RISD Studio Visits The Hanover Pier 4 Site

Students from the Rhode Island School of Design, a PCI Foundation studio, recently took a “cradle-to-grave” tour of the design capabilities of architectural precast concrete during a tour of several Boston projects. The program was coordinated by Coreslab Structures Inc. in Thomaston, Conn. and PCINE. “The students had seen structural precast concrete on an earlier plant tour with Blakeslee Prestress,” explains Rob Del Vento Jr., Coreslab sales manager. “Now they wanted to get an understanding of architectural precast concrete.” Coreslab arranged for the students to visit ADD Inc. in Boston, where architect Michael Moorehead provided a 45-minute presentation on the need to maximize efficiency in panelization, the benefits provided by the precaster’s assistance during the design process, and why the designers select specific materials for projects.

The group then took a walking tour of two ADD Inc. projects: a nearby mixed-use apartment/retail project with parking that was completed last year, clad with panels featuring three textures in one matrix; and the Pier 4 luxury-apartment building, which currently is being erected. “That allowed them to see how the panels are installed, examine connection details, and see how precast interfaces with other materials. It gave them an idea of the general fit out from start to finish,” says Del Vento. The program 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 Northeast. The studio’s visit, overseen by Assistant Prof. Brett Schneider in the Department of Architecture, comprised fourth-year and graduate students. Coreslab has worked with other regional schools, including the New Jersey Institute of Technology, another PCI Foundation studio. For more information on the Pier 4 project, see the case study at PCINE’s website. “These tours are a great way for the students to learn about precast concrete, which they otherwise might not learn. My civil-engineering courses talked about steel and concrete design, but very little about precast concrete. This gives the students a chance to learn the benefits of using this material and adding a new high-performance building material to use when they graduate.” To learn more about the Foundation’s Studios, visit www.pci-foundation.org and click on Programs & Partnerships.

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