Camp Shelby Operational Readiness Training Center
2018 Design Award 2nd Place
Gate Precast

Camp Shelby_JTP_5561_edited.jpg

Camp Shelby
3306 Jackson Avenue
Hattiesburg, MS 39407

Project Start Date: 6/22/2012
Precast Erection Start Date: 2/4/2013
Precast Erection Completion Date: 7/20/2013
Substantial Completion Date: 8/23/2014

Total Project Cost: $42,000,000
Square Footage: 198,957 SF

Involved Companies

Precast Concrete Producer

Gate Precast
2440 South Alabama Ave
Monroeville, AL 36460


The Johnson-McAdams Firm
108 W Market St
Greenwood, MS 38930

Precast Concrete Specialty Engineer

Gate Precast
2440 South Alabama Ave
Monroeville, AL 36460


General Contractor

W. G. Yates & Sons
115 Main Street
Biloxi, MS 39530


The project is the first phase for the development of an ORTC (Operational Readiness Training Center) at the state’s main military training facility. The four, four-story total precast barracks are utilized by multiple states for Guard training.

The original allotted area for the facilities was 218,957 square feet and the barrack facilities were to be constructed to house 1,280 soldiers. During the design development, the project’s allotted square footage was reduced by 5,000 square feet per building or approximately 198,957 square feet. This reduction in area was not to have a negative impact on the project’s intended use. The design team was to maintain the 1,280 occupant load and function. This reduction in area without a corresponding reduction in occupant load or function created issues with the design to that date.

The original design was to utilize a structural steel frame with typical framed/veneered envelope. Once the design team had reviewed the space reduction impact, it was evident the required structural support placement would not accommodate the occupant load. The major issue was that required column placement to meet the progressive collapse mandate for the facility interfered with the placement of furniture (mainly beds); thereby reducing the occupant load.

The design team investigated alternate structural systems and determined that a precast facility would be the best solution. Utilizing load-bearing exterior walls as structural elements eliminated the need for additional structural columns. The project’s structural design was revised to utilize precast exterior and interior walls/partitions with some non-structural partitions utilizing ground-faced concrete masonry. Once this structural design path was taken, the design team looked at how they could utilize this system to improve the sustainability of the facility which included using the interior face of the exterior panels as the interior finish for the wall/partition surfaces.

The all-precast solution will be used on Phase Two.

Project Details:

  • The panel configuration for the sandwiched wall panel is 3/3/4 (4” back wythe).

  • Brick inlay, exposed aggregate, limestone finish accents and smooth troweled interior finish

  • Structural frame: Precast.

  • Number of stories – 4

  • Breakdown of one of the four typical barracks (530 pieces):  Exterior base: 12" Wall Panels - 34/ Exterior upper: 10" Wall Panels - 118/ Interior panels: 8" Wall Panels - 165/ Stairs - 18/ 8" flat slab - 32

  • Total pieces for four barracks, mechanical building, smoking hutches, drop off hutches = 2,267 of architectural and structural precast. Heaviest panel is an estimated 45,000 lbs (size is 28’-9” x 14’-9”.)

  • Double Tees - 163 (See Double Tee layout for dimensions)

  • Dimension and explanation of tickets submitted below:

    • 1049 - 13’-11 ¼” x 28’-7 ¼” x 10” - Upper Exterior Wall Panel

    • 1140 - 13’-11 ¼” x 35’-3 ½” x 10” - Upper Exterior Wall Panel w/Large Window Openings

    • 1190 – 13’-10” x 13’-11 ¼” x 8” - Exterior Stair Panel

    • 1200 – 8’-10 ½” x 13’-11 ¼” x 8” - Exterior Stair “Egg” Panel

    • 1211 – 13’-11” x 23’-10” x 8” - Interior Wall Panel

    • 1232 – 14’-8 5/8” x 23’-3 ¼” x 8” - Interior Wall Panel

    • 1271 – 13’-10” x 27’-11 1/8” x 8” - Interior Wall Panel with Door/Elevator Openings

Key Design Challenges

The main design challenge was to incorporate precast panels into a facility required to meet progressive collapse which conformed to UFC 4-023-03 (Uniformed Facilities Criteria, option #1. An individual bottom floor wall panel had to be able to be removed and the building not collapse.  A significant amount of topping reinforcing was required to meet this prescriptive requirement as well. The project was bid as an insulated wall system but the bottom floor panels had a significant amount of solid zones because of the progressive collapse requirements. The design team worked with numerous engineers within the precast industry prior to contract award and then reviewed the design with the precast manufacturer once the construction contract was awarded.

Coordination meetings were held at the precast manufacturing facility and involved the complete design team, contractors (general and sub), and the precaster’s engineering team. Utilizing the precast panels with integral electrical conduits and outlet boxes along with pre-placed openings for ductwork passage expedited construction at site. With all surfaces of the panels being utilized as finished project surfaces the normal end-of-project slow down associated with interior finishing was eliminated.

Innovations and accomplishments
Utilization of precast panels as the main structural component of a facility that meets progressive collapse design, as well as the lateral stability of the building is the main design innovation of the project.

Another design innovation was the utilization of both sides of the panels as finished surfaces. This reduced construction time and cost by eliminating secondary interior finishing.


The precast components offer a number of sustainable design concepts that meet the military’s LEED requirements.

  • The project was built to be a 100-year plus facility. The all precast project extends the life cycle of the facility and withstands even the most extreme Gulf Coast weather conditions. The barracks were built to be used for housing during hurricane events. The facility has generators that run all systems.

  • Project was designed to LEED standards

  • Project had enhanced commissioning

  • Project had laminate solar panels on roofs

  • Precast panels reduced job-site waste

  • Storm water was captured, stored, and used for soldier equipment wash

  • All materials were obtained within 500 miles of the site. Fewer raw materials were used in the embedded thin brick, brick firing costs were reduced and more brick was able to fit on a flatbed truck resulting in fewer trucks on the road and less fuel consumption.

  • The precast concrete wall system used integral sandwich insulation (3-3-4) and provides thermally efficient walls with an R-value of R-13 which exceeds ASHRAE 90.1 and helped accelerate the design and construction schedules. These panels offer both an interior vapor and moisture barrier.

  • The precast concrete panels, which utilized both precast exterior and interior wall finishes, were cast and cured off-site which eliminated any dust or airborne contaminants from drying or curing compounds during the construction phase which improved construction site air quality.