Over 400 Precast Panels Wins A 2022 Craftsmanship Award from the PCI

Recognizing the precast plants for their excellence in manufacturing and craftsmanship, the Sidney Freedman Craftsmanship Award from the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute was presented to the Lombard Architectural Precast Products Company.

The Orchard Wins 2022 PCI Sidney Freedman Craftsmanship Award
McCaffery and Hines | Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute
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Announced on October 31, 2022, the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute presented its 2022 Sidney Freedman Craftsmanship Award to Lombard Architectural Precast Products Company's Alsip, Illinois, plant for the work done for The Orchard. The award recognizes PCI-certified plants for excellence in manufacturing and craftsmanship of architectural precast concrete and glass fiber-reinforced concrete (GFRC) structures and individual components. The Orchard is a luxury condominium project located in Chicago by general contractor Gilbane Residential Construction. 

Judges selected Lombard Architectural Precast Products Company’s plant for manufacturing the project’s exterior precast concrete panels with a limestone-like finish. The structure’s intricate balcony design, roof-level cornices, door and window trim, and various lineal reveals required unique formwork with highly complex build-ups and precise detailing. Lombard Architectural Precast cast more than 400 precast concrete panels to realize the architect’s design and detailing goals.

“The precast's color, texture, and finishes were consistent throughout the entire project. Overall, it was very impressive,” says Mike Mourad, vice president of customer service at International Precast Solutions, of River Rouge, Michigan, a member of the award jury. “All of the different components consisting of 400 panels came together beautifully and elegantly to showcase the architect’s intent.”

“Our greatest accomplishment on this project was how the team overcame the design challenges,” said Adam Lombard, estimator at Lombard Architectural Precast. “This project challenged the team here at all levels, from estimating and production to quality control, trucking, and project management.

Repetition is vital for precast concrete. A manufacturer needs to produce panel after panel without a lot of interruption, and quickly. Lombard's Alsip plant rose to this challenge and beyond as The Orchard required unique formwork for each seperate piece. "Our production team was constantly adjusting siderails and formwork while trying to stay within the constraints of the basic molds," adds Lombard.

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

The Sidney Freedman Craftsmanship Awardaward is named after retired PCI Director of Architectural Systems Sidney Freedman, who was a leading voice in precast concrete architectural design for more than 43 years with the organization.