The Pavilion is a five-level underground precast parking garage that supports half of a 17-story, 1.5-million-square-foot steel patient pavilion in the heart of West Philadelphia, PA. PennFIRST’s new health center includes 500 private patient rooms, 47 operating rooms, and a 61-room emergency department. Constructed 67 feet underground, the parking garage includes 689 parking spaces that serve the patient pavilion, two stair towers, a series of elevator shafts, two precast cisterns, as well as provisions for fuel tanks, a network, locksmith, materials management, and IT. Although an underground parking garage would typically be constructed as a cast-in-place concrete structure, the speed of erection offered by precast made it the ideal solution for the project. Shockey Precast offered an innovative twist to the structure’s design: cast-in-place concrete emulation with precast elements. The structure was designed and detailed to meet the requirements of the applicable building code as if it were to be constructed of monolithic cast-in-place reinforced concrete; however, the structure was divided into structural elements of sizes and shapes that could be plant fabricated, transported, and safely and efficiently erected onsite.
The use of precast for the garage enabled an accelerated construction schedule and meant the precast shop drawings could be coordinated while the design of the structure was being finalized. As soon as site work was complete, the erection of the precast components began. This fast-track construction schedule allowed the construction of the patient pavilion to begin on schedule. One of the key design challenges involved the transfer of the structural load of the tower from the steel structure to the garage. The use of precast components for the underground garage enabled the structural load from the tower to be transferred to the structural precast concrete garage. Additionally, the topping slab was utilized as part of the diaphragm.
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