Proj Overview

Project Overview

The new VA Medical Chapel in Orlando, Fla., is a quiet space dedicated to healing and honoring wounded veterans, but the design suggests anything but quiet.
The interior of the chapel draws light both from above and the east through a precast concrete wall perforated with irregularly shaped window blockouts and recesses. The precast concrete system uses a closed-foam insulation behind some areas and an integrated insulation on the exposed interior elements. The backs of the panels are exposed inside the chapel and feature a surface finish nearly identical to the face of the panel.
The team had to time the removal of the backside recess blockouts right due to the trapping of significant amounts of air, resulting in voids that could not be steel troweled out. The concrete mixture had to be sufficiently set so the recess sides would not collapse yet the concrete could still be workable enough to steel trowel. To remedy these issues, the recesses were blocked out to a depth substantially deeper than their finished dimension, then placed separately the next day.

Precast Solution

The interior of the chapel stretches two stories high with precast concrete. The precast concrete insulated wall panels assisted with increasing energy retention within the building. By blocking out the recesses, the team was able to eliminate the trapped air voids and provide a workable surface for steel troweling inside the recess. This also allowed more time to be dedicated to the non-recessed surface to provide the necessary smooth troweled finish.

 

Awards
2013 Design AwardsCustom Solutions Award Honorable Mention
Project Team

Architect

RLF Architects, Orlando, Fla.

Engineer

Allan and Conrad Inc., Winter Park, Fla.

Contractor

Turner Construction, Orlando, Fla.

Owner

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Orlando, Fla.

Precast

Gate Precast Co., Kissimmee, Fla.

Precast Specialty Engineer

Gate Precast Co., Kissimmee, Fla.

Key Project Attributes

  • The precast concrete system uses an integrated insulation on the exposed interior elements, which increased the energy retention within the building.
  • Precast concrete walls allowed light to come in through irregularly shaped window blockouts and recesses
  • Precast concrete walls destroyed air voids within the old walls, creating workable surface for steel troweling

Project/Precast Scope

  • The interior of the chapel stretches two stories high