The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute recognizes creative, innovative use of architectural, structural precast

The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute awarded 19 building and transportation precast concrete projects during the 2024 PCI Design Awards program. A panel of engineers, architects, and precast concrete producers judges all nominees on aesthetic, structural, and use versatility; site, energy and operational efficiency, and risk reduction; and resiliency, such as structure durability, multi-hazard protection, and life safety and health.

“This year again proved how exceptional precast concrete projects are, what the precast concrete industry has achieved, and how it will continue to advance and enhance the built environment,” says PCI President and CEO Bob Risser, P.E. “The judges this year were incredibly impressed by the quality of each submission and the amount of care that went into creating a story for each project. Judges had a difficult time determining the winners. Congratulations to all the project teams that showcase what our members are capable of producing.”


Special Award: Sustainable Design
The 280,000-sq.-ft. Fred D. Thompson U.S. Courthouse and Federal Building in Nashville was constructed with a variety of precast concrete products from PCI-certified producer GATE Precast (Ashland City, Tenn.), including façade panels, columns, and box beams. To help ensure the building’s security, more than 700 different types of connections between the façade panels were used to meet requirements for blast resistance and progressive collapse.

The project was also a honorable mention for the Government and Public Building award.

Designed to LEED Gold BD+C standards, the courthouse’s white façade features photocatalytic concrete, which provides a self-cleaning capability that minimizes maintenance and contributes to the building’s longevity. To date, it is the largest photocatalytic structure in the United States.

Building Award: Best All-Precast Concrete Parking Structure
Located adjacent to the Merrimack River in Lawrence, Mass., The Pavilion at Riverwalk is an 80,000-sq.-ft., mixed-use structure consisting of an elevated, regulation-size football field on top of a three-story precast concrete parking garage. PCI-certified producer Dailey Precast of Shaftsbury, Vt. manufactured 323,000 square feet—more than 1,000 pieces—of precast concrete for the project, including 60 columns, 548 double tees, and 18 slabs.

By using one extra double tee per bay—or four 9-ft.-wide tees—and adding a cast-in-place concrete topping slab, the project team was able to achieve outstanding vibration performance for the roof structure. Additionally, an innovative underlayment system was installed to allow for proper drainage and cushioning for the playing field.

Transportation Award:
Best Bridge with a Main Span from 76-200 Feet

A key gateway connecting Virginia and Maryland, the Harry W. Nice Memorial/Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton Bridge was in need of replacement to meet the needs of modern motorists. The new 1.9-mile, 61-ft.-wide bridge can accommodate four 12-ft.-wide lanes, shoulders, and a center median. It also has a navigational vertical clearance of 135 feet, enabling large ships traveling the Potomac River below to pass through.

PCI-certified Coastal Precast Systems (Chesapeake and Cape Charles, Va.) manufactured the projects various precast concrete products, including 36- and 66-in. prestressed concrete piles reinforced with carbon-fiber strands. The piles are up to 190 feet in length. The bridge’s substructure and foundations vary from pile bents to concrete columns and caps on waterline footings.

Building Award: Best International
The new U.S. embassy in Maputo, Mozambique, is a stunning example of what can be accomplished with precast concrete. “Precast concrete was chosen for this project for its durability and resistance to the corrosive salt environment inherent in a project located directly on the coast,” says Jesse Walt, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, architect and associate principal at Integrus Architecture (Portland, Ore.). “Ultra-high performance concrete was chosen for its ductility and strength, allowing thinner cross sections and an elegant form while still withstanding hurricane-force winds without deformation and breakage.”

More than 1,220 precast concrete fins varying from 40 – 80 feet in height were installed on the project. These fins, produced by Fibrobeton Yapi Elemanlari (Istanbul, Turkey), incorporated 330 different shapes, accounting for 14,000 cubic feet of UHPC. The 265 canopy panels, which were also manufactured with UHPC, covered 17,000 square feet of the building’s roof.