2022 Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) Design Award
The newly constructed $66 million visitor center at Pikes Peak Summit was the highest elevation construction site in North America during the construction phase. Now this beautiful building sits on the summit of one of Colorado’s majestic 14,000 mountain peaks as the highest elevation precast concrete structure in the world.
Being such a remote construction site presented some unique challenges. Nestled into mountainside it made sense to construct the lower portions of the building with precast concrete. And with highly variable and unpredictable weather, it made sense to fabricate the precast walls off site.
The size of the panels were limited given the steep, switchback 20 mile road to the project location. The trailers hauling the building components could not exceed 10 ft in width, 45 ft in length, and 30,000 lbs.
The facility was designed to withstand severe temperatures, strong side winds and heavy snowfall. The precast walls were insulated to provide an overall R-value of 60 with an 8.5-in.-thick insulation wythe connected with HK Composites Standard (ST) ties.
The design and construction teams faced many extreme challenges due to high altitude and harsh weather conditions, but the project met schedule demands and the center is now open for 750,000 annual sightseers and hikers to enjoy.