University of Wisconsin Eau Clair students and Eau Claire residents will soon have a new place to live, shop and do business. The project is currently under construction on the 200 block of Water Street. The four-story complex will house a grocery store, bank, office space and 87 apartment units. County Materials is supplying one of the primary construction components for the structure. The company has produced more than 84,300 sq. ft. of 8” hollowcore plank and 54,300 sq. ft. of 12” hollowcore plank for the large scale project.
The development’s location on Water Street is a welcomed addition to the area. Close to campus, students will enjoy a new opportunity for off-campus living. Many nearby residents will benefit from a new grocery store moving into their neighborhood. Currently the surrounding Water Street community is designated a food desert by the USDA, meaning the area does not have a grocery store within walking distance—making it difficult for residents to quickly obtain healthy eating options and fresh produce.
Tenant safety was a primary concern when designing the multi-story building. With a 56-stall underground parking area, the development required a durable, fire resistant building material to separate the parking area from the businesses and apartments above. The project’s engineer looked to hollowcore plank because of its proven fire resistance and performance. County Materials’ hollowcore systems meet fire ratings for up to three hours. Made of high-strength, steel-reinforced concrete, hollowcore is built to withstand severe temperature from fire - it does not burn or give off toxic fumes.
Hollowcore also helped meet project design requirements, allowing for longer spans with reduced support beams. This helps to open up space for the grocery store and offices, while giving design versatility for each apartment unit to have large open living areas.
In addition to hollowcore systems, County Materials is supplying 9,344 feet of precast columns and inverted tee beams. County Materials’ dedicated dispatch team and drivers have already delivered 374 truckloads of material to the site. As a result, the Eau Claire Water Street Development is continuing on schedule and is slated to open August 2017.