Luxury in the Sky
Luxury in the SkyPutzmeister Thom-Katt® Trailer Pump Reveals its Power on High-Rise Jobs
STURTEVANT, Wisconsin (August 1, 2005) – When filling block cells at lofty 270-ft heights, Quality Concrete Pumping of Coral Springs, Florida utilized the strength of their smallest sized trailer pump, the Thom-Katt® TK 40 trailer pump, to handle the task. The powerful unit filled thousands of block cells with grout at the 27-story Emerald at Brickell high-rise condo residence, a project that other pumping companies might have sent larger sized equipment to handle.
Overlooking the Biscayne Bay in Florida, the upscale Emerald at Brickell is a sculptural pure glass sky rise with a phenomenal array of luxurious amenities. With prices starting at $350,000 to over $1 million, the 142-unit condominium residence was designed to encompass every facet of the perfect South Florida lifestyle.
The general contractor responsible for constructing what is being referred to as the “Park Avenue of Florida,” Coastal Construction of Miami used a Putzmeister tower and pedestal for the placement of concrete on the decks and columns. The system’s hydraulic self-jacking system worked within the job’s tight constraints and enabled the separate placing boom to conveniently place concrete.
The Putzmeister TK 40 was required to pump concrete up through 270-ft of pipe extending vertically against the side of the building and then through another 300-ft of hose placed horizontally on each floor.
For pumping to 570-ft distances and working along the outside building perimeter, the trailer pump was utilized in conjunction with a shock block. Specially created by Quality Concrete Pumping, the shock block consisted of a 90-degree elbow positioned inside a 3-ft square cube of concrete. At the top of the block, pipe was connected and attached up the side of the building. At the bottom, the system was connected to the pump. The 4,000-lb shock block had the dual purpose of absorbing any possible shock from the pump plus supporting the pipe’s weight up 27 stories.
On this job, the TK 40 was operating at almost maximum hydraulic pressure, but its maximum 40 cubic yards an hour output was not needed. A slower rate of placement was due in part to a lot of repositioning from one block cell to the next. Crews had to place concrete through 4-inch knock-outs in the concrete floor above the blocks. As a result, the average placement was only about 20 cubic yards in an eight hour day.
As space restraints prevented a trash chute, clean-out was a chore. The crew had to manually walk out the hose by pumping out any remaining concrete onto visqueen, adding u-shaped rebar to it, allowing it to set, and finally lifting it by crane to a dumpster when hardened. After the initial walk out, water was pumped via the hopper through the pipe to force a thorough cleaning. A golf ball would be dropped down the system to ensure no concrete remained.
Only 12 blocks away, another high-rise called the Loft Downtown was also under construction. Using the same approach as the Emerald at Brickell project, and using the same TK 40 trailer pump on alternating days, Quality was able to help create the feeling of edgy living spaces popular in New York and San Francisco. This new 24-story structure features 196 trendy warehouse-inspired lofts, built new from the ground up.
According to George White, Vice President of Quality Concrete Pumping, “Not too many companies would think of using smaller trailer pumps for these high-rise jobs. However, if you understand the true performance capabilities of the Thom-Katt® units, you know that they can often do the work of larger sized pumps just as effectively, but of course less expensively.”
George adds, “Our TK 40 worked just fine even at these far reaching distances. There was never any strain on the pump, and we encountered no hiccups whatsoever.”
Jim Henegar, co-owner of the Miami-based Thomas Machinery, Inc. and authorized distributor of Putzmeister equipment, notes that “although the TK 40 is capable of pumping higher volumes than were needed on these jobs, it has the required horsepower and concrete pressure necessary for high-rise pumping.”
Quality takes a special approach to customer service which is unusual to their area. By providing their own trained personnel to work the end hose, they ensure the best final results and free up contractor personnel. For these two particular jobs, one Quality employee was stationed at the pump and one at the end hose with two-way radios to communicate.
“We sent the same crew to both jobs,” says Jeff White, President of Quality, “as a special talent and knowledge is needed to properly handle a high-rise project.”
Quality also offers a different way of charging customers for delivery systems associated with pumping high-rise structures. While most concrete placement companies would charge the contractor full price for the complete system, Quality supplies the pipe, clamps, brackets and shock block free of charge for the contractor to mount. Each time Quality pumps on the job, they provide the first 200-ft of system at no charge, and then a dollar for every additional foot beyond 200-ft. It’s their way of keeping costs low for the contractor.
The concreting and grout work for both the Emerald at Brickell and the Loft Downtown were finished in July. Occupancy is projected before the end of 2005 for both buildings.
General contractor: Coastal Construction – Miami, FL
Pumping contractor: Quality Concrete Pumping – Coral Springs, FL
Equipment dealer: Thomas Machinery, Inc. – Miami, FL
Equipment: Putzmeister Thom-Katt® TK 40 trailer pump