New Concrete Pumping Record Set in Mexico
New Concrete Pumping Record Set in MexicoA new vertical concrete pumping record of 740 feet (225m) was set in Mexico using a single trailer pump – the Putzmeister BSA 2109. The “standard” unit pumped over 19,000 cubic yards (14,612m3) to this height during the construction of Torre Mayor, Mexico City’s premier corporate Tower.
The 55-story Tower will offer tenants state-of-the-art technology and the most efficient world-class office space in Mexico City, accommodating both local and international firms. With striking architecture and a monumental scale, the $250 million project is centrally located near the Mexican Stock Exchange; the United States, British, Canadian and Japanese embassies; and the headquarters of many Mexican and international corporations.
High-rise construction is not common in Mexico due to earthquakes; therefore, getting it erected provided challenges along the way. Structural calculations for the positioning of the pipe when filled with concrete were developed to ensure ample building strength in holding it. Over 560 feet (170m) of Putzmeister ZX high-pressure pipe was used in the lower portion coming off the pump where it was needed most, and 625 feet (190m) of heavy-duty standard pipe was used in the upper portion.
The project’s setup included a long radius elbow at the pump’s outlet followed by 10 feet (3m) of straight pipe to a diversion valve. Then a straight pipe went through a block of concrete to absorb the vibration and motion of the pipeline, and 108 feet (36m) of pipe stretched across the bottom of the building before heading to the top.
Outputs ranged from 26 to 40 cubic yards an hour (20 to 30 m3/hr), although the Putzmeister unit was capable of up to 124 yards an hour (95m3/hr) with maximum pressures to 2205-psi (152 bar).
Between 25 to 30 mixer trips needed
To avoid cold joints during a single pour, between 25 and 30 mixer trips were required. Special additives were also used to allow a better flow of concrete through the pipe. Original slumps in the beginning were about 6 inches (16cm), with the final slump at the project’s end amounting to 8 inches (21cm).
Within the 830,000-square-foot (77,000 sq. meters) world-class corporate complex, the Tower's technology and systems are completely state-of-the-art. However, not much concrete was used, as the building is mainly constructed of dual tubular steel framework and lateral load resisting systems to ensure structural reliability under the most severe seismic conditions.
Also unusual to this high rise is that the intermediate slab forms were metal instead of wood. Concrete was poured over them and then the metal form stayed as part of the floor for added reinforcement. Concrete was also used to cover the columns in the lower floors.
Seceyco S.A. de C.V., the largest independent pumping contractor in Mexico, handled the project. Famous for doing complicated jobs and using state-of-the-art equipment, they bought the BSA 2109 trailer pump from the Putzmeister dealer in the area, Construmac S.A. of Naucalpan, Mexico.
Standard trailer pump chosen
Already familiar with Putzmeister products as they own over 50 in their fleet, Seceyco chose a standard trailer pump that was more than adequate to handle this high-reaching job. Capable of 350 bar hydraulic pressure, it used only 220 bar at its maximum output. The unit also featured a large 21.2-cubic-yard hopper, a powerful 232 hp Deutz 6 Z-Turbo engine and exclusive free-flow hydraulics for smooth pumping.
The pumping line was cleaned under pressure with an air compressor and one “Go-Devil.” As far as maintenance, scheduled inspections of the pipe were made to detect possible wear in the thickness of the pipe and to avoid fractures or breaks.
Torre Mayor is located at 505 Paseo de la Reforma. Set back from traffic, the Tower will provide a large, generously landscaped plaza surrounded by shops, restaurants and palm trees, all for the enjoyment of the building's occupants and visitors. The building architecture provides function as well as strength. Forty-three column-free office floors, with typical sizes ranging from approximately 18,000 square feet (1700 square meters) to 20,000 square feet (1,840 square meters), allow Tower occupants to achieve exceptionally efficient space utilization in their office designs.
Comprised of steel, granite, pre-cast concrete and glass, the $250 million Torre Mayor project has been under construction since September 1999. Interior finishing started in June 2002. It is projected that the first five floors will be occupied by January 15, 2003.
Note: Putzmeister still holds the “world” record in high-rise pumping at 1,745 feet (532m), set in Italy with a standard BSA 2100 HE trailer pump in 1994.
Owner: Reichmann -- New York
Architect: Zeidler Roberts Partnership –Toronto
General contractor: Ingenieros Civiles y Asociados, S.A. de C.V. – Mexico City
Pumping contractor: SECEYCO, S.A. de C.V. – Mexico City
Ready-mix supplier: Concretos APASCO, S.A. de C.V. – Mexico City
Equipment dealer: Construmac SA – Naucalpan, Mexico
Equipment: Putzmeister BSA 2109 trailer pump