Keeping timeline and budget in check: CarbonCast achieves high-end look without high-end cost
- Project Edward Jones North Campus, Building B2
- Location Maryland Heights, Missouri
- Type of Precast CarbonCast Architectural Cladding
- Project Size 198,100 sq. ft.
- CarbonCast Surface Area 375,565 sq. ft.
- Architect Arcturis
- Construction Manager McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.
- Precaster High Concrete Group LLC
When Edward Jones set out on a multi-phase expansion of its suburban St. Louis North Campus, schedule and budget were critical.
The team needed an exterior weighing of 50 pounds per sq. ft. or less. They found their solution in CarbonCast®, a revolutionary precast concrete technology which is half the weight of traditional panels. The weight reductions eliminated the need for a costly and time-consuming structural redesign.
CarbonCast replaces conventional steel reinforcement in the panel face with C-GRID carbon fiber grid. Because carbon fiber will not corrode, precasters can use significantly less concrete cover over the face reinforcement.
Further weight savings are achieved by substituting panel mass with foam. The 8-inch thick CarbonCast Insulated Architectural Cladding panels consisted of a two-inch face backed with six inches of EPS foam insulation. Steel-reinforced ribs on 4’ centers provided structural strength.
The end result is outstanding thermal performance compared to conventional precast. The addition of EPS insulation enabled steady-state R-values up to R-13. Savings on energy to heat and cool the building are anticipated.
Initially, architect Arcturis recommended the classic yet contemporary look of Portuguese limestone. The first project, a six-story office building dubbed “B2,” was to showcase nearly 50,000 sq. ft. of the expensive imported material on its exterior.
To cut back on costs, Arcturis sought alternative materials that would meet the performance and aesthetic requirements.
Use of the Portuguese limestone was limited to the first floor. Above, the precast concrete was formed into 30” x 60” stack bond appearance on floors two through six using identical-width reveals and panel joints. Finished with a light sandblast, the buff-color CarbonCast panels create the illusion of monolithic limestone blocks.
“CarbonCast helped us make the strong design statement we wanted,” says Steve Hoover, project architect at Arcturis.
The precast elements were fabricated off-site and delivered for immediate erection without concerns for the material and equipment storage had the designers opted for field-construction methods. Because precast concrete is manufactured in a controlled factory environment, weather delays and other setbacks will be virtually eliminated, expediting enclosure of the building and allowing other subcontractors ample time for their responsibilities.