Riverside High School

Location:

Greer, SC
 

Owner:

Greenville County Schools, Greenville, SC
 

Architect:

BRPH Architects-Engineers, Inc., Atlanta, GA
 

Engineer:

Professional Engineering Associates Inc., Greenville, SC
 

Project Scope

Sq. Footage:

268,000
 

Levels/Floors:

3
 

Structural Precast Elements:

1,688 precast, prestressed concrete pieces including:
• Sandwich insulated wall panels
• Solid wall panels
• Field-topped double tees
• Untopped roof double tees
• Stairs
• Elevator shafts
• Columns
• Beams
• Slabs
 

Erection Time:

• Eight months.
 

Economic Savings:

• Precast’s step-and-repeat units allow for easy replication of classroom units and entire classroom wings, which is economically efficient for both the design and manufacturing of the school.
 

Finishes

Brick:

Inlay brick
 

Color:

Sandblasted concrete.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Riverside High School
Riverside High School
Riverside High School
Riverside High School
Riverside High School
Riverside High School
Riverside High School
Riverside High School
Riverside High School
Riverside High School
Riverside High School
Riverside High School
Riverside High School
Riverside High School
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Total-Precast System Creates LEED-Certified School

Precast concrete insulated sandwich wall panels and double tees create new facility adjacent to existing one, boosting energy efficiency, lowering maintenance costs, and improving air quality

The usual demands of constructing a new high school building—including a tight budget and air-tight scheduling—weren’t the only challenges that had to be met in designing the new Riverside High School in Greer, South Carolina. Once administrators decided to start from scratch and build a new facility, they wanted to incorporate as many sustainable-design concepts as possible. The result was one of the first LEED-certified high schools in the country, built with a total-precast concrete structural system and panels.

The process was complicated by two factors. As always, the transition from the existing school term to the new one had to be completed seamlessly during the summer, so students could leave one school and enter the new one as the school year began without disruptions.

In addition, the project began as a massive renovation and addition to the existing school. But halfway into the design process, administrators realized that the cost to renovate and add to the existing building was approaching that of a new building. “They decided that it made better business sense to replace the high school with a completely new one and take advantage of more sustainable-design concepts in siting and design, which could offset some of the costs long-term,” explains Richard Powell, project manager at BPRH Architects-Engineers, Inc. in Atlanta.

That provided a more controlled approach, but a lot of time had been lost in the meantime and would require a second building to be placed on the site. That added more challenges, says Herb Marshall, project manager at M.B. Kahn Construction Co. in Greenville, South Carolina. “We basically had to shoehorn a full-blown, 4A high school for 1,500 students onto a site with an existing school already there while the school’s day-to-day events and extracurricular activities continued unaffected by construction activity.”

To segregate the old and new, designers sited the new 268,000-square-foot, two-story facility into space being used for parking. Even so, a new auxiliary gymnasium bumped against the existing school building. To accommodate construction, the new gym was left unbuilt until the rest of the new school was completed. Once the rest of the facility was ready for occupancy and the school year began, the original school was demolished. Once it was out of the way and grading was completed for parking and tennis courts, the new gym was built.

This phased approach was possible in part due to the structural design, which consisted of load-bearing precast concrete insulated sandwich wall panels and long double tees. Field-topped floor double tees and untopped roof double tees used the exterior walls and interior corridor walls for load-bearing support as well as for shear walls for lateral stability. Precast concrete stair and elevator shafts also were included, providing a complete precast concrete structural system. Tindall Corp. of Spartanburg, South Carolina provided the precast concrete components.

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