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Modular precast jail cells minimized energy consumption, materials, and waste at Coyote Ridge Corrections Center, the country's first LEED Gold prison.

With 39 points awarded by the USGBC, the Coyote Ridge Corrections Center is the first prison in the U.S. to achieve LEED Gold certification.

Integrating strict LEED building requirements was difficult, as the Washington Department of Corrections (WDOC) faced constraints for high-density/low-autonomy occupancy in a 24-hour operation environment.

“The team saw the challenges as an opportunity to develop innovative strategies and solutions,” says Jack Olson, WDOC project director.

The medium-security housing is comprised of precast concrete modular cells stacked two high with precast infill panels. In addition to its sustainable aspects, the precast system allowed the rapid design/build project to be finished in 29 months. “Completing the project within schedule probably would not have been possible without a precast option,” says Olson. The owner fast-tracked the project and successfully reduced the project delivery time by a full year.

Precast concrete plant production is very efficient compared with alternative building systems, by design and through quality control and the National Precast Concrete Association's plant certification. Efficiency is particularly attainable in high-quality, repetitious cell production for correctional facilities. Green advantages of precast include:

  • Reduced energy, material, and waste
  • Maximized in-plant production, onsite installation efficiencies, and reuse of formwork
  • Energy-savings with thermal mass
  • Environmental protection through minimized construction waste, noise, and dust

  • Project Participants

    Owner: Washington Department of Corrections, Tumwater, Wash.
    Architect/Structural Engineer: Integrus Architecture, Seattle; Rosser International, Atlanta
    General Contractor: Hunt/Lydig Joint Venture, Connell, Wash.
    Concrete Contractor: Oldcastle Precast Modular, Telford, Pa.
    Concrete Producer: Oldcastle, Spokane Valley, Wash.
    Site Designer & LEED Consultant: CH2M, Denver

    To see slideshows and details for all entries, visit www.greensiteawards.com