Leesburg Concrete's Partnership in the New Terminal Addition at Orlando International Airport: A Detailed Overview

The new terminal addition at Orlando International Airport (OIA) marks a significant development in enhancing the airport’s infrastructure. Central to this ambitious project is the collaboration with Leesburg Concrete Company, a renowned precast concrete provider. We had the opportunity to sit down with Kirk Rouse, President of Leesburg Concrete, to gain insight into their role in this major construction endeavor.

The Planning and Execution Process


The execution of a precast concrete project for OIA begins long before the actual construction. The terminal was designed by external architects, with Hensel Phelps serving as the construction manager. Hensel Phelps solicits bids from various suppliers, including Leesburg Concrete. Once awarded, Leesburg mobilizes an engineering team to design the precast elements, coordinating closely with the client and other subcontractors. This phase involves meticulous planning, approval of submittals and fabrication drawings, followed by production. Upon receiving a notice to proceed, Leesburg deploys their chosen erector to install the panels on-site, overseen by a dedicated quality control representative.

Challenges and Innovative Solutions


Building custom structures for a specialized client like OIA presents unique challenges. Coordination with numerous sub-trades is critical, ensuring that blockouts and openings for plumbing, electrical, and other services align perfectly. This coordination extends to the masonry or steel structures on which the panels are hung. Leesburg employs advanced 3D software to manage these complex integrations, treating each panel as a piece of a larger puzzle. A notable innovation developed for this project was a specialized rack attached to a large forklift, designed to move heavy panels into place under an existing roof. This solution was crucial where traditional crane erection was not feasible due to spatial constraints.

Size and Weight Specifications


Leesburg's architectural precast concrete panels for OIA are integrally colored using an engineered mix of white cement and color additives. These panels vary significantly in size and weight, ranging from a few thousand pounds to massive 40,000-pound pieces. Each panel is designed to meet specific aesthetic and structural requirements, adding both functional and visual value to the terminal's exterior.

Determining Panel Locations


The placement of these panels is determined by the design provided by the project's architect and engineer. Leesburg’s team panelizes the façade, considering factors such as accessibility, weight, and aesthetics. The proposed panelization is then submitted for client review and approval, ensuring all elements align with the overall design vision and structural requirements.

Purpose and Design Influence


The primary purpose of the precast concrete panels is to serve as the building’s exterior skin, providing weather protection and a visually appealing finish. This dual functionality influences both the design and construction process, requiring materials and methods that ensure durability and aesthetic quality.

Ensuring Quality and Safety


Leesburg Concrete maintains rigorous quality control and safety standards, underpinned by their AA, C2 PCI certification. This certification necessitates surprise audits by independent engineering firms to verify compliance with PCI standards and specifications. These audits ensure that Leesburg’s products are consistently produced to the highest quality, adhering to stringent safety and performance criteria.

Environmental and Regulatory Considerations


Given the regulatory landscape, Leesburg must comply with numerous safety requirements, particularly regarding on-site adjustments. For instance, cutting concrete panels on-site requires silica mitigation to protect workers and the environment. Building Strong Partnerships Leesburg Concrete’s relationship with Hensel Phelps and OIA is built on mutual respect and proven performance on high-profile projects. Leesburg’s ability to deliver high-quality architectural products on schedule, combined with their responsiveness and problem-solving approach, sets them apart from larger competitors. This reputation is reinforced by their willingness to work through challenges collaboratively, without resorting to frequent back charges.

Future Prospects


The partnership with OIA not only enhances Leesburg’s portfolio but also positions them for future opportunities within the industry. The successful execution of such a high- profile project brings credibility and positive exposure, showcasing their capabilities to potential clients.

In conclusion, Leesburg Concrete’s involvement in the new terminal addition at Orlando International Airport exemplifies their expertise in managing complex precast concrete projects. Their commitment to quality, innovation, and collaboration ensures that the terminal will meet the highest standards of safety, functionality, and aesthetic appeal.

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