PCI Mid-Atlantic Member Smith-Midland Wins SEBC Award for Architectural Precast Project

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Smith-Midland architectural precast project at Latitude Apartments in Arlington, VA get top industry award from Southeast Building Conference.

Latitude Apartments located in Arlington, VA

The Latitude project features a variety of sustainable design aspects – and in a record 8-day construction phase review, earned LEED® Gold certification.

Smith-Midland Corporation, a PCI Mid-Atlantic Producer Member, recently announced one of their architectural precast projects won a top industry award from the Southeast Building Conference (SEBC).

The SEBC Grand Aurora Award for Best Mixed-Use Project of 2018 was presented to Smith-Midland’s Latitude Apartments project. The luxury apartment complex is a 12-story, mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly community located across from the Virginia Square Metro Station in Arlington, Virginia.

Located within the bustling and trendy Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, Latitude features 265 market-rate apartments, 14 affordable units, and 4 stories of below-grade-parking, with multiple bus stops and frequented Arlington establishments.

The building comprises 3,011 sq. ft. of leasable retail space and 2,675 sq. ft. of cultural and educational-use space on the ground floor. The design by architect Davis Carter Scott features a sophisticated look and extensive library of amenities including: a rooftop plaza – complete with fireplace, grills, movie wall, and bocce court – fitness center, dog wash room, and 12th floor party room.

Project Overview:

Smith-Midland Corporation manufactured and erected approximately 70,000 sq. ft. of acid-wash finished architectural finished precast concrete panels (746) for the 2 residential towers for builder CBG Building Company. Smith-Midland installed the panels using 2 contractor-provided tower cranes - an assist crane was also used to turn the panels, which were shipped horizontal on truck and erected in a vertical position.

The shipping and installing of the precast panels began in the winter, with poor weather and high-wind conditions being problematic, especially for the tower crane. This resulted in the majority of the early installation being lost due to weather.

The Latitude project was considered a medium difficulty manufacturing project, due to the design team’s request to have the corner column covers as one unit (no miter corners). This created large “L” shaped panels that had to be braced up to the point of being set on the building.

Engineering and design was considered medium difficulty as well, due to the project having sloping columns. As a result, Smith-Midland had to design complex connections for the precast used at the rooftop pavilion area.

The shipping and installing of panels was considered medium/heavy difficulty due to a few factors:

First, the project was located in a downtown residential district, which limited street access and work schedules. Second, due to the size of the required jointing, much of the precast had to be temporarily braced until the next level of precast was set. Additionally, understructure work was required at the balconies. As a result, Smith-Midland had to move precast underneath the slab without the use of the crane, and with minimum headroom.

The contractor experienced significant delays bringing the structure up to grade due to weather conditions. The CIP schedule was changed to pour a specific number of days on one tower and then jump to the next tower.

In an effort to assist the project, Smith-Midland agreed to provide an erection sequence that closely matched the concrete pours. Like a choreographed dance, Smith-Midland’s crew and equipment jumped from one tower to the other following the progress of the CIP work.

The challenges were that the CIP work experienced weather delays that precast did not. The owner provided access to a staging lot nearby where Smith-Midland kept product inventory for both towers. This helped the CIP work remain on schedule and allowed Smith-Midland to adjust which tower they worked on.

Due to the contractor carrying the cost of the 2 tower cranes, Smith-Midland’s goal was to get product installed as close to the CIP work as possible. Despite conditions that worked against them, Smith-Midland was able to maintain a schedule that met the requested removal date of the cranes, and the project was completed on time.

The Latitude project features a variety of sustainable design aspects – and in a record 8-day construction phase review, earned LEED® Gold certification.

Builder: CBG Building Company
Developer: Penrose Group
Architect: Davis Carter Scott
Interiors: Linowes Design Associates, Inc.
Precast Concrete Producer: Smith-Midland
Key Project Attributes:
    12-story mixed use
    265 market-rate apartments
    14 affordable units
    3,011 SF leasable retail space
    2,675 SF cultural & educational space
    70,000 SF acid-washed finished architectural panels (746)
    LEED® Gold Certification
    SEBC Grand Aurora Award - Best Mixed-Use Project of 2018

PCI Mid-Atlantic, a chapter of the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI), is a professional marketing organization committed to the growth and greater profitability of the Precast Industry in the Mid-Atlantic region. It is comprised of prestressed/precast producer member firms located throughout the Mid-Atlantic States, including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. PCI Mid-Atlantic also has over 50 associate member companies that produce a variety of concrete industry related products. For more information, visit http://www.pci-ma.org.

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Kae G. Wagner
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