More than ever before, builders are challenged to construct an office building that is all things to all people — one that provides the right infrastructure to support changing technology, offers long-term durability with little maintenance, and promotes flexible space for varying needs.
Site cast tilt-up construction is a proven solution for meeting these needs while offering owners the benefit of a fast construction schedule. The winners of the 2004 Tilt-Up Concrete Association Achievement Awards competition in the office category demonstrate the method’s versatility and applicability for some of the most demanding projects.
Effective use of thin brick
The 15,134-sq.-ft. Security Central office building in Centennial, Colo., is an example of a project that demonstrates effective planning and delivery, especially in its use of thin brick. The use of tilt-up construction provided a quicker schedule and was more cost-effective than competing methods. Further, the attention to detail employed through the tilt-up technology maximized the effectiveness of the integrated brick and elevated the use of tilt-up locally for small and office projects.
Site conditions were particularly challenging for this project. With a useable floor slab of less than 5,500 sq. ft., the team constructed an 11,000-sq.-ft. casting bed in the parking lot that was eventually covered by asphalt paving. The sloping, 50,000-sq.-ft. site required the casting bed to be sloped in two directions. This necessitated a focused attention to the detailed panel articulation.
The owner’s desire for great exposure resulted in construction of a two-story office building boasting tilt-up panels that -— at 41 ft. — were almost tall enough to accommodate a third floor. Conventional brick columns and sheet metal flashing were used to create a robust entry.
Coming from behind
The largest construction project in St. Louis in several years, the 515,000-sq.-ft. CitiMortgage Operations Center combined four different venues into one location. Tilt-up enabled the design-build team to meet the aggressive schedule and aesthetic requirements.
A particularly rainy spring in St. Louis caused the project to fall 40 days behind schedule. However, by utilizing tilt-up and design-build, the contractor was able to not only get back on track, but actually finish ahead of schedule. The three-story building will house up to 5,000 Citigroup employees and was constructed so that additional wings could be added to accommodate personnel growth. This modern facility, with open floor plans, reflects a sensitivity to the employee by incorporating features such as a full-service cafeteria, exercise facility, perimeter window views, convenient highway access, exterior amenities including a patio and indirect lighting at all open office areas to reduce glare on computer screens. The color and texture of the thin brick system, coupled with the landscaping, lighting and stone wall that surrounds the facility, provides a corporate feel that is suitable for the suburban environment.
One corporate culture
Chevron’s pending merger with Texaco made the timing of the move into their new 145,300-sq.-ft. headquarters building in Bakersfield, Calif., crucial to achieving successful integration of the employees into the corporate culture of the newly formed company. Tilt-up was selected for its speed and lower per square foot cost compared to alternative methods. The project’s progressive design features large ground floor windows, which proved to be a challenge when engineering the tilt-up panels. These openings were made possible by casting structural steel supports into the panels behind the window frames and were a primary reason for the selection of this project as an award winner.