G8WAY DC: A thin and lightweight roof


G8WAY DC, a new, multi-use facility in Washington, DC has a lightweight Ductal® UHPC roof that provides shelter below and a large, landscaped area above, where visitors can relax and enjoy views of the U.S. capital.


This new, 16,000 ft2 open-air venue is intended for casual dining, a farmers' market and community and cultural events. Designed by the architectural firm of Davis Brody Bond, the spacious pavilion spreads over a two-acre plot on the east campus of the historic Saint Elizabeths Hospital (built in 1852); a first step in the city's master plan vision to transform the 180-acre campus into a mixed-use development.

With its sculpture-like quality, the soaring Ductal® roof (approx. 400 ft long x 25 ft high x 60 ft wide at its broadest point) seems to transcend the utilitarian facility creating an artistic statement. Originally conceived as a temporary structure, Ductal® was chosen because of its ability to produce thin (1¾ inch), lightweight precast roof panels that could be easily removed in future (today however, the design team hopes it will remain a permanent facility). Other project requirements included: special surface finishing, imperviousness (waterproof), structural performance, durability and customized shapes.

Furthermore, the project architect (Cody McNeal) notes that it was the "meticulous attention to detail" demonstrated by the panel producer, Gate Precast that, "solidified the success of the Ductal® panels. They often went above and beyond their contractual obligations to ensure the panels were cast, handled and installed correctly".

A Grand Opening

On October 23rd, Washington Mayor Vincent C. Gray, along with DC government officials, community leaders and members of the design and construction team celebrated the opening of the G8WAY DC - with an official ribbon cutting ceremony.

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