Chestnut Hill Square Parking Garage
The new Chestnut Hill Square shopping mall in Newton, Massachusetts, offers 160,000 square feet of fashionable specialty shops, restaurants and grocery outlets, along with 180,000 square feet of offices and luxury residences. To supplement surface parking near the shops, a five-story parking structure with 167,667 square feet of supported structural space was constructed. Built as other construction progressed and facing residential neighborhoods on its outward sides, the parking structure features a total-precast concrete structural system and architectural spandrels.
“Precast concrete offers the best blend of cost-effectiveness and durability for the New England markets,” explains Mark Aho, principal at McNamara Salvia Inc., the designer/engineer on the project. “For the most part, that is our default material on this type of project.”
The structure features double tees, girders, columns, shear walls, lite walls, spandrels, stairs, slabs and wall panels. Many of the panels were cast with embedded thin brick to help reduce the scale of the project. These were combined with panels with a buff color and light sandblast, which interface with glass panels at the corners where stair towers were located.
An exterior ramp was created to facilitate layouts in the tight parking structure. “The building was too short to accommodate the spaces required for the entries, which had to be provided on two levels,” Aho explains. “We decided to move the ramp outside to alleviate layout issues.”
The ramp originally was planned to be constructed of steel beams, but it was value-engineered into precast concrete. “The precaster, Blakeslee Prestress, Inc. of Branford, CT, found a way to make it work from both cost and design standpoints.” That eliminated the need for another trade on the site during construction.
Working around activity as three other buildings were being constructed added challenges, he notes, which precast concrete also helped resolved. “Using precast concrete alleviated site congestion by allowing the components to be cast off-site and delivered for erection when needed.”
The stone appearance and use of brick were desired aesthetic features due to the surrounding residential neighborhood, he notes. “Our goal was to keep the structure looking as low and small in scale as possible. Even if we had constructed the parking structure in some other material, we would have used precast concrete panels on the exterior to provide the ideal look.”
Timeline: Contract Award to Blakeslee April 9, 2012
Start Precast Erection November 19, 2012
Complete Precast Erection January 18, 2013
Structural Precast Elements:
• 223 Double Tees
• 49 Girders
• 16 Columns
• 12 Shear Walls
• 10 Lite Walls
• 90 Spandrels
• 21 Stairs
• 63 Solid Slabs
• 82 Wall Panels