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Hawaii High Rise Gets a Lift

On a difficult–to-access job site, three Putzmeister truck-mounted boom pumps placed 3,000 cubic yards (2,294m³) of concrete for 12 continuous hours to form the foundation of a 24-story high rise in Hawaii.

To avoid extra delivery line, the Putzmeister 61-Meter, the largest in Hawaii, and the 47Z-Meter, used their long booms to access the farthest point of the concrete mat pour that was boxed in on three sides.

Ohana pumped concrete up to a nine-foot (2.75m) thickness for the 15,000-square-foot (1,394m²) foundation, while working in the vicinity of power lines that were insulated and flagged as an added precaution.

For a quicker completion, a 36Z-Meter was squeezed into a tight spot to help pump concrete on the large mat pour.

Rendering of Holomua condo project in Hawaii

The hydraulic self-climbing configuration eliminates expensive crane time by raising the placing boom and its tower, using lift cylinders and the boom’s hydraulics.

To avoid job site congestion, the placing boom started placing concrete from the first level; it is shown on the fourth level of the parking deck.

Hawaii High Rise Gets a Lift

Hawaii welcomes first hydraulic climbing concrete placing system for a boost to 24-story Holomua project

STURTEVANT, WISCONSIN (February 15, 2012) – Construction of the 24-story Holomua condominium project, on hold since 2009, is getting off the ground due to a re-launched sales effort and an innovative construction technique that uses a Putzmeister concrete placing system with hydraulic climbing configuration—the first of its kind in Hawaii. This technology offers a new and highly efficient alternative for high rise work in the South Pacific.

Re-launched Project
The Holomua project, located at 1315 Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki, initially promoted its residential units for sale in 2009; but it failed to attract enough buyers amid Hawaii’s real estate slump. Consequently, the proj¬ect was shelved until April 2011, when the developer re-launched unit sales at reduced prices, and all 176 condos quickly sold out. As a result, construction swiftly began in September 2011, to build the 220-foot-tall (67.06m) tower, encompassing a seven-story parking garage, 16 stories of living space and a one-story roof.

Responsible for project construction is Honolulu, Hawaii-based Nordic PCL Construction, Inc. (Nordic PCL), who selected Ohana Concrete Pumping, Inc. (Ohana) of Pearl City, Hawaii, and its wide variety of Putzmeister products to provide a complete concrete placing systems approach. The demanding project would require meeting a highly aggressive schedule and tackling extraordinarily challenging job site conditions to place 13,000 cubic yards (9,939m³) of concrete in total.

Ground Up
Starting from ground up, a Thom-Katt® TK 50 trailer-mounted pump placed 70 cubic yards (54m³) of shotcrete to reinforce the outer walls around the foundation’s perimeter.

Then, in late November, three truck-mounted concrete boom pumps from Ohana’s fleet flawlessly pumped a large concrete mat for the structure’s 15,000-square-foot (1,394m²) foundation, a major undertaking due to difficult logistics.

“Congestion was the biggest nightmare, as the job site is on a half-acre of land near the busy downtown area, and it’s located next to a heavily traveled main thoroughfare while boxed in on three sides,” says Joe Frederick, Ohana operations manager.

“Another obstacle was power lines,” says Lawrence Calpito, Nordic PCL project superintendent. “Even though we were more than the required distance away from the power lines for safe equipment setup, we still had them fully insulated and clearly flagged as another precaution.”

Two concrete boom pumps were set up in extremely tight spots. A 47Z- and 61-Meter were located next to the street, strategically positioned to minimize obstruction to traffic flow. The 61-Meter, the largest boom pump in Hawaii, extended its 183-foot, nine-inch (56.01m) horizontal boom to access the mat’s 150-feet by 100-feet (45.72m x 30.48m) area, while the 47Z extended its 138-foot, one-inch (42.09m) boom horizontally to assist.

“The 61-meter is a beast,” says Calpito. “Its extremely long boom easily reached the farthest point of the pour so we didn’t need extra delivery line, which saved time and labor. Plus, we monitored the pour and calculated the unit was pumping high volumes up to 185 cubic yards an hour (140m³/hr) that helped with a quicker completion.”

Ohana also squeezed a third pump, a 36Z-Meter, down a narrow alley and fully deployed its compact outriggers in a tight spot. The unit reached 104 feet (32m) horizontally to cover a specific section of the pour; and even though only one ready mix truck at a time could access the pump, it still averaged 80 cubic yards an hour (60m³/hr) output.

“The 36Z-meter made a huge difference as a fill-in pump, and it helped finish the pour a lot quicker than anticipated,” adds Calpito. “Squeezing the pump down that alley proved to be a great idea to help get more volume per hour.”

The non-stop pour started just before midnight on a Friday and finished 12 hours later. Upon completion, more than 300 truckloads of concrete were delivered by 38 mixers, and 3,000 cubic yards (2,294m³) of concrete was pumped up to a nine-foot (2.75m) thickness.

Moving Forward
The project’s name, Holomua, is a Hawaiian word meaning "progress" or to move forward, which coincidentally reflects the foresight of two companies—Nordic PCL and Ohana—to advance the project’s construction efficiency by bringing the hydraulic climbing technology to Hawaii.

This climbing configuration is completely self-sufficient to raise the placing boom and tower assembly from one level to the next. Two lift cylinders in a sequential process utilize the boom’s hydraulics to simultaneously lift the boom and tower for positioning at the next level. A crane is not required to perform any part of this operation, which is the key advantage to its use.

Receptive to the concept, Calpito of Nordic PCL took the bold initiative to employ its special features on Holomua. This, in turn, spurred Ohana family members and native Hawaiians Kathy Thornberry, CEO of the company’s certified Woman Business Enterprise (WBE); Willy Frederick, president; and Joe Frederick to order the placing system, further expanding their equipment fleet.

No Crane, No Worries
“With hydraulic climbing, our crews can independently perform the entire concrete placing process, which is quick and easy with minimal manpower required,” says Frederick. “Since we don’t need a crane to climb, we eliminate countless hours of expensive crane time. Plus we don’t interrupt other construction tasks that require the crane, which keeps the project moving along.”

“It’s hard to quantify the precise savings in crane time, as it’s immeasurable,” says Calpito. “However, we’ve definitely noticed a big difference on the project.”

Strategic Setup
For installation of the system, Putzmeister service technician Alan Woods came to Hawaii and assisted with setup. Woods says, “We took a truck-mounted boom pump from Ohana’s fleet and detached the boom from its truck, separating it the traditional way. For this particular application, it works effectively because the boom and tower will remain connected in one location during the entire climb to the top.”

Before the mat pour, anchors were positioned to set up a 50-foot (15.24m) freestanding tower. This configuration would be used until after concrete completion of the fourth floor when the transition to hydraulic climbing would begin.

Once the pin tower was erected, the placing boom, while connected to its electric-driven hydraulic pedestal, was attached to the tower. Woods says, “The tower’s four-pin connection is really convenient, which makes the process quick and easy.”

The placing boom began placing concrete on the first level, a huge benefit because of the tough-to-access job site, as experienced with equipment setup on the mat pour. Plus, the placing boom, with its Multi-Z boom articulation, is allowing the boom to be manipulated around walls, columns, and other obstacles while its long reach can access all areas of the pour without using extra delivery line—a significant factor in time and labor savings.

As the placing boom rises with the tower, its truck-mounted pump cell remains on the ground pumping concrete. As the unit’s .16H pump cell can pump up to 210 cubic yards an hour (160m³/hr) outputs, it has no difficulty pumping the high rise at outputs averaging 90 cubic yards an hour (69m³/hr). This output is dictated by the difficulty of ready mix trucks to access the job site, not pump performance.

On the job site, the truck-mounted pump cell is located in a tight corner. Ready mix trucks back up and discharge a 5,000-psi concrete mix into the hopper, which in turn, delivers the concrete through 120 feet (36,58m) of five-inch (125mm) pipeline on the ground before traveling up the pipeline inside the tower to the placing boom. Eventually the pipeline will reach a 220-foot (67.06m) height to the top floor.

A recent introduction by Putzmeister Pipe Technology, the SDVH 3/2 hydraulic diversion valve is being utilized for system blow out. It was selected for its compact size and S-Valve design that prevents any movement of the connected delivery line on the congested job site. The leak-proof valve can handle 1885 psi (130 bar) pressures at heights up to 985 feet (300m), which is significantly higher than the 220-foot (67.06m) tall Holomua. This offers added versatility for its use in taller high rise projects done by Ohana in the future.

Good Shape
“Putzmeister has a professional, well-built placing system far superior to any I’ve seen,” notes Calpito. “Even the tower’s square shape offers advantages.”

The square shape of the modular and high-strength tower is designed to perform the climbing process in a highly efficient manner, protect the pipeline and power connections inside the tower, make it easier to block out and patch floor openings and provide convenient inside ladder access.

As of mid-February, the project was on the fourth level of the parking deck. Calpito states, “Ohana gives us excellent service and takes good care of their equipment. Up to this point, there have been no bugs, no backups, nothing but smooth pours without any overtime. Anytime you can work without overtime, you’re in really good shape.”

“We’re under the scope, being watched closely to see how we perform on this important project; and so far, everything has gone without a hitch,” says Frederick. “We give a lot of credit to the people at Putzmeister who have been awesome in assisting us—from equipment selection and layout, to system setup, and then further follow-up at the job site. It’s an amazing level of support from a manufacturer.”

Frederick concludes, “Once the value of this placing system is realized by other Hawaiian contractors, we hope it will open more doors for us to get future business in this niche market.”

The project is on schedule to finish concrete placement by early fall 2012, with occupancy planned in spring 2013.

Putzmeister America, Inc. manufactures a complete line of truck-mounted concrete boom pumps, seperate placing booms, truck-mounted telescopic belt conveyors. ready mix trucks and trailer-mounted concrete pumps as well as mortar, grout, shotcrete, plaster and fireproofing pumps and mixers, industrial pumps, tunneling machinary and pipeline systems. Some of the industry's best known brands, such as Tellebelt, Thom-katt, and Tommy Gun are part of the Putzmeister America family. The company's workforce is dedicated to the hands-on customer support and advancing the industry in design and technical innovation.
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KRC Partners LLC (an affiliate of THM Partners LLC)—Honolulu, Hawaii
General Contractor: Nordic PCL Construction, Inc.—Honolulu, Hawaii
Ready Mix Supplier: Hawaiian Cement—Halawa, Hawaii
Concrete Placing Contractor: Ohana Concrete Pumping, Inc.—Pearl City, Hawaii
Equipment: Putzmeister 36Z-Meter, 47Z-Meter and 61-Meter truck-mounted concrete boom pumps; Putzmeister concrete placing system with 50-foot freestanding pin-connect tower, hydraulic climbing configuration and placing boom; Thom-Katt®TK 50 trailer-mounted pump; Putzmeister Pipe Technology SDVH 3/2 hydraulic diversion valve