Proj Overview

Project Overview

The project began as a dream for Rick Hayduk, who desired to build a hotel that would employ individuals with disabilities. After meeting with Dabo Swinney, Clemson University’s head football coach, Dabo introduced Hayduk to Rich Davies, a third-generation real estate developer who owned a property in Downtown Clemson and was looking to build a boutique hotel. Together, the trio formed a partnership that would eventually bring Hayduk’s dream to life—all with the help of precast concrete.

Precast Concrete Brings Southern Hospitality to Life

Everything about the design of the Shepherd Hotel is intended to create an atmosphere of approachable luxury and Southern hospitality. This includes the aesthetic created by the more than 41,000 ft² of precast concrete core walls and architectural precast concrete cladding with a thin-brick, medium sandblast finish.

Because the hotel is located in downtown Clemson, the site was subject to architectural review by the city. The project team, which included Metromont LLC, of Greenville, S.C., and architect Goff D’Antonio Associates of Charleston, S.C., selected a precast concrete approach that included a brick veneer to complement the brick architecture of both the downtown and the Clemson University campus. Metromont created brick patterns and offsets along with cast stone-like elements to achieve the visual goals of the project and meet the expectations of the Clemson review board. The team also studied panel sizes and joints to create a composition that was aesthetically pleasing and proportional to other building elements, such as the windows and other openings.

“Precast concrete allowed the design team to use a brick-veneer finish incorporated into the panel design that emulated the look and detail needed to fit into the context of the site in downtown Clemson,” said Hank D’Antonio, AIA, principal with Goff D’Antonio Associates. “Additionally, a cast stone facade on the lower levels of the hotel were seamlessly integrated with the panel system.”

One of the major difficulties encountered by the project team concerned the precast concrete core towers that make up the interior of the hotel. Given the layout of the floor plan and the orientation of the towers to the global x and y axes for the project, engineers needed to address several horizontal irregularities. Calculated story drifts far exceeded prescribed limits established by code when the precast concrete walls were analyzed as independent lateral-force-resisting walls. The solution was to connect that precast concrete panels that comprised the stair and elevator cores in a manner that would emulate a cast-in-place tower, thus increasing the stiffness of the lateral-force-resisting system so that story drift values would remain within code limits. In most situations of this kind, wet joints would help make this possible. However, that method would not work on the Shepherd Hotel project because several elevations were part of the architectural facade. In lieu of wet joints, the team designed heavy welded connections on the interior corners of the box to adequately transfer the forces across the joints and achieve the desired behavior of a tube section. These connections had to be meticulously placed and coordinated alongside the steel framing, but the solution ultimately met both the structural and aesthetic requirements of the project.

Precast concrete helped overcome site constraints during the construction of the Shepherd Hotel. The ¼-acre site possesses an extremely limited footprint, and the delivery of precast concrete components as they were needed reduced site traffic and kept the work on schedule. The use of precast concrete also allowed for the building to optimize its footprint and maximize the number of rooms that could be constructed, which will help the hotel achieve financial success going forward.

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


2024 PCI Design AwardsBest Hotel/Motel Building
Project Team


Pavilion Development, Charlotte, N.C.

Good Shepherd Hospitality, Clemson, S.C.

PCI-Certified Precast Concrete Producer:

Metromont, LLC, Greenville, S.C.


Goff D’Antonio Associates, Charleston, S.C.

Precast Concrete Specialty Engineer:

TRC Worldwide Engineering, Allentown, Pa.

Engineer of Record:

Britt, Peters & Associates Inc., Greenville, S.C.

General Contractor:

Mashburn Construction Company, Columbia, S.C.

PCI-Certified Erector:

Davis Erecting & Finishing, Inc., Greenville, S.C.

Project Cost:

$19.45 million ($2.23 million for the precast concrete)

Project Size:

50,738 ft²

Key Project Attributes

  • The Shepherd Hotel is a 67-room boutique hotel in downtown Clemson, S.C., which features a restaurant, a bar, and rooftop event space.
  • As envisioned by Rick Hayduk, the hotel is staffed by Clemson University students and graduates with special needs who are a part of the ClemsonLIFE program.
  • All aspects of the Shepherd Hotel—including the interior finishes and the exterior facade—are designed to evoke feelings of Southern hospitality.

Project/Precast Scope

  • The Shepherd Hotel features more than 41,000 ft² of precast concrete core walls and architectural precast concrete cladding with a thin-brick, medium-sandblast finish.
  • The use of precast concrete reduced site traffic, expedited the construction timeline, and provides an aesthetic that coexists harmoniously with other buildings in the area.
  • The precast concrete components were erected on site from February to July 2021, and the project was completed in September 2022.