Largest Project in Midwest Moves Quickly for Opus Using Ready-Mix Firms that Pump

The new Best Buy corporate campus, a whopping 1.5 million square feet of office, parking, and recreational space, is currently under construction in Richfield, Minnesota at the intersection of I-35 and I-494. Architectural and Engineering departments of Opus Northwest Construction Corporation are heading up the operation. Two ready-mix suppliers with pumps are speeding the process.

The complex is the consolidation of 17 Best Buy corporate office locations into one 37-acre corporate campus. The project includes the construction of two six-story and two eight-story office buildings consisting of steel frames, concrete floors and decks, and architectural pre-cast elements. Other accompanying facilities, including a 250 seat auditorium, a child care center and an employee wellness center are also being developed within a 100,000 square foot centralized commons area known as the hub. A 15-acre cast in place parking ramp will accommodate workers and visitors..

Opus contracted Cemstone Ready Mix to supply and pump concrete for the decks of the four office structures and the hub. Commercial Sales Manager Jeff Claude was one of several crew members on the site, and estimated that Cemstone operators and Opus placing crews pumped 32,000 cubic yards of lightweight concrete.

Cemstone used Schwing 39X and S 47 SX truck-mounted pumps with 4-section placing booms on the deck pours for the office buildings and the hub. Claude explained that the use of one pump over another for a pour was dependent on which pump could fit into a space limited by surrounding construction. The 39X offers the contractor a particular advantage. With the longest boom reach available on a three-axle truck, the Schwing model with X-Style outriggers could maneuver on the crowded site. The 47-meter is equipped with curved front outriggers that easily telescope out and around job site obstructions.. Crews used both pumps, sometimes simultaneously on separate buildings, to finish two to three floors at a time. This procedure allowed interior construction crews and electricians to complete their work according to the project schedule.

The huge parking ramp, centered on the campus and designed to accommodate 7,000 cars was another project that was pumped “With the 22 percent slope and the elevation, we needed to pump the concrete. It was the only way to do it,” said Opus ramp project supervisor Duane Anderson.

Opus contracted AVR, Inc., a ready-mix supplier with its own extensive pumping fleet, to complete the massive structure. AVR began purchasing pumping equipment in the late 1970’s and is a pioneer of the supplier/pumper contractor. Footings were laid on August 1, 2001. Walters and Anderson estimated that AVR’s on-site equipment, including Schwing S 45 SX and KVM 39X boom pumps, completed three to four pours per week, sometimes as quickly as 550 yards in 4 1/2 hours. Both pumps have the reach to finish most of the massive slab pours. The S 45 SX, like the 47-meter, features the Super X curved front outriggers for easy maneuverability around obstructions. Anderson attributes high production levels to AVR’s pumping equipment as well as innovative form systems manufactured by Simons.

Walters said that after this work with AVR, Opus will continue to work with concrete suppliers who own their own pumps. “They have a vested interest in the project. We deal with the same operator and the same people throughout the project.”

The ramp will be completed in mid-September. The occupancy deadline for two of the office buildings is December 1st, while the hub is estimated for completion in February 2003.