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Finishing School

Tilt-up panels incorporating an architectural concrete masonry veneer provided a solution within rigorous time, budgetary and aesthetic limits for construction

Tilt-up panels incorporating an architectural concrete masonry veneer provided a solution within rigorous time, budgetary and aesthetic limits for construction of the 36,000-sq.-ft. Aventura (Fla.) Charter Middle School. After a pile foundation was installed Û due to tenuous soil conditions Û shortly following the 2005 New Year, construction proceeded to completion by the owner's mid-July deadline. Accordingly, middle school doors were open for the start of classes; and the building's innovative tilt-up design, featuring Chameleon architectural masonry veneer for prominent sections of a multimedia fa¡ade, blended harmoniously with neighboring school structures.

The Chameleon Cast Wall System embeds a veneer of architectural concrete masonry onto the face of a tilt-up or precast panel in the casting process. The look of architectural block or stone is thus obtained with the logistics of panelized construction. Because a Chameleon licensee had not been established in Florida, veneer components produced by E.P. Henry Corp. were shipped from New Jersey. A field technician on site guided installation of the units as part of building erection.

Wherever applied among 32,000 sq. ft. of tilt-up wall area for the two-level school, the Chameleon finish was complete as soon as panels were lifted. Work on other finishes and details proceeded for weeks afterward, past the occupancy date, to complete the building without a delay in opening.

The project's tilt-up contractor, Woodland Construction of Jupiter, Fla., is recognized for the quality of its tilt-up work and the leadership of its president, Clay Fischer, a past president of the Tilt-up Concrete Association. Fischer notes, To match the existing school buildings Û architectural block and all Û as well as meet difficult time and cost constraints, we chose Chameleon. Our own workers installed the masonry as part of panel construction, we met our targets, and people like the look.

Gus Veitia, vice president of Miami-based general contractor Veitia Padron Inc., also cited the benefits of a tilt-up system with masonry veneer for the project: The block finish worked out well. We were trying to match an existing school building Û masonry with a split-face block finish Û that we had constructed two years prior. The architect's aim was to tie the two together, even though this one was going to be tilt-up. With thin block in some areas and textured paint in others [on the new building], the structures blend extremely well. Û www.chameleonwall.com, 617/232-3354

AVENTURA CHARTER MIDDLE SCHOOL

PROJECT PRINCIPALS, SCHEDULE

Owner: City of Aventura, Florida
Developer: Charter School House Developers, Inc., Coral Gables, Florida
Architect: Perez Associates, Miami, Florida
General contractor: Veitia Padron Inc., Miami, Florida
Tilt-up contractor: Woodland Construction Co., Jupiter, Florida
Chameleon licensee/veneer supplier: E.P. Henry Corp., New Jersey
Start date: February 2005
Completion: July 2005