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PCI Northeast

Innovations E-Newsletter

Featured Projects

University of New Haven Dormitory, CT

University of New Haven Dormitory

Officials at the University of New Haven are using a total precast concrete system with architectural insulated precast concrete wall panels in several finishes to create a new hub for student activities on the campus.

“I was skeptical that precast concrete was the best choice for a high-design dormitory like this,” says John Corkill, project architect at Design Collective Inc. “But the erection has gone relatively quickly while the final design and shop-drawing process was completed on a parallel schedule track.”

The project was slowed by various design and construction-team changes, leading to the need to complete the 16-month schedule in only 11 months, Corkill explains. “We went to a fast-track system once all of the changes were worked out, and the precaster kept things rolling. They assured us we’d meet the schedule to open for occupancy when students arrive in the fall.”

Oldcastle Precast fabricated the precast concrete components for the structure.

Photo courtesy of Oldcastle Precast.

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RISD Studio Visits The Hanover Pier 4 Site

RISD Students

Students from the Rhode Island School of Design, a PCI Foundation studio, recently took a “cradle-to-grave” tour of the design capabilities of architectural precast concrete during a tour of several Boston projects. The program was coordinated by Coreslab Structures Inc. in Thomaston, Conn. and PCINE.

“The students had seen structural precast concrete on an earlier plant tour with Blakeslee Prestress,” explains Rob Del Vento Jr., Coreslab sales manager. “Now they wanted to get an understanding of architectural precast concrete.”

Coreslab arranged for the students to visit ADD Inc. in Boston, where architect Michael Moorehead provided a 45-minute presentation on the need to maximize efficiency in panelization, the benefits provided by the precaster’s assistance during the design process, and why the designers select specific materials for projects.

The group then took a walking tour of two ADD Inc. projects: a nearby mixed-use apartment/retail project with parking that was completed last year, clad with panels featuring three textures in one matrix; and the Pier 4 luxury-apartment building, which currently is being erected. “That allowed them to see how the panels are installed, examine connection details, and see how precast interfaces with other materials. It gave them an idea of the general fit out from start to finish,” says Del Vento.

The program was arranged through the PCI Foundation, which is sponsored by the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute with the goal of fostering educational and research initiatives involving precast concrete. The School is one of six participating in the Foundation’s Studio program and the only one in the Northeast. The studio’s visit, overseen by Assistant Prof. Brett Schneider in the Department of Architecture, comprised fourth-year and graduate students.

Coreslab has worked with other regional schools, including the New Jersey Institute of Technology, another PCI Foundation studio. For more information on the Pier 4 project, see the case study at PCINE’s website.

“These tours are a great way for the students to learn about precast concrete, which they otherwise might not learn. My civil-engineering courses talked about steel and concrete design, but very little about precast concrete. This gives the students a chance to learn the benefits of using this material and adding a new high-performance building material to use when they graduate.”

To learn more about the Foundation’s Studios, visit and click on Programs & Partnerships. To learn about arranging plant tours, contact Rita Seraderian at

Photos courtesy of Coreslab Structures (Conn) Inc.

Upcoming Events

National Highway Institute,
Managing and Sharing 3D Models for Construction

May 7, 2014
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM Eastern Time

During this webinar # 5 of the 3D Modeling for Construction series participants will gain insight into some of the practical challenges to sharing data with contractors, and best practices to overcome them. Specific Outcomes: Each participant will be able to discuss which files in the Design Model to deliver and describe the purpose and need for standardization and documentation of the delivered model. In addition participants will be able to discuss different approaches to signing & sealing digital files and discuss effective ways for transmitting models including timing of the delivery.

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Submit for PCI 2014 Design Awards


Deadline May 19th

The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) has opened its submission site for the 52nd annual PCI Design Awards. The purpose of the PCI Design Awards program is to recognize design excellence and construction quality using precast concrete. There is no entry fee to make a submission. All winners will be showcased at the 2014 PCI Convention and National Bridge Conference and be included in a summary article that appears in PCI Journal, Aspire and Ascent magazines.

Entries are accepted in two primary categories: buildings and transportation structures. In order to qualify, the structure must be substantially constructed using precast concrete. For buildings, this includes precast concrete cladding systems (architectural precast), structural systems, or combinations of both. For transportation structures, this includes all types of bridges and other related components; however, the precast concrete must have been manufactured in a permanent precast concrete manufacturing plant.

See more details on awards submission requirements on the PCI submission page.

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PCI Level I & II Quality Control School

New Cumberland, PA
June 10-12

PCI is offering a Level I & II Quality Control school in New Cumberland, PA (just outside of Harrisburg) on June 10-12. The training will be held at:

  • Clarion Hotel New Cumberland
  • 148 Sheraton Drive
  • New Cumberland, PA 17070
  • (717) 774-2721
  • Room Rate: $89/night. Mention PCI to obtain discounted rate.

All participants must register with PCI in advance of the course. The registration form is available on the PCI website.

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Precast Concrete: Reduces Risk and Professional Liability


Greg Winkler, AIA

April 29 and May 1

Description: According to CNA/Schinnerer, a major professional liability carrier, as many as 21% of architectural firms faced professional liability claims over a ten year period. According to Encon, another insurer, 67% of these claims are made by private and public sector owners, and 55% of the claims allege design error by the architect. The process of converting construction documents to habitable facilities carries substantial professional liability risks for design professionals. Even the best detailing and most tightly-written specifications can fall prey to poor coordination among subs, inadequately checked submittals by the contractor, and installation oversights and mistakes in the field. Built-up facades utilizing a number of products and trades (such as cavity wall construction) are particularly susceptible to these problems.

This webinar reviews how the precast concrete construction process can eliminate some of the most mistake-prone aspects of construction and reduce the professional liability of architects. It also addresses the benefits of utilizing a design assist approach early in the design process.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the major sources of risk affecting design professionals and owners in construction.
  • Define how precast concrete construction affects those risk factors.
  • Discuss the design assist role of precast concrete producers.
  • Review the role of precast producers in assisting with schedule & budget conformance.

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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 Announces New Blast Design Manual

PCI’s Blast-Resistant Design Manual, First Edition (MNL 141-12) is now available as an ePub at This manual describes the basic process of blast-resistant structural design for precast/prestressed concrete components. It includes calculating blast loads on the component, determining the dynamic response of the component, checking the response against specified performance criteria, designing the component connections, and checking the component for adequate shear capacity. The emphasis in this manual is on blast loads from exterior explosions and the dynamic analysis of blast-loaded structural components idealized as equivalent single degree of freedom systems. These assumptions simplify the blast-resistant design procedure discussed in this manual, but they apply to many cases of practical interest for anti-terrorism and force protection design. For more details and purchasing information, visit

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Curved Precast Concrete Bridges State-of-the-Art Report

This publication details the application of curved precast concrete bridge design, fabrication, construction techniques, and considerations through the study of twelve related projects and constitutes a state of the art report on this topic. The document was written and intended to provide bridge owners, designers, fabricators and engineers an up-to-date reference in developing precast concrete bridge solutions for curved geometric situations. The topics include: Straight Girders chorded from Pier to Pier, Straight Girders Segments with Splices within the Spans, and Curved Precast Girders.  Each case study reviews project specific information, the structural system selected, construction techniques used and the lessons learned. For more details and purchasing information, visit

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Updated Fire Publication Now Available on PCI's e-Publication Site

PCI/ICC's Design for Fire Resistance of Precast Prestressed Concrete, Third Edition (MNL 124-11) is available as an electronic publication at

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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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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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116 Radcliffe Road, Belmont, MA 02478, IL 60173-4758 -- Phone: 888.700.5670 -- Fax: 617.489.5810
Executive Director: Rita Seraderian | | © 2014 PCI Northeast

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