University of North Dakota Parking Ramp
Grand Forks, ND
The University hired EAPC Architects Engineers to design this $16.3-million, fivestory concrete structure with 272,300-square-foot total parking area, a below-grade tunnel parking ramp project and act as its construction manager.
Every detail, from the colors of the concrete curtain walls (champagne and dark bronze) and canopy (sandstone) to the metal finishes (parchment) and glass tints (solar bronze), was designed to look as if it naturally belongs at the University. The style and color of the thin brick on the top two exterior levels were selected to match the neighboring campus buildings.
Concrete was selected as the primary building material for the project, which needed approximately 2,900 tons of cast-in-place concrete, with 280 tons of rebar, and about 12,500 tons of precast concrete. Wells Concrete produced the precast pieces from the Grand Forks plant.
Using precast for much of the project allowed the designers to incorporate specific architectural finishes, including thin-brick inserts on the top levels; it also made it possible for much of the production and storage to be off-site, which was necessary because of the constrained urban location, which had little on-site storage.
This project used 1,124 individual precast members that required 1,288 hours of production drafting and 260 days of all-indoor production in our PCI-certified Grand Forks plant.
The precast walls were enormous and complex, but they were designed to maximize the use of repetitive shapes, sizes and details. The deck pieces, for example, were designed as eight-foot by 60-foot double-Tees with 60 feet of clear span pre-topped with 1.5 inches of concrete. These decks were delivered to the site one piece at a time by truck. The entire parking ramp required 655 truckloads of precast pieces.
The project also included seven elevators located in four separate elevator and stairway enclosures to further serve pedestrian convenience.