The new parking garage on Cantey Street will provide 1,132 parking spaces to service the existing Amon G. Carter Stadium on the Texas Christian University Campus. The Garage is a 5 level parking structure consisting of 859 pieces of structural precast and 462 pieces of architectural cladding. 240,397 square feet of double tees were used to provide the elevated parking decks. The North side of the garage contains 3 tower features, and the South elevation boasts two stair/elevator towers and a monumental staircase in between. Architectural precast and masonry were used to imitate features included on the adjacent football stadium. In all, 11,031 tons of precast concrete was poured for this project.
The inevitable changes and tight schedule drove this project from the beginning. The project will need to be completed between football seasons, and on the heels of a stunning 2014-2015 season where the Horned Frogs closed out the year with a 3rd place ranking in the coaches and AP polls. To accomplish this, coordination will need to be tight, and masonry will be close behind precast erection.
Another challenge internally was the level of detail required for some of the architectural precast product. We have done custom rubber molds before, but nothing as complex as the TCU seal included on the medallion pieces, which included a horned frog complete with scales. All we had to work from was a 2D CAD file provided by the architect. We first had to clean up the file, and make sure it consisted only of closed polylines. There was so much detail that it would be impossible to create such thin lines of concrete without breaking it. Then we extruded the polylines to different elevations to create relief in the seal. Once we had a 3D file that we thought we could produce, and have it look good and be consistent and durable, we sent this file to the architect for approval. Once it was approved, we sent it to a CNC shop to create a Styrofoam mold of the seal. We poured a rubber resin onto the Styrofoam to create a hard rubber mold. We used a special sand mix design to cast the 4’-0”X4’-0” medallions because our standard aggregate is too coarse to fill the detail in the seal. The curved chevron pattern along the top of the garage was created in a similar fashion.
The architectural cladding was bid as a separate job, so whether we got the job, or another precaster got the job, coordination between the jobs would be crucial to avoid errors during erection. Fortunately, the company was awarded both projects, so all coordination could be done in-house. Due to the high-profile nature of the project, the architect wanted all architectural precast connections hidden. Wherever possible, connections were made to the exterior, and covered with brick. This gives the garage a clean look inside and out.