Designers of this 23-story, mixed-use hotel in bustling downtown Los Angeles, Calif., originally envisioned the structure with a metal panel and glass curtain wall facade system. But when that solution failed to fit their budget and high- performance demands, the owner and design-build team turned to a local precast concrete producer to come up with a better alternative. The facade had to be cost-effective, durable, and able to meet continuous insulation requirements, all while complementing the aesthetic design of the structure.
They came up with an architectural precast concrete envelope that features 119,000 square feet (11,100 meters squared) of composite architectural precast panels and 6000 square feet (560 meters squared) of architectural precast concrete on the podium. Panels span floor-to-floor with punched window openings of varying widths and spacing with aluminum framing and glass, which were pre-assembled and shipped to the jobsite as single modular units.
Production of the panels was set up on a three-day cycle and integrated the glazing subcontractor into the production cycle for optimum efficiency. On day one, the panels were cast; on day two, they were stripped and received two in. of spray foam insulation; and on day three, the panels were sandblasted and the glazer installed window clips. The preglazed, preinsulated panels could then be installed immediately upon arrival at the jobsite without the need for on-site glazing or insulation subcontractors, resulting in additional schedule and cost savings.
This design met all of the owner’s goals: the panels are lightweight and high-performance, and they were all pre-glazed and pre-insulated before arriving at the site—delivering a complete building enclosure system faster and more cost-effectively than other design options.