Lightweight CarbonCast to deliver command performance on Symphony House
- Project Symphony House Condominiums
- Location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Type of Precast CarbonCast Architectural Cladding
- CarbonCast Surface Area 122,200 sq. ft.
- Architect Bower Lewis Thrower Architects
- Engineer Cagley & Harmon
- Contractor Joint venture of L.F. Driscoll Co. and Intech Construction
- Precaster High Concrete Group LLC
The developer of the 32-story Symphony House, a breathtaking $125 million, 163-unit condominium in Philadelphia, offers residents “a provocative design that takes from the grandeur and romance of the 1920s and gives it a 21st century transformation.”
Coincidently, the same could be said about the building’s exterior, the majority of which features next-generation CarbonCast® Architectural Cladding that delivers a traditional aesthetic sensibility and a remarkable 33 percent weight reduction of precast members.
The weight reduction provides two benefits to the owner, Symphony House Associates, LP, a division of Dranoff Properties. First, the restrictive building site necessitated a tower crane to lift the 770 exterior panels into place. The CarbonCast panels, which weigh only 50 pounds per square foot, were easily accommodated by the crane—even at the more distant corners of the building.
In addition, the lower-weight panels reduce load on the floor slab where they are mounted and on the rest of the reinforced concrete structure, all the way down to the sizing of the foundation. Further, the thinness of the panels and the reduction of the structure will provide more interior floor space and better apartment layouts.
To accommodate the architect’s color selection, precast panels were fabricated with a red-pigmented, sandblasted finish meant to evoke the feeling of brick, but without the expense or limited color range of brick or other systems. Six-inch thick CarbonCast Architectural Cladding enabled deep reveals, recessed planes and deep window recesses that helped cast the shade and shadow that enliven the facade. (Thinner alternatives would have failed here.) “With the CarbonCast system we were able to achieve the level of detail that is required of a luxury project,” said Jim Sherman, Director of Construction for Dranoff Properties.
CarbonCast Architectural Cladding panels replace some of the concrete with insulating foam, leading to increased R-values. Factory fabrication of the panels allowed erection of the exterior envelope in only five months, permitting other trades to fit-out the living units more quickly.
The CarbonCast Architectural Cladding was designed, manufactured and installed by AltusGroup founding member High Concrete Group. The project also includes eight floors of parking, 5000 square feet of retail space and a 400-seat theater that is part of and adjacent to the tower.