The Wah Luck House is a 10-story 153-unit apartment tower and cultural center that provides housing for families and the elderly of the Capital's Chinese community while also serving as a cultural focal point. Erection of the high-rise apartment tower was completed at a rate of one complete floor every two working days. This rapid construction pace was accomplished through the use of a patented building system employing factory production-line techniques for making prestressed and precast elements at a plant in Cleveland and assembling kitchen/bathroom "hear modules" in Akron. These elements were trucked to the site, lifted into place and joined together with reinforcing steel and site-poured concrete.
The procedure used in constructing Wah Luck House employed several factory-built subsystems:
- The heart module for each of the apartments contained a finished kitchen and bathroom, plumbing and electrical distribution, as well as the unit heating system. These were built on 8-inch-thick precast concrete slabs and were 90 percent finished upon leaving the plant.
- Structural units included 4-inch-thick prestressed, precast floors, load bearing walls, balconies and stairs. Walls were cast in forms with integral void-forming mandrels designed to minimize precast mass.
- Non-load-bearing exterior walls built with metal studs and sheathing were shipped complete with windows and sliding glass doors. Interior partition walls were of similar construction.
- Elevator cores were precast one-story-high units set one on top of the other as the building was erected. They contained elevator doors, rails, call buttons and wiring.