The State University of New York (SUNY) will open its first total precast concrete dorm, Liberty Terrace, in the fall of 2012. The $60 million dollar project will consist of two buildings with 500 beds, a community center with lounges, meeting rooms and a fitness center. Each of the apartment style dormitory rooms has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen and living/dining room.
Oldcastle Precast, Inc – Building Systems Division was awarded the contract for the design and engineering of the precast dormitory structure as well as manufacturing and erecting the precast elements. According to Aaron Fink, Regional Sales Engineer for Oldcastle Precast Building Systems “Precast concrete was chosen for its versatility, durability and speed of installation.”
Assets abound with precast concrete especially in dormitory settings. Mold naturally doesn’t like concrete as a food source and generally doesn’t grow there. Insulated concrete panels keep the insulation moisture free by sandwiching it between two layers of precast concrete, which keeps interior temperatures stable while reducing energy costs. The noise of campus life is always a concern and students need a quiet environment to learn in. Precast panels provide sound dampening between rooms as well as keeping outside noises to a minimum. Lastly, fire endurance is an inherent property of precast concrete. The benefits that precast offers allows the fire to be contained thus, allowing for sufficient time to evacuate safely. In this time when safety for students is paramount, precast concrete offers unparalleled protection.
The Liberty Terrace complex consists of two buildings, each five stories for a total area of 180,000 sq. ft. The project has approximately 860 precast wall panels along with precast stairs, landings, beams and hollowcore plank. Installation of the precast elements began in June 2011 and is slated to be completed by September 2011.
The dormitory is expected to achieve the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Level. LEED compliance insures that this project will be environmentally friendly in a number of ways, incorporating features such as permeable pavement, a green roof, rain gardens, daylight maximization, and the use of recycled and locally-sourced materials. The buildings will be heated and cooled through a geothermal (ground source heat pump) system using the constant temperature of the soils to moderate cooling and heating energy needs. The University is working with a grant from the United States Department of Energy for the design and installation of this eco-friendly mechanical system.
This dormitory promises to set the standard by encompassing many of the ideals, and addressing many of the concerns that must be considered for a new dorm. It will be an asset for the University for decades, attracting students to take advantage of exceptional dorm life here at SUNY.
Liberty Terrace Dormitory (SUNY)
Albany Campus, NY
Structural Precast Elements:
• Interior solid load bearing precast concrete wall panels (52,000 sf)
• Precast concrete stairs & landings
• Precast concrete beams