Outfitting the Outdoor Store
As one of the world’s foremost outdoor gear outfitters, Cabela’s facilities have to be big enough to showcase a little bit of everything, and the Lehi, Utah, store – the company’s 13th – certainly delivered. Visitors have access to a restaurant, a conservation mountain, water falls, an extensive gun library, an arcade-shooting gallery, a conference center, a wildlife museum, and a 35,000 gallon walk-through aquarium – all vital to the Cabela’s experience.
The building’s designers, Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, had three main requirements for the walls on the project. First, the building envelope had to match the owner’s desire for a rustic, earth-toned, sandblasted finish. Second, the panels had to be structural load-bearing walls to allow for as much interior open space as possible. The final requirement for integrally-insulated sandwich panels was based on Cabela’s commitment to sustainable design and energy-efficiency.
Built by Okland Construction of Salt Lake City, the project features insulated precast panels from Forterra, also of Salt Lake City.
With extensive experience in commercial precast, integrally insulated sandwich wall panels, and integral concrete color; Forterra was able to meet all of the building envelope goals. Its staff developed a special colored concrete mix using local sands and aggregates. They also perfected a consistent method of sandblasting that produced a quality rustic appearance for the wall panels.
For the panels’ insulation, Forterra chose Thermomass System SC based on more than two decades of using various Thermomass systems to produce energy-efficient sandwich-wall panels throughout the inter-mountain region.
For the Cabela’s project, Forterra paired the System SC insulation with two pre-stressed layers of concrete. By using composite wall panels, Forterra reduced the amount of necessary concrete and reinforcing steel, thereby reducing the overall panel thickness and weight, while still providing Cabela’s with a wall insulating value of R-20.
The end result was a 12-inch composite sandwich wall panel, with 5 inches of interior concrete, 2 inches of extruded polystyrene insulation, and 5 inches of exterior integrally colored concrete, supporting a steel roof and more than a few exposed logs.
Construction Schedule Advantages
Forterra fabricated the sandwich panels on a 240 foot pre-stressing bed where multiple panels per day could be poured. Simultaneous work was done at the jobsite by Okland Construction while the panels were being prepared.
After the footings were placed and the site ready, the 255 precast panels were shipped to the site and erected in only 17 days. These panels had an average size of 12 feet wide by 38 feet tall.
With a little help from Thermomass and a dedicated group of experienced project partners, the Lehi Cabela’s is able to offer anything and everything for the outdoor enthusiast, and the completed store definitely fits in with its rugged mountain surroundings.