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Beacon Hall at Valparaiso University is a testament to the strength of precast concrete. In total, the building is comprised of 1,051 precast pieces, totaling 138,936 square feet. The exterior walls are made of 9-inch-thick solid precast wall panels, with a limestone-esque architectural face mix.
Adding to the exterior beauty, the panels were cast with thin brick. Inside, 8-inch-thick solid interior wall panels are made with a structural gray concrete mix, and boast an as-cast smooth finish. The building also includes beams, stairs, landings, and hollow core precast used for the floor levels. All of these components feature a structural gray concrete mix and form
finishes. Beacon Hall is an example of the versatility of precast concrete. The limestone-esque face mix of the exterior walls adds an elegant touch to the building, while the structural gray concrete used for the interior components is highly functional and durable. The 8-inch-thick solid interior wall panels provide the strength needed to ensure the safety and security of the building’s occupants. The hollow core precast used for the floor levels is also a great choice, as it is lightweight and can support a significant amount of weight.
Valparaiso University was looking to create a residence hall to house its growing student population, that was also durable and low maintenance. Precast concrete was chosen due to its versatility, durability, and ability to be constructed within a 14-month time frame. The residence hall was designed with thin brick cast into the precast panels, to match the existing masonry buildings on campus, creating a collegiate Gothic look.
Beacon Hall stands out due to the use of precast concrete, which creates an elegant look with its limestone-esque face mix on the exterior walls. The 8-inch-thick solid interior wall panels also provide maximum strength and safety, while the hollow core precast used for the floor levels is lightweight and able to support a great amount of weight. These features ensure the long-term durability and security of the building, making it a great example of how precast concrete can be used for modern architecture.
The use of precast concrete in Beacon Hall provides a great example of how a building can be designed to be both aesthetically pleasing and highly functional. With its versatility and low maintenance, precast provides a great solution for modern architecture, while also ensuring the safety and security of the occupants. Valparaiso University saw the potential of precast concrete and was able to create a residence hall that blends in with the existing campus while also offering a modern and durable solution.