In order to accomodate a growing need for housing, Georgia State University (GSU) recently added Piedmont Central, a 253,843 sq ft student housing development which includes 1,152 beds in 320 suite & semi-suite style dormitory units, a dining hall, classroom space, community rooms, laundry rooms and a greenspace courtyard.
The total precast structure used an innovative design with load-bearing, thermally efficient insulated wall panels for the exterior. The wall panels had an R-value that exceeded the energy code with the back sides hard-troweled and painted as the finish interior surface, thus satisfying all requirements for the wall system in one precast panel. The floor system was a prestressed panel the width of a room that became the finished ceiling with no joints. The floor panels were cast with voids (formed by foam) to reduce the weight. A precast, load-bearing corridor wall supported two spans (one across one row of rooms and the other across a row of rooms and the corridor) and was the final finish on both sides after painting.
The design/build team opted to use precast concrete for this project when preparing the winning proposal to the owner. Metromont joined the design team and helped to prepare the proposal, then assisted with construction designs. The two primary reasons for selecting a total precast structure were speed of erection to meet a truncated schedule, and to move the labor and staging from a tight urban job site to the manufacturer’s plant. The precast structure was erected in six months, allowing the general contractor to jump start all trades and interior finishing in order to timely complete the dormitory for the start of the 2016 fall school year. The structure was erected by a six-man crew, loads were delivered just in time and only the space to park two loads was required on the job site.