Precast Concrete Enclosures
A46 ARCH 435F - Spring 2020
In contemporary construction practice, building enclosures are sophisticated assemblies conceived through complex processes that merge design, science, technology and craft. The outermost layer of the exterior wall is the most exposed to natural forces and therefore it needs careful attention, as it must work effectively over the lifetime of the building.
The primary goal of this fabrication seminar is the design and construction of full-scale concrete prototypes that function as part performative component of building envelopes; this is an opportunity for hands-on experience. Students are challenged to design, develop documentation and make real panels as part of building enclosures out of precast concrete assemblies. The course is taught in partnership with Gate Precast, a leader company in the precast concrete industry and supported by a grant from the PCI Foundation to offset fabrication costs of the precast mockups.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, students were not able to fabricate the pieces as originally planned. However, they advanced the design through construction documentation for mold making including representation of concrete pieces with detail construction drawings and images of the proposed building and intended design.