Precast producer Molin Concrete designed its new Engineering and Design Office Building as a showcase of precast concrete's aesthetics and sustainability. Components of the 7442-square-foot building include insulated precast concrete wall panels, precast columns, prestressed beams, and precast roof planks. They demonstrate the contribution of sustainable products and high-performance systems to improve energy and resource efficiency, and indoor air quality.
The building includes office space for 34 employees, two conference rooms, an employee break room, and a planning/ work room. A precast covered walkway connects the new Engineering/Design Office Building to the existing Administration Building.
The design flexibility of precast walls and roofing helps save energy. Tubular skylights maximize natural light, and their relatively small size limits the openings' effect on the structural capacity of precast roofing plank. High precast ceilings and wall panels allow for large exterior window openings that provide even more daylight.
Precast concrete sunshades reduce solar heat gain, and R-26 precast wall systems save energy. To further reduce energy demands and minimize the building's heat island effect, the producer installed a white thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) roofing membrane on top of the office building and covered walkway. The white roofing material reflects rather than absorbs the sun's radiant heat, helping to cool the inside.
Recycled materials also play a role. The project contains 21.5% recycled content for all building materials. This includes an average of 36% replacement of portland cement with fly ash, which reduces carbon emissions during concrete curing. Its precast components contain 42% post-consumer content and 25% pre-consumer content.
The producer invites customers and local architectural and engineering students to tour the building and see its sustainable benefits firsthand. The project is being considered for LEED Gold certification.