5 Innovative Precast Concrete Projects from TKL Group


TKL recently marked its 45th anniversary and has built a reputation for delivering quality precast concrete products to all projects it has been involved in over the years. Here are some of the projects the TKL Group has successfully delivered:

1. Belleville Public Library

The Mechanics’ Institute, which was in operation from 1851 to 1859, was the progenitor of both the Belleville Public Library and the John M. Parrott Art Gallery. In November 1876, the “Mechanics Institute and Library Association” was established in Belleville, marking the beginning of the city’s formal municipal library service. In 1895, in compliance with the newly enacted provincial Act Respecting Public Libraries, the institution underwent a name change to become the Belleville Public Library.

The original Library building had three extensions, which were added in 1959, 1968, and 1973. The main Library building, also known as the Corby Library, was shut down on April 27, 2006. A new structure located at 254 Pinnacle Street was constructed in its place. 

This stunning structure was constructed in 2006. It is located in the heart of downtown Belleville and has three levels, one of which houses an art gallery and several meeting spaces. The Community Archives of Belleville and Hastings County have both just relocated to the facility as their new permanent home.

2. University of Toronto Project

This is another milestone for TKL. The new renderings of “The Partnerships in Innovation and Entrepreneurship” building to be unveiled by the University of Toronto will use architectural precast concrete from TKL. It is a collaborative effort with the Toronto-based Teeple Architects and the New York-based Weiss/Manfredi. The architectural masterpiece that is the angular 14-storey building design will replace a section of the Banting and Best complex, currently housing the entrepreneurship hub of the ‘U of T’.

The project will incorporate AI (artificial intelligence), making it a technological milestone in the history of TKL projects.

3. Toronto South Detention Centre

This building was constructed as part of a strategy by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services to address health and safety concerns, and inefficiencies in the design, technology, and utilization of space by replacing outdated buildings with newer ones.

The older institutions could not satisfy the operational needs and were facing significant and escalating remand demands. Zeidler Partnership Architects undertook the building’s design, while Johnson Controls LP oversaw the facility’s administration.

The Toronto South Detention Centre is a maximum security facility for adult detainees, including those with special requirements. It accommodates 1,650 beds. To make way for this brand-new, ultra-modern institution, the old Toronto Jail was demolished. The development of the Toronto Intermittent Centre (TIC), a facility intended to house individuals predominantly serving weekend sentences, was included in the project’s scope.

Silver accreditation in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) was awarded for both the design and the building processes. The LEED award highlights the fact that the project managed to keep 75% of construction waste out of landfills. The project also had a 20% cut back on the volume of water used. Besides, the project used materials with low levels of volatile organic compound emissions. These included materials used in adhesives, paints, carpets, and sealants.

4. One Bennette Park

The foundation of 451 E. Grand Avenue was constructed from limestone, but the remainder of the structure was constructed from precast concrete. The concrete was tinted and textured to imitate other structures in the Streeterville neighborhood and adhere to the prevailing Chicago neo-deco and Gothic designs. Robert A.M. Stern Interiors designed the interiors, including most of the lobby and common areas.

Two levels were devoted to a mechanical penthouse meant to resemble Chicago’s lantern towers and other distinctive cornices. A tuned mass damper is also located on the 68th. Courtesy of the compact profile of the tower, the damper is designed with the goal of reducing the lateral sway, which is caused by winds at high altitudes. It also eliminates any motion disturbance towards the top for condo and penthouse owners. The damper in One Bennett Park is a sloshing tank, which uses huge volumes of water to absorb and reduce stress from lateral motion.

5. York University Accolade Colonnade

The developer for this project was York University. The contractor was Bird Construction, while the architect was Zeidler Partnership Architects. The finish chosen for the project was black and red exposed aggregate.

Although this was a small-scale project, it presented the developers with unique challenges. One of these is the fact that the project’s goal was to develop an enclosure in one of York University’s busiest pedestrian thoroughfares.

Daily coordination and safety planning were required since the project is located next to the York Region Transportation Hub. Besides, its proximity to the transit roadway meant there was limited staging space. As a result, daily scheduling with representatives from York University was critical. In fact, planning and maintenance was a full-time task as the safety team worked hard to ensure the safety of both vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

The TKL Group has been manufacturing precast concrete since 1977. Since then, the company has returned several milestones that have redefined the precast concrete industry. It has become a trendsetter in the precast concrete sector as is attested by the many projects in Canada and the U.S that feature its innovative products.

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