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First Office Building in the US to use UHPC

Revolutionizing office building construction: UHPC precast concrete delivers unparalleled flexibility, efficiency, and longevity in the groundbreaking Steel District development.

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The Steel District office development in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has made history by being the first commercial construction project in North America to demonstrate the structural use of ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC) in precast concrete components for an office building. This groundbreaking project, led by Gage Brothers, successfully converted a nine-story mixed-use building to a total-precast concrete structure, showcasing the immense potential of UHPC in the construction industry.

By employing 69-foot-long UHPC beams, the design team eliminated interior columns, creating open sightlines, increasing rentable space, and enabling future adaptive reuse. The use of UHPC allowed for a cleaner framing system, with the ability to span 69 feet across the building and remove all interior columns, while also accommodating utilities within the beam structure.

The project team strategically utilized UHPC only where necessary, complementing it with traditional precast concrete components. The UHPC beams, weighing just 19 tons compared to 44 tons for conventional beams (a more than 50% savings in weight), featured voids filled with foam and openings in the sides to reduce weight and allow for the passage of ductwork, piping, and conduit.

The column-free space resulting from the UHPC system offers enhanced design flexibility, benefiting both tenants and building owners. The open floor plan allows for easy customization and future adaptations, ensuring the long-term viability of the structure.

The Steel District office building serves as a testament to the revolutionary potential of UHPC in precast concrete construction. By capitalizing on the key properties of UHPC, the industry can create long-span precast concrete components that transform the built environment, offering more efficient use of materials, enhanced long-term performance, and unparalleled flexibility for future uses.

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