Sasaki Associates develops simple yet novel solution for precast concrete complication

Its double-angle cladding anchor maintains the air/water/vapor barrier integrity and continuous insulation while still allowing for the desired versatility of precast panels.

January 20, 2016 |

The precast concrete technique was implemented on the South High Rises project at Ohio State University. Photo: Sasaki Associates

Building Teams value the versatility of precast concrete exterior wall construction, but, like any cladding approach, it has its drawbacks. Conventionally used, precast panels form the weather barrier system, with the vapor barrier and insulation located on the interior face. This primary barrier system can become compromised over time for a number of reasons, such as the short effective life of sealants. 

To solve this weather barrier breakdown issue, three architects from Sasaki Associates—Brad Prestbo, AIA, Senior Associate; Gerard Gutierrez, AIA, CDT, Director of Technical Resource Group; and Jeff Benea, Associate—developed a simple yet novel anchor detail that maintains air/water/vapor barrier integrity and continuous insulation, similar to cavity wall construction, while still harnessing the versatility of precast panels.  

The detail uses back-to-back angles. The interior set of angles is attached to the superstructure—once in place, the air/water/vapor barrier can be applied. The exterior set of angles can then be installed, sandwiching the air/water/vapor barrier. 

Panels can be hung or gravity loaded onto the structural frame. Depending on panel layout, anchor access can be made from panel jambs or head.

Since developing the system, Sasaki has deployed it in several hundred thousand square feet of cladding.


Illustration: Sasaki Architects

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