Moss Johns Residence Halls

Moss Johns Residence Halls

Moss Hall and Johns Hall at Longwood University were excellent candidates for renovation and adaptive re-use. Rather than demolish the 50-year-old, 10-story residence halls, the university in Farmville, Va., chose to use an insulated precast, brick-faced panel system that closely mimicked the campus’ historical aesthetics. The facade solution retained the structures’ welcoming appearance and earned the project honors in Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute’s 2021 design awards competition. 

 “A traditional masonry wall and precast trim wall system could not have been constructed within the scheduled time. The delay would have cost the project over $1 million in lost revenues and other soft costs and negatively affected the university on-campus student housing portfolio.” 

– Thomas Frisbie-Fulton, Longwood Housing Foundation LLC (owner)

The self-supporting precast concrete cladding system provided the buildings with beauty, structural capability and excellent thermal performance (Thermomass NC gave the system a high R-value) on a demanding schedule. To work through the various challenges during the façade replacement, GATE Precast provided design-assistance to Little Diversified Architectural Consulting and Franck & Lohsen Architects and used BIM software to develop the final detailing of the building envelope. 

 “The precast producer was brought on early to provide design-assist services as the construction documents were finalized. This allowed for the smooth development and approval of shop drawings, so that the production of the panels could be accelerated to meet the project schedule.” 

– Richard Naab, Little Diversified Architectural Consulting, Arlington, Va.

The decision to renovate the buildings with an insulated precast concrete exterior system saved both time and money, while retaining the welcoming appearance of the structures.

The precast panels stack on the foundation and tie back to the existing steel frame, reducing the required load on the framing. The 3-in. exterior wythes feature a variety of significant buildups, including cornices, false columns and other decorative pieces to create visual interest and serve as an interesting “gateway” to the campus.

 “From the beginning, the university wanted the renovated buildings to have a traditional design esthetic that would be sensitive to the architecture of the campus. Precast concrete panels provided a cost- effective way to deliver the intricate detailing demanded of the design. Durability and precision were provided with factory controlled production that delivered the panels to the job precisely when they were needed.” 

– Richard Naab, Little Diversified Architectural Consulting, Arlington, Va.


Farmville, VA

Little Diversified Architectural Consulting and Franck & Lohsen Architects


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