SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Construction projects can take time. Huge projects almost feel as if they take forever to complete…Well, at least it appears that way when we drive by them. A typical construction team tends to face serious adversity or is usually challenged by time when tackling a project. One of those challenging factors is sometimes just the sheer size of the job.
As the new year rang in, a local construction business found themselves trying to beat the cold, taking advantage of Utah’s late winter and attempting to pour in a very large concrete foundation as quickly as possible.
Concrete is one of human’s oldest construction materials; dating back to the era of ancient Greeks and Romans. In fact, it was even considered as an early construction milestone as men dedicated long hours to building the Roman Pantheon back in 125 A.D.
Concrete was also used to help detect enemy aircraft during World War II, as engineers often crafted large concrete slabs with attached microphones called ‘sound mirrors’. According to historians, these cement walls were capable of detecting incoming planes from 27 miles away!
Though challenges didn’t change much in 2000 years, we still have to face them, such as pouring the heavy mixture and waiting for it fully dry.
This year, Utah’s Big-D Construction faced a modern-day challenge: Pouring a 30-inch-thick concrete foundation across 8100 yards. It was for an apartment complex in the city, 3rd west and between 5th and 6th south
To get an idea of how much cement this is, a yard of cement will cover an area of 81 square feet, 4-inches thick. Even at their previous best, Big-D had only managed 5,600 yards.
“This project was no easy feat,” shares Pete Paletta, Concrete Operations Coordinator at Big-D Construction. “You don’t see pours of this caliber often, and it took a lot of skill and dedication to pull it off. It’s a privilege to work beside so many talented and hard-working people.”
Paletta says “The collaboration and. how it came together prior to the pour was astonishing, it fell together exactly how we planned it.”
The company had to innovate.
According to a release sent to ABC4, “The project took an innovative collaboration between Big-D’s general contracting team and concrete pouring team, to ensure a safe and successful 8,155 yard continuous pour. From planning to completion, this project took roughly 20 hours of planning, 1600 hours of labor, between 70 and 80 Big-D workers on site, and 815 truck pours.”
“It went so well, Paletta adds. “We were even handing people sandwiches to get the work done in 20 hours. We had people buying sandwiches and drinks to hand out as the night moved on.”
“This was an enormous achievement for Big-D,” shares Rob Moore, CEO of Big-D Construction. “It’s projects like this that truly showcase the outstanding work that we produce and the talented team members that make them happen.”