News

Driving Architectural Innovation

Whatever your mind imagines, you can recreate it in precast concrete to make a stunning, iconic façade.  The clearest advantage of architectural precast is found in the virtually limitless design potential that can be achieved with its use.

Maximum Flexibility + Limitless Design

Architectural precast concrete has quietly revolutionized the construction industry by creating a dramatic range of functionality and creative expression. This short video shows a few employees polishing a recent project.

Polishing

This process uses a series of diamond grinding wheels to polish the surface, which results in exposure of the aggregate with a smooth polished finish similar to polished granite.

Wells Concrete has worked with numerous clients on polishing wall panels, including:

Graphic Concrete

Concrete is everywhere – but it actually becomes visible when graphic concrete is used. The beauty of the material comes to life when patterns and designs are exposed in the concrete surface. Graphic Concrete has developed the technology that enables aggregates to be exposed in precast concrete for use in façade elements and panels, landscape architecture and slabs. The permanent and environmental friendly process gives architects remarkable flexibility and opens up tremendous aesthetic possibilities. Through a partnership with AltusGroup, Graphic Concrete imaging technology is available throughout the US and Canada.

During our research and development process, Wells Concrete has created a variety of mock up samples using this new innovation.  We are in the process of working with clients to incorporate this new style into their design plan.

Terra-cotta

Terra-cotta is an ancient building material that translates from Latin as “cooked earth.” Architectural terracotta refers to a fired mixture of clay and water that can be used in a non-structural, semi-structural, or structural capacity on the exterior or interior of a building. It can be unglazed, painted, slip glazed, or glazed. Terra-cotta  can be composed of a hollow clay or solid clay, Wells is using a solid clay.

Wells Concrete has completed a few mock-up samples and is planning to use Terra-cotta on the Rochester Parking Ramp. 1,523 pieces of Terra-cotta will be cast into our 8” solid wall panels.  In addition, there are two large arches that Wells produced that will go over the top of the railroad tracks that pass through the parking ramp.

Summary

Since its inception, Wells Concrete has been a leader in the precast industry, bringing superior craftsmanship, innovative solutions and reliable design-build solutions to every project carrying the Wells name.   Architects, builders, and owners look to Wells Concrete to help realize the full potential of precast concrete in their projects.

When planning your next project, consider utilizing architectural precast concrete. The Wells team of precast innovators is ready to assist you with any questions you may have.

We look forward to helping you bring your vision to life on your next project.


Successful installation of Integrity Windows by Marvin – Partnership Progresses

Just over a year ago, Wells announced its partnership with Marvin Windows to exclusively offer Integrity Windows and Doors’ window products, installed at all our production facilities prior to shipping to job-sites.

Since that time, we have installed and are in the process of installing Integrity Windows in a variety of projects. With this process, Wells delivers a largely enclosed envelope very early in the building process, which reduces the amount of potentially conflicting activity on the job-site.  Wells installs the windows in a safe, controlled environment to not only deliver a high quality window installation, but also reduce the potential for job-site injuries. The result of these three items furthers our ability to deliver a superior product and service at a competitive price.

Integrity Window Projects

Blattner Energy  – Avon, MN

This project has more than 100,000 square feet of precast concrete, including 12’ wide insulated architectural wall panels boasting a sandblast and water wash finish. Double tees, columns, beams, and 12’ wide structural wall panels completed the precast construction.  Thirty-three Integrity windows were installed in our Grand Forks plant and shipped to the Avon job-site.  Because the windows are installed in the plant, they are completely enclosed within one panel, two of the windows were field installed, as they ended up being on a joint between the panels.

The client chose to utilize Integrity windows because they were very focused on energy conservation so they liked the fiberglass properties. This was also a fast tracked project, the client liked the idea of having the building being completely enclosed once Wells was done onsite. Wells had an advantage on this project because the majority of the structure was precast, including the roof. There was only one area that will be out of other materials and that didn’t have to be completed right away.

  

Wells Concrete – Wells, MN

Wells decided to replace all of the aluminum windows in the Wells, MN office because they were old and leaking. The windows throughout the entire building were replaced with 45 Integrity windows.  The windows come with a few color options for the outside, but a standard white option for the interior; Wells had the interior ones painted an ebony to match the office décor.

Original Painted

Integrity Windows were selected for this project because of their thermal capabilities as well as the ease of installation.  For an example of the ease of installation, watch this time lapse video. Note how long it takes to remove the aluminum window and how many pieces the window has vs how quickly and easily it was to install the fiberglass window.

Some of our design friends tell us they have concerns about the look of a “vinyl” or fiberglass window in their designs. Comparing the photo below, can you identify which window is fiberglass and which one is aluminum?

Cemstone Central Maintenance Facility – South St. Paul, MN

Wells installed 11 Integrity Windows in the wall panels of the maintenance facility.  The client worked with our sales team to discuss window options and determined these windows would be a good fit.  The client saw value in having natural light in their facility, which the windows would provide.  The contractor appreciated having less trades on job-site, which provided an overall safer environment.

Mock-up Sample Building – Rosemount, MN, Albany, MN, Grand Forks, ND

Three Integrity Windows were preinstalled in our Mock up Sample Buildings.  In the first panel, the window is framed in the center of the panel with a projecting header, a sill feature and the jambs are flush with the brick. In the center panel, a preinstalled window is framed in the center. The window is framed with a 4-inch smooth flush band. On the last panel, a sandbast finish and thin brick surround the window, and the window opening uses return brick to finish off the exposed exterior of the opening.

Comments from our clients:

  • “The integral windows is intriguing for multiple reasons (safety onsite, pre-hung enclosure for winter heat, etc.). May be worth looking into for more reasons than just the cost of windows. A wall system warranty may be worth looking into.” Mike Benike, Benike Construction
  • “Windows put in place at the plant is a very cool feature.” Justin Krukow, ERA
  • “Getting the window installed would be great for winter construction.” Will Forbord, Loeffler Construction
  • “Presetting of the windows could be beneficial to projects. Not only will it save the project cost by eliminating field labor, it is also a cost driver.” Joe Ngaima, Mortenson Construction

Summary

Preinstalled windows are not a good fit for every project designed and constructed, but one fact remains clear: there is always a place in the market for improved schedule, leaner construction methods, condensed trades on the jobsite, and improved thermal capabilities.

About Integrity Windows and Doors

Integrity Windows and Doors is the world’s largest and most experienced manufacturer of windows and doors made with Ultrex® — a state-of-the-art pultruded fiberglass material. They didn’t just join the fiberglass revolution — they pioneered it. Their heritage as part of the Marvin Family of Brands is built on more than a century of excellence and expertise. Based in Fargo, N.D., Integrity offers a comprehensive line of window and door products that are Built to Perform® and backed by first-class customer service. For more information, visit www.IntegrityWindows.com.


Minnesota United FC’s new field is looking great!

Minnesota United FC, Allianz Field

Location:
St. Paul, MN
General Contractor:
Mortenson Construction
Architect:
Populous
Engineer:
Walter P. Moore
Owner:
MUSC Holdings, Inc.
Description: 

The crews in St. Paul are making progress on the new stadium for the Minnesota United FC, an MLS soccer team. The new Allianz Field is scheduled to be complete in the spring of 2019. You can already get a glimpse of what’s to come as Mortensen Construction has set up a webcam that’s live 24/7, so check back to see the progress.

Allianz Field is located in the St. Paul Midway, the 346,000 square foot, $200 million, privately funded facility will offer seating for nearly 20,000 fans, including 25 suites, 38 semi-private loge boxes, and four club rooms. The stadium design includes features specifically for Major League Soccer, like a natural grass field. The stadium will also include a safe-standing section for Minnesota United’s supporters groups, behind the south goal to cheer on Minnesota United. As well as a very large canopy for weather protection for the fans and to help keep the noise from the crowd contained within the stadium.

“This stadium is being built for the long-term. It is a very highly energy-efficient stadium,” Greg Huber with Mortenson Construction said.

Rainwater will be collected at a nearby park and then used to water the grass. Instead of using storm water as a waste product, it will be used as a resource to irrigate the site all around.

Wells Concrete is manufacturing and erecting nearly 25,000 sq. ft. of precast concrete for this project, including stadia and stairs as well as 140’ wall panels and solid slabs.

Product # Sq. Ft. / Ln. Ft.
Stadia 469 16,120 Ln. Ft.
Stairs 10
Wall Panels 54 6352 Sq, Ft,
Solid Slab 11 2116 Sq. Ft

 

For more information about this project, contact Rick Ostgard.


Bethlehem Baptist Church expands into 2018

Bethlehem Baptist Church 

Location:
Lakeville, MN
General Contractor:
Anderson Companies
Architect:
Lampert Architects
Engineer:
Stroh Engineering
Owner:
Bethlehem Baptist
Description: 

The Minneapolis-based, three-campus church, Bethlehem Baptist Church expansion plans continue with construction of a church building on 12 acres of land in Lakeville, MN. The building will include a sanctuary with seating for 664 people and room to later add a balcony that seats 300. Construction began this past fall with expectations to open in 2018.

Its south campus congregation of about 550 now meets at Lakeville South High School. Plans include a 54-foot tall cross outside with a gym, nursery and classroom space inside. Church officials are planning to add a balcony in the sanctuary to allow another 300 seats. Future expansion of the main building is also proposed, as is construction of a 1,400-square-foot detached accessory building.

Wells Contribution:

Wells Concrete manufactured and installed nearly 26,000 square feet and 78 pieces of architectural insulated wall panels with a thin brick architectural exterior finish. Additionally, Wells Concrete provided precast hollowcore floor planks at the balcony.

Product # Sq. Ft. / Ln. Ft.
Hollowcore 12 2,000
Wall Panels 66 23,799

 

For more information about this project, contact Bob Geil.


West Union Elementary multi-purpose safe room addition adds a huge benefit to the students

North Fayette Community School District Elementary

Location:
West Union, IA
General Contractor:
Cresco Building Service
Architect:
StruXture Architects
Engineer:
Raker Rhodes Engineering
Owner:
North Fayette Valley CSD
Description: 

The West Union Elementary construction project is underway with a new multi-purpose room addition.  The project includes a tornado safe structure, roughly 4,000 square feet, built to hold PE classes and assemblies, or even some youth athletics. Currently the “gym” in West Union Elementary houses both lunches and PE classes. As such, it generates many conflicts in the schedule. Separating these two will be a huge benefit to students and teachers in this building.

Wells Concrete contributed nearly 9,000 sq. ft of precast concrete for this project including 20 members of 12’ wide architectural insulated wall panels that boast an acid wash and sandblast finish.  In addition, 7 members of 32” deep x 10’-0” wide double tees supported the precast construction. The 32” double tee was used as it was determined to be the most cost effective roof member that could make the required span and handle the forces that accompany a tornadic event.

 

For more information about this project, contact Reed Hudson.


Winner Regional Healthcare to get an expansion and remodel

Winner Regional Healthcare Center Expansion & Remodel

Location:
Winner, SD
General Contractor:
Kraus-Anderson
Architect/Engineer:
Wold Architects & Engineers
Owner:
Winner Regional Healthcare Center
Description: 

 

This $23 million project is meant to streamline services at the 70-year-old hospital. The main focus will be building a new clinic, emergency room, operating room, lab and radiology department, plus a streamlined registration area. Hospital operations are planned to continue during construction that will add 28,000 square feet and renovate 16,000 square feet.

Winner Regional’s existing facilities were designed and constructed in an era of health care delivery that was dramatically different from today and where it is headed in the future. An expansion and renovation of the hospital and its clinic facilities will allow Winner Regional to more efficiently deliver modern health care to those who depend on their services. The proposed facility changes will fully integrate the current best practices with an eye towards flexibility and expandability to allow the hospital to evolve with the ever changing delivery of health care.

To support the primary goal of improving the patient experience, the main focus of the project will be the construction of a new clinic, ER, OR, lab and radiology department, along with a streamlined registration area for the entire facility. The original 1947 building will be demolished to make room for new construction, while the old laboratory and radiology spaces will be repurposed to accommodate services currently housed in the 1947 building.

Regarding the expansion, CEO Kevin Coffey said, “We take great pride in our role of serving this community for over 65 years and are thrilled we have the opportunity to further show our dedication through the growth of our facility and organization.”

Wells Contribution:

Wells Concrete produced and erected more than 11,000 sq. ft. of precast concrete for the expansion and renovation project.  The members included 10’ wide insulated architectural wall panels with an acid etch and water wash finish as well as non-insulated wall panels with the same finish.

Product # Sq. Ft. / Ln. Ft.
Insulated Wall Panels 73 8,939 SF
Wall Panels 17 2,337 SF

 

For more information about this project, contact Jace Rossow.


Renovations continue for Waseca Junior / Senior High School

Waseca Junior & Senior High School Addition

Location:
Waseca, MN
General Contractor:
Kraus-Anderson
Architect/Engineer:
Wold Architects & Engineers
Owner:
Waseca Public School ISD #829
Description: 

Renovations continue for Waseca Junior / Senior High School. The one-and-a-half year renovation began in the spring of 2017 and is expected to be completed in the sumer of 2018 in time for the school year. The project is plit into four phases with only the first phase being complete so far.

The project includes the addition of a new auditorium, a new office addition and entrance at the east of the building to better control access, and a remodeling of the academic wing. The renovation is funded from the $39 million referendum passed in 2017, which included the renovation of other schools in the district as well.

Wells Concrete manufactured and erected nearly 35,000 square feet of precast concrete for this renovation, including 78 pieces of insulated wall panels with an architectural finish of acid etch and sandblast. 86 hollowcore plank members support the precast construction as well, and include a broom finish.

 

For more information about this project, contact Our Sales Team.


trū® Shrimp brings shrimp to Minnesota

trū® Shrimp Project – Balaton Bay Reef

Location:
Balaton, MN
General Contractor:
Miron Construction
Architect/Engineer:
ISG
Owner:
The trū® Shrimp Company
Description: 

Balaton, Minn.  Last fall, The trū® Shrimp Company broke ground on Balaton Bay Reef, an employee training center and the largest shrimp production facility in the Midwest.  The primary purpose of Balaton Bay Reef is to train employees for careers raising shrimp at trū Shrimp facilities.  Construction has become a bit more noticeable in the small town of Balaton, Minnesota, as the enclosed building now stands 40’-feet in height.  Wells Concrete recently completed the project, which consisted of 118 pieces of precast concrete.  This includes over 37,000 square feet of precast members.

The construction of Balaton Bay Reef brings trū Shrimp one step closer to its mission of sustaining a growing population with healthy, clean shrimp.  Trū Shrimp facilities raise the safest, most natural shrimp possible through an environmentally responsible approach with a goal to offer consumers a consistent, reliable and predictable shrimp supply.  Trū Shrimp aims to start selling commercial shrimp in 2019.

Trū Shrimp is an affiliate of Ralco, a third-generation family-owned multinational company with distribution in more than 20 counties.  To learn more about trū Shrimp, please visit www.trushrimpcompany.com.

Learn more about this project: Minnesota Company Brings Shrimp To The Walleye State

 

For more information about this project, contact Spencer Kubat.


Chatfield’s high school is currently being renovated to bring it up to 21st century education standards.

Chatfield High School Addition & Remodel

Location:
Chatfield, MN
General Contractor:
R.A. Morton Construction Managers
Architect:
Wendel
Engineer:
Larson Engineering
Owner:
Chatfield Public Schools ISD 227
Description: 

Chatfield’s high school is currently being renovated to bring it up to 21st century education standards. The planned $13 million project will include bringing the science department up to code and making the common and athletic areas of the school building more accessible and functional.

“To me, it’s an expression of the community desire to bring what’s been a very solid and serviceable facility up to contemporary standards,” said Superintendent Ed Harris.

Around 400 students from grades 7 to 12 will benefit from the high school renovations. In December 2016, meetings where held with the district’s construction managers and architects to discuss the project’s first phase; construction started the following summer (2017).

There’s been intensive work done on bringing the school — some sections of which were built in the late ’50s — up to modern code. Mostly, the upgrades are to help address the aging school building, Harris said. “We definitely look to modernize educational spaces, and we want to make it efficient and practical.”

Wells Concrete provide nearly 10,000 sq. ft of precast concrete for this project addition.  Construction included 8” hollowcore plank and 10’ wide architectural insulated wall panels with an acid etch, sandblast and waterwash finish.

Product Sq. ft. # Members
Hollowcore plank 8” 1,031 24
Architectural insulated wall panels 10’ wide 8,492 43

For more information about this project, contact Rick Girard.


The Sartell-St. Stephen school district gets collaborative learning environments with new high school

Sartell-St. Stephen New High School

Location:
Sartell, MN
General Contractor:
Winkelman Building Corporation
Architect:
Cuningham Group Architecture
Engineer:
IIW
Owner:
Sartell-St. Stephen School District
Description: 

The new $89.5 million high school is expected to open in Sartell in the Fall of 2019 with a large commons area, learning neighborhoods and multiple activities spaces.

The 292,408 sq. ft. school includes three learning neighborhoods of 450 students each, accommodating about 1,350 students. The project also includes a large student commons and food service area, an 800-seat theater, a 4-station gymnasium and pool, and a full complement of spaces for music, art and drama.

Get a bird’s eye view of the Sartell High School Construction here.

Wells concrete provided nearly 115,000 square feet of precast concrete for this beautiful new school.  A mix of acid etch, sandblast, and polished finishes were used on more than 200 pieces of insulated wall panels.  In this total precast project, we also incorporated structural wall panels, double tees, hollowcore plank, stadia, beam and columns.

 

Product # Sq. Ft. Finish
Flat Structural Panel 8″ 16 1,665
Architectural Insulated Wall Panel 10′ Wide – Gym 80 29,216 Acid Etch, Sandblast, Polish
Architectural Insulated Wall Panel 12′ Wide – Pool 42 14,974 Acid Etch, Sandblast, Polish
Architectural Insulated Wall Panel 8′ wide – Brick 88 26,013 Acid Etch, Sandblast, Polish
Structural Wall Panel – 11′ Wide 22 2,327
Hollowcore Plank 10″ 82 9,498
Hollowcore Plank 12″ 42 6,500
Hollowcore Plank 8″ 136 10,129
Stadia 22 514
Beam 10 224
Column 3 87
Double Tee 15 12,920
Totals 558 114,067

For more information about this project, contact Rick Girard.


A new jail for Becker County

Becker County Jail

Location:
Detroit Lakes, MN
General Contractor:
McGough
Architect:
Klein McCarthy
Engineer:
Paulson & Clark Engineering
Owner:
Becker County
Description: 

The county was under state order to either close or replace its 43-bed maximum security jail at the courthouse. A decision was made to construct the new jail on a nearly-17-acre pie-shaped piece of land that was previously empty except for a former gravel pit. The $16 million jail is being built to house approximately 180 inmates.

Becker County’s new jail layout will be a two-level pod design. The pie-shaped pods allow separation of various categories of prisoners, and give staff in the central control area a clear view of the entire facility, which is safer for guards and inmates alike. This design allows plumbers and electricians to work on cells from a rear service corridor, rather than entering the cells as they currently do.

The new jail will continue local programs that help inmates get their high school equivalency degree or work on drug and alcohol problems.

Wells Concrete provided more than 62,000 sq. ft of precast concrete for this project, including 131 architectural insulated wall panel members boasting an acid etch and sandblast finish.  Structural Wall panels and hollowcore plank were also used in construction of the jail.

Product Sq. Ft. #
Architectural Insulated Wall Panels 22,643 sq. ft. 131
Structural Wall Panels 3,294 sq. ft. 16
Hollowcore 36,356 sq. ft. 392

 

For more information about this project, contact Mike Mortenson or Rick Hodek.


Prime Therapeutics builds in Eagan with nearly 800 pieces of precast concrete

Boulder Lakes Office

Location:
Eagan, MN
General Contractor:
RJ Ryan Construction
Architect/Engineer:
HGA
Owner:
United Properties
Description: 

 

Wells Concrete is proud to be part of the future home of Prime Therapeutics’ 410,000 square foot campus, being developed by United Properties, R.J. Ryan and designed by HGA. Prime Therapeutics worked with United Properties to develop a new building in Eagan’s “Boulder Lakes.”  United Properties is in the process of constructing a four-story, 400,000 square foot office for Prime to lease. The company manages pharmacy benefits for health insurance giant Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Prime, which is already based in Eagan, plans to consolidate four of its offices into the new building. The project broke ground in the summer of 2017 and has plans for completion by 2019.

The new Prime building would rise on a vacant 30-acre site on Eagan’s northeast side, called Boulder Lakes, less than 10 minutes from the intersection of Highway 55 and interstates 35E and 494. The site is owned by Interstate Partners, a real estate development company that bases its Minnesota operations out of Eden Prairie.

From Prime’s perspective, the spot was ideally located to accommodate its workforce. “A lot of our employees are already working in Eagan and the ability to do a build-to-suit is a pretty big win,” said Brian Holmes, Prime’s assistant vice president of facilities. Once complete, the new location could house up to 3,000 employees, mostly IT and operational workers culled from two existing locations in Eagan, an office in Edina and a fourth in Mendota Heights, Holmes said.  Currently, Prime has about 3,600 employees, with about 2,000 in Minnesota.

A beautiful precast concrete aggregate mix was used on this project, with nearly 70,000 square feet of black and white spandrels and wall panels with an acid etch finish.  Wells was involved in an extensive collaborative effort with the architect, HGA, in designing the structural systems to support the precast.  The project schedule is very tight and therefore being fast-tracked – in fact, Wells began production even before architectural drawings were finalized to meet schedule needs.

790 pieces / 69,510 sq. ft.

For more information about this project, contact Bob Geil.