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April 28, 2016

Tilt-up structures

Photo courtesy of WACA
The exterior tilt-up panels have a variety of colors and textures, creating a banded effect.

Next IT at Pinecroft

Location: Spokane Valley

Owner/developer: Pinecroft LLC

Team: Divcon, general and concrete contractor; MMEC, architect; DCI Engineers, structural engineer; Central Pre-Mix Concrete Co. (doing business as Oldcastle Materials), ready-mix supplier

This 44,000-square-foot tilt-up structure is the new headquarters for a tech company based in Spokane. The tenant wanted a building that was flexible, comfortable and energy efficient.

Tilt-up was selected because of its economy, efficiency and architectural qualities. To meet the energy efficiency requirements, insulated sandwich panels were used. This provided an architectural canvas of concrete for both the interior and exterior.

The exterior tilt-up panels incorporate multiple textures and colors without the need for paint. Integral color was used in all of the exterior wythes. Thin brick was used as a unifying element with the rest of the business campus.

The majority of the exterior is a combination of smooth and sandblasted concrete. This creates a banded effect with subtle variations in color and texture adding to the rich look of the exterior.

Real pine and cedar boards were used to create a board-form finish between the windows and at the entry. This helped to give this building its own identity among its neighbors.

The exterior board form is carried into the lobby and common area of the building, presenting special challenges.

The tilt-up panel needed to have board form on all sides, which was accomplished by creating real wood stamps that were applied to the panels while in their plastic state. Sand from conveyor trucks was placed on top of the “stamps” to keep the board form in firm contact with the concrete until it could hydrate. The result is a four-sided, board-form finish on an integrally colored insulated sandwich panel.

The remainder of the interior surfaces was left as smooth-troweled gray concrete. The architect incorporated this finish into the color and finish palette.

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