Prefab components make for efficient build on small site
The views from inside the suites at 221 Stradbrook give an amazing visual of the meeting of the Red River and Assiniboine River at The Historic Forks Market in Winnipeg; the meeting place of two great rivers and of people alike. The new total precast concrete apartment building supplied by Lafarge Canada Inc, Winnipeg Precast Plant, brings beauty and functionality to what was for years an empty lot. As time marches on, the durability and unique appearance of this precast concrete structure may, too, one day be considered historic.
Built by Akman Construction of Winnipeg, The Spot at East Village is an 18-storey mixed-use apartment building which boasts 145 units, a single-storey of commercial rental at grade level, and a 177-stall parking structure. The project utilizes precast concrete architectural wall panels, which also provide bearing for the floor system. These walls have a horizontal form liner finish with a ribbed pattern. The corner wall panels were cast using a stage cast method, which reduced the number of caulking joints and ensured the finish was lined up around the corners.
Insulation in the exterior double-wythe precast concrete panels was Neopor EPS and provides an R-Value of R-27. Working closely with architect Dustin Sharrow of MMP Architects, Lafarge’s design team provided samples and advice to help realize the architectural vision. The majority of the panels are white, with several other walls consisting of colour-pigmented concrete as a base and then painted on site - all in contrast to the modern curtain wall windows and glass railing around the balconies.
The floor system uses hollowcore precast concrete floor slabs bearing from the exterior wall panels to solid precast concrete interior bearing walls. The elevator core and stair wells are also of solid precast concrete wall panels, as are the stairs and landings. The stairs and landings provided an immediately usable and safe surface to walk on for the trades working in the building. Unlike steel pan stairs that require the pans to be filled on site, and then require paint, the precast concrete stairs are prefinished and ready for use upon installation. Finishing the look of the exterior and providing a connection to the outdoors, precast concrete balcony slabs were supplied and are supported by the Exterior walls.
Adjoining the high rise, is a 2.5 storey precast concrete parking structure constructed of Double Tee deck slabs, precast concrete columns and spandrels, and solid bearing walls. Engineering for the project was provided by Wolfrom Engineering of Winnipeg and design assistance from Lafarge’s own engineering team.
The biggest challenge for this project was the site itself. The footprint of the building and parking structure take up nearly the entire site. Coordination with the installation crew was of utmost importance to schedule the deliveries to the site and manage the street access for install. Pre-planning of a project with this kind of challenge is very important, as the logistics of crane location and minimal room to move and relocate were established as challenges from the beginning.
Through collaboration, pre-planning and communication, the challenges of building this structure on a very small site were successfully overcome. The result is a dramatic new addition to the Winnipeg skyline.
Paul L Champagne is Precast Planner and Photographer with Lafarge Canada Inc. – Winnipeg Precast
PHOTOS: Paul L Champagne, Lafarge Canada Inc. – Winnipeg Precast
Private Pension Partners Asset Management
Wolfrom Engineering Ltd
Akman Construction Ltd.
Lafarge Canada Inc. – Winnipeg Precast
Canadian Precast Prestressed Concrete Institute
PO Box 24058 Hazeldean, Ottawa Ontario, Canada K2M 2C3