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Capitalizing On Cooperative Connections


When choosing a precast concrete supplier, owners and contractors usually have similar concerns. Is the supplier reliable? Do they produce a quality product? Will they work well with our team? Will the price be right? 

The ownership behind the new Broad Institute at 75 Ames in Cambridge, MA, found a precast supplier that eases each of those concerns. 

Strescon Limited—a serious player in the precast concrete market for over 50 years—has gained a reputation for high-quality products at competitive prices. While that alone has made it an attractive option for a number of high-profile projects in the New England area, another trick up its sleeve is the synergy with one of its sister companies, Ocean Steel.

In early 2013, Ocean composed the steel skeleton of the 375k SF, 15-story 75 Ames without having to take the time to check in and coordinate with an unfamiliar partner, thanks to its relationship with Strescon. 

“Competitors don’t have a partnership like this,” Strescon’s Gerald Grassby tells Bisnow. “We can provide customers the option of a one-stop shop for precast concrete and structural steel. Ocean Steel has been in business over 60 years. They’re a big player. When we bring our services together, there is clearly more synergy on the job site.” Together, the pair is able to deliver an efficient, precast erection of projects. 

When Strescon teams up with Ocean Steel, an extra boost of construction site synergy happens. Both members of the OSCO Construction Group, their harmonious relationship becomes a huge bonus for owners and contractors. The time and coordination required to make a project flow smoothly is dramatically decreased, which results in lower costs and a quicker build.


Non-structural architectural precast panels are attached to structural steel frames via steel connections cast into the panels. The trick is that the connections have to line up in exactly the right spots. Coordinating this takes time and time is money. 

The duo’s recent accomplishments include more than the 460 precast units at 75 Ames. The pair also supplied the steel structure and the architectural precast concrete for AvalonBay Communities’ 32-story residential tower. The 500k SF building holds about 400 residential units at 45 Stuart St in Boston

For this project, Strescon and Ocean Steel collaborated to install thousands of individual precast connections via meetings, preliminary drawing packages and a real-time 3D model. Strescon supplied the panels, while Ocean Steel supplied the connections. 

Gerald describes the duo as a “well-oiled machine” and points out that Strescon easily adapts when working outside of the OSCO framework. "Sometimes we do things as a team and sometimes we don’t," Gerald says. "We work hand-in-hand with outside structural steel suppliers all the time, and are known for taking a team approach to all of our projects,” he tells us.

“However, when you get into larger projects, you can truly see how valuable being a part of an in-house team can be.” 

To learn more about this Bisnow content partner and how it ensures structures are built with precision and strength click here.