Structural Steel Clad with Precast Concrete Utilized
Pittsfield, MA – Students, faculty, and city and state officials recently cut the ribbon to dedicate the new $120 million Taconic High School.
The new 246,530sf facility consists of three stories; the top two floors will be academic classrooms, and the ground floor will be for vocational shops. Taconic High School selected precast concrete as a major building component for its vocational shops. The project was designed by DRA Architects, the construction manager was Skanska, and the contractor was Gilbane. DRA applied green technologies to help the new school to be more energy efficient.
The precast concrete work for the vocational shop section was a joint effort between Coreslab Structures (CONN) Inc. and Unistress Corp. Coreslab manufactured a variety of precast concrete components, including structural walls and columns, hollow-core planks, insulated wall panels, and spandrels. Unistress provided precast concrete beams and double tees for the ceilings of the new technical shop. The precast concrete specialty firm TRC Worldwide performed the engineering and detailing for all components to ensure a complete coordinated effort.
A one-story structural precast concrete podium floor plate supports a two-story steel structure that is clad with insulated architectural precast concrete panels on behalf of the building’s footprint. A series of four mixture designs and various textures were selected, including some with custom formliners. The design was based on the equal bay spacing for the vocational shop areas and worked well for integration of double tees into the building structure. The use of precast concrete was expanded into the building for the interior partition walls in the heavy-duty shop areas.
Coordination with other trades was minimized by specifying all utilities, including electrical systems, which are cast into the precast concrete walls. Portions of demising walls between the shops were also designed to be removable, allowing it to be more flexible in the future. The use of precast components has also helped implement the schools security strategies.
Construction started onsite in February 2016 and was completed in time for the August 2018 school year.