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Gate Precast wins PCI Award for innovative townhouse project using ultra high-performance precast concrete reinforced with PVA fibers.

When Ultra High Performance Concrete (UHPC) is reinforced with PVA fibers, the result is an unequaled solution for strength, durability and aesthetics in a wide variety of applications. These include demanding engineering structures such as bridges, walkways, roofs and stairs and creative architectural concrete designs including walls, lattice, furniture, art and other components.

UHPC was first developed in the 1980s by European manufacturers for construction requiring exceptional strength and corrosion resistance. Since that time, UHPC has found uses in iconic buildings, structures and works of arts across the globe. The features of UHPC are extended when combined with fiber reinforcement. A frequently used fiber with UHPC is poly-vinyl alcohol, or PVA.

Unique Fiber Properties

PVA fibers are unique in their ability to create a fully-engaged molecular bond with concrete that is 300% greater than that of other fibers. PVA improves the impact, shatter and abrasion resistance of concrete. In applications requiring thin profiles, PVA is the optimal fiber solution providing multidimensional support along with enhanced durability and toughness.

PVA fibers are unique in their ability to create a fully-engaged molecular bond with mortar and concrete that is 300% greater than other fibers.

Nycon PVA-RF4000 fibers for concrete reinforcement

Award Winning Project

Dumbo Townhouses in Brooklyn, New York received a 2016 Design Award from the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI). PCI annually recognizes innovation in precast construction through this awards competition which promotes design excellence and construction quality using precast concrete.

Louvers of thin precast made with UHPC, and PVA fibers from Nycon Corporation

Photo: www.cameronblaylock.com

The project was built in a former industrial center in Brooklyn. Historically, many buildings in this area were constructed using reinforced concrete. Now the neighborhood is a popular location to live in the booming Brooklyn borough of New York City. Alloy Design, the architect on the project, specified precast in the design to reflect the industrial nature of the neighborhood.

Gate Precast was the manufacturer of the precast components and implemented the novel design. “This project is the first of its kind in North America and demonstrates how UHPC [with PVA fibers], used in an innovative precast louvered-façade application, allowed the perfect blend of old and new architecture without compromising the integrity of the neighborhood,” said Bill Henderson, vice president of operations for Gate Precast.

Nycon Corporation, an ALP Supply affiliated company, is the exclusive distributor of PVA fibers to the concrete industry in North America. “We were excited to provide Gate Precast the PVA for this innovative project,” said Christian Rescate, President of Nycon. “We’re thrilled when our customers continue to push the limits of precast and receive recognition for their efforts.”

Feedback from Judges of the Award Competition

Michael Zensen, Associate Vice President, CanonDesign

“This project selected precast to solve some very mundane problems for the building, such as storm resistance, durability and maintenance. But take a look and it makes you say, “wow!”

Front view of precast building facade made with UHPC, and PVA fibers from Nycon Corporation

Photo: www.cameronblaylock.com

 

Charlie Jones, Principal, One to One Design
“The profile of the louvers appear to be paper thin, which is both driven by the architect’s desire to have a really thin profile as well as different parameters within the fabrication process. The precast really pushes the boundaries.”

Award winning building has thin precast facade made with UHPC reinforced with PVA fibers from Nycon

Photo: www.cameronblaylock.com

 

Click here to read the award review on the PCI website.