Category Design-Build

Architecture Spotlight: Cannon Design


Innovation in Architecture, Engineering and Interior Design

Canisus CollegeCanisius College – Montante Cultural Center – Photo Property of Cannon Design

At Precast Specialties Corp., innovation is a core part of our business culture. Far beyond precast concrete, our custom capabilities and product line expansions including the new Solar Products Group and TX Active Photocatalytic cement mean that we constantly strive to offer the very best products to serve the ever-changing needs of clients. We applaud firms that share our passion for innovation and today, we are featuring multifaceted architecture firm Cannon Design.

Boston UniversityBoston University – Fitness and Recreation Center – Photo Property of Cannon Design

A quick glance over Cannon Design’s work and it’s clear that this architecture, engineering and interior design firm creates projects that are not only functional but also stretch the imagination and break boundaries.

Hauptman-Woodward Research InstituteHauptman-Woodward Research Institute – Structural Biology Research Center – Photo Property of Cannon Design

Self-proclaimed as an “Ideas Based Practice,” Cannon is ranked among the leading international firms in planning and design for an impressive array of clients from healthcare, science and technology, education, sports and recreation, commercial and government. Bank of America, Brigham and Women’s, Cornell University, Fenway Park, Herman Miller and West Point are all clients of Cannon, along with many others.

Design Solutions With Precast Concrete


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

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

Architecture Firm Spotlight: Sheskey Architects


Sheskey Architects is a full service architecture and interior design firm located in Quincy, MA. Sheskey provides fully coordinate design and construction services, customized to meet the needs of each individual client and each specific project.

From Pre-Design Services include site analysis and goal definition to Building Design with code research and coordination of consulting disciplines to Interior Design with materials selection and space planning, Precast respects the comprehensive, thorough dedication Sheskey gives to every project.

In 2006, Precast Specialties Corp. teamed up with Sheskey and engineering firm Veitas and Veitas Engineers to create the Kimball Woods apartment complex in Burlington. “Two ten-story steel framed structures were designed adjacent to a five-story precast parking garage. The project includes a total of 262 luxury apartments. Architectural precast was used as the exterior skin of the structure.” (Veitas and Veitas)

The use of precast concrete along with a number of other energy efficiency features made Kimball Woods one of the first Energy Star Homes rated rental properties in the region (Mullins).

We look forward to working with Sheskey Architects again in the future and applaud their work in architecture and interior design.


Smart Design-Build Teams Add Subcontractors to the Mix

By Dyanne Bean
February 2010

The delivery method that reconciled the fact that contractors and designers are no longer adversaries—but now partners with common goals—is working on the next relationship stage. Today, design-build partners realize the necessity of including subcontractors as part of the design-build team at the start of a project.

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