Tag Archives: Architectural GFRC

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 offer 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 techniques, the two products have similar structural properties. AAS has a track record for developing custom stone design, using either of the two products or combining the two products as required to achieve the 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 the 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 requirements 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 the shape or design of stone panels is highly complex. This offers more flexibility to realize virtually any design shape. The manufacturing process also opens up design freedom to emulate looks of a variety of different stone types, including natural limestone. AAS has an 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 the interior stone veneer that achieved the 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 a more extended span or length for individual stone pieces.

Different finishes can be achieved on the 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 is also known as lightweight concrete, offers the 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 the 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 a dedicated customer project team with the experience to work closely with customers right from the design phase. As required, the team is able to support customers with the 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.

 

 

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, sunscreens, custom cladding, veneer, or facade design, coping, interior features, etc.
  • Designers have the 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 the 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 can be achieved by using exposed aggregate faces such as acid wash, sandblasting, integral color, white cement, and texture.

> LEARN MORE


GFRC - Structural, Engineering, Installation Advantages

Structural & Installation Advantages

LIGHTWEIGHT, HIGH STRENGTH TO WEIGHT RATIO

 

  • The low weight of GFRC panels decreases superimposed loads on the building’s structural framing and foundation.
  • The GFRC panels are 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 lightweight 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 the project-specific design of GFRC products.
  • See videos of the 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

ART AND SCIENCE OF ARCHITECTURAL STONE CLADDING

Custom design, fabrication of stone panels with unlimited options to customize shapes and sizes enable unparalleled design freedom for cladding applications.

Advanced Architectural Stone (AAS) has a well-developed system to:

  • Review, revise design details while working closely with architects and contractors.
  • Pre-engineer connection & structural support systems in the stone products fabrication process. This simplifies the installation.
  • Precisely control and confirm stringent tolerance requirements.
  • Combine stone products with seamless design effect.
  • Match any color with a control sample.

PROJECT EXAMPLES:

Sundance Square

AAS Computerized Color Lab, Testing - project image - Sundance Square East - Commercial Building - retail shops, offices

Architectural Stone Cladding | Products: Cast Stone, GFRC

Cook Children's Hospital

AAS Architectural Precast Concrete Products - Large Sizes, Custom Finishes - project - cook children's hospital - large sizes, custom shapes

Fabricated Stone Panels for Exterior Cladding | Large Sizes | Custom Shapes

Grapevine Convention Center

AAS Manufactured Architectural Stone - Custom Shapes, High End Design, Products Materials options - cast stone, architectural gfrc, precast, gfrg

Technology | Craftsmanship | Customer Focus

Old Parkland Business Park

Combine Products with Seamless Look, Design Aesthetic | Opens up Design Options, Saves Cost, Simplifies Construction

Combine Products with Seamless Look, Design Aesthetic | Opens up Design Options, Saves Cost, Simplifies Construction | Wall Coping, Cornices and Banding, Unifying Design Accent using Stone Cladding

USC Fertitta Hall

USC Fertitta Hall - North Entry Arch

Jill and Frank Fertitta Hall, USC Marshall School of Business | North Entry Arch

SMU: Delta Gamma Sorority House

GFRC-Connections-Installation-Fluted-Columns-Corinthian-Capitals-SMU-Delta-Gamma-Sorority-House

GFRC Connections, Pre-engineered, Built-in Installation Support | Fluted Columns Corinthian Capitals SMU Delta Gamma Sorority House

ACU Wellness Center

ACU Wellness Center

ACU Wellness Center | Cast Stone Matched Colors of the Brick Exterior for Desired Design Appeal

GFRC ART PANELS ON FACADES OF DICKIES ARENA, FORT WORTH, TX

GFRC Panel with Detailed Design, Design MockupGFRC Panel Precisely Matching with Design DetailsIntricate Horse Head Design Developed in GFRC as per the Design VisionCustom Molds, Fabrication Technique for Large Size GFRC PanelsCustom Molds, Fabrication Technique for Large Size GFRC PanelsMockup for GFRC Panels | Dickies Arena Case StudyCustom Design GFRC Panels on Right Side of this MockupCustom Design GFRC Panels on Right Side of this MockupMockup of GFRC Art Panels | Frame Design on Panels is Asymmetrical by DesignGFRC Panels Installed at Ft Worth Arena

This blog post shows design assist process, as well as custom fabrication of the large size GFRC panels for the Dickies Arena project. The Arena is sited on the Will Roger’s Memorial Center campus in Ft. Worth, TX.

 

Custom GFRC Panels Design, Fabrication

 

The architects for the project aim to develop Art Deco design elements on facades of the arena to match with the 1930s era experience on the campus. The building facade design uses large size GFRC panels with intricate design details in them.

  • The AAS team developed series of custom molds to match the large size and intricate design details required for the project.
  • The mockups are created to confirm the shapes, details in the fabricated stone panels and color matching.
  • AAS works closely with architects and contractors to review details and confirm design feasibility.

 

AAS has capabilities now to manufacture GFRC products in its Ft. Worth plant as well.

Art, Engineering, Design Craftsmanship, Technology for Custom Mold with Specific Design Pattern

Art, Engineering, Design Craftsmanship, Technology for Custom Mold with Specific Design Pattern

Refining Specific Details in the Mold using the Personalized Design Touch after CNC Machining

Refining Specific Details in the Mold using the Personalized Design Touch after CNC Machining

Custom Designed Mold to Match Specific GFRC Panel Size and Shape with Stringent Tolerance requirements

Custom Designed Mold to Match Specific GFRC Panel Size and Shape with Stringent Tolerance requirements

GFRC Art Panels for Art Deco Design Accent at Dickies Arena, Fort Worth

GFRC Art Panels for Art Deco Design Accent at Dickies Arena, Fort Worth

 

Image below shows exterior elevation on the west side with GFRC panels integrated with the brick veneer.

 

Fort Worth Arena Partial Elevation - West Side | GFRC Panels Integrated in Exterior Veneer of the Building Along with Brick Veneer

Fort Worth Arena Partial Elevation – West Side | GFRC Panels Integrated in Exterior Veneer of the Building Along with Brick Veneer

 

CLICK HERE TO SEE HIGHER RESOLUTION IMAGE (OPENS IN NEW TAB/WINDOW) >>

 

DOWNLOAD .PDF FILE FOR DESIGN DETAILS >>



GFRC CONNECTIONS: MUCH SIMPLER INSTALLATION, INTEGRATION WITH BRICK WALL


GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete) is much simpler to install because of its light weight and pre-engineered connections for anchorage with substrate.

See in this video details of GFRC connections, and how different stone pieces are custom designed and anchored for installation.

The AAS design team provides settings plan that clearly shows how different stone panels install together for overall design aesthetic.


 

 

The seamless integration of manufactured architectural stone panels makes it much simpler to design exterior cladding, and veneer applications with monolithic design accent.

 

This project also show how cast stone and GFRC can be combined with seamless color matching  opening up opportunities for simplified construction, value engineering, and at the same time unparalleled design freedom.

 


 

MANUFACTURED ARCHITECTURAL STONE: PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS

PRODUCTS COMPARISON GUIDE

How do different manufactured cast stone products compare? How do you select? SEE COMPARISON GUIDE >>

GFRC (GLASS FIBER REINFORCED CONCRETE) CEU COURSE: EARN CREDITS

VIDEO: GFRC CONNECTIONS SIMPLIFY INSTALLATION, OPEN UP DESIGN OPTIONS

GFRC products have pre-engineered, built in connections that simplifies the onsite installation.

See in this video, examples of drawings and images of products being installed at the SMU Delta Gamma Sorority House project.

AAS has bandwidth and a well developed system to work closely with architects, contractors and masons for every project. Installation support details are designed with intent of not only realizing architect’s desired design vision, but also simple, easy installation.

As required, project team works with customers in selecting combination of products that would achieve design cost effectively.


GFRC PRODUCTS: SEE MANUFACTURING IN WORKS

 

Custom Design GFRC Cornices

GFRC cornices with pre-engineered connections for simple, easy installation: see the manufacturing process for GFRC cornices in this VIDEO BLOG POST >>

 

Architectural GFRC Cornice Manufacturing Process - Video Clips

Fluted Tapered GFRC Columns, Corinthian Capitals

Custom design fluted, tapered GFRC columns and corinthian capitals … VIDEO CLIPS show manufacturing process for creating different components of the modular design >>

 

Fluted GFRC Columns - Architectural GFRC Manufacturing Process


GFRC Project: Architectural Stone Cladding, Columns for 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

 


GFRC Project: High Elevation Entry Way Design for Dry Creek Elementary School

 

GFRC Panels for Dry Creek Elementary School - AAS - formerly ACS - Case Study V01

GFRC Panels for Dry Creek Elementary School – AAS – formerly ACS – LEARN MORE >>

 


GFRC Project: High Design Fully Integrated Cladding, Columns, Architectural Accent

 

AAS Architectural GFRC Case Study | Gilbert Christian Case Study

AAS Architectural GFRC Case Study | Gilbert Christian High School  | SEE MORE >>