Total precast structures in the urban environment

Urban density has become increasingly more important in planning for municipalities across the country. Urban renewal and infill projects are at the forefront of the construction industry. Designers, now more than ever, are utilizing every square foot of a parcel to provide the most sustainable design and cost-effective solutions for the client.

Historically, precast cladding on high-rise structures are commonplace. This would typically be done by utilizing tower cranes, but often they have reduced capacity compared to mobile cranes. In the precast world, bigger is better. Large pieces of concrete mean large capacity cranes. How does one logistically get a 250-ton crawler crane mobilized and de-mobilized without causing severe disruption to the surrounding area? While not impossible, this daunting challenge may have resulted in precast being a less desirable choice compared to other construction methods. This Blog is here to challenge that misconception.

Wells Concrete has recently completed two total precast structures utilizing only tower cranes. With two levels of below-grade parking and zero lot line design, crawler cranes were simply not a viable solution. Wells worked closely with the general contractor to size the crane capacities that were most beneficial to the project. With that criteria in place, Wells went to work panelizing the project to maximize the economy of scale, as well as providing the added value our clients are always searching for. Precast panels on each project exceeded 40,000 pounds!

Both projects included all-precast cores in the structural system. Each project also highlighted the versatility of precast systems by providing 213,713 square feet on six levels of class-A office, and 338 stalls of below-grade parking. The second structure provided six levels of parking that spiraled up the central cores, with precast cores continuing up another six levels for a total of 12. Both projects also incorporated two tower cranes to increase production rates and reduce schedule. Additional benefits to the project can be realized by utilizing the tower crane for material handling when not in use for precast.

Next time you are building in the urban jungle, consider using Wells Concrete to help you safely navigate your way to success.

Brian Miller
Project Manager