The newly constructed Wahconah Regional High School is nestled in the heart of the Berkshires, Massachusetts and serves over 500 students in grades 9-12.
The exterior is clad with architectural precast concrete and curtainwall offering a durable facade as well as dramatic aesthetics. Custom formwork and fabrication were a collaborative process between precast manufacturer Coreslab Structures (CONN) Inc. and Drummey Rosane Anderson (DRA) Architects. The result is a modern design utilizing building materials that are both functional and economical.
Two-hundred precast panels started to arrive on site in June 2020 and took just five weeks to install. Load-bearing pre-insulated precast concrete was chosen for its durability, speed of construction and off-site production. The panels feature earth-tone colors and various finishes to complement the school’s surroundings.
Being budget savvy was a critical part of project approval and precast concrete was selected not only for the quality of the factory-made pieces for the exterior envelope, but for the exposed interior surfaces as well.
The central area inside the new high school is nicknamed “Main Street” and ties together sections of the facility such as administrative offices, a fitness center, and the student commons. Wahconah features flexible learning spaces where classrooms are clustered around collaborative breakout spaces or pods similar to a college campus.
Due to pandemic restrictions and delays in other materials, the first day of school in the new building was delayed until Oct. 12.
PCI launched a new Architectural Certification program on Oct. 1. This means any project bid after this date should use the new architectural precast categories. The new categories can be viewed on the PCI Architectural Precast Concrete webpage where publications, FAQs, updated timelines, and more can also be found.
The Architectural Certification categories are differentiated by the complexity of the architectural elements and the allowable dimensional tolerances. It is important to collaborate with your precaster and specify the correct certification category to ensure the finished product meets the owner’s expectations. One of the goals of redefining the Architectural Certification Program is to help the designer, construction team, and precaster better communicate expectations.
Contact Rita Seraderian at www.pcine.org to request a virtual office presentation to understand the new certification program. The program is AIA HSW and PDH accredited.