Atlanta’s Suntrust Park Uses Precast Double-Tees
Home of the Atlanta Braves, SunTrust Park incorporates structural precast double-tees components from Metromont.
The Cumberland District of Cobb County, Ga., is home to Atlanta’s new SunTrust Park, home of the Atlanta Braves and playground for families to experience America’s Pastime. As expected, finding a place for all those fans to park their cars was a big concern for the Atlanta suburb of Smyrna.
Metromont, a producer of precast concrete products, supplied all of the panels, beams and columns that make up five various parking structures scattered across the 60-acre site. The company also supplied the structural precast components that make up the actual ballpark.
Lightweight concrete is often used in the massive pieces that come together to make up a parking deck. One of the key components of a parking garage are precast double-tees, which form the structure’s floor and ceiling.
Lightweight aggregate from Trinity Lightweight was used in the concrete mix poured into forms at the Hiram. Ga., yard. The resulting product easily met the project’s strict fire rating requirements.
“On a few of the parking decks at SunTrust Park they have a fire rating requirement based on the building type classification,” says Metromont’s Angela San Martin. “We used lightweight concrete. There are other benefits but, in this case, it was due to the fire rating; you can achieve over two hours.”
Transporting each of the precast double-tees safely through the busy area of Metro Atlanta required careful coordination and would have been a major expense for any project, especially one of this size.
Metromont loaded more than one piece on a truck when possible. “If we can save shipments and the number of loads going to the project, it can help save costs for the owner,” San Martin says. “We like to use [lightweight concrete] as much as we can to get the weight down when we’re shipping. It can reduce the weight of the piece, and it may let us put two double-tees on a truck versus one. When you are hauling a long distance it can be quite a cost savings.”
Each of the double-tees were carefully hoisted high into position. A specialized crew guided each member into place. Precast elements containing structural lightweight concrete often have reduced placement costs, since they are lighter. “The weight of a typical double-tee is probably around 35,000 pounds,” San Martin adds, “and lightweight concrete keeps the whole weight of the structure down.”
Precast members containing lightweight aggregate are typically 25 percent to 35 percent lighter than those made with normal-weight concrete, but just as strong. “You’re able to get the strengths the same as normal weight, so that’s not an issue,” she says. “Nothing really changes, other than the actual concrete mix. We aren’t limited on the number of hours we can strip the forms, so that’s the same.”
The benefit of lightweight aggregate is that the structure is lighter, and fire rating requirements that a specific project may have are achievable.
SunTrust Park and its mixed-use village of restaurants, hotels and residential properties was completed and ready for the first pitch of 2017, and parking has been plentiful.
For more information, visit www.trinitylightweight.com.