Rugged. Beautiful. Sustainable. Reliable. These are all words that can be used to describe the new Douglas L. McCrary Training Center on the Gulf Power Pine Forest Road campus in Pensacola, Fla.
The owner of this brand-new corporate training center wanted a structure that offered open flexible spaces, but that was also durable enough to serve as an emergency operations center for the utility when high-powered hurricanes and other storms blow through town. To meet the emergency operations center requirements, the building doesn’t just have to withstand the impact of 200 mph hurricane wind loads. It needs to remain functional and usable immediately following the weather event. And it needed to be ready for the coming storm season.
A total precast system enabled the design team to meet the performance requirements for the facility while also reducing costs and shortening the timeline. And it helped the building achieve LEED certification.
The use of precast concrete double tees brought both a long-span capability and exceptional strength to the building. Reducing the number of interior columns and beams needed provided open, flexible interior space. The requirements for impact resistance of the walls and roof during a major weather event were met by using solid precast concrete wall panels and the double-tee roof structure.
The precast concrete design was able to meet the stringent performance requirements of the structure while providing an aesthetically pleasing, sustainable final product at an affordable price point.
– Ben Townes, Townes + Architects