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Placing Concrete on a Grand Scale


1) Simply disconnect the boom and attach the crane cables.

2) Fly the boom.

3) Guide the boom onto the pedestal.

4) Connect the pins.

5) Get ready to pump.

The JW Marriott as it will look upon completion.

Putzmeister’s 32/36Z-Meter Placing boom atop the JW Marriott receives concrete from a Putzmeister BSA 2109 trailer pump fed by ready mix trucks at ground level.

Granger Construction is helping change the face of downtown Grand Rapids, MI with its concrete work on the JW Marriott.

Putzmeister’s bolt connect placing boom tower features a self-climbing system. This application is unique in that the self-climbing shafts are only mounted on three sides of concrete walls.

The distinctive shape of the JW Marriott in Grand Rapids, MI made mounting 80 feet of tower to support the Putzmeister 32/36Z-Meter placing boom a challenge.

Placing Concrete on a Grand Scale

Two separate projects bring placing boom technology to Western Michigan

STURTEVANT, WI (October 1, 2006): In large cities around the world, placing booms are familiar parts of the skyline. High-rise construction, once relegated to bucketing concrete using valuable crane time, is now completed faster and more efficiently with concrete placing booms mounted to sophisticated towers and pedestals. Projects like Trump and Burj Dubai invoke images of spectacular concrete pours using this technology. However, two Western Michigan companies are creating their own piece of history by using placing booms on two important job sites in Grand Rapids.

“It’s very exciting to be involved with two placing boom projects happening in the same city at the same time,” says Dick Hite, owner of Hite Concrete Equipment of Neapolis, Ohio. “The projects are very different and the placing system configurations handle each application perfectly.”

Hite worked with both Grand River Construction, Inc. of Hudsonville, Michigan and Granger Construction Company of Lansing, Michigan on pump, placing boom and tower systems that would meet their needs for reach and flexibility. The first project uses a detachable truck-mounted concrete boom pump while the second employs a separate placing boom in combination with a large trailer-mounted pump.

Ramping Up the Pace: Spectrum Health Parking Garages
A general contractor specializing in commercial and industrial concrete work, Grand River handles a variety of projects, including manufacturing plants, commercial buildings, water treatment plants, power plants, universities, hospitals, arenas, parking ramps and equipment foundations.

Having completed work on the Spectrum Health Heart Center, Grand River is currently working simultaneously on two parking garages situated on either side of the Spectrum Health facility. The company strategically placed four different concrete foundations on the site to mount placing boom tower and pedestal. Two of these locations at a time are fully equipped with Putzmeister’s new pin connect placing boom tower. Foundation anchors secure the tower, which was specified and rented from Hite Concrete Equipment for the duration of the job.

To handle the pumping and the concrete placement, Grand River purchased its own Putzmeister 38Z-Meter detachable truck-mounted concrete boom pump. This offers them the flexibility to move around the Spectrum Health job site or remove the boom from the placing tower and pump at another job site, if schedules require it.

Before a pour, the 38Z-Meter is driven to the site where the boom is detached, flown via crane to the pedestal, mounted and connected. A 300-yard pour can easily be completed in the morning and another in the afternoon by simply flying the boom and pedestal to one of the other tower locations on the site.

“Moving and connecting the boom with Putzmeister’s Series II detach system is amazingly fast,” says Keith Sullivan, Grand River’s Equipment Manager. “We can have one guy do the whole operation by himself in 30 to 45 minutes. I’ve seen a detach and connection with other placing booms take three ironworkers two hours to complete before pumping can begin.”

The powerful .16H pump cell on the truck gets the concrete where it needs to go and the boom’s exceptional reach covers all the area required on each pour. “We hadn't planned on pouring the columns for each floor using the placing boom, but it has been so cost-efficient to use the system and free up our crane, that we decided to do both the deck and columns,” says Sullivan.

To further expedite maneuverability on the site, Grand River attached special baskets to the boom to hold the chains needed to fly the boom. “Having the baskets permanently affixed to the boom eliminates the need for a man to go out on the boom 20 feet above the deck to connect the chains,” says Sullivan. “It reduces man-hours and improves safety on the job site.”

“For performance and set up, the speed of this placing system is awesome,” Sullivan continues. “There’s no other way we could have gotten this job done as effectively.”

Slated for completion in May of 2007, the project will comprise approximately 44,000 cubic yards of concrete. Consumers Concrete of Kalamazoo, Michigan is the concrete contractor and specified a 6,000 psi normal weight mix with a corrosion inhibitor. The parking facility will offer four levels of parking on one side and five levels on the other. Each side also features a top floor.

Success is Climbing: JW Marriott Hotel Grand Rapids
Synonymous with stability, capability, creativity and integrity, Granger Construction is committed to the satisfaction and success of its customers. Delivering remarkable buildings since 1960, Granger is serving as a subcontractor responsible for construction of foundations and the reinforced concrete frame for the new 24-story JW Marriott Hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

When completed, the concrete frame of the hotel will total approximately 400,000 square feet. Essential to the effective placement of concrete on this high-rise structure is a Putzmeister placing boom raising with a self-climbing system for the pouring of shear walls and the critical stair/elevator core, central to the structure.

When the first pours started on the project in November 2005, truck-mounted concrete boom pumps were able to handle the reach requirements. But as the structure grew, Granger knew it would need to employ a more sophisticated concrete placing method.

Mounted to an 80-foot Putzmeister bolt-connect tower, the boom is part of a unique internal climbing and form system. “No other configuration would meet our needs,” says Granger’s Senior Project Manager, Jim Connor. “The unusual shape of the elevator
core – sort of an “H”, but more complicated – made mounting the system more involved.”

“The Granger project was unique in that the self-climbing shafts are on only three sides of concrete walls,” says Hite. “The Forming Concepts design would not allow the placing boom to be secured on the climbing system because of the open wall. The tower and boom could be raised with the wall system, keeping crane time free as long as it was not attached during pumping operations.”

The lifting operation was performed with a simple system, allowing a quick and easy hooking and unhooking from the formwork. This design was a joint effort of the Granger team, Forming Concepts and Putzmeister.

The second obstacle the concrete placing team faced was the floor spacing and shaft forming which pushed the limits at 80 feet of tower being secured in the floors below free standing 50 feet with very limited space for tower movement. The boom and tower total 35,000 pounds and must rise through a 55-inch hole to pour each floor.

“Dick Hite did an outstanding job in supporting us in this project,” Connor says. “He looked at the challenges and offered a different way to approach the situation. It’s worked very well for us.”

To actually place the concrete, Granger is using a Putzmeister BSA 2109 high pressure trailer pump in tandem with a MXR 32/36Z-Meter separate placing boom. Both pieces of equipment were rented from Hite Concrete Equipment. “The BSA 2109 is ideal for the site,” says Dick Hite. “The machine has a very small footprint and there is very little lay down area at ground level.”

“Height was an issue,” says Tom Theis, Granger’s Project Supervisor for the JW Marriott job. “With a deck, columns and blade walls that will divide each room on each level, we had no choice in how to place the concrete. It was essential to have a pump powerful enough to get the concrete where it needed to be and a boom that would reach the entire level. The boom is currently 200 feet above the pump on floor 19 and we’re pumping like we were on ground level. The pump is rated at 800 feet and we’ll top out at 256 feet.”

“The Putzmeister MXR 32/36Z-Meter has been very advantageous for us in that the boom spans easily across each deck,” continues Theis. “There are no unreachable areas. It’s also been very easy on the hose man because the boom does not bounce.”

As with the Spectrum Health project, concrete for the JW Marriott is being provided by Consumers Concrete of Kalamazoo, Michigan. The company’s ready mix fleet delivered a 10,000 psi mix for the lower floors pumped by truck-mounted boom pumps then 8,000 psi and 5,000 psi mixes for the placing system. When complete, the building will consume 11,000 cubic yards of concrete, with approximately 247 cubic yards on each floor.

Completion of the hotel's concrete frame is scheduled for November 2006. Granger is also serving as the subcontractor responsible for the concrete frame for the 10-level parking ramp that will be located adjacent to the facility.