Building Up with Precast Concrete Panels – Part I
Builder Syed Bokhari passionately believes in creating durable, energy-efficient housing for seniors. That dedicated focus has led him to explore creative construction practices — including the use of precast concrete panels from Superior Walls by Magnis.
“I first saw a Superior Walls basement foundation two years ago and thought it was a great way to build,” says Bokhari, president of Noble Builders in Winnipeg, Manitoba. “Then I went and viewed a wide variety of different Superior Walls basements and decided this was the product I wanted to use. The speed of installation truly accelerates the work on site, plus the energy-efficiency features are an asset in our area.”
Working with a design created by T-Square Techniques, Inc., Noble Builders is now approaching the final stages of construction on a three-story seniors residence at 51 Kaatz Drive in Beausejour, Manitoba. The team decided to “build up” with precast concrete panels and created the entire exterior of the building — plus the interior elevator shaft — with custom panels supplied by Superior Walls.
“We selected the precast wall product primarily for its speed in erecting and enclosing the building structure,” says Brian L. Mansky, principal owner and chief designer at T-Square Techniques, Inc. in Winnipeg. “This is technically a far superior building envelope system as compared to standard wood frame construction. While this is our first time specifying Superior Walls for a project, we’ve been so impressed with the product that we’re considering it for other projects.”
Reliable Concrete Walls
The 35-unit independent living residence for seniors at 51 Kaatz Drive incorporates Superior Walls Xi PlusTM panels into the building envelope.
“The exterior walls include 2,400 linear feet of eight-foot tall Xi Plus panels, and then there’s an additional 120 linear feet of 10-foot tall Xi Plus panels for the elevator shaft,” says Ray Wentz, special projects manager at Superior Walls by Magnis. “This is the first multi-story, above ground application of our products in this area.
“The advantages of using precast concrete panels in this type of building construction are amazing. Each wall panel is custom made to the exact specifications of the plan. The panels install quickly and resist mold, rot, fire and noise. These are incredible features for a senior living facility.”
Bokhari agrees that the benefits of the concrete panels for the project make them a winner for the senior living facility.
“We had the shell up on the structure in less than four months, which is impossible to achieve with poured concrete, concrete blocks or traditional wood frame construction,” says Bokhari.
The “shell” of this structure includes a broom finish to the concrete exterior, providing a scratch coat for acrylic stucco and cultured stone accents. The finish can also be painted.
“This is a new way of building,” says Bokhari. “It’s faster and more reliable than past building methods. I can see us working on many projects in the future with Superior Walls foundations and above grade applications.”