School’s In

Students at two schools recognized in the 2021 Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute Design Awards program will enjoy new recreation spaces thanks to advanced building practice. Smithfield Middle School (North Richland Hills, Texas) and Boston College (Chestnut Hill, Mass.) are home to the winning projects: a gymnasium addition that plays double duty as a storm shelter and a new recreation center, respectively.

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A contractor’s bold statement

In a welcome sign of economic stability and pandemic recovery in the building industry, Utah’s Jacobsen Construction Co. has built a modern headquarters near the Salt Lake City International Airport. The facility bears on robust and prominently exposed cast-in-place elements, and recognizes concrete practice through touches that include repurposing formwork shoring in a wall sculpture.  The headquarters was designed by…

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Remote waterfall passage bears on Sakrete foundation

Spanning more than 500,000 acres of hardwood trees, whitewater rivers and tumbling waterfalls, Pisgah National Forest in Old Fort, N.C. offers thousands of visitors and hikers annually miles of trails and access to Catawba Falls, framed by picturesque Appalachian scenery. Originally, the 100-ft. waterfall was only accessible by rock-hopping across the Catawba River. Although typically low enough for Catawba Falls-bound…

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‘Engineering in the form of functional art’

Sitting down at the prodigious architectural cast-in-place concrete kitchen island of his newest feat, Christopher Parker, P.E. observes, “I build functional art. And this is my masterpiece.” The principal of Parker Construction Group, Wilmington, N.C. enlightened local agent, Landmark Sotheby’s International Realty, on the attention to detail, engineering and craftsmanship behind the 8,200-sq.-ft. home.

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Hydro project powers on, cold be dammed

Renewable electricity has started being produced at the Keeyask Generating Station in Manitoba, Canada, six-months ahead of the project’s control schedule. A lesson in extreme cold weather concreting, the milestone was achieved through innovative logistics measures and tools employed by the joint venture team of Bechtel Canada, Montana-based Barnard Construction Co. and Canadian contractor EllisDon.

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No substitute for a smooth slab when clocking Porche EV under roof

The Guinness World Records title for the fastest speed by a vehicle indoors stood at 86 mph until earlier this year, when racer Leh Keen cleared one of the most expansive concrete slabs in a U.S. public venue. The record speed attempt required starting and finishing at a standstill, all within the Ernst M. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.…

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Paving the way to excellence

The Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute recognized 18 winning and 17 honorable mention projects at its 2020 Hardscape North America Awards ceremony held last month during a special virtual event. The annual awards program honors leading residential and commercial hardscape designs for walkways, patios, pool decks, outdoor living kitchens and living spaces, and driveways as well as commercial plazas and streets.

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Rising to the occasion of substation flood protection

FirstEnergy Corp. subsidiary Jersey Central Power and Light (JCP&L) has completed specially designed, 4-ft. flood walls to protect the Sussex and Canoe Brook substations in Sussex and Essex counties, N.J. The structures are engineered to help curtail power outages by preventing water from reaching substation property and equipment.

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