Providing Innovative Solutions to Creative Precast Designs

Architectural Precast Concrete, Thinshell, and GFRC - Willis Construction Co, Inc.

San Jose Police Facility

Location:
San Jose, CA

Architect:
Ross Drulis Cusenberry Architecture

General Contractor:
S J Amorozo

Project Highlights:
Panel System: GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete)
Project Size: 34,000 sq.ft. of Architectural Precast consisting of 150 Panels.

Deep sectioned GFRC for sun shading solution.

GFRC panels with deep panel sections used where windows receive maximum sun light. And shallow panel sections used on north side of the building where there is minimal sunlight.

Precast durability, low maintenance adds to project's sustainability.

Project Overview

The three-story, 107,000 square foot San Jose Police Department South Substation includes a board room for detectives, a public conference room, a backup dispatch room, a workout area, and even a play center for the children of witnesses. The building was designed to handle administration, investigations, and preprocessing functions. On the building's exterior, precast concrete GFRC panels alternate with glass expanses in a staggered, layered pattern reminiscent of an old computer punch card. The design was described by AIA design judges as a "flowing ribbon abstraction." A grid of San Jose is displayed in artwork at the project entrance. An infrared camera tied to LED lights takes an image of people as they walk through the building. The project is LEED Certified and has won an AIA design award. Sustainable features include water and resource efficiency, natural landscaping, and use of low maintenance materials, such as precast concrete. Precast components are also locally sourced. The project includes a green roof and storm water management system.

Precast Solution

Exterior of the steel framed substation is designed with GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete) precast panels. GFRC has proven to be the most durable, versatile, and light-weight solution for designs with ornate shapes, deep sections, protruding soffits, or decorative molds. GFRC's sprayed manufacturing process makes it ideal for complex shapes. Typical size of the tan precast panels is 8 ft by 25 ft and the panels feature a light sandblast finish. Designers of the police facility wanted to project a random block fa├žade that would protrude from the face of the building to create depth and to also provide shading for the interior. "One of the reasons we chose GFRC," says design architect, Mallory Cusenbery, "is because of its light weight. The lightness of the panels helped us create the 36 inch deep overhangs for what we're calling a 'self-shading building skin.' This is a solar response whereby the building's (GFRC) skin thickens where the windows below have solar vulnerability, and thins on the north side where not needed. This way, we didn't need to rely on attached sun shades." The flexibility of color selection for GFRC also allowed the architects to exactly match the color of the summer grasses in the nearby hills."



Willis Construction has been providing Architectural Precast Concrete building panels and products for the construction industry since 1979. Willis Construction is dedicated to providing Owners, Architects, and General Contractors with the design and engineering expertise necessary to meet the building challenges of today and the future. The quality, durability, and long life of Architectural Precast Concrete, Thinshell, and GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete) systems provide a wide range of design options for virtually every type of building. Contact us to decide which system would be best suited for your next project.

Noteworthy Precast Projects

Broad Museum

Broad Museum

Los Angeles, CA
  • GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete)
  • 2015 PCI National Award Winner
Hollywood Park Office

Hollywood Park Office

Inglewood, CA
  • Pre-Glazed GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete)
  • 2022 PCI National Award Winner
1550 Mission Street Housing

1550 Mission Street Housing

San Francisco, CA
Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

Los Angeles, CA

Projects in Progress

921 Howard Street

921 Howard Street

San Francisco, CA
  • Thinshell Precast
IQHQ Building 48

IQHQ Building 48

San Diego, CA
  • Architectural Precast and Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete
Tasman Coterie

Tasman Coterie

Santa Clara, CA
  • Pre Glazed Architectural Precast
USGS NASA Ames

USGS NASA Ames

Mountain View, CA
  • GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete) and Architectural Precast

* PCI Certification confirms that a manufacturing plant has an ongoing quality assurance system in place. PCI Certification requires that the plant must consistently demonstrate their commitment to quality principles and procedures. A 120 point audit examines all aspects of plant operation including engineering practices and management commitment.

PCI Certified