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5900 E Ben White

Summarize the project's program, features and achievements?

5900 E Ben White, situated near Austin's airport, raises the bar when it comes to modern, innovative Distribution facilities. Dramatic semi-detached "floating" entry panels exemplify a mastery of concrete design, engineering and construction. Meticulously executed, cast-in place thin brick contrasts with simple exposed-edge concrete panels to create a playful design solution. Sloped site topography design challenges resulted in raised entry porches with terraced wrap-around landscape planters, further enhancing exterior appeal. Overall, this project, consisting of three individual buildings, elevates a basic warehouse building to the next level in cutting-edge concrete design and construction.

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

Sloped site topography with 4' cut/fill limitations created challenges with large building footprints and deep truck docks. Elevated entrances on east end of site required a series of stairs and ramps to meet accessibility requirements. Thin brick availability created scheduling issues. Some brick had to be post-applied in lieu of cast into the panels.

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

The 18" thick semi-detached entry feature panels with large voids (to help reduce weight) were stitched together with embedded steel tubes. Traditional panel bracing had to be modified to work around the embedded steel tubes, not to mention the difficulty lifting the weight of the heavy panels. Close coordination between structural engineer and general contractor was required in the field to resolve.

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

Highly visible project on a busy highway brings a fresh, modern update to an older industrial area.

Main banner image for 5900 E Ben White

Project Location

Austin, TX 78741
United States

Project Images


Project Team (TCA Members)

General Contractor:
Concrete Contractor:
McFarland Architecture

Project Specifics

Project Category:
Building Types:
Distribution Center
Brick (Thin)
Paint (Textured)
Post Applied (Interior)
Number of Floors:
Number of Panels:
244 panels
Total Floor Area:
263,226 sq ft (24,454 sq m)
Tallest Panel:
60 ft 6 in (18.44 m)
Widest Panel:
29 ft 11 in (9.12 m)
Largest Panel:
1,635 sq ft (151.9 sq m)
Heaviest Panel:
224,720 lbs (101,931 kg)
Tallest Cantilever:
65 ft 0 in (19.81 m)
Longest Spandrel:
21 ft 9 in (6.63 m)