Atlanta Spirit Comes Alive
Atlanta Spirit Comes AliveAllen Plaza draws the cream of the crop
STURTEVANT, WI (February 1, 2008) – Named for Ivan Allen, Atlanta's civil rights era mayor, Atlanta’s $1 billion Allen Plaza is already home to Southern Company’s headquarters and Ernst & Young's Atlanta offices. Soon it will add to its premier tenant list with the new W Atlanta Downtown Hotel & Residences, and Pioneer Concrete Pumping (Pioneer) is helping make it happen with its Putzmeister placing system.
A beacon on the northern edge of Atlanta's downtown, Allen Plaza represents a new resurgence in the heart of the city. The towering mixed-use project rises from Atlanta's most visible and accessible neighborhood where new construction will draw residents and tourists to hotels, condominiums, shops and attractions like the world’s largest aquarium. Encompassing three downtown blocks, Allen Plaza includes two office towers, a hotel with condominiums above and further development opportunities.
As the tallest office building constructed in downtown Atlanta in more than a decade, 55 Allen Plaza embodies the spirit of Atlanta – emerging as a symbol of hope for economic prosperity in a forgotten section of the city. At 45 Allen Plaza, the W Hotel will further contribute to the transformation of the area.
Allen Plaza is the vision of Barry Real Estate Companies, Inc., the project’s owner and developer. Barry’s goal is to invigorate Atlanta with a development where Fortune 500 companies, residents, shoppers and visitors can interact.
Founded in 1996, Barry Real Estate Companies Inc. (Barry) is a dynamic and multifaceted commercial real estate firm specializing in developing, marketing and management – with a primary emphasis on the southeast. Though its roots are in suburban office development, Barry is now at the forefront of Atlanta's urban revitalization and is increasingly focused on mixed-use projects. The company’s vision for Atlanta was key in drawing one of the United States’ largest producers of electricity, Southern Company and the international consulting firm, Ernst & Young to Allen Plaza.
Hospitality at Allen Plaza
The fastest growing luxury brand in the world, W Hotels Worldwide will bring a new level of hospitality to downtown Atlanta. The 28-story tower located at 45 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd. will feature 237 hotel rooms, 76 luxury condominiums and 10,000 square feet of meeting space. Adding to the prestige of this project, the hotel will boast the city's first hotel-topped heliport to whisk guests and residents from downtown to a variety of points across the metro region. World-renowned Pickard Chilton Architects designed the building with floor-to-ceiling glass and an outdoor terrace. In addition, the building features a pool on the 16th level, and sits atop a five-story parking structure.
“The parking structure below the W Hotel was already completed for 55 Allen Plaza,” says Cory Postlewait, Account Representative at Pioneer. “We worked with Brasfield & Gorrie on that project, using primarily our 63Z-Meter to place the approximately 5,000 cubic yards for the foundation. We had only two locations to place from on the parking facility so the long reach of this machine was particularly important.”
Work on 45 Allen Plaza began in February 2007 and Pioneer’s 32/36Z-Meter placing boom was mounted on a Putzmeister bolt tower in a separate inside block-out in May. “With anticipated completion of the W Hotel in December 2008,” says Postlewait, “we needed to maintain a very rigid schedule. We pumped concrete five days a week throughout our portion of the project and topped out in mid-December 2007.”
Each floor of the project required approximately 450 cubic yards of concrete, with approximately 15,000 cubic yards total at completion.
Issues of Time and Space
“Though this project covers several city blocks, we had a really tight site downtown,” comments Postlewait. “There was one lane closure at all times and two lanes during pours to accommodate the ready mix trucks.”
Supplied by Thomas Concrete of Atlanta, one of the largest producers in Georgia, the ready mix is a 5,000-psi semi lightweight HE requiring 14-hour breaks. “Georgia mixes are notoriously harsh with lots of aggregate including crushed granite,” notes Postlewait. “In addition, the mixes use manufactured sand. This needs to be mixed with natural sand for easier pumping. The Putzmeister pumps handle the concrete without a problem, which was particularly important in the hot afternoons when our pours took place. Making deadlines is important, but so is minimizing the time our guys spend in the heat.”
“The tight construction schedule and city noise ordinances made pumping the concrete a much better option than using a crane and bucket,” says John Kelly, Superintendent for the project’s construction manager, Hardin Construction Co., LLC (Hardin). “There are also very stringent quality control requirements. The combination of Precision Concrete’s expertise and Pioneer’s equipment ensures that concrete placement goes flawlessly.”
Hardin, founded in Atlanta more than 60 years ago, now has projects in 28 states, the Caribbean and Mexico. The company specializes in office buildings, hotels, retail centers, condominiums, universities, healthcare and public assembly facilities.
“In addition to our work on 45 Allen Plaza,” notes Kelly, “we did a 7,000-square foot tenant build out for Barry on 55 Allen Plaza. We’ve done several projects with Pioneer and find that their pumping equipment is invaluable in maintaining both deadlines and quality.”
Big City Renaissance
Urban revitalization and mixed-use development are two terms that concrete pumpers love to hear. “Especially in light of the downturn in residential construction,” says Tom Inglese, Regional Manager for Pioneer, “urban redevelopment is a positive sign for our industry. While we have not really been affected by most recent economic trends, projects like Allen Plaza provide great opportunities for concrete pumping companies with the right equipment.”
Having been involved in both 55 and 45 Allen Plaza, Pioneer has been able to make use of every model in its fleet of Putzmeister pumps. This includes machines from the compact 20Z-Meter to the 63Z-Meter, as well as a Putzmeister placing system and high pressure trailer pump.
“On 55 Allen Plaza, we used the 63Z-Meter to top out,” comments Postlewait. “It’s a 14-story building on top of a five-story parking structure, but the boom’s vertical reach of over 200 feet in combination with a deck placer made even this challenge surmountable. The versatility of the 63Z and its ability to pump 210 cubic yards an hour kept us right on schedule.”
According to Inglese, “Efficiency has always been key with developers in terms of making deadlines. Changing economic times and project type make this even more important. Concrete pumping, via both placing system and truck-mounted models enables our industry to keep up with these trends.”