Toyota North America Benefits from Lightweight Block

by Steve Rowe, Trinity Lightweight

Akio Toyoda, the president of Toyota Motor Corporation, charged Corgan Associates Architects with creating a campus that would sustain the next 50 years. The 2.1 million square foot facility is comprised of 7 buildings thoughtfully arranged around a courtyard setting. The Toyota North American Headquarters in Plano, TX is one of the largest LEED Platinum certified structures in the world. This distinction was accomplished in part by utilizing sustainable, local materials.

Lightweight aggregate provided by Trinity Lightweight is an integral part of the 310,000 lightweight CMU used in the construction of this facility. Featherlite Block/Dallas manufactured the lightweight units to comply with the 104 PCF specifications. These lightweight CMU contributed to the owner’s bottom line savings through decreased freight costs, increased mason production and a reduced construction time.

Lightweight CMU typically weigh 20–30% less than normal weight block. More units can be transported per truck thus decreasing the total number of truckloads on roadways. In addition, fuel costs are decreased and there are fewer fuel emissions released into the environment.

Mason production on this project was increased due to the fact that more lightweight units were installed per man, per day as opposed to normal weight CMU. This resulted in shortening the total construction time required to complete the masonry portion of this project.

The above considerations only address a few of the many benefits of adding lightweight aggregate to the mix. Also consider the increased fire rating applications. Eight-inch lightweight CMU achieve a two-hour fire rating as opposed to one-hour for the same size normal weight unit.

The virtues of lightweight CMU really do add up, so consider specifying lightweight block on your next project. Your clients will thank you for adding to their bottom line and the masons will thank you for a lighter work load.