Unique geometrical shapes create a great looking installation
The Eisenhower Avenue sound wall is located in Alexandria, Virginia. In coordination with GeoStructures, Smith-Midland Corporation provided the design, fabrication, and installation of a soundwall at the perimeter for this project. The upscale town home living complex is located at 2900 Eisenhower Avenue. Smith-Midland worked to install 10,000 feet of reflective pre-cast noise wall created with geometric form liners.
Challenges of this project included creating a nice-looking sound wall, as it is behind a WMATA rail yard, and acquiring WMATA approval of the sound wall construction.
The sound-wall borders the WMATA railyard and construction was within the influence of train tracks. Therefore, wall design and approval were governed by the WMATA Adjacent Construction Project Manual. GeoStructures and Smith-Midland worked closely with HITT Contracting to obtain the required permits.
This required submitting work plans and crane lift plans which were reviewed by WMATA. Before construction could proceed, there were two on-site meetings with WMATA to review construction methods and safety. During construction a WMATA representative was on site daily, to coordinate crane operations with passing rail traffic. Regarding aesthetics of the sound wall, a ribbed form liner finish on the residential side and a rake finish on the WMATA side was used. The colored concrete mix and a light acid etching was applied to the residential side panels for a rustic look.
By combining special aggregates with cement as a binder, in a specific and exacting process, Smith-Midland’s sound wall material surpasses other combinations in durability, acoustics, thermal, strength and moldability. Smith-Midland provides assistance in installation techniques, as well as overseeing component assembly, which ensures the most efficient way to optimize quality and product performance. Smith-Midland sound wall products come in standard, custom and highly intricate designs, varying textures and different colors to meet specific architectural requirements.
Other who participated in this sound wall build include Rushmark Properties of Falls Church, Virginia; HITT Contracting, Inc. of Falls Church, Virginia; Hord Coplan Macht, LLC of Baltimore, Maryland; and ECS Mid-Atlantic, LLC of Chantilly, Virginia.
Providing protection and keeping the neighbors happy
To serve a nearby data center expansion on Smith Switch Road in Ashburn, Virginia, Dominion Energy constructed a new power substation with a 200 MW load capacity. The project is located within multiple industrial and warehouse complexes. To soften the view, reduce noise and protect the facility from intrusions, Smith-Midland, engineered, manufactured and installed a precast concrete sound wall system.
The final installation consisted of 62 precast concrete channeled posts and over 28,000 square feet of 20' x 8' modular precast concrete sound panels. Each panel was formed using an ashlar stone style mold for a more natural look and then stained in a neutral color to blend into the landscape.
SoftSound Chosen for Major Transportation Infrastructure Project
SoftSound, Smith-Midland’s absorptive sound wall product is being applied to precast sound panels manufactured as part of the new Washington, DC to Dulles International Airport Metro Rail commuter system expansion. During Phase 1 of this multi-year Virginia DOT project, 2191 panels (277,000 sq. ft.) of sound wall are being installed along a section of the Dulles Commuter Road from Route 123 to Interstate 66 in Fairfax County. The superior absorptive qualities of SoftSound will play an integral part in protecting the adjacent residential neighborhoods from the noise of both the highway traffic and the newly constructed Metro Rail line that will run down the center median. SMC will be delivering up to 4,000 sq. ft. per day, completing Phase 1 installation in early 2015.
Design Build project at Smithsonian National Zoological Park
General Contractors Hensel Phelps and Athena Construction Group worked with Smith-Midland to manufacturer the 850 foot long x 30 foot high simulated stone retaining wall for the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, DC. M & J Welding completed the welding and wall erection.
Originally designed to be cast in place, Hensel Phelps rethought the process, proposing a design-build project involving the use of a shotcrete wall, and placement of precast concrete panels as a facing. The panels were cast and hand-stained to mimic the look and color variations of a natural stone wall, matching the stone wall located on the nearby Rock Creek Parkway. The wall has all the color variations of a natural wall, and is a permanent penetrating stain that will last indefinitely.
The panels were erected using a crane, and were connected to the shotcrete wall with stainless steel plates and anchors. Seven panels were set per shift, which equaled one panel set per hour. Speed of construction was fast.
The forefront of highway sound wall technology
In 1980, Smith-Midland Corporation pioneered the use of precast concrete highway sound walls in the United States. Sierra Wall, the first one-piece precast concrete column and panel system, quickly became the gold standard in the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond.
Now Smith-Midland and its licensing subsidiary Easi-Set Worldwide are proud to introduce the Sierra Wall II, which features a fully integrated, one-piece, pre-stressed extended column and sound panel. The inclusion of the foundation portion of the column, which extends up to 24 feet or more into the earth, sets Sierra Wall II apart from its competition. According to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials guidelines, this patented design eliminates the need for costly heavy-steel reinforcing cages around the pre-stressed foundation portion of the column.
The combined strength of the integrated supporting/foundation column and panel delivers the highest quality and lowest cost highway sound wall ever offered. The one-piece design also eliminates thousands of linear feet of panel joints, adding significantly to its sound attenuating capacity versus competitive sound wall systems.
Sierra Wall II is available worldwide for licensing to qualified precasters. Smith-Midland and Easi-Set Worldwide fully expect Sierra Wall II to be as successful as its J-J Hooks highway safety barrier, a runaway success, with licensed manufacturers in 37 states and 8 countries. Like J-J Hooks Barrier, Sierra Wall II was engineered to be the industry’s highest performance and lowest cost-to-manufacture sound wall product available on the market.