Banishing two boring facades, a pair of office buildings in Los Angeles become a collaborative, indoor/outdoor playground with the creation of the i|o @ Playa Vista campus. Roll-up doors now open onto vibrant courtyards with outdoor meeting cabanas while pop-out balconies and covered decks are new open-air workspaces. Connecting all of these areas together is a commanding external staircase that defines the facade.
Seeking a material to complement the staircase’s steel stringers and risers, the architects turned to Stepstone, Inc. for their precast concrete Steptreads. "The precast advantage is strength," says Patty Muldoon, the Stairtread Division Manager. "Our Steptread product is highly engineered, with a 5,000 PSI rating that meets building codes for both standard and long-span treads. Each Steptread also offers numerous safety and design options to accommodate the needs of commercial or residential applications."
Beyond durability, Stepstone strives to provide a versatile product that allows architects to customize aspects of the size, color, and finish according to their design vision. "Steptreads are handmade and wet cast, giving our team a lot of flexibility to accommodate the needs of each project," explains Muldoon. "We offer made-to-measure span lengths, and we can adjust riser heights in eighth-of-an-inch increments. Our non-slip finishes range from a light sandblast to heavier options for more exposed aggregate, and in addition to more than a dozen standard colors, we can also match our treads to products from other manufacturers, including those that use Scofield colors."
Compared to a poured-in-place concrete staircase, precast stair treads also offer other advantages for high-traffic, long-term use. "Our Steptreads generally don’t reveal wear patterns or deterioration over time," Muldoon explains. "However, if one does need to be replaced, an individual unit can be removed pretty easily."
Other products from Stepstone, including precast concrete stair landings, pedestal set pavers, and Large Scale CalArc pavers, create a cohesive look between the stairs, balconies, and entryway. "Our products add a little embellishment, helping to highlight the steel staircase and outdoor walkways as focal points," says Muldoon.
Not just for sunny California, Steptreads are also appropriate for a variety of climates. "Our products are used across the country and up into Canada," adds Muldoon. "Just by the nature of precast concrete it's already very dense and durable. Yet, for any area north of the sunbelt and especially for those that experience harsh winter weather, we automatically take extra steps to protect the concrete and help with air entrainment or water penetration."
For more information about Stepstone’s products, including Steptreads and pavers, please visit their website.
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