Archive October 2011

Precast Specialties Corp. Expertise Expands with Tim Breen


Precast Specialties Corp. VP of Sales Tim Breen

As the newest addition to the Precast Specialties Corp. team, VP of Sales Tim Breen discusses his background in the precast industry and what he sees in the future for precast concrete construction.

How did you get into the precast industry?

I actually ended up in precast by chance. I was a Political Science/ Philosophy double major at Marquette University and was working as a Project Manager/Sales in the Environmental Remediation field when I was contacted by a recruiter. I had roughly 15 years in that field and a career change wasn’t really on my radar at the time but as I learned more about the company, Unistress, it seemed like the right move. I remember telling my soon-to-be-boss that I didn’t know much about precast concrete during my interview but that it seemed like the perfect building product, and I could “sell the heck out of it.” I spent my first year in precast commuting 112 miles each way to get a crash course in precast. I watched product being cast, sat in on design meetings, project management meetings, as well as estimating and engineering meetings.

Do you feel you bring a unique perspective, having worked in a slightly different facet of the precast industry than Precast Specialties Corp. operates?

The lessons learned while at Unistress are proving to be very valuable. The way I think about precast – as the building solution of choice – comes from the experiences I have had while selling unique, quirky projects as well as selling more traditional parking garage projects. I’ve seen the positives and negatives of working for a very large precast company.

I think the clients I’ve gotten to know through the years and the relationships I’ve made have made this move an easy one from a transition standpoint. One of the stranger experiences I’ve had since coming here is looking at some project information from projects I bid while at Unistress that PSC won!

What are the big changes you see happening right now in the world of precast?

Precast is by far the very best building material to build with but surprisingly only a very small amount of projects in New England use it. Imagine a product that is better, faster to build with and costs less than the alternatives…and it isn’t used! Think of getting a Mercedes for the cost of a VW. The challenge for all Precasters is to effectively market our product and get it to be the first choice of Owners, Engineers, Architects and Construction Managers in New England. Our strength as an industry is our quality, our ability to improve construction schedules and our reliability. In a time when the most common question asked in the construction industry is, “how cheap can I get it done,” we must continue to deliver quality products at a reasonable price.

Featured Architecture Firm: Spagnolo Gisness & Associates


Riverbank Lofts
Riverbank Lofts, Watertown, MA

Spagnolo Gisness & Associates (SG&A) was founded by Al Spagnolo, Bill Gisness and Jeff Tompkins as a full service architectural, interior design and planning firm. With their mission, “to respond to each client’s vision through communication, collaboration, creativity and mutual trust,” SG&A provides an array of services from master plans, to feasibility and due diligence studies, to program analysis, site selection and more.

Sustainability is an important facet of the firm. SG&A believes that “as designers, we should embrace the obligation to educate our clients, and each other, in maintaining stewardship of our precious resources” which is why they explore eco-friendly strategies with clients and have teamed up with Precast Specialties Corp. on several projects including the Riverbank Lofts in Watertown, MA.

SG&A has received multiple awards for their innovative and unique designs. Recently, they won the Connecticut Climate Change Leadership Award for the ING Regional Headquarters project, the RIAGC Build Rhode Island Award for the GTECH Center and BOMA Boston’s “The Office Building of the Year” for One Brigham Circle.

Precast Specialties Corp. recognizes Spagnolgo Gisness & Associates for their creativity, dedication to their clients and commitment to sustainability and as an invaluable partner for future projects.

Sustainability and Cost Savings with Precast Concrete and Precast Specialties Corp.


Precast Concrete Sustainability
As a key component of being a sustainable building material, precast concrete offers energy efficiency that is beneficial for both the planet and owners’ wallets.

With a high thermal mass, precast is able to effectively moderate temperature variations, absorbing heat during the day and slowly releasing heat as temperatures drop at night. The highly dense concrete limits internal building temperature fluctuations as heat cannot easily penetrate the precast. By the time heat has been absorbed into the concrete, evening temperatures drop and the precast emits heat overnight reducing the need for additional heating. By keeping hot air “out” during the day and self-heating spaces in the evening, building owners will see a direct energy saving result and lower heating/cooling costs.

Featured Architecture Firm: Bertaux + Iwerks Architects


Blue Line Airport MBTA Station

For the past 30 years, Leonard Bertaux and Chris Iwerks of Bertaux + Iwerks Architects have designed and built prestigious buildings throughout the Boston area. The firm is “organized to advance design creativity within structured management” and “delivers strong design with dedicated service.” An award winning firm, Bertaux + Iwerks Architects has a long list of accolades including the Design Excellence Award from the Boston Society of Architects 2008 for the Bridgeport Intermodal Transportation Center.

The firm has a multitude of projects under their belt including the Blue Line Airport MBTA Station (photo shown above) as well as the US Postal Service Mail Facility in Brockton (shown below) and numerous other local commercial, transportation and civic buildings.
US Postal Service Mail Facility in Brockton
At Precast Specialities Corp., we wanted to take the time to recognize Bertaux + Iwerks Architects for their design strength, impressive architectural achievements and dedication to sustainability.