Few tornadoes have had such a lasting impact on our nation’s conscience as the one that struck Joplin, Mo., on May 22, 2011. The warm and muggy late Sunday afternoon turned violent, spawning a one-mile-wide twister which ravaged a 22-mile-long path with winds peaking at 250 mph. In all, 158 people were killed and another 1150 were injured. A major hospital was destroyed and 10 out the city’s 20 schools were destroyed or damaged.
Nine years later and only 150 miles north of Joplin, the Loews Hotel and Convention Center opened in downtown Kansas City, Mo. The 24-story, 800-room hotel is part of a multi-year effort to revitalize the area and is attracting tourists and conventions alike (including the 2022 PCI Convention in March 2022).
Enterprise Precast Concrete was brought on board early in the design process to provide budgeting and design-assist services and also to serve in a design-build capacity. Nailing down and adhering to the construction was imperative, so the project team confirmed a precast production slot for the project early on in the planning process.
Enterprise Precast Concrete manufactured 67,634 square feet of precast concrete for this job that included insulated precast concrete wall panels and cladding with an acid etch finish. Enterprise Precast Concrete’s ARCIS thin panel system was incorporated on some of the lower levels where the use of thinner panels was advantageous. The upper levels of the tower were steel frame with a combination of glass and architectural precast cladding. The wall panels feature a combination of buff and gray colored panels with areas of recessed, decorative impressions.
The project also included an integrated cast-in-place parking structure that was clad with architectural precast concrete to give the overall project a cohesive look.