Archive February 2012

Curbing and Bumpers

Feb27

Curb, Curbing and Bumpers
Curbing and bumpers are provided with layout drawings. Our precast concrete products are sized and tagged to eliminate the need for on-site cutting and expedite installation. This service dramatically improves installation efficiency, saving time and money.

Design Solutions With Precast Concrete

Feb15

Precast Concrete
For commercial building needs, precast concrete not only offers benefits in terms of sustainability. For each unique structure, precast is an ideal building material to meet a wide range of functional and aesthetic requirements.

From the Precast Concrete Institute

Office Buildings
Design Challenge – Provide open interior spaces to create open-floor layouts and allow for rearrangement of spaces as needs change
Precast Solution – Hollow-core slab or double-tee floor and roof components have long span capabilities that eliminate columns and provide unobstructed runs for utilities in the cores of hollow-core or between double-tee stems

Design Challenge – Increase energy efficiency
Precast Solution – Thermal mass helps regulate temperatures; insulated precast concrete sandwich panels provide added energy efficiency due to insulation in the core

Design Challenge – Create secured parking beneath office levels
Precast Solution – Precast concrete structural systems can be used to create parking on lower levels, provide firerated separation, and allow flexible layout options for office space

Retail
Design Challenge – Create tall, open interiors to allow for flexible merchandising space
Precast Solution – Architectural precast concrete panels can be designed to provide high ceilings.

Design Challenge – Provide for future expansion of the facility
Precast Solution – Expansion can be accomplished by removing end panels and adding new panels onto the sides. Original mixtures and aggregates can be replicated in added panels to match the existing structure.

Stadiums and Arenas
Design Challenge – Design economical rows of seating that can withstand heavy loading
Precast Solution – Seating risers, especially economical double and triple risers, are the dominant choice for seating sections in outdoor stadiums and many indoor arenas. Shapes can vary to create needed sight lines, and vibrations can be controlled so that motion during use gives a sense of strength and security

Design Challenge – Ensure all materials can withstand year-round weather for many years with minimal maintenance required
Precast Solution – Precast concrete mixtures ensure a long life cycle with the capability to withstand use by large capacity crowd

Design Challenge – Create an aesthetic design that fits the owner’s need, whether it is a contemporary look or an old-fashioned stadium design with modern amenities
Precast Solution – Architectural precast concrete panels use colors, textures, reveals, finishes, formliners, or thinbrick insets to match any needed design style

Parking Structures
Design Challenge – Ensure high durability
Precast Solution – Concrete with low water–cement ratios and high-quality, plant-produced components projects against chloride penetration from deicing chemicals

Design Challenge – Meet the area’s seismic requirements.
Precast Solution – Precast concrete systems, using proven connection technology, allow precast concrete components to be used in all seismic zones

Mixed Use
Design Challenge – Create an upscale image while allowing each function with the building to maintain its own in design
Precast Solution – The plasticity of precast concrete components, and the variety of finishes that can be used, ensure that designs blend with any surroundings and project any needed corporate image, while also allowing for diversity

Design Challenge – Provide structural support for many small rooms above open, column-free ballrooms and conference areas
Precast Solution – Hollow-core slabs span long distances while providing structural support, minimizing columns on lower floors

Featured Architecture Firm: Anmahian Winton Architects

Feb9

American Indian Center
Photo via Anmahian Winton Architects – American Indian Learning Resource Center (AILRC) will be one of the country’s leading American Indian centers at the University of Minnesota – Duluth

At Cambridge-based Anmahian Winton Architects, “architecture is an expression of culture, forged in relation to a complex set of circumstances that are at once practical and intangible…a synthesis of place, program, and community that enhances the rituals of everyday life and fosters a sense of well-being. It inspires, invigorates, and educates.” (AW Philosophy)

In addition to the belief that architecture elevates and enhances our daily lives, Anmahian Winton also maintains an exceptionally high standard for environmental stewardship with nearly all of the institutional and commercial projects being designed to achieve a LEED Gold certification, or better. As the firm explains, “Regardless of a project’s LEED goals, we are committed to designing buildings that carefully consider project impact on micro and macro ecosystems, that provide tangible operating benefits for our clients, and that create environmental benefits for our communities.” (AW Sustainable Design)

Precast Specialties Corp. would like to recognize this impressive firm whose vision combined with a focus on sustainability has led to award-winning, visually stunning projects including the Honor Award for Interior Architecture, 2012 from the American Institute of Architects and the American Architecture Award, 2011 from The Chicago Athenaeum for the Joukowsky Institute at Brown University (shown below).

Joukowsky InstitutePhoto via Anmahian Winton Architects – Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World at Brown University

Precast Specialties Corp. Now Certified as a Producer in Using TX Active Photocatalytic Cement by Essroc Cement

Feb3

TX Active Photocatalytic Cement
Introducing the Photocatalytic City: A Vision of the Environmental Future. (TX Active)

Staying up-to-date on the latest in green technology and products in the precast concrete world is constantly part of the Precast Specialties Corp. mission. We are proud to announce that we’ve been certified as a producer in using the revolutionary TX Active line of photocatalytic cement from Essroc Cement.

Essroc is a leading North American cement producer with over 6.5 million metric tons of annual capacity. Their TX Active products, TX Arca® and TX Aria®, are premier products utilizing photocatalytic properties to reduce pollutants and self-clean.

“Photocatalysis is a natural phenomenon in which a substance, the photocatalytic principle, utilizes light to alter the speed of a chemical reaction. By taking advantage of the energy of light, the principle will accelerate the formation of strong oxidizing reagents which will result in the decomposition of organic and inorganic pollutants. These pollutants are responsible for gathering on the surface of concrete causing discoloration, as well as, many health related issues. Photocatalysis is an accelerator of an oxidation process that already exists in nature. It promotes faster decomposition of pollutants and prevents them from accumulating.” (TX Active)

Ideal for precast panels from Precast Specialties Corp., TX Active photocatalytic cement greatly reduces or eliminates occurrences of soot, grime, and organic particulates, mold, mildew, fungus, and their spores, algae, bacteria, and allergens as well as tobacco smoke and stains that can stain or damage panels. In addition to self-cleaning, TX Active reduces pollutants including Nitrogen Oxides, Sulfur Oxides, Volatile Organic Compounds including benzene and toluene, Ammonia, Carbon Monoxide and Organic Chloride, creating safer, healthier environments.

To see TX active in action, visit http://txactive.us/diagram.html.

As one of only 13 U.S. architectural precast producers currently certified to use TX Active, Precast Specialties Corp. is pleased to be able to offer this innovative new product to our customers.