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Like Giant Lego Blocks

All-Precast Office Building Erects Like a Dream During Worst Winter in Years
What better way to showcase great products than to use them yourselves? Strescon is currently getting ready to unveil their new corporate office - the first all-precast office building in Atlantic Canada. Although a common building practice in Europe, all-precast construction is just starting to catch on in Canada.

Developers have been taking advantage of the technology for all-precast parking garages for many years now, but a revolution is poised to erupt, as owners and designers discover that the same advantages gained by using all precast in a parking garage, can be replicated in many other applications as well, including residential and office structures.

This past winter provided an ideal example for the advantages off all-precast construction. As projects utilizing tradition construction methods floundered under the heavy snowfall of a harsh Atlantic Canadian winter, Strescon’s 16,300 square foot, all-precast office building went up like a breeze, from foundations to weather-tight in slightly over two weeks.

Erection began November 21st,2007, with the last piece put into place on December 6th , 2007. At an average of 15 pieces per day erected, this speed is unmatchable for any other construction method. Modular, all-precast construction is erected so smoothly, it’s commonly compared to clicking together Lego® building blocks. While other projects got put on hold until spring, trades people were able to quickly move into the Strescon office to begin interior work. In an industry where time is money, what developer doesn’t want to save both? Quicker erection; less delays; smoother processes; lower costs; and faster tenant occupation? All-precast residential and office building provide all that and more.

While quicker erection can get tenants into buildings faster, the security of all-precast concrete can also keep them there. Precast concrete construction provides high fire, wind and sound ratings, keeping tenants safe and comfortable.

In addition to being faster and more cost effective, all-precast construction provides designers an unlimited variety of exterior finishes to choose from. With the simple addition of pigments, aggregates, or molds, precast concrete can evoke the look of anything from an old castle; to granite blocks; to brickwork. All at a fraction of the cost compared to the real thing, without compromising quality. With precast concrete, each individual piece is manufactured in a controlled environment, quality certified plant, then shipped to the job site for erection.

Now many wooden building get torn down every year and displaced to our landfills? Sustainable, precast concrete is made to endure. In fact, precast concrete is one of the most environmentally friendly building products in existence. Designers and responsible developers are increasingly turning to precast in their efforts to build greener buildings. According to the Canadian Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (CPCI), precast concrete components can help attain 23 of the 26 points needed to achieve “Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design” (LEED) certification on new buildings.

Strescon’s all precast concrete office was constructed assembling 170 pieces of concrete, much like you would using a set of Legos. The main floor has 13,000 square feet of usable office space. A small basement area of 3250 square feet at one end is used for storage.

The main floor has only three interior columns, allowing the owner and designer freedom when choosing their preferred choice of office locations and work stations to suit specific needs. They started with basically two 40’ clean span bays, approximately 160’ long. Many partitioned offices are placed around the perimeter walls with the center core using a flexible cubicle wall system.

The slender roof system is comprised of 12” Strescon planks, insulation, and membrane, allowing plenty of room for HVAC and electrical services hidden by a hung tile ceiling. The exterior walls are 9” thick, load-bearing architectural panels. The interior of the panels were then covered with R-20 spray-on insulation. Dividing the building at centerline is a lunchroom, copy center, washroom and reception area.

The flexible layout provided by the long precast spans will allow Strescon to change and adapt their office space easily in the years to come. Just that versatility alone, is a great reason to build with all-precast. Strescon’s employees are eagerly anticipating moving into their new home later this spring.

Owner: Strescon Limited
Architects: Architects 2000 Inc
Structural Engineer: R. A. Lawrence Engineering & Strescon Limited
General Contractor: FCC Construction
Precast Concrete: Strescon Limited

© CPCI 2012. All rights reserved.