Landmark Christina Landings Project Receives Construction Awards
Landmark Christina Landings Project Receives Construction AwardsSpecial Cast-in-Place Concrete Frame Towers Expertly Built in Region Unaccustomed to Method
STURTEVANT, WI (February 1, 2007): Construction of two residential high-rise towers at the new Christina Landings waterfront is a landmark project for both the metropolitan area of Wilmington, Delaware and concrete professionals Healy Long & Jevin, Inc. located there.
As the first major residential hise-rise project being developed on the Christina River’s southern bank, Christina Landings is at the crux of the transformation from a run-down industrial area into a premier neighborhood. Two luxurious towers – the completed 22-story Residence at Christina Landings Tower I apartments and the 27-story River Tower II condominiums now under construction next to it – are drawing new residents, new businesses and renewed vitality.
Claimed to be the first cast-in-place concrete frame structures developed in Delaware in over 25 years, the high profile towers drew attention from the local construction community to the special concrete placement techniques employed by Healy Long & Jevin. This Mid-Atlantic union concrete specialty contractor received two construction awards for their efforts on the project.
Recognition for Healy Long & Jevin came in the form of the 2006 American Concrete Institute – Mid-Atlantic grand prize award for Cast-In-Place Structures and the Delaware Contractors Association’s Construction Excellence Award for Craftsmanship. Both honors were presented for the Residence at Christina Landings Tower I apartment project, which was completed in summer 2006.
Tower I was also recognized with the 2006 Award of Merit for Residential High-Rise Construction by Mid-Atlantic Construction Magazine. This honor acknowledges the architect Kling of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the general contractor Gilbane Building Co. of Providence, Rhode Island. The two organizations are involved with both towers.
“There is no question in my mind that the second condo tower at Christina Landings will also receive recognition when the building is fully completed and ready for occupancy,” says Secretary/Treasurer Sean Healy of Healy Long & Jevin. “That’s because it utilized even more extraordinary time- and labor-saving concrete placing methods in its construction.
“Major credit goes to our detachable Putzmeister concrete boom pump and placing tower for its high efficiency during construction of the more challenging second high-rise structure,” says Healy. “Even though we’ve been in business since 1978, we just took delivery of our very first concrete boom pump and placing tower in January of 2006.
“Owning the equipment almost instantly changed our company,” he continues. “With the equipment’s highly versatile features and our ability to control its schedule, we’re now producing concrete structures faster than we ever imagined. In fact, we finished the second tower 45 days ahead of schedule.”
Concrete, not steel
Even though market conditions and traditions within the Delaware region typically favor steel construction, concrete was chosen instead. While the first landmark tower was designed with concrete, the second one was not. The design changed, however, when a long 18-month delivery lead time for steel had the developer anxiously seeking alternatives.
To avoid the delay, Mike Jevin, President and Chief Estimator of Healy Long & Jevin, redesigned the building to employ 15,000 cubic yards of concrete. Once the developer and project’s engineer approved it, the project commenced full speed ahead. Even though the River Tower II condominiums would use a construction approach similar to the first apartment high-rise, it was a more complex structure under an even more demanding schedule.
To help expedite erection of the tower’s cast-in-place concrete frame, Healy Long & Jevin utilized a truss-type flying form system for the structural decks. Instead of traditional handset frame and cross brace systems, various truss components and Aluma beams are assembled together.
The form resembles a big long table that is constructed only once and re-used from floor to floor. As a result, the entire table gets pulled out by a crane and flown for insertion on the next floor. This procedure avoids dismantling and re-assembling forms, realizing reduced labor yet improved productivity on buildings with repetitive floor plans.
In addition, a ganged wall system was utilized for the shear walls. Custom lightweight hand-set column forms which could be quickly put up and taken down without a crane were also employed.
Bring on the concrete
Concrete producer Pioneer Concrete, Inc. of Wilmington, Delaware developed a quick-setting 5,000 psi mix design that would achieve 75 percent strength in three days or less. The ready mix supplier was then relied upon to dispatch the concrete without delay.
For concrete placement, a Putzmeister 40Z-Meter with its highly versatile Multi-Z configuration, exceptional boom reach and detachable boom led to award-winning results. The boom could be quickly removed from the truck, installed on the tower and ready to place concrete within 20 minutes. Featuring a 115 ft. of horizontal reach, the longer boom could access all areas of the pour from the convenience of one location without dragging hose. Once again, the amount of labor was lessened while the job’s productivity level improved.
With its detached boom on the tower above, the .16H pump cell on the truck-mounted pump delivered concrete from ground level to the tower’s highest point at 301 ft.
The powerful .16H pump is rated at a maximum 210 cubic yards an hour output and pressures up to 1233 psi on the rod side. However, it can be switched over to the piston side to achieve even higher pressures up to 1885 psi.
“The pump had plenty of power all the way to the top 27th floor,” notes Healy. “We never had to switch it over to a higher pressure setting, as it easily pumped to these impressive heights without even a hint of difficulty.”
In just three hours, an eight-inch elevated floor slab was placed with 230 cubic yards of concrete, averaging about 80 cubic yards an hour output. At the completion of a pour, the boom was reattached to the truck and the versatile unit sent to another project to handle another slab, wall or footing pour the same day.
The pump would be back on the high-rise the next day to pour all of the columns and walls. By the end of the following day, the walls and columns were in place and the flying form moved to the next level. With the pump handling the bulk of the work, the crew kept the project moving forward – resulting in a floor finished every six days.
“With our own pump, we could control scheduling logistics, which kept us ahead of schedule,” says Healy. “Therefore, we could ensure meeting our company’s specific deadlines for numerous projects we were handling at the same time.”
“The pin tower was extremely easy to jack up,” says Healy, “so it kept the entire process moving along at an even faster pace than we ever experienced in any high-rise project before.”
As one of the first to take delivery of Putzmeister’s recently introduced pin-connect placing tower, the concrete contractor realized the simplicity in both erecting and raising their 60 ft. system. The setup crew would connect and secure the tower sections with four heavy-duty pins, which eliminated the time-consuming chore of torquing bolts. Plus, as all tower sides have a smooth surface, the crew could easily slide it through floor openings without interruption.
“The placing tower actually turned one pump into two,” says Healy. “That’s because it gave us the versatility of pumping, placing and finishing several projects and project types each and every day.”
A testimony for pump ownership
Recognized by Concrete Construction magazine as one of the top 100 Concrete Construction firms in the United States, Healy Long & Jevin has performed some of the heaviest and most difficult concrete construction in the region, including some of the tallest high-rises in Philadelphia. However, even with almost three decades of field proven experience, the organization had never owned a concrete pump. In the past, logistical concerns on how a pump would be deployed to the major projects the company is involved with simultaneously across four different states – Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland – prevented the purchase of a pump.
This all changed in 2005 when Healy Long & Jevin was awarded several projects of varying size, totaling $18 million. Requiring 45,000 cu. yds. of concrete within 30 miles of the company’s headquarters, these projects made the acquisition of the Putzmeister 40Z-Meter a necessity.
“Although I had been pushing the issue of purchasing a pump for years, what finally sold my father on buying one was the $375,000 we spent renting pumps over a two year period,” says Healy. “The new projects would basically pay for a pump.”
Cole and Lambert, Inc., an authorized Putzmeister distributor based in Aberdeen, Maryland, helped specify the best concrete placing system to accommodate work typically performed by the contractor. Their expert recommendation of equipment unquestionably met the contractor’s needs.
“We definitely made the right equipment choice,” says Healy, “as it has tremendously helped our company achieve substantial increases in profit and efficiency. For instance, on the first Christina Landings high-rise, we had to schedule an outside pumping company to service and operate the equipment. When they couldn’t meet our schedule, it meant up to $10,000 in lost productivity per pour.”
The finishing touches
The Buccini/Pollin Group, Inc. of Wilmington is the developer of both the Residence at Christina Landings Tower I apartments and the elite River Tower II condominiums, which are expected to be ready for occupancy in summer 2007. With the success of the above projects, one can speculate that other developments will sprout up on the land surrounding Christina Landings.