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Washington University Focuses on Design/Build with Gate Precast Using Full-Scale Models

Students were very enthusiastic and thankful of this unique experience. Gate’s plant personnel were very impressed with the quality and complexity of the molds the students made.

Precast Concrete Enclosures was successfully conducted for the fourth time in SP 2023. During the semester-long course, students were able to experience the entire design-build process, advance conceptual ideas through drawings and study models, followed by a precise documentation of the panel and molds. Lastly, the molds were transported to the precast architectural plant for formwork preparation, reinforcing, casting, demolding, handling and finishing processes. The pedagogy of this seminar is based on direct experimentation and the introduction of students to applied research and technical knowledge. The course exposes students to different precast methodologies and best industry practices through the design-build agenda.

During the process of making full-scale molds, students learned about the properties of the materials, the act of construction, assemblage and mass production. They spent approximately 5 weeks working on the panel design followed by two more weeks to develop the corresponding documentation for fabrication. During those intense weeks of design and drawing, students shared their work with Gate’s engineers and plant personnel and received very useful feedback on their design deas via Zoom. This was a crucial stage in order to advance their design toward a feasible outcome. Important topics such as panel size, thickness, structural integrity, reinforcing and many other issues were discussed enabling students to learn from Gate’s expertise.

Click on the document below to read the full report on the studio (use the square at the bottom left to get it to your full screen).


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