Sustainable is a word and a concept that John D’Amelio, President of Precast Specialties Corp., wants you to think of when you think about precast concrete as a building material. Precast concrete is a sustainable building material and an excellent green building material choice because it is energy efficient, durable and eco-friendly. Because of the versatile application of precast concrete, the use of precast can contribute to the LEED points of a final project. Precast Specialties Corp. thanks all of the builders and contractors we’ve had the opportunity to work with who share our focus on sustainability and look forward to working on even more local and sustainable projects in the future for New England’s built environment. Stay tuned for more information about precast’s sustainable properties.
Hobbs Brook Office Park via Margulies Perruzzi Architects website
For over 20 years, Margulies Perruzzi Architects (formerly known as Margulies & Associates) has specialized in designing and building the ultimate workplace for their clients’ needs. Known for their corporate, healthcare and professional services work, Margulies Perruzzi Architects delivers innovative and cutting edge spaces. With numerous awards and achievements, including 3rd Place in the 2011 Sidewalk Sam (Chalk One Up, Common Boston) and ranking as the 18th Largest Architecture Firm in Boston (Boston Business Journal), Margulies Perruzzi Architects “remain[s] at the forefront of new processes…[to] benefit their projects.”
Precast Specialties Corp and Margulies Perruzzi Architects recently teamed up on the Hobbs Brook Office Park in Waltham, MA. With Columbia Construction as the General Contractor, this project won the 2010 Projects Innovation Grand Prize from Buildings Magazine and with the help of sustainable benefits from precast concrete, the building achieved a LEED-Gold certification.
From a recent article on the National Precast Concrete Association blog, the growing interest and popularity of precast concrete use by architects was evident at the 2011 AIA National Conference – despite a Saturday morning, 7am presentation timeslot, Peter Seibert, Technical Director at Ductal® for Lafarge North America, the largest diversified supplier of construction materials in the U.S. and Canada, packed the house for his presentation on “Sustainable Architectural Precast Elements for the 22nd Century.”
In his presentation, Seibert discussed the evolution of the precast product:
“By using precast UHPC (ultra-high performance concrete) elements, architects can design complex, thin shapes in a near endless number of colors and textures. Things that have never been possible before are now possible. By using a unique mix design containing fiber reinforcement, compressive strength in excess of 20,000 psi (possibly attaining 36,000 psi) can be achieved. The increased durability aspect of UHPC makes this material ideal for building precast elements with longevity in mind…Concrete has been around for centuries, but with the possibilities that precast creates and the growing number of ways it’s being used, the surface has only been scratched on what the future holds for the industry.”
One of the most important concepts that Precast Specialties Corp. continually strives for is sustainability. Sustainable products are those that are environmentally responsible, economically profitable, and socially aware. Precast concrete offers a variety of eco-friendly advantages when used in construction projects.
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. For companies, using precast concrete can help them earn LEED credit in terms of site development.
- By choosing precast for structural elements like walls or flooring, companies earn LEED points because of the reusability of the precast
- LEED points are given for using recycled materials, and precast concrete is partially composed of recycled materials such as fly ash and recycled steel
- Serving a local market, Northeast companies using Precast Specialties Corp. earn credits for choosing locally harvested raw materials
- Precast concrete can also help reduce heat islands, places like industrial sites that retain consistently higher temperatures than surrounding areas
In the building environment, in addition to being sustainable, Precast focuses on making products that meet both the needs of the present as well as the future. With quality products and a focus on eco-friendly innovation, Precast Specialties Corp. offers the best of both worlds for our precast customers.