GSU University Commons

Atlanta, GA

Niles Bolton Associates, Inc.

Hardin Construction Company

University Commons consists of four apartment buildings on a 4.2 acre site in the heart of Atlanta, GA. The heights range from eight to fifteen stories and house approximately 2,000 students. All units come with a fully equipped kitchen, furnished bedrooms and living spaces.

Budget restraints, approaching deadlines and a tight downtown site all contributed to the need for a smarter solution for this project consisting of four buildings ranging from eight to 14 stories.


Courtyard feature at the center of the structure.

Construction of the largest, privately funded university housing complex in the nation demanded careful attention to each system. The design team opted to use precast for several reasons. It was more economical to replace the metal stud and brick veneer system with an easy to install precast wall panel, finished on the exterior and ready to paint on the interior. This limited the cost and unpredictability of field labor as well as finishing materials. Setting the precast panels at night allowed for use of the general contractor’s on-site tower crane, eliminating the need for mobilization of another crane. This knocked months off the construction schedule. When the project team weighed options for the building envelope and looked at issues like cost, performance, speed of erection, logistics, aesthetics and more, the choice was clear: a thermal efficient precast concrete wall system.


GSU’s University Commons student housing set against the Atlanta skyline.

The erection benefits of precast not only allowed the team to meet the deadline, but it reduced the anticipated and indirect costs of field labor that would have been more sensitive to price fluctuations. We are open to using them on other applications, even beyond housing,”

– Dale McClain, Senior Project Manager, Niles Bolton Associates