PUMPS BUILD MIAMI AREA A “VILLAGE WITHIN A CITY”

On May 21, 2004, Florida Concrete Unlimited, Inc. was just getting started on “what might be one of the largest foundations heard of,” according to Operations Manager Jason Goff. “We’ve poured about 5,000 yards so far and have a long, long way to go.”

That was over one year ago. The mammoth task of pumping an estimated 70,000 yards of tremmie concrete over a 7.5 acre footprint turned out to be only a portion of a giant mixed-use development project requiring an estimated 450,000 yards of concrete.

The Miami area’s newest mixed-use luxury complex, Downtown Dadeland, has been dubbed “A Village Within a City,” and owner/developer Gulfside Development, Miami, FL, hopes it will provide an aesthetically pleasing escape from its downtown surroundings. The project site will eventually accommodate seven mixed-use ten-story buildings. Several retail and restaurant establishments have already signed on to occupy approximately 125,000 total square feet of grade-level space within each of the seven buildings. Each building will also offer 416 residential condominiums on floors two through seven, with the exception of the site’s southernmost building, which will house the residents’ recreation level. Two levels of below grade parking will provide nearly 1,0000 spaces for both residents and patrons of Downtown Dadeland.

Despite the area’s ready mix shortages and the construction challenges associated with Florida’s high water table, the team is on track to accommodate the occupancy deadline late in the fourth quarter of 2005. Lowell Dack, Owner/Partner of the Downtown Dadeland project, credits cooperation between general contractor Bob L. Moss & Associates, Inc., Fort Lauderdale, FL, Florida Concrete, and the project’s several subcontractors with keeping the project on schedule.

Beginning in April of 2004, contractors drilled 2,000 auger-cast sheet piles, each measuring 100 by 200 feet, into the soft Florida earth. To create a temporary barrier from water infiltration, Florida Concrete provided two of their Schwing KVM 55 truck-mounted boom pumps to pour an estimated 70,000 yards of concrete through 20 feet of tremmie pipe supported by crane.

“Our production was drastically hindered due to a local ready mix shortage in the early phases of the project,” says Goff. Rinker Materials Corporation, headquartered in West Palm Beach, FL, has supplied over ninety percent of the job’s concrete thus far, but was strapped for materials. The supplier was forced to subcontract out to agencies that had access to the materials necessary to the Downtwon Dadeland site. “They were just as eager as we were to fulfill their contract and meet the deadlines,” says Goff. Despite the shortage, Florida Concrete’s pumps were on site three times a week, diligently pumping anywhere from 500 to 2,000 yards each day.

Upon completion of the tremmie pours in early 2005, remaining excess water was pumped out and a waterproofing membrane was installed. This allowed contractors to proceed with the underground parking garage.

The two-level, 1,000-space parking garage requires an estimated total 100,000 yards of pumped concrete. As portions of the garage reach grade level, Florida Concrete’s pumps are currently completing multiple slab on grade foundation pours, which in turn allows them to proceed with building construction. Goff estimates each building will require upwards of 40,000 yards of concrete apiece.

Despite daily variations in pour schedules, Goff says the same three pumps are now dispatched to the site. “We set up one – sometimes two depending on the day – of our 61-meter pumps on an access road on the east side of the site, where there’s plenty of room for maneuverability, set up and ready mix access. We use our 47-meter to complete pours from the west side, where the set up area is a little tighter.”

With curved Super X outriggers, the Schwing S 47 SX and S 61 SX supply long boom reach with the maneuverability and minimal set up requirements of shorter truck-mounted boom pumps. They also enjoy the benefits of Schwing’s Overhead Roll and Fold boom design, which allows the first boom section to be angled away from the pour and remaining three sections to be inserted deep into pour zones. Florida Concrete has elected to upsize their pumps to take advantage of the extra reach without any loss of volume through the 4.5-inch diameter pipeline.

“We‘re thrilled with the performance of these pumps. This is a huge contract and it requires uptime, non-stop performance,” says Goff. “On any given day, we could be pouring a foundation or completing a deck for of one of these buildings, and the pumps have got to be versatile enough to handle a lot of different conditions and mix variations. They’ve performed to the best of our expectations so far in this project.”

As of this past April, Florida Concrete was awaiting approval from site engineers to set up their S 61 SX on the second elevated deck of one of the site’s partially completed structures. From this set up location, the pump will be able to complete deck pours on an adjacent building. Ready mix trucks supply the pump by access ramp.

As construction on the seven-story structures progresses, Florida Concrete will continue to find creative ways to maximize the reach of the 47-meter boom. Goff says they will remain dependent on the 197 feet of vertical reach provided by their S 61 SX boom pumps for completion of vertical wall pours and decks.