Proj Overview

Project Overview

The new mixed-use structure at 5th & Race Street in Cincinnati, Ohio, gives visitors the impression that they can see right through the building. Designers of the 280,000 ft2 facility, elegantly merged broad windows and precast concrete panels to create a light and elegant building that reflects the blue sky during the day, and golden street lights at night, while giving residents a strong, open space for their offices and retail.

Designers of the building, which includes a 1000-space, four-story parking garage at the base topped by four stories of commercial space, chose precast concrete to achieve the owners’ durability, accelerated timeline, and aesthetic goals, says Glenn Ebersole, P.E., market development manager of High Concrete Group, the precaster on the project. “By using architectural precast panels we were able to provide the dark color and avoid the repetitiveness of patterns, while limiting erection time.”

Precast Solution

While the precast concrete exterior of the building is among its most striking attributes, one of the biggest challenges that High Concrete Group's team faced was design precast for the interior of the project. “The owner wanted the precast to be exposed inside the final office space to achieve an industrial look like an old warehouse structure,” he says. “So all precast connections had to be exposed to view.” That meant special consideration had to be taken to ensure that connections within reach of personnel were both safe to be around and tamper-proof, as well as attractive.

Since the precast concrete was the only shell between the inside and outside air, all of the panels on the office tower were insulated to achieve thermal performance goals. “With no interior finishes there was no other way to provide insulation,” Ebersole says.

The result is a durable, attractive, high-performing structure that meets the needs of residents while creating an attractive addition to the urban landscape, he says. “The 5th & Race Street Development has been praised for the project’s positive economic impact and the forecasted benefits it will have on the west side of the central business district in Cincinnati.”


2016 Design AwardsDesign Awards: Best Mixed-Use Building
Project Team


Fifth & Race LLC and Dunnhumby USA, Cincinnati, Ohio 

Precast Producer and Precast Specialty Engineer

High Concrete Group LLC, Denver, Pa. 


Gensler, Chicago, Ill. 

Engineer of Record

THP Limited Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio 

General Contractor

Turner Construction Company, Cincinnati, Ohio 

Photo Credit

High Concrete Group LLC

Key Project Attributes

  • Exposed precast concrete interior gives office space an industrial feel.
  • Insulated precast concrete sandwich panels provide thermal insulation with no additional interior finishes.
  • Use of precast concrete enabled an accelerated construction timeline.

Project/Precast Scope

  • Project Cost: $140 million
  • 280,000 ft2, mixed-use facility, including a four-story parking garage and four stories of office space.
  • Precast concrete elements included 72,452 ft2 of insulated cladding in 810 pieces.
  • All panels were insulated to meet thermal goals.