Foundry Place Precast Garage Eases Parking Crunch

Foundry Place Parking Garage


The city of Portsmouth opened the $26.2 million Foundry Place Parking Garage to help alleviate the city’s downtown parking crunch. The 5-story structure has 616 spaces and was constructed as part of a public/private partnership with Deer Street Associates, which is also building four mixed-use projects in the vicinity. Historic downtown Portsmouth had been lacking parking and this project will encourage further development in this sought-after area of the city.

City officials worked for more than a decade finding a location. According to Marc Stonier, PE, director of design with Walker Consultants, one of the challenges was the congested site in an urban environment situated between the neighborhood on the south and an active railway to the north.

The logistics dictated the structure and construction method and made precast concrete the most viable system.  Installation went up quickly and eliminated the need to have batching on site. Trucks delivered precast components just in time so that site constraints were eased and schedule improved with the precast structure.

Dailey Precast project manager, Dan Dailey, explained that they made use of BIM to coordinate with the general contractor and the team during the project’s erection phase. “As we came off the foundation, we were able to use BIM to show the Consigli team how all the precast pieces fit with what was already in the ground. Our use of BIM greatly improved coordination and we could review every component in 3D and show exactly where it is in the job. Any changes to the project are immediately reflected in the model, with the impact flowing through the entire project’s timeline.”

The Foundry Place Garage took its name from the site’s historic use as a metal-casting foundry. The original buildings on site represent an important aspect of Portsmouth history and so the project team incorporated metal gears in prominent ways on the exterior.

Dailey Precast cast enormous gears into the concrete stair tower. Dailey’s use of lasers in the production process helped with the placement of the gear shapes in the precast components. Additional ornamental gears were added onto the long southeast elevation.

In addition to the gears cast into the precast concrete panels, extruded aluminum plate fabricated gears were secured to the precast spandrels with concealed pin-type connectors. Aluminum decorative fins with curved center c-channel were flanked by flat panels on either side.  The structure was also set off with exterior decorative lighting. The fins were attached to break up the long expanse of the precast facade into more manageable segments and add some dimensionality to the flat panels, describes Stonier.

Incorporating four colors of concrete, the garage is a very stylish addition to the urban landscape. The shear walls at the end of the garage feature a russet color that resembles existing buildings in the Portsmouth area. The new precast parking garage is a welcome addition to the neighborhood, both aesthetically and functionally.

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