Buildings in the News 2008
Correctional Facility Relies
on Precast Concrete Modules
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will use precast concrete modular construction
for a new medium- and maximum-security correctional facility.
Oldcastle Precast Modular
is currently working with JE Dunn Construction, Kansas City, Mo.,
to provide 248 precast concrete cells at the Fort Leavenworth Regional
Correctional Facility in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., as part of the
base realignment and closure program.
The new $150 million 2-story
correctional facility will consist of 483 beds, including a warehouse,
engineering, and maintenance building as well as a covered vehicle
storage area. A new access road will lead to the prison on its 40-acre
The medium-security general
housing unit will consist of 200 cells, and the maximum-security
single housing units will consist of 48 cells.
Oldcastle Precast Modular
is supplying and installing the furniture including combination
units. Production for the 248 cells began in late October and will
finish in February 2009. Erection will begin in February and be
completed in March.
The architect of record is
HSMM/AECOM of Virginia.
ICFs Deliver for Timberlake
builders saved time and money by choosing insulating concrete form
(ICF) construction for the Timberlake Lodge Hotel Event Center in
Grand Rapids, Mich.
Kuepers Inc., the architect and builder, recognized the many advantages
ICFs would bring to their project, a 10,500 square-foot hotel with
a water park and the capacity to handle groups as large as
600. ICFs simplified and accelerated construction. Additionally,
their structural strength was superior to that of competing wall
ICFs were also chosen for
their inherent performance benefits, specifically a superior fire
rating between units (4 hour), high STC rating (55+), energy efficiency,
and thermal comfort. ICFs were used in finishing the pool area because
of their mold resistant properties.
Because ICFs allowed construction
to continue through the winter months without interruption, the
entire project was completed in just nine months, delivering early
occupancy and reduced lead time for materials.
New Devon Headquarters to Tower
Over Oklahoma City
Energy Corp. will build a new world headquarters in downtown Oklahoma
City that includes a 54-story, 925-foot tall skyscraper that will
be the tallest building in Oklahoma and cost upward of $750 million.
The 1.9 million square-foot building includes a 10-story garage,
meeting space, and first-floor retail.
Adjacent to the tower will be a glass rotunda that will serve as
its entrance. The rotunda is designed to fall right on the
"Harvey Axis," a line that is being used as a focal point
for redevelopment of a massive blighted area south of downtown.
It will connect several area attractions including the Myriad Botanical
Gardens, a new iconic central park.
Devon has registered the project with the U.S. Green Building Council's
LEED program. Potential sustainable features include floor-to-ceiling
vision glass to enhance day lighting for interior spaces, under-floor
air distribution and wire management, gray-water irrigation and
"green" roofs landscaped with native plants, and the selection
of materials from local sources with recycled-product content.
The tower is expected to be completed in 2012. Pickard Chilton
will design the building. Kendall/Heaton Associates, Inc., a Houston-based
architectural design firm, will serve as architect of record.
Tops Off in Chicago
August 16, the crews poured the last of the nearly 180,000 cubic
yards and 720 million pounds of concrete that support Chicago's
Trump Tower—the largest concrete-reinforced building in North
by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM), Chicago's 92-story
Trump Tower will be the tallest building built in North America
since the completion of Sears Tower in 1974. Reaching a height of
1134 ft. (1362 ft. including the spire) above grade, the 2.6 million-square
foot structure includes condominiums, service apartments, health
club, parking, and retail functions.
Constructing Trump Tower out of concrete rather than steel allowed
building designers to maximize window space, reduce material costs,
and keep the upper floors from swaying in the powerful Chicago wind.
The use of flat plate construction allowed for more floors to fit
within the same height compared to a steel-framed building. New
ground was being broken through a series of high performance concrete
mixes designed by Prairie Material Sales, Inc. and employed by SOM
on the project. It is believed to be the first application of 16,000
psi self-consolidating concrete pumped and placed to an elevation
up to 650 feet above grade.
Project completion is scheduled for spring of 2009; however, based
upon the phased-occupancy plan, the 339 room hotel opened January
30, 2008, well before the topping out of the structure.
Texas Condos Aim for Biggest
The South 5th Condominiums in
Austin, Texas, set out to be the finest in sustainable and energy-efficient
condominium living, but also turned out to be the largest insulated
concrete form project ever undertaken in the central Texas.
ICF work on the first three-story, three-unit building completed,
construction continues on the remaining 17 buildings. The
project was designed with a focus on green building and Leadership
in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
Energy-efficient design elements
include the use of insulated concrete forms for structural walls,
rooftop solar arrays, low-E windows, ultra-efficient HVAC systems,
and engineered lighting plans. The building also utilizes cast-in-place
One of the key environmentally
friendly design innovations on this project is the integration of
the storm water detention system within the building foundation.
The concrete basin will not be visible and will serve as a catchment
system to hold storm water runoff allowing the city's system to
keep pace with heavy rainfall.
Residents of the project
will also enjoy near silence as a result of the window and wall
Acero Construction is the
contractor for the project, which uses Amvic ICF systems.
Tesoro Treasures Green Building
for New Headquarters
petroleum refiner and marketer Tesoro Corporation is cementing its
commitment to environmentally sound operations with a new LEED-Silver
corporate headquarters campus now under construction in San Antonio,
The campus is part of a new master-planned office park being developed
by Patrinely Group, Houston. Located on 122 acres in north San Antonio,
the campus will include two buildings, 14 and 6 stories, plus a
parking garage for 2,300 cars. Tesoro will occupy 600,000 square
feet, leaving another 618,000 square feet as rentable space.
The office buildings are pan-and-joist concrete construction; the
parking structure is precast. Building features include an under-floor
HVAC system, cafeteria and fitness center, and conference facilities.
Completion is scheduled for 2009.
Architect is the Houston office of Gensler, general contractor
is D.E. Harvey Builders, and the structural engineer is Haynes.
CEMEX Goes Green for New U.S.
U.S. headquarters for CEMEX Inc., will be constructed as one of
the few green buildings in Houston, further showcasing the company’s
commitment to the environment through sustainable development practices.
According to the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Houston
chapter, there are currently less than 15 LEED certified buildings
in the area. The new CEMEX USA headquarters will be the largest
green building of its kind in Houston, and CEMEX’s concrete
will play a major role.
Much of the concrete will reflect more of the sun’s energy
during the day and does not radiate as much stored heat at night.
This reduces the urban heat island effect, as it decreases the building’s
energy usage and the demand on air conditioning systems, especially
in the summertime. In addition, the CEMEX concrete mixes also employ
recycled supplementary cementitious materials, such as fly ash.
The average LEED certified building uses 32 percent less electricity
and saves 350 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually.
The new facility is currently being constructed near the Memorial
City Mall in west Houston. CEMEX will occupy 170,000 square feet
of the 325,000 square foot office building. The construction is
expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2009
Austonian Rises Above Development
Concerns With Green Design
a city famed for its green building standards and anti-development
sentiments, the 56-story 683-foot-tall Austonian will stand out
in more ways than one. Scheduled for completion in 2009, the residential
and retail tower will dominate the skyline as the tallest building
in Austin, Texas. It also stands out as a commitment to green building
and sustainable development by encouraging high-density, urban living
downtown and complying with Austin’s stringent Green Building
The 500,000 square-foot, $200-million project will have 188 residential
condominiums plus parking and retail shops. The building is structural
concrete with post-tensioned, flat-plate construction. Green features
include a rainwater capture system, a green roof, low-E glass walls
with Mechoshades, and Energy-Star rated appliances.
Ziegler Cooper Architects designed the elliptical-shaped tower.
Tucson Office Park Green with
first speculative LEED-certified office park in Tucson, Arizona,
is using insulating concrete forms (ICF) to meet its energy efficiency
goals. According to the project's LEED consultant, the concrete-form
combination provides a "tremendous thermal barrier."
La Cholla Professional Park, a nearly 80,000-square-foot facility,
is designed to provide office and medical space. The developer,
Robert Schwartz, held an open house on Earth Day, April 22, to demonstrate
the ICF technology to the community. ARXX, the ICF manufacturer,
expects the walls to reduce cooling costs by 40 to 50 percent. Visitors
to the unfinished buildings found them cool and comfortable inside,
despite the 90 degrees temperature outside.
To date, the development has one tenant, a cancer treatment center.
The developer expects its proximity to a local hospital to attract
additional medical tenants.
New Waves Hit Chicago’s
a stunning new Chicago high-rise, will be completed in early 2010.
Using concrete as both structural element and architectural material,
the designer builds upon the Mies Van Der Rohe ideal “form
follows function,” and disguises the building’s rectilinear
layout beneath a fluid face. The result is an unusual exterior that
is attractive and functional.
A hotel, apartment, and condominium tower located near Chicago’s
lakefront, Aqua, like its neighbors and many other Chicago high-rises,
has a rectangular structural footprint. But irregular, curving balconies
protruding from its faces impart a dynamic form. Concrete’s
moldability makes the fluid façade possible.
Outlines of every floor plan are different. The balconies are made
by loading the specifications for the curving edges into a surveying
tripod with a built-in computer. Steel formwork is bent to form
the contour. The floors are placed by pumping concrete to each level,
and the cantilevered balconies are monolithic with the floor slabs.
The balconies extend out as much as 3.7 meters (12 feet) from the
glass curtain wall. Because of the irregular width of the protruding
portions, some of the balcony space will be usable and some of it
Jeanne Gang, Studio/Gang/Architects, designed the building.
Westchase II Taps Demand for Green Office
Properties is tapping into commercial demand for LEED-certified
office space with Westchase II, now nearing completion in the Westchase
District of Houston, Texas.
It's the first new Class A office building for Westchase in more
than six years and an addition to Granite's existing complex.
The 14-story, 336,000-square-foot, $38-million speculative high-rise
office building will also include an 8-story, 1000-car parking garage.
The LEED-certified building is constructed of cast-in-place-concrete
pan and joist framing. The parking structure is precast concrete.
Green features include insulated dual-pane glass, self-contained
HVAC with more zones per floor, and a stormwater collection system
under the parking garage that removes pollutants before entering
the city’s water system.
The building completion is planned for May of 2008. Contractor
is Hoar Construction, LLC; architect is Kirksey Architecture.
Dunn Picks Concrete for New Headquarters
Dunn broke ground in January 2008 on its new 204,000 square-foot
headquarters in downtown Kansas City, Mo. JE Dunn is one of Kansas
City's top 50 businesses, the largest contractor in the metro area,
and the fifth largest building contractor in the country.
The headquarters building
will house 520 employees. The $40.5 million, 5-story office building
will include an adjacent $18.3 million parking structure to serve
The building will be the
first LEED® Gold certified corporate headquarters project in
Kansas City. An exterior of precast concrete will also serve as
the interior face of the perimeter wall; no dry wall will be used
for the interior perimeter walls. To conserve energy, no office
space will be more than 22.5 feet away from natural light. To conserve
water, all irrigation for the site and property will be from collected
rainwater or "gray water." Gray water is collected water
from sinks and showers and used for landscaping irrigation.
The structure is a 66-inch-wide
modular pan-and-joist system spanning to post-tensioned girders.
Amid Downturn, Las Vegas Still
on a Roll
a downturn in real estate markets coupled with foreboding economic
indicators, investors are still betting on developments in Las Vegas,
Nev. At least for now, a roster of mega-projects keeps tower cranes
on the skyline of the Las Vegas Strip:
Wynn is adding a second 61-story tower adjacent to the existing
resort. Encore is a $2.1-billion, 2,034-room hotel project set to
open in the first quarter of 2009.
Turnberrry Associates, owners of this project's namesake in Miami,
Fla, is building a $2.8-billion, 3,889-room, hotel/condo-hotel/casino
scheduled to open in 2009 at the 24.5 acre site previously occupied
by the El Rancho Hotel and the Algiers Hotel.
City Center (model
pictured above right): This $7.8-billion, 76-acre
mixed-use complex is currently under construction by MGM Mirage
and scheduled for completion in 2009. The complex includes 2,650
condominiums units and 4,540 hotel rooms amid residential and hotel
towers and mid-rise buildings above a retail and entertainment district.
Place (left): This $4.8-billion multi-use project is Boyd
Gaming Corporation's replacement for the Stardust Resort & Casino.
Scheduled to open in 2010, the 87-acre site will include an 140,000-square-foot
casino, four hotels providing 5,300 rooms, 25 restaurants and bars,
and a convention center with 1 million square feet of space.
Vegas Plaza: This $5 to $8 billion ultra-luxury hotel,
private residences, retail and gaming complex is under development
by ElAd Properties, owner of the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Construction
will begin in early 2008 and is expected to be completed in 2011.
Seattle Condo Project Seeks
Wide Open Spaces
to life without walls." That's how developer Vulcan Real Estate
is promoting the clear spans and floor-to-ceiling windows of Rollin
Street Flats, a condo project helping to anchor redevelopment of
the South Lake Union District in Seattle, Wash.
Rollin Street is a market-rate
condominium building scheduled for completion in early 2009. The
11-story, 400,000-square-foot mixed-use project has 208 residential
units and 20,000 square feet of ground floor retail space.
A cast-in-place concrete
frame is an integral part the wide-open-spaces concept, with concrete
exposed in the ceilings, columns, and some shear walls. Structure
is 8-inch-thick post-tensioned flat-plate slabs, 18 x 24-inch concrete
columns, and 24-inch-thick shear walls at elevator and stair openings.
Architects are Ankrom
Moisan Architects, Portland, Ore., and HSW, Seattle. Structural
engineer is Cary Kopczynski and Company, Bellevue, Wash.
Res/Rec Center to Shine Silver
availability of locally produced precast concrete materials was
key for the approval of a new dormitory at North Central College
in Naperville, Ill.
Located in the city's downtown
area, the 198,000-square foot residential and recreational facility
called the Res/Rec Center will be LEED Silver certified and conform
to Naperville's Citywide Building Design Guidelines. The Guidelines
were rewritten to allow the acceptance of precast concrete instead
of the previous "brick-only" mandate.
The precast system, manufactured
by Dukane Precast, will utilize a formliner application to give
the building a masonry appearance, consistent with other area buildings.
The use of precast will also
contribute significantly to the building's LEED certification. In
addition to be being available locally, the construction process
produces less waste, uses recycled materials, and requires less
energy for production. Once the building is complete, it will provide
an energy efficient envelope and allow the construction of a green
The Res/Rec Center will have
the capacity to house 265 students and will wrap around a field
house that includes an indoor track and fitness facilities.