Total Precast Solution

A $64 million, 211,000-sq.-ft. project recently completed by West Sacramento-based Clark Pacific is the first State of California office building to feature

A $64 million, 211,000-sq.-ft. project recently completed by West Sacramento-based Clark Pacific is the first State of California office building to feature all-in-one total precast construction. The Caltrans District 3 Office Building in Marysville features architecturally finished precast column, beam and floor plank elements Û produced from locally extracted materials Û joined in a hybrid moment frame system.

A design-build team led by architect AC Martin and general contractor Turner Construction selected total precast for the new Caltrans facility to achieve cost-effective, rapid erection with superior seismic performance and a high-end architectural appearance, while promoting environmental stewardship. The building’s precast components were fabricated over 14 weeks, and erection of the above-grade structure was accomplished in 19 weeks. Application is underway for a LEED [Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design] Silver rating for the project.

The new building incorporates a precast hybrid moment frame (PHMF) that enabled Clark Pacific to cost-effectively optimize the building’s performance in a high-seismic zone. Moreover, since PHMF eliminates the need for extensive sheer walls or interior cross bracing to strengthen the building Û as required in steel frame and cast-in-place structures of comparable size Û floor plans are more open to allow interior penetration of natural light, a boon for energy savings. Structural engineers attribute the hybrid moment frame’s success in reducing drift after a seismic event to its self-righting ability. Clark Pacific is one of a select number of producers offering the PHMF system, which southern California’s Charles Pankow Builders debuted nearly a decade ago.

With an eye to LEED certification, the design team emphasized environmental stewardship through immediate construction choices as well as long-term life-cycle considerations. Using locally extracted materials enabled the Caltrans headquarters to be constructed as a sustainable building. Further, the total precast structure over time stands to deliver up to 15 percent annual energy cost savings, as concrete’s high thermal density permits use of less air conditioning in the summer and less heat in winter.

Replacing Caltrans District 3’s 45,000-sq.-ft., 71-year-old current building, located on the same site, the new five-story structure will accommodate 776 employees in loft-like open offices with high ceilings. Also available will be a cafe, 200-seat auditorium, teleconferencing rooms, and an outdoor, 350-space surface parking lot.

Notes Richard Myren, project director for the State Department of General Services, The new precast structural system piqued our interest, especially because of the shorter construction period Û a big benefit, since the staff could move in more quickly. Plus, AC Martin and Clark Pacific were creative in developing attractive, thin-brick panels that require minimal or no maintenance, leaving very little area on the building that will ever need painting.