Gate Precast uses hollow core to lower costs for hotel project

Two Marriott hotels near Orlando’s Mall at Millenia are being built within a single structure as part of a dual-brand hotel concept made possible, in part, by the adaptability of precast. Gate Precast will produce and install 158,841 square feet of 8-in. hollow core precast and 6,156 square feet of 8-in. solid slab structural precast for the project.

Completion of the $21 million Springhill Suites and Residence Inn at Millenia-Orlando is expected in early 2018.

Gate is trucking the precast pieces from its Jacksonville, Fla., flagship plant for “just in time” delivery to the site. “It has been important to stay on top of the project sequencing to ensure that the panels are delivered when needed and that the project is not delayed,” says Gate project manager Ashley Bonner.

Jeremy Bain, senior project manager at Orlando-based WELBRO Building Corp., says Gate’s constructability input helped identify cost savings. “Gate assisted with budgeting and coordination of the trades, which are typically the biggest challenges that we encounter on any project,” Bain adds. “For example, Gate showed us how to use hollow core instead of solid slabs in some areas, thereby enabling us to keep in line with the budget.”

The connected hotels, which share a lobby, back-of-house space and other amenities, were designed by L2 Studios of Orlando. Despite sharing a building space, the two hotels are distinctly different—unlike its counterpart, Springhill Suites calls for numerous cantilevered, prestressed solid slabs to achieve a faux balcony appearance along the building’s exterior. The slabs—some reaching 30 feet 8 inches in length—are directly connected to the hollow core panels that comprise the remainder of the flooring for both hotels.