Project DetailsLocation: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Owner: University of Pennsylvania
Contractor: Turner Construction Company
In December 2009 RECo responded to an invitation from our sister company, Menard Group USA, to develop alternative solutions for retaining walls at Penn Park. The plan focused on broadening the scope of work for Menard, RECo, and Nicholson Construction. The group’s mission was to create a comprehensive Value Engineering Proposal to be submitted by Menard to an exclusive contractor, who would in turn, utilize our group’s solutions as part of their proposal to the Owner.
Retaining Walls were proposed for two applicable sites within the project scope, a 12-court, split level tennis center with built in bleacher seating and a multipurpose softball field with stadium seating. The bid documents, however, proposed pile and footing foundations beneath massive cast in place walls for perimeter walls and seating levels.
Retaining Walls were proposed for two applicable sites within the project scope, a 12-court, split level tennis center with built in bleacher seating and a multipurpose softball field with stadium seating.
Working closely with the architect, RECo developed MSE wall and precast concrete solutions to satisfy both structural and aesthetic requirements desired by the Owner in these areas:
- Perimeter walls surrounding the sunken tennis courts and softball fields were designed as full height panels of varying widths. To accommodate the required fence atop the walls, the top of the panels flared out from 6 inches to 12 inches. Sleeves were cast into the panels for fence post placement on site.
- Light post precast concrete units to be incorporated along the walls were designed to accommodate loading of the large lighting fixtures by placing the precast unit onto cast-in leveling legs with protruding rebar beneath the units cast-in-place into a f Lighting conduit, anchor bolts and special geometric features added to the complexity and functionality of these precast units.
- Large cast-in place stepping “L” Sections originally designed for seating levels, were redesigned using 6 inch thick panels with lengths dictated by seating and stair locations. The fill zones between each panel level allowed for short soil reinforcing ladders to create a “sandwich” connection to stabilize the mass.
- Special panels were designed to accommodate fire hydrants, scoreboards, stairways, handicapped seating areas, and radial alignments of walls.
- Other design considerations included drainage, landscaping clearances, load transfer platforms and MSE interfaces with cast in place structures.
The value engineered retaining walls minimize the cross sectional area of concrete required as compared to the original design. In addition, the VE design resulted in a much faster installation period than that of the original cast in place design, without compromising on aesthetics.
RECo’s solutions were welcomed and approved by the nation’s largest builder of sports complexes, Turner Construction. The project was celebrated by one of the region’s top architectural firms, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.