GLOBALFOUNDRIES pushed precast concrete to the limit in order to meet the various unique requirements for building a complex, high tech, facility that will be the shining star of semi-conductor manufacturing. Semi conductors are the future of electronics and are in everything from lasers to memory and computer processing circuits.
Specializing in integrated life-cycle solutions for high-tech production plants and infrastructure complexes M+W Group knows it way around the sensitive construction requirements for this type of manufacturing. According to Alan Asadoorian, V.P. & Director of Construction Manager at M+W Group, this 325,000 sq. ft. semi-conductor facility will “operate at manufacturing precisions not yet seen any where in the world.” That being said, precast concrete was chosen to ensure building stability and vibration free manufacturing in the nanometer range (that’s one billionth of a meter) where any vibration would destroy the product.
Quality control is paramount in a precision built structure of this nature. Unistress, the project’s precast producer, was in charge of 1,843 concrete columns, panels, and beams produced in their environmentally controlled indoor facility. The controlled environment allowed for production to continue uninterrupted in an area where climate is at best unpredictable, assuring that schedules and finances stay on track, which is critical in a project of this magnitude.
The building uses 924 waffle flooring precast concrete panels, each containing a 350 piece rebar cage. These particular flooring panels are quite literally full of holes, 27,000 according to Asadoorian. In this case holy floors are a good thing, as they allow for pipe and wire chases. Eric Lillie, Lead Project Engineer for Unistress, says the design of the waffle panel forms had to be “...extremely efficient... and flexible enough to easily remove the product from the form.” Asadoorian adds that “a cast in place waffle deck would have added time and expense... and place a severe burden on the available workforce,” thus making precast concrete the solution of choice.
This $4.2 billion project, of which $800 million is slated for the manufacturing facility itself, is scheduled to be finished and manufacturing semi conductors by 2012. This facility showcases the incredible flexibility of precast concrete and its ability to meet the high standards and complex requirements necessary in the manufacture of the smallest of electronic components.
Photos courtesy of Arthur Plamer, M+W Group