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TCA wanted their new campus to do more than provide office spac - they wanted to make a statement about concrete as the most creative and sustainable building material for a new century. This desire drives the development of our campus as a living showcase for concrete.
The project utilizes several Low Impact Development strategies as well as emphasizing energy efficiency, durability, and safety of concrete construction methods.
TCA purchased property in 2008 to provide the association with a permanent home. The campus consists of 1.88 acres of property in a light industrial area just south of downtown Nashville. The site also included an 1800sf concrete block building (uninsulated), as well as a 10,000sf fire-damaged steel warehouse building.
Originally, the master plan anticipated building a 5000sf office and training center on the site. The existing building would be utilized as a temporary association office during construction. The remainder of the site would be developed over time to showcase concrete in a living museum highlighting concrete's many uses and applications.
The onset of the Great Recession forced a re-thinking of the plan to build an entirely new facility, and a decision was made to incorporate the existing building into a new master plan as permanent office space. The training center would become a stand-alone project to be integrated into the existing building, and the site would still be developed as living demonstration of all things concrete. The site development portion of the plan became known as the Concrete Village.
With this decision made, TCA worked with architect Tom Bauer to refine the site plan and improve the existing building. TCA's member companies rallied around the plan in spite of the precipitous drop in concrete production by providing products and volunteer labor to move the site development forward. Over the past two years, TCA members have provided more than $150,000 of in-kind support to move our Concrete Village from concept to reality.
The facelift began with the removal of an existing asphalt parking lot, and the installation of pervious concrete and conventional concrete to welcome visitors to the campus. The steel building was removed by a contractor willing to re-construct the shell in a new location. Work began on a concrete perimeter fence utilizing retaining wall blocks made from returned concrete to add security to the site, and additional site work was underway to create attractive demonstration areas for concrete flatwork that would also provide a major aesthetic upgrade for our office. Footings were installed for three small buildings that would showcase concrete's ability to provide safe shelter from Mother Nature's fury, and rain water harvesting cisterns were built to capture roof drainage. A rain garden and infiltration bioswale were also constructed, along with more pervious concrete.
The entire office building received a new façade that included two inches of insulation while showcasing manufactured stone as well as cement-based siding, and new dual-fuel (gas/electric) HVAC system was installed to provide further energy savings.
A major theme of our site development has been partnering. The TCA campus is a demonstration site for the Cumberland River Compact's Building Outside the box program to showcase LID techniques, and we have also partnered with a water research group (CLEAR) from Middle Tennessee State University as well as with the CIM program at MTSU to provide research assistance with filed placement of concrete at our site.
TCA is also working with MTSU and Lipscomb University, along with the Middle Tennessee chapters of AIA and USGBC to design a net-zero, disaster resistant, concrete structure that can be quickly built to provide short-tern housing that can be incorporated into a permanent dwelling. The prototype of this design will be built on the TCA campus in late 2010 or early 2011, and the entire integrated project delivery process is being captured and documented for use in a graduate level class that will be offered in the CIM MBA program currently under development at MTSU.
Our future training facility is being used by the Tilt-Up Concrete Association as the design project for their 2010 Design Competition, open to architectural schools in the US and beyond. One of the design parameters for this project is that the resulting building achieve LEED Platinum - and of course that it utilize tilt-up concrete as its primary construction method.
As a result of our partnering efforts, the TCA campus and concrete's multi-faceted ability to make projects more sustainable has become well known in the design community in Tennessee. We are hosting site tours, for designers, owners and regulators and our members to showcase concrete's abilities to make projects better now and in the decades to come.
Owner - Tennessee Concrete Association, Nashville, TN
Architect/Designer - Bauer/Askew Architecture, PLLC, Nashville, TN
Concrete Producer - IMI-TN, Metro Ready Mix, Williamson Co., Ready Mix, Nashville, TN