RISD Students Visit Blakeslee

On March 18th, approximately 50 students from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, R.I., recently visited Blakeslee Prestress in Branford, Connecticut, to see how a precast concrete manufacturing plant operates and to learn the basics of prestressed precast concrete design.

The class visit was arranged through the PCI Foundation, which is sponsored by the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute with the goal of fostering educational and research initiatives involving precast concrete. The School is one of six participating in the Foundation’s Studio program and the only one in the New England. The studio’s visit, overseen by Prof. Brett Schneider, was open to third-, fourth-, and fifth-year undergraduates.

“The program is a great opportunity for students at one of the most prestigious design schools in the country to learn about a material that often is overlooked in architectural-design classes,” says Robert Vitelli, vice president of Blakeslee Prestress. “We were happy to work with the school and PCINE to give them a better understanding of processes, so they recognize precast’s benefits.”

During the half-day program, the students toured the plant to see how a variety of precast concrete products are fabricated. They were able to view procedures for casting concrete and setting steel for architectural panels, double tees, columns, beams, and stairs. They were given a demonstration of the company’s Tekla 3-D modeling software. Rita Seraderian, executive director of PCI’s Northeast Region, also gave a presentation on the basics of prestressed precast concrete design.

To learn more about the Foundation’s Studios, visit www.pci-foundation.org and click on Programs & Partnerships. To learn about arranging plant tours, contact Rita Seraderian at contact@pcine.org.

Photos courtesy of Blakeslee Prestress, Inc., Branford, CT.

Blakeslee Plant Tour

Plant Tour/Lectures Available to All

PCINE producer members host plant tours at their manufacturing facilities for design professionals and college students. Participants are offered the opportunity to see a plant in full operation during business hours. Continuing education credit (AIA Learning Units and PDH's) can be awarded and tours may also include a presentation for additional credit. Participants learn how precast concrete is manufactured and finished, see the steps taken to ensure quality products, and gain a better understanding of how the product works within the design and construction process.

Plant tours must be scheduled in advance. Lunch may be included. Safety equipment (hard hats and safety glasses) will be provided, and participants should wear closed toe shoes and long pants. To contact PCINE for assistance in arranging a tour at a PCI Certified member facility, phone (888) 700-5670 or use our online form link below.

Contact PCI Northeast about Producer Member Plant Tours