Officials at MTA Metro-North Railroad in White Plains, New York, need to expand their parking facilities to accommodate the growing use of their services, as its passenger total reached 2,200 customers per day. Their solution was to create a 186,000-square-foot, five-story total-precast concrete structure to park 500 cars.
The new facility, which replaced a 109-car structure, offers three lower floors of permit parking and two higher floors of metered parking. Spaces on the first two floors were provided to meet ADA requirements. The tight site, durability needs, fast schedule, and other factors led the designers to specify the total-precast concrete framing system. It features double tees, columns, beams, spandrels, flat panels, and stair/elevator core pieces. Dailey Precast fabricated the components.
“The fairly tight schedule drove the decision to use a design-build format,” says Jim Branch, senior principal at Stantec. “Design-build excels under a tight schedule.” So too does precast concrete, as it can begin casting as site-preparation work gets underway. Site work included demolishing several structures, including the existing parking garage, a maintenance building, a surface lot, and several utility sheds.
The biggest challenge was moving the existing utility services adjacent to the site. The services, consisting of three generators, fuel-oil storage, and mechanical systems, needed to remain operational until a new enclosure was constructed on the lowest level of the new parking structure. The work was completed in two phases, with the structures to house the utility services erected and the systems put into place. Once they were operational, the original utility structure could be removed and work could proceed on the rest of the building.
The aesthetic design was planned to relate the parking structure to the adjacent headquarters building, with the precast concrete color and embedded thin brick providing a traditional look. Horizontal spandrels feature a buff-finished limestone look that offers a contrast in color and texture. An imported sand and aggregate mix was used for the spandrels.
A series of stainless-steel mesh screens were installed on the infill panels of exterior of the first level. The screens feature die-cut stainless-steel artwork by Situ Studio entitled Percolate. Approximately 125 art pieces, replicating forms of vaporizing droplets to reference the role water has played in the city’s history, attach to the metal mesh in random patterns.
The team also added sustainable-design concepts wherever possible. One of the biggest additions was the use of bright-white double tees to construct the roof, generating a high albedo. This mix consisted of local aggregate and sand with an all-white cement. All of the upper tier double tees were cast with this mix.
“I am so proud to cut the ribbon on a facility that will serve the needs of our commuters,” said Joseph Giulietti, Metro-North Railroad president at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “The fact that it was completed in a timely, cost-effective way confirms our continued commitment to our customers.”