Size: 46,500
Type: Education
Definition: New
Date Completed: 03/06/2009


Owner – McLennan Community College, Waco, TX
Architect/Designer – RBDR, Waco, TX
Structural Engineer – John Rogers Co., Waco, TX
General Contractor – Mazanec Construction Co., Waco, TX
Masonry Contractor – Brazos Masonry, Inc., Waco, TX
Masonry Supplier – Acme Brick, Temple, TX
Masonry Supplier – Jewell Concrete Products, Waco, TX
Masonry Supplier – Hohmann & Barnard, Ft. Worth, TX

The MAC building is a three story; 93,000 sq. ft. building that was designed on a 131 foot radius. The building is also under review to receive LEED Gold Certification. 19,600 oversized burnished CMU pieces bring strength, beauty, and elegance to a building where leaders of tomorrow are being educated. As you arrive, you stand in awe of the amazing stone and then realize it is not stone at all. The architect carefully used insets and projections coupled with chamfers to develop the appearance of a natural cut-stone building with custom block.

The Brazos Masonry project team approached this job very much like a cut stone project by creating shop drawings in the planning phase. The purpose of the shop drawings was to ensure that all 103 unique shapes were accounted for and manufactured to the exact dimensions required. Precise attention to detail took place on this job as pieces were ordered and delivered as needed to limit congestion and confusion on the busy college campus. A limited amount of space on site did not allow for all material to be delivered in bulk. Stone anchors were utilized for setting many of the CMU assemblies due to the projections, insets, and radius.

The custom block was used as a veneer application for: columns, exterior, interior, window sills, caps, accent bands and at any location where the architect wanted to convey the message of strength. Many challenges faced the craftsmen as most of the project was on a radius. Since the building is built with a structural steel frame, the bending of the lintels that supported the masonry became a problem. As the steel supplier bent the angles to the 131 foot radius, the angles warped. It was very difficult for Mazanec Construction to set and weld the angles at the correct elevation so that the masonry and block would course out.

Brazos Masonry worked closely alongside Mazanec Construction to insure that the warped angles would not interrupt the construction of the building’s façade. Along with the challenge of the radius, magnificent live oak trees that were one hundred-plus years old could not be damaged. To maintain as many of the existing trees on the site as possible, the building was literally designed around them, taking on the curved mass that is evident and which has been the leading design element when laying out the building. Any trees that had to be cut down were harvested and recycled into benches, which are now furniture within the building.

To help meet the changing needs of how students study and interact together, special attention was given to designing a variety of study spaces within the building. McLennan Community College is committed to being “green” not only in their community life, but also in the built environment on their campus. The MAC building has paved the way for this goal, being the first of three new buildings targeting LEED certification.