Best Mixed Use Project
This 250,000 square foot, nine-story building, The Realm at Castle Hills, was designed to serve as one of the centerpieces of a 324-acre mixed-use development. The facility includes office space, restaurants, community amenities and serves as the backdrop for a large green space with a fountain for outdoor activities. Situated along a major roadway, the building’s primary facade is orientated to be the main visual element of the entire development for passersby. The project’s design was used to establish the overall architectural aesthetic of the development.
Innovations or accomplishments using precast concrete
The architect’s design incorporated a variety of colors and projections to the façade panels to break up the overall scale of the building and create visual intrigue. These changes in color and depths to the panels created some challenges for the precast team. To overcome the challenges required of the precast cladding, the engineers and precast team worked collaboratively to panelize the project. This collaboration allowed the fabrication team to create panels more easily with two, and in some cases, three finished faces on one panel.
Design Challenges at The Realm at Castle Hills
Precast helped the project team overcome the challenge of keeping the construction on schedule. The contractor had just under 18 months to complete the project. Once the structural steel frame was completed, the precast concrete panels provided an exterior system that could be quickly erected. This coordination provided the opportunity to get the building enclosed more swiftly and led to the interior work getting started sooner.
Near final completion of the project, the contractor had to remove the temporary man-hoist on the south side of the building and finish the installation of the exterior envelope. Because a majority of the envelope in that area was larger precast panels, the contractor was able to quickly enclose the area left open when the man-hoist was removed which allowed heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems for all floors. The contractor indicated this was critical to meeting the final completion date.
Precast concrete components
The project included 609 pieces of precast concrete that totaled just over 34,000 square feet of wall surface. The uninsulated cladding components varied in depth from seven inches to two and a half feet and included forty-two radius coping pieces with a two and a half foot projection.
Precast concrete played a major role in meeting the architect’s design aesthetic, contributed to the building’s structural system, and kept the project on schedule.
Precast Concrete Manufacturers’ Association (PCMA) offers a variety of AIA, PDH Box Lunch Programs, and Seminars for architects and engineers. PCMA can provide programming on specific topics or design a complete programming package that details the fabrication of precast prestressed concrete products to their end use in construction projects. PCMA has literally hundreds of years of precast prestressed concrete innovation and experience. As a resource, PCMA can find answers and solutions to your design or technical challenges from our diverse manufacturer member base. PCMA, through its Partner, Precast Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI), provides the latest in research, design standards, architectural solutions, and educational programming.
- Precast Manufacturer – Enterprise Precast – Omaha, NE
- General Contractor – Hill and Wilkinson – Richardson, TX
- Engineer of Record – RLG Engineering – Dallas, TX
- Owner – City of New Braunfels – Bright Realty – Lewisville, TX
- Architect – BOKA Powell – Dallas, TX
- PCI-Certified Erector – Ranger Steel Erectors, Inc. – West Monroe, LA
- Precast Specialty Engineer – Infra Structure – Omaha, NE