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Awards | TCA Tilt-Up Achievement

Pacific Sunwear Corporate Headquarters

2006 TCA Tilt-Up Achievement Award - Office Division

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As a clothing retailer, Pacific Sunwear is extremely image conscious, and its corporate headquarters must provide a suitable first impression to clothing vendors. However, since the company’s new three-story office building was to be located in California’s seismic zone 4, there were significant design challenges.

Taller Tilt-Up buildings such as this require thicker walls, resulting in more seismic mass. Further, the size of the Pacific Sunwear Corporate Headquarters dictated fire resistive construction incorporating concrete over metal deck floors, which provided a quality first-class floor system. In this project, seismic challenges were met by aligning the panel joints directly over the window center to maintain wall pier integrity while maximizing the vision glass area.

The resulting 5-foot-wide wall piers allowed the panels to remain relatively thin at 10 inches while providing the necessary seismic strength and reduced reinforcement congestion. To minimize the seismic mass of the building, nearly all the HVAC equipment was located at grade separate from the building, which left the roof seismically lighter.

Using a series of stepped-back terraces mixed with an overhanging glazing system, the entry provides a strong statement yet still at a human scale. The dramatic interior lobby is two stories of full-height glazing welcoming indirect light from the north.

The main entry element is a radius metal panel and blue reflective glass. Flanking this entry is a series of stepped-down balconies that bring the three-story entry back down to scale. First floor glass windows are set back with small concrete returns giving the appearance of thick wall pier elements.

A winner of California Construction magazine’s “Best of California” distinction, the attractive building skin provided by the metal panel, glass curtain wall and Tilt-Up concrete orchestration has won praise by the owner and all involved.

Project Specifics

Project Floor Area
480,000 sq ft
(44,592 sq m)
Tallest Panel
56 ft 0 in
(17.07 m)
Largest Panel
1,230 sq ft
(114.3 sq m)
Heaviest Panel
154,000 lbs
(69,853 kg)

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About the TCA

Founded in 1986, the Tilt-Up Concrete Association (TCA) strives to improve the quality and acceptance of site-cast Tilt-Up construction, a method in which concrete wall panels are cast on-site and tilted into place. Tilt-Up construction is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States, combining the advantages of reasonable cost with low maintenance, durability, speed of construction and minimal capital investment. At least 10,000 buildings, enclosing more than 650 million square feet, are constructed each year using this construction method.

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