Graphic Concrete adds distinctive finish to exterior
- Project Murphysboro High School PAC
- Location Murphysboro, Illinois
- Type of Precast Graphic Concrete
- CarbonCast Surface Area 19,876 sq. ft.
- Architect Hurst-Rosche, Inc.
- Contractor Fager-McGee Construction Inc.
- Owner Murphysboro CUSD 186
- Precaster Enterprise Precast
This project involved the ADA compliant construction of a new 700-seat center for performing arts and associated support spaces to replace the current 400-seat auditorium that collapsed. The previous structure was originally built in 1977 out of CMU/Brick, Wood trusses and EPDM roofing. The wood trusses failed under the weight of the roof top equipment. The roof collapsed and caused the exterior walls to buckle.
As part of the new construction, the existing administration area was also expanded and renovated. Work included the selective demolition of the existing structure as required. The new building was constructed utilizing precast concrete walls for the exterior and CMU walls for the interior. This architect’s adopted method of best practice has been to use precast exterior wall panels on all of their designs on auditoriums since 2004. Precast was particularly welcomed in this circumstance (by the school district and all parties), to avoid another structural failure and to meet the need to bring the building up at a faster pace.
A notable aspect of this project is that it was the largest (and among the first) projects in the United States to utilize Graphic Concrete, a technology with a proven track record in Europe. Graphic Concrete allows designers to impart any image or pattern onto a precast concrete surface. This technology is quickly becoming a game changer in the architectural precast concrete industry. The forest pattern was a key design feature in this project which consisted of 19,876 square foot of 12” (4-4-4) insulated CarbonCast High Performance Insulated Wall Panels.
This was still designed and engineered to give the full benefits of a load bearing precast panel, providing all of the durability, thermal, fire resistance and impact resistance chrematistics that school districts have come to expect from insulated precast wall enclosures.
A tree pattern was selected for specific and strategic reasons. The lead design architect on the project wanted to bring the tree lined roadways that come into the school onto the auditorium to try and continue that “park” like feel to the new building. The graphic is highlighted with color changing LED lighting that washes up the building. The owner has control of what colors can and will be used depending on the season etc.
Graphic Concrete is permanent, requiring little to no maintenance as opposed to a mural or painted finish and is environmentally friendly.