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Re: Unusual precast wall panels

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This building was constructed in 1938, in Burbank. The voids are not grouted from what I can tell. We've not taken any sections apart and what I know is based on climbing through the attic, the underfloor area and using a pacometer. There does appear to be some grout at the door jambs, but there are also ribs at the jambs, so the observed grout may be no more than mortar used to finish face. There appears to be a mechanical attachment cast into the ribs so when they nestle together, the two faces are connected. I've only seen one side of this mechanical concoction, but it appears to be a stud with a very flat head, and I suspect that a slotted bracket slides over it.

The pacometer seems to indicate joint reinforcing at each face, both vert and horizontal, but it would have to consist of a heavy gage wire or thin pencil rods. The mechanical connections cast into the ribs appear to be at about 10 inch centers. and occur at the vertical joints only. It's the first of it's kind I've seen and I'd love to learn a bit more about it.

Steve P

On 6/26/2003 7:37 AM after considerable forethought, Nels Roselund, SE wrote:


Is the void between the shells grouted?  Do you know when it was built?  Is
there hardware that interconnects the wythes?  How thick are the walls?

There is a commercial building in Pasadena, a church in Pasadena, and a
residence in South Pasadena built in the 19-teens or 1920's using what was
called the Lockstone system [developed by a Mr. Lockwood]: walls are about
8" thick built with precast panels about 1-1/4" thick, that are smaller than
yours, interconnected by heavy-wire hardware, no ribs on the panels, and the
void between wythes filled solid with concrete -- the panels are like
permanent concrete forms.  It looks like URM, but was judged by the City of
Pasadena as cast-in-place concrete and not subject to their URM Ordinance.

Nels Roselund
Structural Engineer
South San Gabriel, CA

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