The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute's 2014 Sidney Freedman Craftsmanship Awards | Concrete Decor
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The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute's 2014 Sidney Freedman Craftsmanship Awards

The GFRC cladding elements of the Broad Museum were produced using polystyrene foam forms. A coating was applied to the roughed-out forms to provide a smooth, hard surface.
The GFRC cladding elements of the Broad Museum were produced using polystyrene foam forms. A coating was applied to the roughed-out forms to provide a smooth, hard surface.
The completed panels and their steel frames are supported by a complex grid of structural steel members.
The completed panels and their steel frames are supported by a complex grid of structural steel members.

For many years, the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) has held annual Sidney Freedman Craftsmanship Awards to recognize excellence in craftsmanship using glass-fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC).

The competition is open to entries of any type or size, though the entries must thoroughly document the production challenges, including photographs or forms, reinforcement, hardware and the completed precast concrete or GFRC unit. Judging is based on demonstrated success in overcoming obstacles to production, solving formwork or finishing challenges, and providing high-quality finished products.

Willis Construction Co., in San Juan Bautista, California, won the 2014 Sidney Freedman Craftsmanship Award for its production of GFRC panels for the Broad Museum, in Los Angeles, California.

Willis Construction submitted a project that utilized GFRC in a technologically complex manner. The exterior skin of the project is clad with individual GFRC panels that create a rain screen for a majority of the building. More than 300 individual forms were necessary to produce the more than 2,500 individual panels. Computer detailed software was used to design the three-dimensional shape of each panel. The computer file was then translated to a robotic form fabricating machine called a CNC machine to create an exact negative shape for each panel.

A pump was used to place concrete in formwork for the steeple for an LDS church in Davie, Florida.
A pump was used to place concrete in formwork for the steeple for an LDS church in Davie, Florida.
A void inside the steeple was created using a steel form to minimize the finished weight.
A void inside the steeple was created using a steel form to minimize the finished weight.

Honorable Mention was awarded to Gate Precast Co., in Kissimmee, Florida, for their work on an LDS temple. Gate Precast Co. produced a monolithic steeple for the Latter Day Saints Temple in Davie, Florida. The temple owner wanted the steeple to be constructed with minimal or, preferably, no joints, which led to challenges in design and construction.

Typically, a steeple such as this would be constructed in individual pieces which would have been held together with a joint near the tip. However, to meet the demands of the job, a steel stay-in-place inner form was created. This form allowed for the production of a full-height, hollow precast steeple of minimal weight. The steeple was too large to cast inside, so the formwork was erected outside and a pump was used to place the concrete.

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