Precast perfection

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Precast perfection

We asked experts around the world to name outstanding buildings or projects that exhibit great applications of precast concrete – whether those buildings are architecturally beautiful, imaginative, structurally clever, or technically impressive. What makes these buildings exceptional?

Geelong Library and Heritage Centre, Geelong, Australia

“With its unique dome design and precast Glass Reinforced Concrete (GRC) cladding manufactured by National Precast member Asurco Contracting, this visually stunning building is a landmark for Victoria’s second largest city, Geelong. The nine-story, state-of-the-art facility is a spectacular addition to the city’s cultural and architectural landscape.

Geelong Library and Heritage Centre changes the streetscape of the city. The spherical structure of the building has been likened to something from Star Wars, a soccer or golf ball and even a “big brain”.

 

The ambitious $45.5 million project is an impressive demonstration of the flexibility of Glass Reinforced Concrete, a strong but lightweight material that saves transport costs and reduces environmental impact. Asymmetrical and geometrically pentagonal or hexagonal precast GRC dome panels were manufactured complete with a secondary steel sub frame and then bolted to the primary structure, to create the domed facade. Designed to be long-lasting and environmentally friendly, the building boasts a 5 Star Green Star rating.”

 

  • Owner: Geelong City Council
  • Architect: ARM Architecture
  • Engineer: Reid Engineering Services
  • Builder: Kane Constructions
  • Precast supplier: Asurco Contracting

 

Sarah Bachmann, CEO,
National Precast Concrete Association, Australia


Helsingin Viuhka apartments, Helsinki, Finland

 “This towering residential building is an impressive landmark in the local district of Vuosaari, Helsinki. ’Viuhka’ means ‘fan’ in Finnish, and the beautiful building lives up to its name with its lightweight look. The untraditional balconies make the facade very interesting. The building was demanding to construct since it is located in a relatively snug spot, right next to a metro station. Innovative structure design, intelligent use of precast concrete and high-quality execution earned this project the national Concrete Structure of the Year Award in 2016. The apartments are small but functional, and the charming balconies serve as extensions to the living rooms. Helsingin Viuhka is a vivid architectural unity.”

 

  • Owner: VVO Group
  • Architect: Konkret Architects
  • Structural engineer: Sweco Structures
  • Main contractor: Fira
  • Precast suppliers: Parma, Betonimestarit

 

Tarja Merikallio, Managing Director, Concrete Association of Finland


Nestlé R&D Centre, Manesar, India

“This is a unique precast structure, the first of its kind in India. The 15,000 m2 building was completed in the exceptional time of one year. Requirements for the building were very challenging with long span slabs (12 metres), high loading (15.0 kN/m2, which is 7.5 times residential loading), very high seismic conditions (zone 4) and stringent quality and hygiene requirements from Nestlé. A lot was demanded of the structural system to meet these strict criteria, and prestressed precast was the most suitable solution. The structural system is comprised of multi-story precast columns, prestressed beams, precast basement walls, long span prestressed precast slabs with structural topping and CIS shearwalls.”

 

  • Owner: Nestlé India
  • Main Architect: Concept Consultants Architects, Switzerland
  • Architect: Nirman Architects
  • Engineering consultant: NNE Pharmaplan
  • Structural Engineer: Elematic India
  • Contractor: Survi Projects

 

Sanjeev Pillai, Project Manager, Engineering, Elematic


Statoil office complex, Harstad, Norway

“This 11,000-m2 office building serves as a workplace for 600 office workers, but it’s also a shopping center. The location is beautiful with the mountains on one side and the sea on the other. The structures of the office complex partly overhang the sea. Using precast concrete doesn’t make a building boring, and this multidimensional project is a fine example of that. The precast concrete framework has an impressive glass facade on top of it, and the L-shaped building is beautifully positioned. The building raises the visual profile of the town.

The construction environment posed many challenges and demanded careful planning, design, manufacture, logistics, and assembly. The structural engineers also had to consider the area’s seismic activity. The precast concrete elements were manufactured in Lithuania and shipped to Norway. The tight schedule demanded good planning and smooth communication between all parties. Tekla Structures BIM software helped coordinate design, manufacturing, shiploads, and site operations.”

 

  • Foundation engineer: Norconsult
  • Structural engineer: Concretus Designers
  • Architect: SJ Arkitekter
  • Facade engineer: Staticus
  • Precast supplier: Markuciai

 

Tero Kautto, Business Development Manager, Precast and Rebar, Trimble Solutions Corporation

 

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