Project Highlights: Panel System: Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) Project Size: 178,000 total sq. ft. consisting of 555 Panels
The exterior skin consisted primarily of glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) panels that emulated the existing exterior character of the cloverleaf tower. Working with Willis Construction in a Design Build capacity, the team developed panel designs that shortened the overall erection schedule. Aside from GFRC, the project team worked with Tower Glass in developing a system of unitized curtainwall designs. Due to the nature of a high rise hospital located in a high seismic zone, a light weight, yet durable facade was sought. GFRC was selected because of its light weight nature and concrete aesthetic that complemented the LLUMC Campus. A multi-story panel size also led to cost savings relating to speed of installation.
The primary architectural expression was the deep vertical fins alternating with curtain wall strips. Vertical GFRC panels were the best solution. The fins, though deep, could be light-weight, reducing the load on the base isolated structure. The flexible GFRC frames allowed for high seismic floor to floor drifts without requiring horizontal drift joints on every floor running through the curtain wall. The challenge now was to solve the handling of these very large panels for delivery and installation. The GFRC fin elements were ganged three wide and three high to speed up all handling, erection and aligning activities. This also resulted in fewer total connections to the structure, ultimately keeping the cost within the budget.
Summary of precast concrete components: Project included 555 individual panels. Majority of panels were vertical full wall panels with window openings or 3 vertical fin panels that were combined into one panel for trucking and installation. Typical size 43' 6" x 11' 7" Description of finish(s): All GFRC panels were cast with a custom yellow color and given a light sandblasted finish.
Willis Construction has been providing Architectural Precast Concrete building panels and products for the construction industry since 1979. Willis Construction is dedicated to providing Owners, Architects, and General Contractors with the design and engineering expertise necessary to meet the building challenges of today and the future. The quality, durability, and long life of Architectural Precast Concrete, Thinshell, and GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete) systems provide a wide range of design options for virtually every type of building. Contact us to decide which system would be best suited for your next project.
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