The Case for Total Precast Concrete Data Center Construction
Each month PCI Mid-Atlantic celebrates a member of our precast community. These companies work collectively to educate stakeholders and specifiers to advance the precast/prestressed concrete industry. Associate suppliers and fabricator companies collaborate to produce and build thousands of precast bridges, buildings, and parking structures annually.
This month we’re highlighting Shockey Precast’s leadership in data center and all-precast structure construction.
The Shockey Precast Story
A leading precast concrete provider located in Winchester, Virginia, Shockey Precast has been building superior precast projects across the US since 1956. Before joining the Metromont family in 2018, Shockey Precast set the groundwork for its reputation as a trusted partner in the construction of precast concrete parking structures, sports facilities, warehouses, and office buildings.
Shockey Precast: The Authority in Data Center Construction
Together, Shockey Precast and Metromont have built a résumé exceeding more than eighteen million square feet from the all-precast data center projects the team completed in the last thirty years, many of which are located in Northern Virginia’s “Data Center Alley.” The data center business is extraordinarily fast-paced and chaotic. Operators simply don't have the luxury of entertaining long lead times when they want to get a facility up and running, and shortages and fluctuating material costs make constructing a data center somewhat challenging.
Enter, precast concrete. This durable, high-quality, aesthetically flexible material is a smart choice for any project—not just data centers, where its advantages over steel or CIP concrete are particularly alluring. In an environment where hyper-fast schedules and cost-efficiency are critical, precast's flexibility in space planning and increased return on investment make it a truly optimal choice for the data center.
Precast concrete boasts several advantages over other systems:
- Speed to Market: Manufactured in a controlled plant environment, precast parts can be quickly erected. Faster erection equals a shorter construction schedule and therefore reduced overhead costs.
- Integrated Project Delivery: Structural precast components interlock to support one another so they can be erected in a relatively short period of time. Simpler installation requires fewer crew members, which means less traffic and waste on a job site.
- Sustainability: Sustainability has been dominating industry headlines for a while now, with many customers now demanding contractual sustainability agreements that incorporate CO2 reduction techniques—like precast.
For more information on the benefits of precast for data centers, read the full article “The Case for Total Precast Concrete Data Center” by Marshall Sorenson, Vice President of Business Development at Shockey Precast, on the Data Center Dynamics website.
Committed to Sustainable Fabrication and Construction
Shockey Precast acknowledges that sustainability is critical for our future. The company provides precast, prestressed concrete building systems that are sustainable both during construction and once the building is in use. Let’s review just some of the ways they demonstrate environmental responsibility in their operations.
- Offsite Manufacturing & Minimal Waste: Shockey Precast’s sustainable construction makes use of precast concrete building systems that have been manufactured in a controlled environment. This minimizes waste and reduces noise and dust on the construction site; Shockey’s projects typically produce only 2% waste, and of that waste, 95% is reclaimed or recycled.
- Water Recycling & Aggregate Reclaiming: Many concrete manufacturers recycle concrete slurry water and reclaim aggregates. Shockey Precast is associated with one of the largest recycling and reclaiming processes in the world, Metromont’s manufacturing facilities in Greenville, Hiram, Richmond, and Florida. A single plant in that operation recycles 6.3 million gallons of water per year, preserving the water supply and decreasing water costs by over 70%.
- Local & Regional Materials: Shockey Precast uses local and regional materials. In a typical project, 80% to 90% of all materials are extracted and manufactured within 500 miles of the project site. By keeping this radius tight, the team reduces the number of resources used in delivery.
- Reduced Materials: Integrated design means a lower volume of materials are consumed in construction. By using thin brick, for example, a project will see considerable material savings; full bed depth brick uses five times the raw material of thin brick. In another example, non-corrosive C-GRID® carbon fiber can reduce weight by 8% when used for reinforcement. Because precast wall panels can carry a significant load, there’s also no need for perimeter steel columns and fireproofing. Overall, integrated design is more sustainable, more durable, and more cost-effective than traditional construction. At the same time, Shockey Precast offers a wide range of architectural elements and finishes, so you don’t have to compromise on aesthetics.
- Materials with Recycled Content: Sustainable construction with precast concrete uses a variety of recycled content. Rebar, steel mesh, form liners, insulation, and fly ash can all be used in precast concrete. As part of Shockey’s commitment to sustainability, it uses a significant amount of fly ash in structural products where allowed by building specifications.
Interested in working with Shockey Precast? Visit Shockey’s website to learn more about their all-precast construction projects and data center expertise, as well as their sustainable building practices.