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PCI Northeast

Innovations E-Newsletter

Featured Projects

275 Albany Street, Boston, MA

275 Albany Street

Construction is underway on Troy Boston, a residential apartment community in the South End of Boston. The $185-million project, designed as a sustainable, mixed-use complex, features precast hollowcore slabs for the ceiling/flooring units, which will speed up construction and provide other benefits.

The development consists of two residential towers and approximately 6,000 square feet of retail space, according to Gerding Edlen and Normandy Real Estate Partners, the co-developers. The towers contain 378 apartment units, including 38 affordable-housing units, and ground-floor retail space for shopping, restaurants and cafes. A 180-car above-ground parking structure also is part of the development. A fitness center, pool deck and lounges are among the amenities offered.

A total of 1,539 precast hollowcore planks (944 for the North building and 595 for the South building), covering 238,193 square feet, are being fabricated for the project, which is expected to achieve LEED Gold certification. The precast hollowcore planks were fabricated by J.P. Carrara & Sons, Inc.

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Sand Hill Bridge, Middlebury, VT

Sand Hill Bridge

Designers of the new Sand Hill Bridge in Middlebury, VT, needed to create an arched design to replicate the look of the original 1924 design to meet the desires of local historical groups and town officials. But the new bridge’s configuration wouldn’t create the proper arch shape. To resolve this challenge, designers used a total-precast concrete design featuring NEXT beams that span above a precast concrete arch that supports only its own dead load.

“We looked at a lot of options, and the NEXT beams provided the ideal solution,” says Greg Goodrich, assistant project manager at VHB Engineering. The use of all precast concrete components accelerated construction, which was critical. “Due to these being archaeologically sensitive areas, there was no space for a temporary bridge, and the roadway was too narrow to maintain traffic during construction,” Goodrich says. “And the detour was 30 miles, so the closure time had to be minimized.”

The schedule allowed only 45 days for closure, and the prefabricated components aided the contractor’s efforts to meet that tight timetable. The arch was created from 12 precast concrete components that were set onto cast-in-place concrete footings on the gorge walls. Precast concrete footings, abutment walls, wing walls, approach slabs, fascia panels and four NEXT (New England Extreme Tee) D beams were then used to construct the bridge. The precast concrete components were fabricated by J.P. Carrara & Sons, Inc. (Link)

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Gillette Stadium Office Addition, Foxborough, MA

Hanover Pier 4 Luxury Apartments

To expand administrative space at Gillette Stadium, home to the NFL New England Patriots, owners are creating a two-story, 25,000-square-foot addition to the east side of the stadium. In an effort to match the existing façade and fast-track the project, designers chose precast concrete architectural wall panels and other decorative elements for the façade.

The construction timetable was shortened when the city’s planning board agreed the addition qualified as a minor renovation that did not require a long site-plan review. That created a fast-track design that was easily met by precast concrete’s ability to cast components while the site was prepared and steel structural framing was erected. “The precast panels were being cast as the footings were being poured, so they were ready when the site was ready,” says Gerald K. Grassby, sales associate at Strescon Limited, the precaster.

The precast concrete components were fabricated by Strescon, Ltd.

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Blakeslee Hosts ACE High-School Program

RISD Students

Blakeslee Prestress Inc. in Branford, Connecticut, recently hosted local high-school students who participate in a school program that exposes them to various professions and activities within the construction industry.

The ACE (Architecture-Construction-Engineering) Mentor program, founded nationwide in 1994, coordinates programs for high-school students interested in construction fields. It teams them with mentors who are professionals in those industries to provide presentations and tours. The New Haven Chapter consists of students from 17 area high schools who are taking courses in engineering or drafting or have summer construction experience.

Upcoming Events

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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Resiliency - Surviving the Storm


Presenter: Steve Szoke, PE
May 27 and 29

Description: The construction industry has come a long way in building more sustainable structures, but we must also design and build for resiliency. Resiliency is the ability of a structure to resist natural and manmade hazards such as earthquakes, severe storms and even terrorists attacks. High performance precast concrete building systems inherently provide resiliency and can extend a structure’s service life significantly. This presentation will discuss multi-hazard protection primarily related to storm design. It will provide an overview of storm design including addressing high winds, impact resistance, and discuss some ways high performance precast concrete can be used to protect structures. Other topics include FEMA 361 shelters, reinforced home design, and infrastructure.

Learning Objectives:

  • Define resiliency
  • Discuss storm design methodologies using precast concrete
  • Identify key factors that need to be addressed to design and build storm resistant structures
  • Explain FEMA 361 and how precast concrete can be used to meet its requirements

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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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