Precast Parking Structures: Advantages

Speed of Construction

At Blakeslee Prestress, our approach to the design and fabrication of any precast concrete structure drives the construction process like no other building material. Precast fabrication demands that design issues be dealt with early in the process, which in turn, accelerates all of the other construction trades.

Cost Effectiveness

At Blakeslee Prestress, we erect our parking structures on an extraordinarily fast track — resulting in very significant savings on financing costs, providing a faster return on your investment and bringing your structure into productive life much sooner. Weather and site problems cause few delays, however Blakeslee has worked within very tight footprints.

No matter how tight the construction schedule . . . how difficult the site access . . . how extreme the environment . . . how demanding the architectural requirements . . . Blakeslee can meet the need, reliably, cost-effectively, and durably.

"Their understanding and unique ability to make a complicated series of beams, columns and plates interact as a unit while maintaining complex architectural features is indeed what places Blakeslee ahead of the competition. During the entire process, Blakeslee counseled, planned, directed and exhibited the engineering precision, patience and direction needed to achieve the desired result. From the time of casting the very first panel to erecting the last, and all the steps in between, the process was flawless." — R. Howe, Project Manager, on Blakeslee's role in the construction of the 980-car parking structure at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, MA

Durability / Low Maintenance

Precast, prestressed concrete effectively resists corrosion year after year — without the use of expensive chemical additives or reinforcing steel treatments. Our concrete components are produced and erected under stringent PCI (Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute) compliant quality controls.

The durability of Blakeslee's parking structures is unmatched by other structural systems. We use a "dry" pretopped precast system with virtually no site cast concrete on the parking deck surface. The consistent quality of our factory batching and casting environment produces concrete with superior performance and durability characteristics. We typically use a water cement ratios less than .38 for our double tee floor & roof members.

Precast, prestressed concrete parking structures retain their good looks for years — with a minimum of maintenance . . . saving thousands of dollars over the life of the structure.

Innovative Solutions

Over the years we've built some interesting parking structures. Some examples include:

  • Blakeslee has assisted in the design of many structures to accommodate horizontal or vertical expansion as well as "over build" structures for housing, retail or entertainment uses.
  • We've built two entirely pretopped precast helical drum ramps for a six level, 900 space parking garage that was only 60' wide!
  • Blakeslee has incorporated planters with the structural system to provide unique aesthetics on several projects.
  • Several lateral bracing concepts have been embraced and forwarded by our engineering department including "H", "M" and "U" frames, as well as the most popular lateral bracing element the "K" wall.
  • Blakeslee was the first precaster in New England to manufacture 12'-0" wide double tees on a large scale. Our entire production facility has been upgraded to accommodate the 12'-0" wide double tee system.


No 'single' construction material lends itself to a more dazzling array of architectural treatments than precast, prestressed concrete. Rich colored aggregates, attractive stone and masonry veneers, decorative reveals and joints that can express a wealth of architectural detail. All these may be incorporated at our plant, saving valuable on-site finishing time.

Rounded and unusually shaped facades can be carefully created in our plant. Curvilinear shapes can be much more efficiently and cost effectively executed in a precast, prestressed concrete structure than in cast-in-place or structural steel parking garages.

Special Formwork, Reveals and Joints

Decorative reveals may be easily cast into concrete spandrels, making it possible for the architect to direct the lines of the structure as he or she sees fit. False joints can also be incorporated, giving the precast spandrels an uncanny resemblance to limestone or sandstone construction - without the cost involved in these older systems.

Aggregates and Cements

Almost unlimited varieties of stone can be incorporated into the concrete matrix. Depending on the way these aggregates are exposed at our plant, the resulting concrete can take on a dazzling array or colors and textures. Local gravels can be added to allow parking structures to blend with its natural context. Exposed aggregates can take the look of the granite or marble of surrounding buildings. Pigmented cements can also be used, to further enlarge the range of aesthetic possibilities.

Masonry and Stone Veneers

When the parking structure will be built amid traditional brick structures, the designer can specify special thin brick veneer inlays for casting of the precast, prestressed concrete spandrels.