Structural Precast Concrete Structures

Essex Parking Garage Structural Overview

Precast Concrete Structural Parking Garage

Save time, labor, and money with a precast parking garage. Precast concrete offers greater strength and impermeability, as well as superior durability. It also offers a wide range of design options that feature wider bays and the need for fewer columns, improving vehicle circulation efficiency.

Our capability to construct materials concurrently in a factory setting can result in lower costs than a cast-in-place construction process, which can also increase the likelihood that your parking structure project will be completed on time and on budget. The fact that the completed precast concrete members remain stored in the factory until they are ready for use also limits their exposure to the elements, which can minimize the potential for weather-related damage during construction.

High-quality precast concrete has the strength that rivals or exceeds that of cast-in-place concrete. Because of their inherent toughness, precast parking garages require little in the way of ongoing maintenance compared to other systems, which saves time, labor, and money. It can also meet the stringent construction requirements where maximum seismic resilience is necessary.

On the job site, the precast parking garage construction process offers a number of important safety benefits. Since the concrete members arrive preformed and ready to go, it eliminates the need for on-site pouring and other concrete manufacturing processes that could put workers at risk of injury, especially during inclement weather. There is also less chance of worker accidents at the manufacturing facility because precast concrete is produced in a tightly controlled, closely supervised setting with strict adherence to safety guidelines.

Structural Literature

Structural Parking FAQs

For most structures, shear walls are a better solution than moment frames. Shear walls can be provided with little or no cost impact to a structure, since these walls can also be designed to carry gravity loads, thus replacing beams and columns. An example of this is an interior "light" wall, which is a cost-effective way to support tees on a ramp, but also, the "light" wall in an effective shear wall to resist loads in its long direction. The "light" wall has an added benefit as well in that it is more open than a system of columns and crossing spandrels.

The most effective way is to ensure that the deck members are cast with good quality concrete cast in plant controlled conditions. A low water-cement ratio is extremely critical in providing a long lasting durable parking deck. We typically recommend a water-cement ratio of .36 or less. This is a more effective method than use of corrosion inhibitors. Galvanized or epoxy coated reinforcing is not recommended, and may, in fact, reduce the service life of a garage.

Yes, we typically warp tees to accoomidate drainage. 

Care should be taken in keeping the stiff elements away from the extremities of a garage, but when this is done, it is possible to build a garage up to 325 feet in length without the need for an expansion joint. Attention must also be given to diaphragm loads, and the spacing of shear walls.

When the overall height of the structure is not a problem, we recommend floor to floor heights of 10' - 4" as a minimum. This will provide a clear height of 7' - 6" for each level within the structure, and will help in making the garage feel more open as well as improving the lighting and the visibility of signage. Additional clearance is sometimes required to meet ADA requirements.

We strive to build relationships based on trust with all of our clients, and we always stand behind the products and services we offer.
Colors & Finishes

Colors & Finishes

With precast concrete, the aesthetic versatility of the product leads to endless possibilities for your next design. 

Go from one applied finish to exposed aggregate back to the applied finish all within the same panel!

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BIM

BIM

Augmented reality can help bring your project to life before construction even starts. See what your project looks like in 3D with our top of the line team at High Concrete.

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Graphic Concrete®

Graphic Concrete®

Impart patterns, branding, or signage on large-scale precast concrete surfaces is just the beginning of what this product can offer for your next project.

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Related Projects

500 Pearl Street Parking Garage Entire Structure View
Parking 07/2019

500 Pearl Street Parking Garage

Perched up above a seemly 6-story precast podium parking garage stands a hotel and apartments that rely on the durability of precast to provide key functionality to the structure. While the garage is an open design for natural ventilation, the designers observe a balance using large wall panels with a square reveal to create the visual of sectioned windows on a standard building. Being able to factor in the finished material by augmenting another material elevated off the precast panels was a benefit to using precast concrete on this project to create the feel of a cohesive building and not a parking garage.

The precast columns stream down through the 380 car parking garage into the ground level to structurally support the garage as well as the steel structure placed above the garage. The structural capacity and durability precast brings are essential to the harsh weather climate that this structure will come into play with.

The first level of structural elements complements the functionality of the building ground level by acting as a ceiling that completely seals an operational facilities portion of the hotel and several retail/food services tenants. A waterproof sealant was applied to the structural elements on the first precast level to keep the moisture out.

View 500 Pearl Street Parking Garage
Queen Street Parking Garage street view
Parking 07/2005

Red Rose Parking Garage

Once bustling with retail business and pedestrian traffic, the City of Lancaster, PA is working toward rebuilding a vital and vibrant downtown. Designed with an intention to stimulate the Lancaster economy with much-needed commuter and transient parking and 15,000 square feet of retail space on two floors, the 185,000-square-foot Queen Street Station Parking Garage complements the city’s historic streetscapes and creates a pedestrian-friendly aesthetic.

View Red Rose Parking Garage
Penn State Hershey full garage view
Parking 02/2020
2021

Penn State Hershey Campus Parking Garage

Inspired by the rolling hills in Pennsylvania, the eye-catching waving spandrels are the first element to greet you as you drive onto the health campus and the last you pass as you leave. Being in such prime real estate, the owners did not want this to be an ordinary parking garage. The Architects took on the challenge with inspiration from the land around them and created a total precast concrete marvel with 1,235 parking spaces with room to expand as needed.

2021 PCI Award Winner

View Penn State Hershey Campus Parking Garage
Lehigh University view of garage at night
Parking 12/2006
2007

Lehigh University Alumni Parking Garage

A design-build approach that reused steel forms from an award-winning project resulted in the 315-space Lehigh University Alumni Parking Garage in four to six months less time than typical construction. The form design was recognized with a PCI Design Award in 2002 and again in 2007 when it was repurposed for this project.

The five-level, 104,000 square foot garage for university faculty features 10- by 30-foot precast concrete elements that incorporate slender precast concrete columns and spandrel beams. The structural design eliminated tall, heavy spandrels that are traditionally associated with parking structures, replacing them with an open, lightweight concrete latticework that provides both exciting form and efficient function. The panels' slender columns correspond individually to the 7-foot 6-inch span of the 15-foot-wide structural double tee stems. In addition to bringing in light and providing an open, airy feel, the exterior lattice system blocks headlight beams from reaching into the neighborhood.

View Lehigh University Alumni Parking Garage

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