University of Scranton - Condron Hall

In just 10 months the University of Scranton – Condron Hall was designed, erected and completed. The Oldcastle Precast Residential Building System provided a speedy solution to complete a 7-story residence hall on a tight schedule. Design of the precast concrete system began in October, 2007 and students moved in August, 2008. The campus is located in downtown Scranton. The residential hall was constructed within the constraints of an active campus, a congested site and winter erection schedule. The aggressive schedule required erection during the winter months in upstate Pennsylvania. Only a total precast concrete building system could meet the university’s requirements. To expedite the construction schedule, as the site was being prepared the manufacturing of all the precast concrete components were being manufactured at the Oldcastle facility. Once the exterior wall panels were manufactured, they were then placed on A-frame trucks for shipment to the job site. The move-in deadline for students had to be met – no exceptions. It opened right on time ensuring administrators, students and parents that they had no concerns about temporary housing.

The Oldcastle Precast Residential Building System featured: hollowcore plank, interior and exterior wall panels, columns, beams, precast stairs and landings. The plank spanned from exterior wall to the corridor wall allowing for interior flexibility. Several brick colors and sizes were specified in the panels– using more than 125,000 thin brick units. Using a form liner for the University seal and the building’s name, each were cast into the precast panels and placed at the entrance to the residence hall. Load bearing, thin brick precast panels clad the remaining sides of the 7-story residence hall. The load bearing wall panels included window mullions that were cast into the panels.

Incorporating a bearing wall system, the floor and roof hollowcore plank spanned between interior and exterior load bearing panels. Load bearing endwall and stairwell panels were also used to enclose the ends of the structure. Precast stairs and landings are used between levels. Blending in with the rest of the campus, thin brick of different colors and coursing design patterns were embedded into the precast wall panels. Stairwells, dorm rooms and common areas were all clad with precast panels. Precast concrete walls used for both exterior and interior applications. A combination of formliner finish and embedded thin brick precast panels were used to create the architectural design. Wide, unobstructed clear spans were made possible with precast concrete spandrels panels.

Like most universities, green principles, conservation and minimization of energy use is top of mind in the design of new construction. In addition to the precast concrete building system, Condron Hall incorporated many environmentally-friendly techniques, such as water- and energy-saving fixtures, green floor coverings, as well as products that were produced within a 500-mile radius of the campus.

Students, parents and the university were all pleased with Condron Hall, a quiet environment for students to learn and study in an atmosphere conducive to academic success.

Project Details








University of Scranton, Scranton, PA


Burkavage Design Associates, Clark Summitt, PA


E.D. Pons & Associates, Wilkes Barre, PA


Quandel Enterprises, Harrisburg, PA

Sq. Footage:



7 floors

Structural Precast Elements:

• Hollowcore plank
• Precast wall panels (interior and exterior)
• Precast columns
• Precast beams
• Precast stairs and landings

Architectural Precast Elements:

• Using a form liner for the University seal and the building's name, each were cast into the precast panels and placed at the entrance to the residence hall.


• Several brick colors and sizes were specified in the panels using more than 125,000 thin brick units.

Precast Scope:

• Seven-story university residence hall.
• 108,000 square feet.
• Total-precast concrete structural system, comprising exterior and interior load-bearing walls, columns, beams, hollowcore planks, stairs, and landings.
• Embedded thin brick added to some panels.

Key Attributes:

• Total-precast concrete structural system speeded up construction by allowing fabrication of components as site was prepared. • Casting components in plant maximized quality control while minimizing congestion on busy urban site.
• Thin bricks embedded into panels created traditional look while providing a panelized system that speeded up construction and requires less maintenance through the building’s life.
• Several brick colors were used to create visual interest.
• School’s emblem and building’s name were cast into panels to add distinction and emphasize durability of design.
• Long-span capabilities of hollowcore plank provided design flexibility for interior spaces.
• Precast concrete structure minimized noise and vibrations between floors, eliminating distractions for students.
• Sustainable-design concepts encouraged, and precast concrete contributed to these through local use of materials and manufacturing, minimal construction waste, and other attributes.


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