Research is ongoing to advance precast concrete insulated wall panel technology by developing materials and design to double its thermal performance and reduce weight by half without increasing costs. The main goal of this project is to promote passive envelope technologies for improving energy efficiency in new construction.
The exterior skin of Ruby City, a new contemporary art center in San Antonio, Texas, has a ruby glow. Made from precast concrete fabricated in Mexico City, it has been imbued with a rich red that gives the building its signature color.
The theme of transportation was dominant when architecture firm Leo A. Daly designed a five-building distribution center for Dollar General in Bessemer, Alabama. Rather than opting for a conventional finish on the warehouse’s precast exterior walls, the Omaha-based design firm sought a visual way to bring the theme to life.
Prior to the mid-20th century, building walls relied on their thickness and density to resist water penetration. Moisture would mainly deflect from the wall face or be absorbed and later evaporate from the mass wall.
Last week, the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) announced the winners of its 55th annual design awards program. The organization recognized 21 projects with awards of excellence out of more than 100 submissions from producers, engineers, and architects across the country.