The Capable Creativity of Precast Concrete Design

Celebrating the design excellence and building and transportation, the winners of the 2021 Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute 2021 PCI Design Award Winners.

The Academy of Motion Pictures by, Willis Construction Inc.
The Academy of Motion Pictures by, Willis Construction Inc.
Academy of Motion Pictures: Willis Construction Inc.
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With the limitless capabilities of concrete, aside from specs, engineering requirements - and physics - one is only constrained to creativity and innovation when it comes to its use. Contractors can be innovative with the mix, colors and stains, a finish fit for a king, not to mention the design of the project. The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Insitute (PCI) celebrates this fact with award competitions year-round. Recently the institute announced the winners of the 2021 PCI Design Awards. Judges awarded 26 projects along with 12 honorable mentions for design excellence in building and transportation categories. 

“Once again, the precast concrete industry has put its best foot forward and has delivered many inspiring and impressive projects,” says PCI President and CEO Bob Risser, P.E. in the official PCI announcement. He sees the award program as a chance for the precast concrete industry to demonstrate precasts practicality as well as "a head-turning aesthetic solution."

2021 PCI Design Awards

The PCI Design Awards have showcased and recognized the creative and innovative use of precast concrete for the past 58 years. A panel of industry experts that includes engineers, architects, and precast concrete producers judges all nominees. The buildings and transportation categories are judged on aesthetic, structural, and use versatility; site, energy and operational efficiency, and risk reduction; and resiliency, such as structure durability, multi-hazard protection, and life safety and health.

Several projects were honored with special awards - judged on similar criteria to the building and transportation projects, as well as additional requirements, including industry advancement, sustainable design, technology, and designs using all-precast concrete solutions. These awards include the Harry H. Edwards Industry Advancement Award, the Building Information Modeling (BIM) Award, the Sustainable Design Award, and the All-Precast Concrete Solution Award. 

All winning projects will be showcased and honored at the 2021 PCI Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, with an event on May 2021. They also will be highlighted in PCI publications, including PCI Journal, Ascent, and ASPIRE magazines. 

Special Awards

Harry H. Edwards Industry Advancement Award and Building Information Modeling (BIM) Award

Juno Winter Park, Winter Park, Fla., by Finfrock

The Juno Winter Park, by FinfrockThe Juno Winter Park, by FinfrockJuno Winter Park: Finfrock

In a project cost of $47.1 million, the design team utilized BIM software and proprietary precast concrete products from Finfrock to accomplish the project's vision. As quoted on PCI.org, chief executive officer of Finfrock - the designer, precast concrete producer, and contractor for the project - Allen Finfrock says, “By designing the project virtually in 3-D software, we answered questions and instilled confidence that the customer would get the building he wanted within the budget he required."

Read more of the Juno Winter Park project online at PCI.org.

Additional Special Awards included: 

The Sustainable Design Award, County Administration South – Building 16, Santa Ana, Calif., by Willis Construction Inc.

The All-Precast Concrete Solution Award, Escondido Village Graduate Residences, Palo Alto, Calif., by Clark Pacific

Special Awards Jury comprised of Marvin Hartsfield of Hartsfield & Associates, Kyle Knop of HGA Architecture, and 46-year retired industry veteran Robert Konoske. 

 The 2021 PCI Design Award Winning Projects - Buildings

The winning project in the Theater category was Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles, Calif. by Willis Construction Inc. houses the David Geffen theater featuring a 150-ft. diameter sphere. The 290,000 ft2 project cost $388 million and included 727 total panels cast on 30 base molds. Construction took 26 months to complete. 

The Academy of Motion Pictures by, Willis Construction Inc.The Academy of Motion Pictures by, Willis Construction Inc.Academy of Motion Pictures: Willis Construction Inc.

As described on the PCI.org project details page,

The sphere was originally conceived as a cast-in-place concrete shell, but as the design evolved, it became clear that cast-in-place was not the right solution. “Spherical formwork would have been prohibitively expensive for carpenters to fabricate and assemble on-site,” says Daniel Hammerman, architect for Renzo Piano Building Workshop. “Precast concrete allowed for better and more cost-effective finish quality and tighter tolerances and geometry control to ensure a perfect sphere.”

More details on the project can be found at the PCI.org website. 

The winner of the Hybrid Parking Structure category was the Assembly Row Block 6 Parking Garage project located in Somerville, Mass. by Unistress Corp.

The Montaje by ODEH Engineers Inc.The Montaje by ODEH Engineers Inc.Montaje: ODEH Engineers Inc.

This massive project consisted of three buildings: 273 apartments in 20 stories; a collection of high-end condos and hotel guestrooms in 13 stories; and a seven-story parking structure capable of handling 650 cars. This was no small feat. 

In order to accomplish goals, designers utilized precast concrete hollowcore for the structural flooring systems, specified due to the winter conditions experienced during construction and allowed for structural planks to be erected during that time. Jake McManus, project superintendent and Brian R. Knox, senior project manager, both of PROCON Inc., the design-builder on the Block 5A project explains, "“[Hollowcore] led to faster on-site erection time, with quicker floor turnover to the interior/exterior framing contractors. It also provided low floor-to-floor heights. The total floor-assembly depths are far less than could be achieved with conventional structural steel methods.”

Find more project details on the PCI.org website.

Additional Winning Building Projects, by category, include:

  • Data Center , DC Blox, Birmingham, Ala. by Gate Precast Company 
  • Government and Public, FDNY Firehouse Rescue #2, Brooklyn, N.Y. by High Concrete Group 
  • Healthcare/Medical, Texas Health Frisco - New Bed Tower, Frisco, Texas by Gate Precast Company 
  • Higher Education/University, Boston College Recreation Center, Chestnut Hill, Mass. by Unistress Corp. 
  • Hotels and Motels, The Peyton House and Ocean House, Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. by Gate Precast Company 
  • Mixed Use, One South First, Brooklyn, N.Y. by Gate Precast Company 
  • Multi-Family (co-winners), Clybourn 1200, Chicago, Ill. by ATMI Precast and Escondido Village Graduate Residences, Palo Alto, Calif. by Clark Pacific 
  • Office Building, Peabody Plaza, Nashville, Tenn. by Gate Precast Company 
  • All-Precast Concrete Parking Structure, Penn State Hershey Medical Center Parking Garage, Hershey, Pa. by High Concrete Group 
  • Façade Only Parking Structure , University of Alabama Parking Deck, Tuscaloosa, Ala. by Gate Precast Company
  • Religious, St. George Catholic Church, Baton Rouge, La. by Gate Precast Company
  • Retail, Nordstrom NYC Flagship, New York, N.Y. by Gate Precast Company
  • School K-12, Smithfield Middle School, Gymnasium Addition, North Richland Hills, Texas by Coreslad Structure (OKLA) Inc.
  • Stadium and Arena, Globe Life Field, Home of the Texas Rangers, Arlington, Texas by Enterprise Precast Concrete and Gate Precast Company
  • Custom Solution, Churchill Downs Colonnade and Infield Gate, Louisville, Ky. by Gate Precast Company

The Buildings jury consisted of Tim Cullen of Blue Ridge Design Inc., Monty Overstreet of FDG Inc., and Cheryl Rishcoff of TRC Worldwide Engineering Inc.

 Transportation

The winner of the Rehabillitated Bridge category was the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Safety Bay Improvements Project in New Orleans, La. by Gulf Coast Prestress Partners, LTD.

The Lake Pontchartrain project, by BOH Bros. Construction LLCThe Lake Pontchartrain project, by BOH Bros. Construction LLCLake Pontchartrain: BOH Bros. Construction LLCAny work on Lake Pontchartrain is going to be a unique project. For those who have never experienced, its quite the moment when you realize that you drive past the point of no return and there's no where else to go but forward.

If you've experienced this drive at least once or need to commute this bridge for work, it's an understatement to simply say "it's long." The bridge itself runs nearly 24 miles over water. Work for the project required the assembly of 30 pullover lanes resulting in almost zero lane closures. Read that again and consider that this bridge handles 40,000 vehicles each day. 

As explained on the PCI.org website,

To speed construction, the contractor set up long-line fabrication beds along the waterfront. Each line could accommodate components for one complete 1008-ft safety bay, consisting of 12 spans for the northbound structure and 18 spans for the southbound structure. Once one span was installed, the barge moved to the next span and that deck unit was transported into place. This process was then repeated for each span until the entire bay had been erected. Each bay was loaded in reverse order so that the final span loaded would be the first one erected at the bridge site. 

More information on this project can be found on the project's detail page within PCI.org.

  Additional Winning Transporation projects include: 

  • Main Span up to 75 ft. , Replacement of Old Easton Road Bridge Over Pine Run, Plumstead Township, Pa. by Northeast Prestressed Products LLC 
  • Main Span from 76-149 ft. , CR 661/Blackhall Road Over Rum Creek, Henry County, Ga. by Standard Concrete Products 
  • Main Span More than 150 ft., Rockingham I-91 Bridges 24N and 24S – IM 091-1(66), Rockingham, Vt. by J.P. Carrara & Sons 
  • Non-Highway Bridge, Sound Transit E360 Guideway Bridge, Bellevue, Wash. by Concrete Technology Corporation
  • Special Solution, Port of Corpus Christi North Bank Cargo Dock 16, Corpus Christi, Texas by Heldenfels Enterprises Inc.

The Transportation jury consisted of Reggie Holt of FHWA, Bijan Khaleghi of the Washington State DOT, and Glenn Myers of Atkins.

View all of this year’s winners and honorable mentions at the PCI.org website.

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