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85 Exchange

Summarize the project's program, features and achievements?

The 198,548 square foot project was built as a speculative industrial facility capable of accommodating multiple tenants, with Amazon as a target prospect. The building's main features are the protruding ACM shroud elements which incorporate recessed, linear LED lighting to create halo illumination. Also featured is wood plank textured form liner, offset panels extending beyond the primary corner features, and similar center entry treatments. This building demonstrates the latest tilt-up concrete technology and capabilities with a simple reveal design, form liner textures with bold colored coatings and ACM wrapped canopies. The architectural language demonstrates relief through varying heights of the panels, panel overlaps, and the symmetrical reveal and hierarchy of the paint pattern taking full advantage of the site orientation facing one of the premier intersections in Concord.

What obstacles were overcome related to the schedule, budget, program, specification, site, etc. on this project?

The primary obstacle that we overcame was convincing the Town Planning Board that a building constructed with tilt-up concrete panels would be appropriate for this premier and very prominent site in Concord. At the re-zoning hearings, we had not designed the buildings yet so we shared representative images of similar buildings. However, the board denied our proposal for the first round. Reasons for the denial were centered on concerns that the buildings would not embody the historical and traditional brick veneer, colonial style of the older building in town. So, we decided that we would continue to pursue a modern design despite their concerns. The following monthly meeting, we presented our actual design with photo-realistic renderings. We also invited the County's Economic Development representatives to speak and they advocated for our modern design stating that the sophisticated tenants were not looking for traditional brick buildings. Instead, they demanded modern design using top quality construction-specifically tilt-up concrete. Our arguments were compelling and we gained their approval to proceed with the project.

Please communicate any engineering complexities or unique features of the panel design for this project?

Project was on a tight schedule including design and shop drawing review. Challenges were large openings, spandrel panels which required temporary lifting legs, fin panels, and double panels requiring creative connection methods. Our structural engineers at WGPM were able to accommodate layering of various panel thicknesses, and along with cantilevered canopy features and light gauge framing for the ACM shroud elements which followed our design intent and compliment the tilt concrete base building. Project was on a tight schedule including design and shop drawing review. Other challenges were large openings, spandrel panels which required temporary lifting legs, fin panels, and double panels requiring creative connection methods.

What is the potential for this project's impact on the community and/or environment?

The success of this building (now leased by Amazon) paves the way for six additional buildings in the master planned park creating a new distribution and light manufacturing hub for the Town of Concord which promises to provide high wage jobs and attract top tier tenants. In addition, these tilt-up concrete structures are sustainably built to outlast many other buildings which often incorporate inferior materials of questionable longevity.

Main banner image for 85 Exchange

Project Location

Concord, NC 28027
United States

Project Images


Project Team (TCA Members)

General Contractor:
Concrete Contractor:
Merriman Schmitt Architects, Inc.
Carlo Pieroni

Project Specifics

Project Category:
Building Types:
Applied Ornament
Paint (Textured)
Cantilevered Panels
Shadow Panels
Stacked Panels
Number of Floors:
Number of Panels:
90 panels
Total Floor Area:
198,549 sq ft (18,445 sq m)
Project Footprint:
198,549 sq ft (18,445 sq m)
Tallest Panel:
49 ft 0 in (14.94 m)
Widest Panel:
26 ft 8 in (8.13 m)
Largest Panel:
1,306 sq ft (121.3 sq m)
Heaviest Panel:
156,720 lbs (71,087 kg)
Longest Spandrel:
19 ft 3 in (5.87 m)