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Bringing Back the Sparkle to Old Hollywood

Image rendering courtesy of Webcor Builders. Doors for the Hollywood & Vine development will open fall 2009.

JLS Concrete Pumping (JLS) will be pumping and placing about 108,000 cubic yards (137,620m3) of concrete.

In order for three placing booms to place concrete at the same time, crossovers were built within the 3,640-foot (1,110m) below grade delivery line system.

Bringing Back the Sparkle to Old Hollywood

JLS Concrete Pumping ready for their close up with Putzmeister placing system equipment for Hollywood & Vine – W Hotel & Residences

STURTEVANT, WI (July 28, 2008) – JLS Concrete Pumping (JLS) and its Putzmeister concrete placing system are helping bring back the glamour to the famed intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street on the mega Hollywood & Vine – W Hotel & Residences (Hollywood & Vine) development. The property will be L.A.’s first ever, ground-up, lifestyle hotel, retail and condominium development.

Due to the project’s curb-to-curb 4.6-acre footprint (the equivalent to pumping multiple towers 75 stories high), JLS and Webcor Builders (Webcor), general contractor of Hollywood & Vine, worked closely together on the concrete placing system. Most important was determining the precise locations of the pumps, towers and placing booms to ensure efficient delivery of the more than 108,000 cubic yards (137,620m3) of concrete.

Cleaning up Hollywood
Known for years as the entertainment hub of Los Angeles, where film executives, movie producers and aspiring stars alike would attempt to find their way to fame, the once vibrant intersection has faded significantly since the “Golden Age of Hollywood.”

Up until the 1950s, Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street was the place-to-be, the hot spot, if you wanted to make it in the city of stars. However in the 1960s, many studios and broadcasters moved to more upscale areas, resulting in many abandoned stores and offices, and vacant streets. Major redevelopment of the area didn’t begin until the 1990s.

“Hollywood and Vine is the single-most famous intersection in the world. But it’s been a long time since it’s been worthy of the name,” says Eric Garcetti, council president for the City of Los Angeles, as stated on the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce web site. “Now, by working with developers, the CRA (Community Redevelopment Agency), the local businesses at the site and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, as well as community members who worked hard to make this neighborhood safe for residents, tourists, and investors when it was down on its knees, we’re about to see Hollywood’s wave of redevelopment crest at this corner.

“The project that we’ve envisioned together will bring hundreds of living-wage jobs and hundreds of units of mixed-income housing to an area that, despite its renewed glamour, still has median family incomes around $20,000 a year,” Garcetti notes. “The hotel that goes up here will be the landmark destination that ties together the Boulevard’s transformation. Hollywood and Vine has disappointed visitors in the past. Tomorrow, it will beat their highest expectations.”

Legacy Partners (Legacy), based out of Foster City, California and Gatehouse Capital Corp. (Gatehouse), based out of Dallas, Texas, teamed up together as the owners to build this massive development. Legacy is the developer for the apartment buildings and Gatehouse is the developer for the condo and hotel. The other players include HKS Architects, Inc. (HKS) as the architect, Webcor as the general contractor, JLS as the concrete pump and placing system sub-contractor and Catalina Pacific a CALPORTLAND company as the ready mix concrete supply company.

Hollywood & Vine broke ground in May 2007 and will comprise six towers: Legacy’s three 12-story apartment towers, Legacy’s eight-story apartment tower and Gatehouse’s 12-story W Hotel and 14-story W Residences condominium. In addition, there will be 61,500 square feet (5,714m2) of street level retail and a three-story subterranean garage. Improvements will be made above the Hollywood/Vine Metro Rail Red Line Station, the MTA bus layover area and the commuter drop-off which is located at the northwest corner of the project site.

“An entire year of planning and coordination was conducted between Webcor and JLS for this project,” says Vern Lee, construction manager for Webcor. “Because of Hollywood & Vine’s massive footprint, it was a must to have everything planned to a ‘T.’ JLS provided reliable and practical solutions to the challenges this project presented with their knowledge, experience and Putzmeister equipment.”

The extremely space restrictive surrounding area of the project site resulted in not being able to have boom pumps pumping from multiple streets for the project’s concrete needs. So, JLS enlisted their placing system technology.

“Because we chose JLS’s recommendation of using their freestanding pin towers,” explains Lee, “any delay of work of the interior trades for the project was mitigated. We’ve been right on schedule since day one of JLS arriving on site in July 2007. If we would have instead gone with non-freestanding placing boom towers, typically available in the Los Angeles market, we would have had to use 10 placing booms, form 160 block outs, re-shore, form back the block outs and would have had to use more below grade concrete delivery system. Using six placing boom towers instead of 10 allowed us to avoid a lot of scheduling and logistical issues.”

Six Putzmeister pin towers and 36/40Z Series II Detach placing booms are positioned throughout the site.

The different mounting and climbing configurations of the placing systems for the six different buildings include:
Placing System #1 – Located at Legacy’s 12-story apartment building, the pin tower is foundation-anchored and freestanding with a universal tie frame. It’s tied in on the inside at level five, and will be tied a second time at level 10.
Placing System #2 – Located at Gatehouse’s W Hotel the pin tower is foundation-anchored and freestanding with a universal tie frame. It’s tied in on the outside at level six.
Placing System #3 – Located at another of Legacy’s 12-story apartment buildings, the pin tower is foundation-anchored and freestanding with a universal tie frame. It’s tied in on the outside at level five.
Placing System #4 – Located at Gatehouse’s 14-story W Residences condominium, the pin tower uses a hydraulic climbing system positioned in a corridor.
Placing System #5 – Located at Legacy’s eight-story apartment building, the pin tower is foundation-anchored and freestanding with a universal tie frame. It’s tied in on the outside at level five, and will be tied a second time at level nine.
Placing Boom #6 – Located at another of Legacy’s 12-story apartment buildings, the placing boom is foundation-anchored and is a freestanding pin tower.

“Originally, the hydraulic climbing pin tower at the W Residences was freestanding,” says Willie Clemison of JLS. “A last minute change was requested by Webcor for the location of the pin tower due to the structure’s design. The tower had to be in a location where it would not interrupt the interior trades’ work, so our team at JLS determined an alternative method – to use our hydraulic climbing technology installed in a corridor.

“Unlike most outside or inside tie-in configurations, the W Hotel’s universal tie frame is secured underneath, instead of above. The reason for this is because of an upturn beam. We were able to easily accommodate the situation by tying in underneath the deck.”

“The support from both Putzmeister and JLS throughout this project has been phenomenal and consistent,” notes Lee. “Whether it’s the timeliness of the equipment delivery, monitoring any wear on concrete pipe or troubleshooting unexpected situations, they have it covered.”

The Underground Maze
According to Lee, the job site has three pumping stations that can pump concrete to any of the six placing booms at any given time.

“Every detail was scrutinized in planning the three pumping stations and the impressive 3,640 feet (1,110m) of below grade delivery line system,” comments Clemison. “The system includes both horizontal and vertical piping. Webcor and JLS had to ensure the delivery system could transport concrete to any of the six placing booms with no problem and also allow three placing booms to place concrete at the same time.

“There are two main delivery lines. Placing systems one, two and three are all hooked up to the same delivery line. Then placing booms four, five and six are hooked up to the second delivery line.”

In order for three placing booms to place concrete at the same time Clemison says crossovers were built within the delivery line system.

“There are crossovers between placing system one and placing system four as well as between placing system two and placing system five,” notes Clemison. “With the crossovers we can do a vertical and two deck pours simultaneously.”

“To ensure three placing booms could place concrete at the same time, communication among Webcor and JLS’s team was crucial,” adds Lee. “Without that, it would have been very difficult.”

The first pumping station is located at the West end of Selma Avenue; the second at the east end of Selma Avenue and the third at the North end of Argyle Avenue. The first and third pumping station are about 180 – 200 feet (55 - 61m) apart.

At the first and third pumping stations, JLS uses the SBU hydraulic circuit on the head side of the truck-mounted concrete boom pumps to pump concrete up to any of the six placing towers. The first station is used primarily for vertical pours. JLS’s 40Z-, 36Z- or 28Z-Meter pumps act as trailer pumps. These particular pumps were set up on the head side so the pressures that would be reached on the longer pushes the pumps would still be capable of doing 100 cubic yards per hour (76m3/hr) without a problem. These pumps were also set up with special transitions to withstand the high pressures.

The Putzmeister BSA 14000 HP-D trailer pump is permanently positioned at the second pumping station for the duration of the project.

Placing the concrete with the right equipment
According to Ed “Griff” Sparks of Catalina Pacific a CALPORTLAND company, 120,000 cubic yards (91,747m3) of concrete is needed for Hollywood & Vine, and JLS is pumping and placing about 108,000 cubic yards (82,572m3) of that total.

“Right now our goal is placing 10,000 cubic yards (7,646m3) of concrete per month total for the horizontal and vertical elements,” says Lee.

Clemison notes that JLS’s equipment is pumping everyday of the week. The permanently stationed BSA 14000 on site is supporting two of JLS’s boom pumps on an average of four days per week.

“We usually place deck pours in the morning and those can range anywhere from 290 to 500 cubic yards (222 – 382m3),” comments Clemison. “Then in the afternoon we place the verticals, for the decks we placed earlier in the day, which are usually right around 90 cubic yards (69m3).”

Clemison says an average of four decks and four verticals are pumped and placed each week. Concrete is placed on a daily basis.

“JLS’s pumping and placing equipment have exceeded our expectations,” says Lee.

“Our BSA 14000 trailer pump is pumping anywhere from 80 to 100 cubic yards per hour (61 - 76m3/hr) for our deck pours,” notes Clemison. “Hydraulic pressures at the furthest point away are usually 3,771 psi (260 bar) and for closer deck pours we’re usually at the 1,740 – 1,885 psi (120-130 bar) range. This pump also has the power we need with its 630 hp (460kW) Caterpillar® engine.”

“An average of anywhere from 60 to 80 concrete ready mix trucks unload into the BSA’s hopper every day,” notes Lee.

“We’ve relied on our BSA 14000 for numerous high profile projects and we’ve never been disappointed,” says Clemison. “Its ability to pump the long distances this project requires, superior durability and flexibility are second to none.”

Clemison doesn’t hold back when boasting about the unique JLS placing boom crew that has helped keep this job running smoothly and that the six Putzmeister 36/40Z-Meter placing booms JLS on site are doing the work of 10 booms.

“With the large area we’re working with here, it’s important that we’re using Multi-Z placing booms that have a far enough vertical and horizontal reach, so we can place the concrete exactly where it needs to be. With horizontal reaches of 115' 3" (35.13m) and vertical reaches of 122' 8" (37.39m), there’s no spot that our six placing booms can’t access.

In addition to the boom design and reach capabilities of the placing booms, Clemison also adds that setup is simple for the pin towers.

“The heavy-duty pins on the pin tower allow for a faster and easier connection in installing and raising the towers on each of the six buildings,” says Clemison. “JLS is using the newest technology available in the placing boom industry. The new pin tower design does not require bolts which is a huge plus and we don’t have the need for special tools or torquing bolts.”

Because JLS’s other BSA trailer pump is in use on another job site, Avenue of the Stars in L.A., JLS maximizes the flexibility of their boom pumps. The boom pumps that JLS has on site are serving the role usually reserved for a high pressure trailer pump. JLS has used their boom pumps in this way for many years on other high profile job sites.

“We’ve found that using our boom pumps has given our company the best of two pieces of equipment. It’s the best way to get the job done, next to using an actual BSA trailer pump. Hydraulic pressures for the further distances are between 3,046 and 3,916 psi (210 and 270 bar), and the closer distances are in the 1,450-psi (100 bar) range. At any distance on the job we’re capable of pumping 120 cubic yards (92m3/hr) per hour.”

In addition to the boom pumps pumping directly into the delivery system, the pumps and their booms are used for placing delay strips for decks.

“Legacy residential and parking levels two through five (below the four residential towers) are separated by delay strips,” notes Clemison. “We have to wait 28 days after we place concrete for the decks and then we place the delay strips with the boom pumps. This is yet another benefit of having the boom pumps on site.”

Putting the spotlight on the concrete mix
According to Sparks, there are sixteen different concrete mixes being used on this project. The strength of concrete mixes range anywhere from 4,000 to 8,000 psi.

“The shear walls and columns use a high-strength 8,000-psi concrete mix,” says Sparks. “The suspended decks use a high-strength 6,000-psi mix.”

“We’re pumping and placing three different concrete mixes at any given time,” comments Clemison. “Our pumps and placing systems have handled the mixes with no problem at all.”

“The high-strength mixes on the project 6,000 psi to 8,000 psi results in more selling space for the developers,” adds Sparks. “With lower strength concrete, such as a 4,000-psi concrete mix for a column for example, would be wider, where as an 8,000-psi concrete mix would be smaller adding more useable space.”

According to Lee, nine high-strength concrete mixes are being used on this project.

JLS’s work on Hollywood & Vine will wrap up in December 2008. With doors to the highly anticipated development opening in fall 2009, Hollywood & Vine is sure to be a star in its own right.