Two Marriott hotels near Orlando, Fla.'s Mall at Millenia are being built within a single structure as part of a dual-brand hotel concept made possible, in part, by the adaptability of precast. Completion of the $21 million Springhill Suites and Residence Inn at Millenia-Orlando is expected in early 2018.

The connected hotels, which share a lobby, back-of-house space and other amenities, were designed by L2 Studios and are being built by WELBRO Building Corp., both of Orlando. Ultimately, Gate Precast will produce and install 158,841 square feet of 8-inch hollow core precast and 6,156 square feet of 8-inch solid slab structural precast for the project.

Despite sharing a building space, the two hotels are distinctly different - unlike its counterpart, Springhill Suites calls for numerous cantilevered, pre-stressed solid slabs to achieve a "faux balcony" appearance along the building's exterior. The slabs - some reaching 30 feet 8 inches in length - are directly connected to the hollow core panels that comprise the remainder of the flooring for both hotels.

Gate is trucking the precast pieces from its Jacksonville plant for "just in time" delivery to the site. "It has been important to stay on top of the project sequencing to ensure that the panels are delivered when needed and that the project is not delayed," says Gate project manager Ashley Bonner. He expects to finish precast erection this month.

Jeremy Bain, senior project manager at WELBRO, says Gate's constructability input helped identify cost savings in some instances. "Gate assisted with budgeting and coordination of the trades, which are typically the biggest challenges that we encounter on any project," Bain adds. "For example, Gate showed us how to use hollow core instead of solid slabs in some areas, thereby enabling us to keep in line with the budget."