Institutions are an integral part of society and often help serve many members of the communities that surround them.  Because they are an important component of making citizens’ lives easier, it's important to institutions that they remain open and accessible.  Institutions built with precast can be erected quicker, more efficiently, and provide long lasting structures that require limited future maintenance.

Types of institutions 

Precast has been used to construct various types of institutional facilities throughout the United States including:

K-12 public and charter schools

Highland Park High School
“The detailing and finish of the precast concrete helped lower the scale of the building and added detail to what might otherwise have been an ordinary shell,” 
Michael Dolter, senior project architect for Perkins+Will

Justice and correctional facilities

US Federal Courthouse
By using precast concrete, this project incorporated a level of design into a public building that makes it much more of a civic space. The large, all-in-one panels also reduced joints, reducing long-term maintenance. Casting the components in a controlled environment also enhanced the overall quality and tolerances of the pieces produced. 

Military installation including training barracks, medical centers, data center, and other critical military facilities

711th Human Performance Wing Complex
The precast concrete facade proved to be a key part of the success of the building, the base’s largest single construction project since World War II and the district’s most expensive project ever. The panels provided a level of quality control and uniformity above expectations for a huge project that would have been a challenge for local masons, the designer said.

Healthcare facilities 

Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital
The project consisted of 972 precast pieces and 129,501 SF of precast panels on 7 buildings in one complex. The massive sunshades,along with the insulated panels helped the project receive the LEED Silver Certification. 

College and university campuses

Peter Miller Community Technology Center
Designers clad the building with architectural precast concrete panels finished with a texture that replicates rough-sawn cedar. The panels help meet LEED standards through their inherent mass and produced minimal construction waste.

Government/Public Facilities such as mission critical facilities

Salvation Army - The Freedom Center
The campus, consisting of several interconnected architectural precast brick clad structures with landscaped courtyards, is designed to emulate the aesthetic of the surrounding mixed residential and retail neighborhood.

Religious Facilities 

St. James Catholic Church
The architectural design team used architectural precast concrete panels with a custom formliner to replicate the existing brick appearance on the new spaces. The precast was stained using a multi-color stain system, keeping the mortar joints as the base concrete color. Portions of the panels were also clad with natural stone.

High-tech and laboratory facilities

Wisconsin Energy Corp Training Center
The facility is designed to provide dynamic and effective training simulations. The design went with precast concrete for its speed and economy as well as the ability to create architectural appeal on the exterior.

How precast can help

Quicker Erection Times
Institutions have to remain open so the services they provide can be available to those who need it most.  Precast can be delivered and erected quickly on site reducing construction schedules and meeting accelerated project schedules.  This also means that institutions that need to be closed for renovations or updated can expect to be operational in a shorter amount of time.

Safer for Occupants
Institutions are oftentimes places of safe haven for members of the surrounding community.  Precast institutional structures can be designed for several purposes including acting as storm shelters in areas prone to extreme weather.  Precast concrete is also inherently blast, fire, and seismic resistant making it one of the best construction materials to build facilities needed to protect occupants.

Limited Maintenance
Because precast is a long-lasting, high performance material, institutions who choose precast for their structures can rest assured knowing they have built their facilities from a durable project that will last decades.  Precast facilities require less maintenance in the long run which means less time closing for renovations and more time serving local communities. 

Produced Offsite in a Quality Controlled Environment
Precast concrete is produced in offsite manufacturing facilities in quality control environments and held to some of the highest standards.  PCI producers have been certified by PCI to ensure they are producing the highest quality precast components for clients such as institutions. 

Institutional projects can use precast to meet their high performance goals. Precast concrete integrates easily with other systems and inherently provides the versatility, efficiency, and resiliency needed to meet the multi-hazard requirements and long-term demands of institutional facilities.