Sorry Yogi, Members Only
Sorry Yogi, Members OnlyElite Residential Home at Yellowstone Club Poses Special Construction Challenges
STURTEVANT, Wisconsin (February 1, 2006) – Billed as the world’s only private ski and golf community, the Yellowstone Club is a gated development with only 864 custom residential homes allowed within its exquisite resort setting. However, nature’s beauty has presented special construction challenges for one estate home being built in the mountainous landscape.
Located on 13,400 acres in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the exclusive club offers its resident members special amenities right outside their front door. Skiing at pristine Private Powder™ in winter and golfing at the famed Tom Weiskopf-designed championship golf course in summer are just two of the many premier activities offered at the club.
Although famous celebrities and wealthy individuals abound in this community, Yogi Bear of the neighboring Yellowstone National Park would probably find it difficult to secure one of the few homes at this site. That’s because membership is by invitation only and requires a $250,000 initial membership fee, $16,000 annual dues and a bank account that can accommodate a home starting at $3 million.
The estate in question, an 8,500 sq. ft. residence resembling the size of a ski lodge, demanded meticulous geo-technical and structural engineering to ensure the home’s structural stability in withstanding nature’s most extreme catastrophes.
Responsible for implementing the major construction endeavor is general contractor Krump Construction, Inc. headquartered in Sparks, Nevada. Serving the western United States since 1967, Krump handles a variety of design-build, commercial, hospitality and estate home projects. The company routinely establishes field offices wherever individual projects occur and attributes its immense success in commercial construction to its evolution as an estate home builder for savvy business clients desiring quality custom residences.
“Every estate home offers one-of-a-kind features,” says Keith Fortin, Superintendent of Krump’s Estate Homes Division. “However, the multi-million dollar residence we’re building in Yellowstone Club also incorporates cutting edge technology. It definitely offers the most unique set of challenges I’ve experienced in my 20 years within estate home construction.”
After digging a huge hole and dumping and grading a foot of gravel, 76 unique micro piles were constructed to pin the layers of bedrock together and tie the floor slab to solid bedrock. GPS was used to precisely position these micro piles.
In an approach similar to well drilling, a massive rig was used to create the micro piles (resembling small legs) that bore the required six-inch steel casings about 40 ft. into the ground and an additional 5 ft. into bedrock. The hollow casings were pressure grouted inside and also one-inch around. Beyond providing extra strength in bonding the dwelling to the earth, the process offered added vibration control during any unforeseen earthquakes.
In addition to the micro piles, eight rock bolts were used as further reinforcement. The 40 ft. long rock bolts, which are epoxy-coated and threaded, also secured the house to the earth – a concept similar to tying a boat to a dock. As the home was cut into a hillside to achieve a walk-out basement, the bolts were installed at a 10-degree angle to the hill’s slope along a 200 ft. area.
A double mat #8 rebar slab positioned ten inches on center in each direction was then constructed atop the micro piles. More commonly found in commercial bridges, the #8 or one-inch diameter vertical rebar is unheard of in residential construction. However, this job required an astronomical 75 tons of it for the slab and walls.
With no way to chute the concrete in the mountainous terrain, pumping was the only logical choice for placing concrete within the 18-inch thick slab. Krump contacted Lonesome Dove Concrete Pumping located 50 miles away in Bozeman, Montanta and invited owner Greg Lucht to the site.
Lucht viewed a winding 10 ft. wide, 500 ft. long driveway with four hair pin turns and a very steep eight percent grade. It would be extremely time-consuming and difficult for large ready mix trucks to transport concrete along this narrow path, which allowed only one unit at a time to make the journey up and down.
Lucht took the opportunity to explain how a ‘pump-to-pump’ concrete placement approach would handle the challenge. Once the contractor realized how two pumps would improve efficiency, avoid the need to widen 500 ft. of mountainous paths and offer a much safer alternative, concrete pumping was an obvious choice.
Lonesome Dove selected a Putzmeister BSF 46X-Meter boom pump for its longer reach. The boom pump was strategically positioned below the pour at the first switch back, which facilitated easy discharging access by two ready mix trucks at a time. The unit’s boom extended 140 ft. to connect its end hose to the delivery pipe of a Putzmeister BSF 36Z-Meter unit positioned on a steep 45-degree hill above.
As its operator maneuvered the boom controls, the BSF 36Z fully stretched its 117 ft. boom to reach the farthest corners of the pour, assuming the role of a separate placing boom. Meanwhile, the 46X-Meter unit below provided the pumping power with its operator performing all pump functions.
“It was impressive to watch the concrete travel through 250 ft. of pipe between the two units, yet perform flawlessly while it bypassed one of the hoppers altogether,” says Fortin. “Lonesome Dove certainly had a great deal of confidence in the capabilities of its equipment.”
“Without this equipment setup, it would have taken two days to place the 268 yard slab,” says Lucht. “But with this setup, it only took four and a half hours to complete.”
Two other companies based in Bozeman were also actively involved with the overall project that required extra effort due to the terrain. Under the expertise of its owner Joe Rasmussen, Rasmussen Concrete, Inc. placed all the flat work and handled the placement and finishing of the footing slab. Alliance Concrete Forming, Inc. professionally formed the poured in place walls.
In early September, the same double pump setup from Lonesome Dove placed 145 cubic yards of concrete for the 14-inch thick exterior walls, which again used double curtain rebar. A week later, the two pumps returned to finish the walls by pumping another 185 yards of concrete.
The concrete also offered its own special characteristics for the job and was supplied by Concrete Materials of Montana. With a specified 4,000-pound breaking point, the three-inch slump concrete required seven gallons of plasticizers per ten cubic yard load to be added to mixers once on site. This achieved the needed six-inch slump for ease in vibrating around the exceptionally large amount of thicker rebar. Simply adding water for a better flow was not an alternative, and concrete was tested every 100 yards to ensure compliance.
Fortin notes, “Employing all these distinctive construction materials and unusual techniques means that if all the soil around the home was completely washed away by a mudslide or earthquake, the structure should still remain standing with its foundation fully intact.”
Protected from nature’s potential disasters with the unique construction practices employed, the soon-to-be-homeowners are also protected from unwanted visitors with high level security guards at the entrance gates. Krump was required to supply the names and last four social security digits of all workers needing access to the site 48-hours prior to commencement of work each day. Consequently, coordination of ready mix drivers, pump operators and all construction crew members had to be accurately scheduled.
Although four major contractors were involved in the project, the common denominator for three of them was owner Greg Lucht. Fortin notes, “As the remote job site meant a 90-minute drive from the nearest city of Bozeman and every worker had to be listed with gate security on a daily basis, it was a huge benefit to have the wall forms, ready mix and pumps all supplied from one entity whom we trusted not to mess around with the schedule.”
In 1993, Lucht moved from Colorado to Montana to establish a new company called Lonesome Dove Concrete Pumping. The business was named after the famous book and western movie about the first cattle drive from Texas to Montana. With its entrepreneurial spirit, Lonesome Dove pioneered concrete pumping in Montana and is really the only independent pumping company there with pumps located all over the state.
Today, the aggressive company features a fleet comprised exclusively of Putzmeister boom pumps with a dozen units ranging from 28 to 52 meters. Lonesome Dove also owns a Putzmeister Telebelt® TB 130, the industry’s largest truck-mounted belt conveyor used for placing a wide variety of materials such as stone.
In 1997, Lucht also started a ready mix company called Concrete Materials of Montana with batch plants in Bozeman and Billings, Montana. Then, in 2003, Greg partnered with Joe Rasmussen in a wall foundation business in Bozeman where “the alliance of people and equipment to form a strong foundation” was the philosophy and basis for the company’s name – Alliance Concrete Forming, Inc.
By vertically integrating these three companies, Lucht was able to actively seek out larger commercial work by providing a full range of highly dependable services. This strategy also provides protection from slowly eroding prices within an already price sensitive industry.
“By offering all three services from one company, our customers receive a special ‘turn key’ solution, where the contractor wins,” says Greg Lucht. “We feel Krump has benefited from this ‘one source’ approach, and we’re finding more contractors seeking us out for the same quality related reasons.”
Presently, Lonesome Dove is pumping other specialty homes at Yellowstone Club almost on a daily basis, although these homes are not quite as challenging.
Meanwhile, the unique estate home that provided numerous challenges since it began construction in June 2005, is scheduled for completion in November 2006. When finished, the spectacular single-family dwelling will offer its anonymous owner breathtaking views, extravagant amenities along with the valued privacy found behind the Yellowstone Club gates.
Architect: Cooper Rankin – Winnipeg, Canada
General contractor: Krump Construction Group – Sparks, NV
Wall foundation contractor: Alliance Concrete Forming, Inc. – Bozeman, MT
Ready-mix supplier: Concrete Materials of Montana – Bozeman, MT
Pumping contractor: Lonesome Dove Concrete Pumping – Bozeman, MT
Equipment: Putzmeister BSF 46X-Meter and BSF 36Z-Meter truck-mounted concrete boom pumps