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Innovations E-Newsletter


Building Innovation 2015 Conference & Expo

Center 128 Parking Structure

The National Institute of Building Sciences Third Annual Conference & Expo

January 6-9, 2015
PCINE and MAPA Exhibit at the Building Innovation 2015: The National Institute of Building Sciences Third Annual Conference & Expo, scheduled for Tuesday-Friday, January 6-9, 2015, at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C., will explore Creating High-Performing Resilient Communities.

To register, visit

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NEES Webinars: Seismic Performance of Architectural Precast Facade Systems

Two upcoming NEES/EERI Research-to-Practice webinars will be featuring NEES Projects and their affiliated studies on architectural precast façade systems. The first webinar focuses on Research and Testing Programs, and the second webinar focuses on Design Implications and Lessons Learned.

There is no cost to attend the webinars. To register go to PDHs will be available from EERI after the webinar for $30.

Seismic Performance of Architectural Precast Facade Systems
Research and Testing Programs:
Friday, December 5, 2014, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. PST
Design Implications and Lessons Learned:
Friday, December 12, 2014, 11:00 a.m - 12:30 p.m. PST

Kurt McMullin (M. EERI, 1992), Professor, San Jose State University

Tara Hutchinson (M. EERI, 1995), Professor, University of California at San Diego
Mark Hildebrand, President, Willis Precast Co. Inc.
Glen Underwood, Chief Structural Engineer, Clark-Pacific Precast
Elide Pantoli (M. EERI, 2012), Doctoral Candidate, University of California at San Diego

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Featured Projects

Long Hill Brook Bridge, Middletown, CT

University of Massachusetts-Lowell South Campus Parking Structure

When Connecticut officials decided they needed to replace the deteriorated Long Hill Brook Bridge on Route 17 in Middletown, they knew the work needed to be completed quickly. The bridge was too critical for the heavy use it received to allow detours to last long. To achieve these goals, designers specified a precast concrete structure with ultra-high early strength so the bridge could be replaced over one weekend.

The bridge features nine 29-foot-long precast concrete rigid-frame sections with a 7-foot rise and a 4'11-½-inch width. The structure also includes four bridge footings, four wingwalls, and four wingwall footings. It measures 31 feet long and supports a 41-foot-wide roadway with two 12-foot travel lanes with 8- to 9-foot shoulders.

"We've used precast concrete on many projects but not on this rapid schedule," says Mike Appleby, structural engineer with Anchor Engineering Services in Glastonbury, Connecticut, the design engineer on the project. "Precast concrete is our go-to method for rapid construction. It tends to be the most economical material for projects of this size and simplifies field work a lot."

The precast concrete components were fabricated by United Concrete Products

Video Link -

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Summer Street Parking Garage, Stamford, CT

In expanding the Park Square West residential development in Stamford, Connecticut, developers knew they would need additional parking space. Rather than create a second parking facility, they added onto the existing precast concrete structure by removing some end spandrels and extending the space. That resulted in an additional 110,000 square feet of space on five levels for 229 spaces.

The addition had not been planned when the original structure was built, so the designers had to meet the challenge of modifying the existing structure to meet the additional needs. Spandrels and nonload-bearing wall panels were removed on the end to an additional 60-foot bay could be placed across the one end.

Summer Street Parking Garage

One challenge that proved more difficult was matching the original finish on the spandrels and walls, which has an exposed-aggregate finish. The aggregate used on the original structure was no longer being quarried, he explains. “We worked with our original supplier, who found a small amount of the material and remobilized the equipment to quarry some more for the project,� says Peter Bertolini, field operations manager for Blakeslee. The effort paid off, as the finish matched the original almost exactly.

The precast concrete components were fabricated by Blakeslee Prestress, Inc.

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Central Bridge Number 182, Barrington, RI

Center 128 Parking Structure

The Central Bridge No. 182 in Barrington, Rhode Island, is the first project in the state to use Northeast Extreme Tee (NEXT) beams in the superstructure. The beams were selected primarily because of their ease and speed of erection, and more such projects are planned, according to the engineering firm on the project.

“We evaluated several options for the bridge-replacement project before deciding to recommend the use of the NEXT beams,� explains Kevin Viveiros, vice president of Pare Corp. The project began before NEXT beams were being promoted as an alternative solution, he notes. He and David Elwell, the senior project engineer, attended a presentation on the beams and saw the versatility. “We realized it offered a good alternative for us. It didn’t take a lot of convincing to show Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) the benefits once we looked at it closely.�

“The biggest factor that convinced us and RIDOT to go with NEXT beams was how quickly and easily the beams could be erected,� he says. “There is no deck formwork needed and fewer pieces to erect than with other options.� The beams also allow utilities to be incorporated into their runs, which box-beam designs would not have allowed so readily. This beam type also allowed for a slight increase in the clearance under the bridge, an important criterion to town officials, as it is a navigable water way patrolled by the town.

The precast concrete components were fabricated by Oldcastle Precast

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New York Avenue Bridge, Washington, DC

New York Avenue Bridge

City officials in Washington, D.C., decided against replacing the New York Avenue Bridge after feedback and evaluations showed the project would require a large budget and long construction schedule. The bridge, in a heavily congested traffic corridor, spans a number of railroad tracks and required an innovative approach to rehabilitate it. The value-engineered solution consisted of renovating the superstructure and substructure and replacing the deck with precast concrete deck panels.

The bridge, comprising twin structures each with three lanes and a sidewalk, carries 87,000 vehicles each day over Amtrak, CSX Transportation, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Marc, and VRE railroads. Both eastbound (five spans) and westbound (six spans) bridges consist of a twin steel-plate girder system with floor-beam-stringer framing. The structures are supported by gravity-wall abutments and single-column piers. They are continuous, with varying skew angles of 45 degrees at the west abutment and 70 degrees at the east abutment.

The precast concrete deck panels, which were post-tensioned both longitudinally and transversely, cantilever nearly 13 feet over the exterior girders. The deck-replacement portion of the project also involved replacing traffic barriers, railings, median, fencing, lighting and fixtures, as well as shifting the deck’s expansion joints to the approaches to allow better preventive maintenance and serviceability.

The project also impressed the judges of the 2014 Design Awards competition sponsored by the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, who gave it the award for Best Transportation Special Solution.

The precast components were manufactured by The Fort Miller Co., Schuylerville, NY.

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Bridge Guideline: December 2014

Guidelines for Accelerated Bridge Construction Using Precast/Prestressed Concrete Components Including Guideline Details, Second Edition.

Bridge Guideline December 2014

This guide (second edition) is the current State-of-the-Art report developed by the PCI Northeast Bridge Technical Committee on the use of Precast/Prestressed Concrete Components to accelerate the construction of bridge projects. The guide will assist designers in determining which means and methods would be appropriate for considering accelerated construction techniques. This guide will offer solutions from deck replacement to total reconstruction of a bridge.

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Ascent Magazine

Subscribe to PCI's Ascent Magazine (It's FREE!) or if you prefer read it online.

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Precast Hollowcore Floors and Walls for Housing

Lunch & Learn-Hollowcore

In this program, participants will understand the basics of hollowcore plank flooring systems. Hollowcore is a common method of building multi-family and student housing, condominiums, and many other building applications. Fabrication and installation procedures will be discussed, along with proper detailing requirements. Building envelope considerations for energy efficiency, including fire resistance and acoustical benefits, will be reviewed. Several case studies will be presented. After viewing this program, participants will be able to identify the hollowcore plank systems and explain the benefits of using hollowcore plank systems with owners and other designers.

Length: 1.0 Hour | Credits: AIA HSW 1.0 LU | PDH: 1.0

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PCI eLearning

Parking PCI is proud to offer the first education management system dedicated to the precast concrete and precast structures industries, the PCI elearning Center. All courses offered through this system satisfy the continuing education requirements of engineers in all 50 states! As an AIA provider, PCI is able to offer architects approved Learning Units to satisfy their continuing education requirements. Be sure to bookmark us and visit often as we populate this interface with more and more free, easy-to-access, always-available coursework.

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Executive Director: Rita Seraderian | | © 2014 PCI Northeast

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