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CREATIVE GRAPEVINE DESIGN IN ARCHITECTURAL STONE

The design intent with renovation of the Grapevine Convention Center project was to preserve the cultural heritage of the historical town on the buildings exterior. The interior spaces serve as the modern day city administration offices.

The architect determined to incorporate grapevines into the design element of the series of buildings. When the project started the architect had not decided on the material to use for the grapevine pattern. After numerous meetings with our company, the architect settled on cast stone as the material to use to convey the historical beginnings of the community. Cast stone copings, pier caps, and water tables all were produced with a grapevine design.

All that the assignment for the grape leaf design was only a simple 2 dimensional drawing. In order to make the design, Advanced Cast Stone worked with its commercial artist to form a design that was suitable in size and relief. Rubber molds were finally made to capture the creativity of the art work.

 

Grapevine Rubber Mold for Singular Cast Stone PieceLeaf Design Stone Pieces Fit Together at Different AngelsGrapevine Leaf Design Connected with the Historical Roots of the City

 

While molds were difficult since the amount of detail desired for the grape leaf is very subjective, its use on the various surface areas of the building further complicated mold production. The design was used on several areas of the structure, such as a typical long flat wall, on radius arches, and at curved sections in the turret areas. At each area of the building the grape design needed to align with windows, mullions and other elements of the building. This required careful adjustments to the mold and the pieces of stone to provide overall alignment with the other components of the building.

 

Grapevine Rubber Mold for Cast Stone Band Around the BuildingGrapevine Leaf Design on Curved SurfaceContinuous Leaf Design on Cast Stone BandCustom Mold Making, Project Specific Manufacturing Realized Architect's Design Vision

 

> LEARN MORE: CREATIVE STONE ART

 

THE SYSTEM FOR PRODUCT QUALITY

The AAS team works closely with customers during every phase of a construction project to ensure consistently high product quality.

DESIGN REVIEW & ASSIST, CONSTRUCTION ASSIST: AAS has well developed system for detailed review of the CAD drawings. As part of this process, the AAS team is able to specify engineering details to hang the stone pieces. Customers are able to confirm the design feasibility for the project before the construction project planning and installation.

 

AAS team focus, project specific support for every customer

AAS System for Design Review, Assist using CAD Drawings

CUSTOM MOLD MAKING: The project specific custom shapes with stringent tolerance requirements are achieved using CNC technology and design craftsmanship for custom molds. The AAS system and capacity to do this for every customer project allows for smooth execution of project while achieving high-end design aesthetic using architectural cast stone.

 

EXPERIENCE IN CASTING: AAS has experience and track record to fabricate and combine stone panels using three different product materials – dry vibrant-tamp cast stone, wet-pour precast concrete, and GFRC. Based on project requirements, the team is able to recommend combining product(s) applications to achieve the design intent of the project at optimum cost. One of the keys to high product quality is selecting the right casting technique and product materials; AAS has well developed system to understand project requirements and custom fabricate the products.

 

Advanced Architectural Stone (AAS Formerly Advanced Cast Stone | Knowledgebase, Teamwork, collaboration for Customer Focus

Advanced Architectural Stone (AAS Formerly Advanced Cast Stone | Knowledgebase, Teamwork, collaboration for Customer Focus

COLOR MATCHING: The AAS team is able to match any custom color with a control sample. The AAS team is able to match color and finish even while combining different product applications.

CONSISTENT PRODUCT PROPERTIES, LOOK AND FINISH: The AAS manufacturing plants are equipped with fully automated batch plants for consistent casting mix for project of any size. Customers are able to get matching structural properties and look and feel even for very long project life cycles.

IN HOUSE QA LAB: AAS has proven methodology to test product properties using the in house testing lab.

CERTIFICATION: The AAS manufacturing plants are certified by the Cast Stone Institute (CSI), Architectural Precast Association (APA), as well as Masonry Contractors Association of America (MCAA). The plants meet their requirements for quality, consistency, testing, structural properties, installation, as well as safety.

 

Advanced Architectural Stone (AAS Formerly Advanced Cast Stone | Knowledgebase, Teamwork, collaboration for Customer Focus

Advanced Architectural Stone (AAS Formerly Advanced Cast Stone | Knowledgebase, Teamwork, collaboration for Customer Focus

HOW DO YOU INSTALL CAST STONE?

The AAS team provides detailed CAD drawings to explain how to install the architectural cast stone.

The settings plan describes drawings for different sections with specific description to hang the stone. Customers get comprehensive installing planning support and drawings that show how to attach every stone panel to be used in the project. This is integrated in the AAS methodology for the project specific custom fabrication of the architectural stone products.

Project Example: Lebanon High School

 

Section 4.115 - Connection Details for Suspended Soffit of Archway

CAD Drawing for a Specific Section | Connection Details for Suspended Soffit of Archway | Project: Lebanon High School

 

> LEARN MORE: LEBANON HIGH SCHOOL PROJECT

Project Example: SMU Simmons Hall

 

Architectural Stone Cladding | Portico on the side of the SMU Simmons Hall | Custom Columns, Architectural Trim, Wall Coping, Cornices

Architectural Cast Stone Panels | Custom Molds for Precise Design, Manufacturing | Products Sequencing, Construction Planning | Installation Support | Onsite Problem Solving

 

> LEARN MORE: SMU SIMMONS HALL CASE STUDY

HOW DO I SELECT RIGHT PRODUCT(S) FOR MY PROJECT?

AAS provides three different product materials for architectural stone applications:

  1. Dry vibrant-tamp cast stone
  2. Wet-pour architectural precast concrete
  3. Architectural GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete

All three products provide considerable design flexibility and durability compared to natural stone products such as limestone. The project specific detailed engineering and custom fabrication simplify the installation while  also achieving superior design aesthetic.

  • While cast stone and architectural precast use different casting technique, the two products have similar structural properties. AAS has track record for developing custom stone design, using either of the two products, or combining the two products as required to achieve intended design objective for a project cost-effectively.
  • Architectural GFRC panels are only 3/4″ thick, and yet have very good strength to weight ratio, providing unique advantages over other casting techniques. The AAS GFRC product material is much more durable compared to other thin veneer panels. GFRC can match look of other architectural stone products as well as limestone. The GFRC panels cost relatively more than other architectural stone products, however it has specific advantages with less structural support requirement and simpler installation.

PRODUCTS SELECTION

SELECTION CRITERION

DRY-CAST STONE

WET-POUR PRECAST

GFRC

LIMESTONE

THIN VENEER PANELS

Design Flexibility

Extreme amount of flexibility

Can mold both sides

Complex shapes

Precision with tolerance

Dry-casting technique enables high-end look & finish

Can emulate look of limestone at much lower cost

Extreme amount of flexility

Complex shapes

No size limitation

Enables longer span or length for individual stone pieces

Suitable for heavy use surface areas such as stair treads

Higher strength to weight ratio enables larger, thin pieces including panels.

Bigger pieces, lighter weight, less structural back up

Comparable design flexibility – you can pretty much do anything using all three products

Can easily match look of other stone products

Natural variation in patterns can’t be avoided

Complex shapes, curves, intricate design details are difficult to achieve – product limitations, challenges with machining/fabrication processing

Highly valued traditionally for design aesthetic

Not easy to match look of other stone products

Cost

Much lower than limestone for custom shapes and precision design elements

Cast stone needs less number of molds and so cost-effectve compared to precast

Lower mold cost, lower overall cost

Slightly more expensive than cast stone

Still much more cost-effective than limestone for high-end design applications

Higher than cast stone or wet-pour precast concrete

Cost is much higher than architectural stone products to achieve different shapes

Veneer (flat pieces) cost is comparable to other products

Much less expensive

Durability

Very good

Very good

As good as any stone product

Much better compared to other thin veneer products such as stucco

Not as durable as cast stone

Also variable – depends on type of limestone being used – regional

Not designed for longer term use

Limited testing standards in place if at all – not as comprehensive as cast stone, precast and GFRC

Ease of Installation

Simple installation using any traditional cast stone methods

Usually manually set

Simple installation using any traditional cast stone methods

Equipment is required to set the pieces

Much easier handling of panels

Less construction equipement

Option to build anchorage connections in the products

Relatively less number of pieces required for the target area

Strength-to-weight Ratio

Comparable to other stone products

Comparable to other stone products

Higher than any other architectural stone products or limestone

Varies with product time, region, etc.

Scroll down this blog post to learn more about the cast stone, wetter precast-concrete and Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC).

Dry Vibrant-tamp Cast Stone

 

The dry vibrant-tamp fabrication technique allows flexibility to shape both sides of stone panels even when shape or design of stone panels is highly complex. This is offers more flexibility to realize virtually any design shape. The manufacturing process also opens up design freedom to emulate looks of variety of different stone types including natural limestone. AAS has extensive track record with projects where manufactured stone matched custom color and finish of natural stone samples.

Cast stone is very cost-effective compared to natural limestone. Learn more about the vibrant-tamp casting process in this video:

> PROJECT EXAMPLE: LA Sports HOF: Complex geometry, large size stone pieces for interior stone veneer that achieved architect’s design vision of complex channels of nearly Cane River.

 

LA Sports Hall of Fame | Cast Stone | Architect: Trahan Architects | Masonry Contractor: Masonry Arts | SEE CASE STUDY ...

AAS Advantage: Track Record & Experience | Design Freedom for Designers | Support System for Contractors, Masons

 

> CASE STUDY: LA SPORTS HALL OF FAME PROJECT

> PROJECT EXAMPLE: Houston Market Square – cast stone cladding combined applications for stone façade, pilasters, coping, cornices and bandings – custom color emulating lueders limestone.

 

Project: Houston Market Square | Custom Dark Color Cast Stone for Veneer, Cladding | Design Accent at the Top of Building

Project: Houston Market Square | Custom Dark Color Cast Stone for Veneer, Cladding | Design Accent at the Top of Building

 

> CASE STUDY: CAST STONE FOR HOUSTON MARKET SQUARE PROJECT

Dry cast-stone has comparable structural properties to wet-pour precast stone.

Wet-pour Architectural Precast Concrete Stone

 

The wet-pour manufacturing technique allows flexibility to embed structural steel or other reinforcements making it more suitable for load bearing architectural elements. In general, architectural precast concrete can achieve longer span or length for individual stone pieces.

Different finishes can be achieved on architectural precast stone using post cure treatments such as acid etching, sand-blasting and other techniques. On heavy use application areas such as stair treads, architectural precast can retain the surface finishing of the stone for very long time spans.

 

> PROJECT EXAMPLE: Circular stair treads for Ft. Worth Arena

 

Ft Worth Arena | Wet-pour Architectural Precast Concrete Stone for Circular Stair Tread Design

Ft Worth Arena | Wet-pour Architectural Precast Concrete Stone for Circular Stair Tread Design

 

AAS has a number of projects where the team has been able to work closely with customers to substitute dry-cast stone for the wet-pour stone or vice versa.

Architectural GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete)

 

The architectural GFRC also known as light weight concrete offers look and finish, as well as longevity and reliability of other stone products with much lighter weight. The proprietary manufacturing technique enables very high strength to weight ratio for the GFRC panels.

While cost of architectural GFRC can be more than other cast stone products, it can also help with less structural support requirements and simplified installation equipment requirements.

 

> Design flexibility, freedom with GFRC: LEARN MORE

 

> GFRC Design Case Study: SMU Delta Gamma Sorority House

 

SMU Delta Gamma Sorority House | Architectural GFRC Columns, Cladding for Desired Building Elevation Aesthetic

SMU Delta Gamma Sorority House | Architectural GFRC Columns, Cladding for Desired Building Elevation Aesthetic

 

> ARCHITECTURAL GFRC: PRODUCT HOME

COMBINING DIFFERENT PRODUCTS FOR A SPECIFIC PROJECT

 

Customers have options to combine any of the three product materials with seamless matching of color and finish.

> CASE STUDY: Project Examples where Different Product Materials Are Combined for Design Objectives

 

> St. Francis Xavier Church: High-end Design Combined cast stone, wet-pour concrete stone and GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete) panels

Advanced Architectural Stone (AAS) has dedicated customer projects team with experience to work closely with customers right from the design phase. As required, the team is able to support customers with selection of the most appropriate product(s) application for projects of any size.

In case of specific questions about your project, complete the request support form at bottom of this page and someone from our customer projects team will be in touch with you shortly.

 

 

GFRC: LARGE SIZE COLUMN COVERS

The GFRC products have high structural strength thanks to fibers reinforcement integrated at the time of manufacturing. At the same time, the GFRC panels are only 3/4″ thick enabling much higher strength to weight ratio than any other manufactured stone products.

AAS is able to develop column covers that are more than four feet in diameter. Images below show halves of the column wraps that don’t require any structural support.

 

Four Feet Diameter GFRC Column Wraps

 

 

GFRC Column Covers – Inherent Strength of Glass Fiber Reinfoced Concrete

 

> LEARN MORE: ARCHITECTURAL COLUMNS

 

> LEARN MORE: ARCHITECTURAL GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete)

 

BALUSTERS MANUFACTURED IN ONE PIECE: GFRC

Balusters are used for design accent with commercial as well as residential buildings for centuries.

AAS GFRC manufacturing technique is able to cast balusters in one piece without any seams. This enables superior design aesthetic while also simplifying the installation of the balusters at the construction site.

The fabrication method uses mold for each side or half of the baluster. The inside of the molds is sprayed with a thin layer of the GFRC mix for the desired finish.

Mold for for casting balusters

Mold for for casting balusters

Spraying outer layer of GFRC mix for desired look and finish of balusters

Spraying outer layer of GFRC mix for desired look and finish of balusters

Inspection, hand packing using brush for uniform surface finish quality

Inspection, hand packing using brush for uniform surface finish quality

Inspection, hand packing using brush for uniform surface finish quality

Inspection, hand packing using brush for uniform surface finish quality


After that the two mold pieces are held together to fill in the GFRC admixture inside. The center of the cylindrical space has 2” wide PVC, so that way the finished GFRC baluster has hollow core in the middle.

GFRC balusters cast in one piece

GFRC balusters cast in one piece


In a typical installation, threaded rod is passed through the hollow core in the middle. The rod is attached to the steel channel for securing balusters in place. The AAS team is able to custom design the handrail for the balustrade system so that it has groove from inside to conceal the steel channel inside.

The AAS team is able to make project specific molds as required for the custom size and shape of the balusters.

AAS is able to match color of any control sample provided by the customers.

The AAS team is able to guide customers with selection of the product material, as well as the most appropriate installation details that would achieve the desired design intent.

Balustrade System, Columns, Cladding Design for Harold Clark Simmons Hall, SMU

Balustrade System, Columns, Cladding Design for Harold Clark Simmons Hall, SMU

 

> LEARN MORE ABOUT DESIGN OF BALUSTERS, BALUSTRADE SYSTEM DESIGN

CONCRETE: UNPARALLELED DESIGN FLEXIBILITY, OPTIONS

Concrete has captured the imagination of designers for thousands of years offering options and flexibility to mold it in different shapes and surface finishes.

The architectural GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete), also known as lightweight concrete, is able to extend the range of possibilities that can be realized using concrete. The AAS fabrication methodology empowers designers to customize product shape, color, finish, as well as attachment connections to achieve the design intent. GFRC is much simpler to install than other cast stone products or limestone.


GFRC - Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete - Design options, flexibility

GFRC – Design options, flexibility

DESIGN FREEDOM, FLEXIBILITY

 

  • Applications – wall units, window wall units, mullions, spandrels, column covers or wraps, cornices & banding, trim, soffits, sun screens, custom cladding, veneer or facade design, coping, interior features, etc.
  • Design flexibility to achieve deep reveals, complex shapes, short radius curves, wide sweeping arcs, as well as sharp angels.
  • With a face mix, a GFRC panel is indistinguishable in exterior appearance from traditional precast or cast stone. The AAS team has track record to use GFRC in place of limestone for high-end design aesthetic at fraction of the cost.
  • A wide range of surface finishes maybe achieved by using exposed aggregate faces such as acid wash, sand blasting, integral color, white cement, and texture.

> LEARN MORE


GFRC - Structural, Engineering, Installation Advantages

Structural & Installation Advantages

LIGHT WEIGHT, HIGH STRENGTH TO WEIGHT RATIO

 

  • The low weight of GFRC panels decreases superimposed loads on the building’s structural framing and foundation.
  • Ideal for use on buildings where heavier cladding systems would increase the size of required framing members.
  • For rehabilitation or retrofit projects, the use of GFRC panels for re-cladding minimizes the load added to the existing structure.
  • The light weight of the GFRC panels allows the contractor to quickly and efficiently erect panels even in hard to reach areas, using smaller, less expensive equipment.

> LEARN MORE


GFRC - Project Specific Manufacturing, Support

Project Specific Fabrication, Support

PROJECT SPECIFIC MANUFACTURING

 

> LEARN MORE ABOUT MANUFACTURING PROCESS


GFRC Design Process Case Study - SMU Delta Gamma Sorority House Project

GFRC Design Process Case Study

GFRC PROJECT EXAMPLE – DESIGN PROCESS CASE STUDY

 

  • See examples of project specific design of GFRC products.
  • See videos of GFRC manufacturing process.
  • Collaboration with customers for design assist, as well as construction assist.

> LEARN MORE


Architectural GFRC | Pre-engineered, Built-in Connections | Installation Support | Installation of GFRC Products at SMU Delta Gamma Sorority House

Architectural GFRC | Pre-engineered, Built-in Connections | Installation Support | Installation of GFRC Products at SMU Delta Gamma Sorority House

 

 

 

> LEARN MORE: ARCHITECTURAL GFRC

ARCHITECTURAL DETAILING OF GFRC

The AAS team is able to provide design assist to the architect and contractor for a project. The in-house engineering support team develops detailed attachment connections that will achieve the design objectives.

The shop drawings will provide the architect and installer an opportunity to review the attachment and make the final detailing.

 

General Rules for attachment

 

  • GFRC pieces up to about 4 feet x 6 feet can often be produced without an additional structural back-up. The manufacturer will add a stiffener-rib to the product back side for added support. A stiffener usually runs the height of the piece every 24 to 30 inches of the product and has very concentrated glass fiber to cement mix. The product can be attached via a veneer tie and strap, kerf and clip, or similar attachment to the structure of the building.
  • Larger pieces or pieces where a stiffener-rib is not appropriate are generally hung with a metal stud back-up. The metal stud system is designed and attached to GFRC piece by the manufacturer as part of the cost of the GFRC on the project. Metal stud back-up is very similar to metal stud framing on most commercial projects, but designed with more precision. The metal stud back-up is usually attached with a grade #2 bolt to the structure of the building. There are occasions where the metal stud framing is welded to the structure. Again the specifications on the welding should follow AWS (American Welding Society) standards.
  • Very large pieces (larger than 8 feet x 20 feet) will have tube steel back-up. The process is much the same as with metal studs discussed above. This back-up will be engineered by AAS.

 

Installation

 

  1.  AAS is able to provide type of connection that is preferred by customer. GFRC provides flexibility with selection of the connection type.
  2. Once the connections are selected, the AAS manufacturing and design process is able to pre-engineer the connections support in the products.
  3. GFRC is much simpler and less expensive to install compared to other much heavier stone products. GFRC installation doesn’t require extensive support structure and heavy construction equipment at the project site.
  4. AAS GFRC products provide flexibility to select right application of caulk or sealants making it easier for masonry contractors not only in their installation process, but also with long term reliability of the installed projects.

 

> LEARN MORE: ARCHITECTURAL GFRC

CUSTOM DESIGN COLUMNS: HIGHLIGHT OF THE SHOPPING CENTER

The architect had vision to add an elevator and clock tower to the Highland Park Village shopping center that has unified architectural style. Developing intricate design details in the stone and matching the color and finish so that the new building would connect to the surrounding area that had been in existence for over 80 years.

Highland Park - Ornate Architectural Design Integrating Specialized Colums, Highly Decorative Design Elements

Highland Park – Ornate Architectural Design Integrating Specialized Columns, Highly Decorative Design Elements

Clock tower connected with seventy five years old shopping center area | columns at the top accentuate the design accent and shopping mall experience

Clock tower connected with seventy five years old shopping center area | columns at the top accentuate the design accent and shopping mall experience

Highland Park High Design Custom Columns

Highland Park High Design Custom Columns

 

 

Rubber mold for column cap design

Rubber mold for column cap design

The AAS project team developed the drawings for the project from templates without requiring detailed architectural plans. The templates were compared to the existing product and adjustments were made to achieve the precisely matching three dimensional design. The system to capture and communicate in-depth details using CAD drawings assisted the design process confirming the project feasibility in early stages of the project. The integrity of the details was made possible using CNC technology to fabricate the required molds. For high intricate design details in the column caps at the top, rubber molds were used.

Design Details for the top of the clock tower at highland park village shopping center

Design Details for the top of the clock tower at highland park village shopping center

 

Shop Drawing - Clock Tower Design at Highland Park Shopping Center

Shop Drawing – Clock Tower Design at Highland Park Shopping Center

 

Shop Drawing - Details for Support, Anchorage, Installation Connections

Shop Drawing – Details for Support, Anchorage, Installation Connections

 


The AAS team confirmed and communicated installation details for each stone piece used in this tower design. Installers got detailed settings plan with identification of each stone piece.

The clock tower looks as if it were part of the original design of the shopping center. The architectural columns accentuate the overall experience of the shopping center.

Products used: Cast Stone, GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete)
Architect: Omni Planners Architects
General Contractor: W B Kibbler Construction
Masonry Contractor: Metro Masonry

 


> ARCHITECTURAL COLUMNS