Albert Sherman Center Parking Garage
Parking Structures Use Land More Effectively
The University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA has a new education and interdisciplinary research facility that proudly opened its doors in March 2013. The Albert Sherman Center is a nine-story facility expected to generate $250 million annually in direct and indirect spending that will sustain approximately 1,600 jobs. Planning such a large facility must take into account the people using and working at both the facility and the campus. There was already a huge parking problem on campus and the addition of 1,600 more people only adds to the dilemma. Fortunately the thought process on parking has evolved over the years. Vast sprawling parking lots have given way to more efficient, vertical parking structures. This fits in nicely with the owner’s concern of preserving the wetlands behind the structure’s location.
Precast Attributes Aid In Meeting Design Challenges
To meet the owners challenges, precast concrete attributes such as: aesthetic and structural versatility, site efficiency, resiliency with structural durability and multi-hazard protection were discussed in the planning stages. Once determined as the best method, designers created a 372,000 sq.ft., seven-story parking structure with a precast concrete structural system. The Albert Sherman Center (1,400-car) parking structure is walking distance from the center and main campus, relieving much of the campus parking issues and traffic flow.
Precast Contributes Less Overall Disruption
By keeping waste, building materials, and the machinery close to the site itself during the precast concrete erection process the procedure allowed for less disruption of the immediate building area and no disturbance of the wetlands behind it.
The new seven-level parking structure as viewed from Plantation Street appears to be only five-levels. This optical illusion is created because of the grading that dips towards the wetlands directly behind the structure. The parking structure is a precast structural system that features spandrels cast with thin-brick inlays, wall columns, columns, as well as three exterior stair towers, one exterior elevator tower, and two exterior pedestrian bridges. Dailey Precast, LLC of Shaftsbury, Vermont manufactured and supplied the precast concrete components for the project. ARC (Architectural Resources Cambridge) was both the architect and engineer.
This beautiful new parking structure is a welcome and much needed addition to the campus. Both architecturally aesthetic and structurally durable, this structure will meet the needs of both student and faculty for decades to come.