Silicon Valley mid-rise marks second deployment for rebar-free SpeedCore

Sources: Level 10 Construction, Sunnyvale, Calif.; CP staff

After a convincing 2019 debut on Seattle’s 58-story Rainier Square Tower, the SpeedCore Concrete-Filled Composite Plate Shear Wall system is being used for the 200 Park project in downtown San Jose, Calif. Silicon Valley general contractor Level 10 proposed the concept to developer Jay Paul Co. as a means of saving up to three months on the 19-story structure’s construction scheduling. 

A Level 10 team assembled a SpeedCore mockup prior to last month’s start of 200 Park core construction. Drone photo: Level 10

Prefabricated in efficient assemblies to minimize field welding requirements, the SpeedCore system relies on two steel plates, connected with steel cross ties and spaced to thicknesses approximating those of a cast-in-place concrete core wall. Cavities between the tied plates are filled with high-strength concrete or grout mixes, yielding sandwich panels with robust load-bearing capacity. SpeedCore assemblies’ modular nature allows for expedited mid- or high-rise building core erection when measured against the time and field labor behind rebar and formwork placement attending conventional cast-in-place concrete mid- or high-rise building cores. The American Institute of Steel Construction profiles the system¬†here.

The SpeedCore concept emanated from an open-source development process spearheaded by Seattle engineer Magnusson Klemencic Associates and the Pankow Foundation, which underwrites research advancing structural steel and reinforced or precast concrete construction practice. Joining Level 10 and Magnusson Klemencic Associates as 200 Park project principals are Gensler, architect; and Schuff Steel, fabricator and erector.

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