High Rise Success for Smith-Midland in Norfolk, Va.

Nov. 1, 2022
Panelized thin-brick and a buff-toned smooth simulated limestone finish provides the perfect complement to the existing building aesthetic.


Overlooking the harbor in Norfolk, Virginia, the project team required a turn-key exterior wall system that not only blended in with the existing building design but also allowed them to install the exterior envelope quickly and economically.


Smith-Midland’s SlenderWall panelized wall system was chosen for its ability to incorporate thin brick and simulated limestone appearance and be installed in a fraction of the time it would require for conventional methods.

The composite architectural precast concrete and steel-stud SlenderWall panels provided a turn-key complete envelope system that is more efficient to construct with long-term operational and maintenance benefits. Designed with a combination of cast-in thin-brick and a buff-toned smooth acid-etched simulated limestone finish, the panels complimented the existing healthcare complex.

Smith-Midland partnered with the project team to provide design-assist services which involved weekly design meetings initiated early in the process. This project delivery method allowed for most of the complicated issues related to panelization, aesthetic design, energy codes, and waterproofing to be resolved very early on which mitigated any potential roadblocks that could adversely impact cost and schedule.

The project schedule assumed that the SlenderWall precast panels and the cast-in-place (CIP) floor pours, would be produced at the same productivity rate with the CIP poured during the day and the SlenderWall precast panels installed during the evening. In actuality, the SlenderWall precast panels could be installed at more than twice the rate that the CIP was able to be produced. After identifying this unforeseen schedule conflict, Smith-Midland worked with the contractor to help develop the most efficient plan for phasing the work with an emphasis on minimizing the cost of the assist crane and crew mobilizations, and still providing enough installed panels to support continuous window installation and follow-up trades to continue to do their work on schedule.

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