About 50 students from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, R.I. visited Blakeslee Prestress in Branford, Ct., to see how a precast concrete manufacturing plant operates and to learn the basics of prestressed concrete design. This is the first year of the PCI Foundation & PCINE-funded studio at RISD which is being led by Assistant Professor Brett H. Schneider. During the course of the semester, students will not only visit plants and learn from industry professionals, but will have an opportunity design precast projects.
“The program is a great opportunity for students at one of the most prestigious design schools in the country to learn about a material that is often overlooked in architectural design classes,” says Robert Vitelli, vice president of Blakeslee Prestress. “We were happy to work with the school and PCINE to give them a better understanding of the processes, so they recognize precast’s benefits.”
During the half-day program, the students toured the plant and yard to see how a variety of precast concrete products are fabricated. They were able to view procedures for casting concrete and setting steel for architectural panels, double tees, columns, beams and stairs. They were given a demonstration of the company’s Tekla 3-D modeling software. In addition to the tour, Rita Seridarian of PCI North East presented a program on the basics of precast concrete design.
To learn more about the Foundation studios, visit www.pci-foundation.org and click on Programs & Partnerships.
Photos courtesy of Blakeslee Prestress, Inc.