Concrete Co. Inc. – Astatula, Fla.
Boat Ramp Restroom
Olympian Precast Inc. – Seattle, Wash.
University Village South Building
Sherman-Dixie Concrete Industries – Highway 61, Bullitt County, Ky.
Brooks Run Modular Arch Span
StructureCast – Los Angeles County, Calif.
Cape Fear Precast LLC – Marine Corps Air Station, Jacksonville, N.C.
Aircraft-Rated Precast Infrastructure
Atlantic Precast Concrete Inc. – U.S. Route 1, Princeton University Campus, N.J.
Princeton University Box Culvert
Knights Precast – Charleston, S.C.
Massive Stormwater Tunnel Cover
Piranha Pipe & Precast – Sacramento, Calif.
Park Diversion Structure