Wide Open Spaces

Wells Concrete BlogExternal News, Well Concrete Blog

Credit: Original article published here.

Today’s mid-rise and multi-use buildings can include retail space, office space and residential living units and parking.

The challenge with having multiple users is finding a single structural system that will accommodate the very different floor plate layouts for each without placing load bearing columns and walls in odd areas that will hinder the use of the space.


The parking area requires an open drive lane that is usually 24’ to 26’ wide to support two way traffic with 18’ to 20’ parking stalls on either side. The layout of the housing is driven by the location of the public corridor and gathering areas.  Sandwiched between these two areas is often a retail or office space looking for as much open area as possible to customize their floor layout.

The solution is to use a long span precast truss system (ER-POST ™) that spans the width of the Building.  The trusses are supported by precast concrete columns at the perimeter or outside of the structure. Hollow core precast plank bears on the top and bottom cords of the precast truss.

The precast trusses can span the width of the building up to 80 feet while the hollow-core can span from truss to truss up to 44 feet. Because the truss is both top and bottom cord bearing, they are only required at every other level leaving the levels between completely open. Lateral support can come from the precast stair and elevator walls.


This system gives users the freedom to layout their space without designing around interior columns while taking advantage of the benefits precast concrete.  Fire rating values from 1.5 to 3 hours, low sound transition, durability, speed of construction and all weather construction.

Take it a step further and incorporate a one of our architectural insulated precast exterior wall systems to enclose the structure.

Gary Pooley