Proj Overview

Project Overview

Nearly 700 precast concrete pieces, including 156 insulated stone wall panels, were instrumental in the construction of a Hindu American Religious Center building in Hightstown, N.J. While the design for the building initially called for a steel structure, the team at Jersey Precast of Hamilton, N.J., successfully convinced owner BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir HARC to convert the project to an all-precast-concrete structure. This approach helped accelerate the project schedule and offered significant cost savings.

Precast Concrete on a Grand Scale

BAPS aims to promote individual growth through the Hindu values of faith, service, and global harmony. That effort includes construction of the Phase VII building, which is part of ongoing development of the world’s largest religious campus outside of India, located in Robbinsville, New Jersey.

To match the facade of existing campus buildings, BAPS sought a structure featuring imported Indian sandstone. This presented a challenge for Jersey Precast, not only because the team had not worked with that type of sandstone before but also because the project owner had very stringent pattern requirements for the building’s facade. Additionally, each stone weighed just 60 pounds and measured 1.5 in. thick, necessitating careful handling, precise placement, and extreme precision during installation.

Jersey Precast worked with the Natural Stone Institute of America to perform rigorous testing, including shear and tension testing, to design a suitable anchorage system for the sandstone. Overall, the project required nearly 29,000 stones and approximately 190,000 anchors. The anchors were meticulously epoxied into the stone via rubber sleeves. The anchoring system was vital in protecting the sandstone during the import process, and it addressed potential thermal expansion and contraction issues, allowing the pieces to respond appropriately to any movements resulting from temperature shifts.

The project team leveraged building information modeling methods in the design, with the team conducting weekly meetings to ensure any changes were communicated to the trades involved. Teamwork and the conversion of the project to an all-precast-concrete solution were critical in the project, allowing the team to shorten the schedule by approximately one year. Through successful innovation and collaboration, the Phase VII Building has become a centerpiece for BAPS that will capture attention for years to come.

Mason Nichols is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based writer and editor who has covered the precast concrete industry since 2013.


2024 PCI Design AwardsReligious Structure Honorable Mention
Project Team


BAPS, Robbinsville Township, N.J.

PCI-Certified Precast Concrete Producer:

Jersey Precast, Hamilton, N.J.


Studio B, East Brunswick, N.J.

Precast Concrete Specialty Engineer:

CEG-Texas, San Antonio, Tex.

Engineer of Record:

KB&F, Harrison, N.J.

General Contractor:

SCI Group LLC, Arlington Heights, Ill.

PCI-Certified Erector:

Team Precast Group, Lincoln University, Pa.

Project Cost:

$30 million ($6.9 million for the precast concrete)

Project Size:

146,784 ft²

Key Project Attributes

  • Jersey Precast and the project partners collaborated to devise a design for the Phase VII Building that reduced the construction timeline by approximately one year.
  • Approximately 29,000 pieces of sandstone were imported from India to make the work possible.
  • The project team worked extensively with the Natural Stone Institute of America to devise an appropriate anchorage system for the sandstone used.

Project/Precast Scope

  • The two-story, 146,784 ft²- religious center features nearly 700 precast concrete panels.
  • The $30 million project is part of an expansive Hindu campus in New Jersey that is slated to become to the largest in the world. Nearly $7 million was spent on the design and installation of the project’s precast concrete components.