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Unique Lodge and Indoor Water Park Unique Job Requires Special Equipment Features for Timely Completion

The construction plan for the water park called for erecting the shell first, then positioning overhead plumbing and such features as water slides and pools. While the plan helped minimize heating costs during the winter construction schedule, it became necessary to subsequently place fill rock and concrete in confined, interior spaces with the aid of Putzmeister units.

With their low folding height and extensive reach, Putzmeister Z-boom model concrete pumps were ideal for placing more than 5,100 cubic yards of concrete in the indoor water park.

Most of the more than 40 concrete pours were completed indoors, with only about 50 cubic yards placed at one time.

Booms on Putzmeister concrete pumps had to snake under ventilation pipes, over slides and pools and other equipment placed earlier inside the indoor water park.

Unique Lodge and Indoor Water Park Unique Job Requires Special Equipment Features for Timely Completion

STURTEVANT, Wis. (June 9, 2003) – The $20 million Great Wolf Lodge of Kansas City, Kan., combines the rustic charm of a north-woods lodge with the amenities of a contemporary resort including 281 luxurious guest suites and a premier indoor water park. An unusual sequence of events was required to build it.

The construction plan required the framework or shell of the water park to be built first, then the water slides and overhead plumbing positioned. In an unusual manner, a conveyor and boom pump had to operate under the low structure to place rock and concrete for the basement floor. A boom pump additionally had to handle the pool decks, flatwork and other indoor areas under the framework. Erecting the shell first minimized heating costs during the winter months.

Construction challenges were abundant. The Kansas City-based concrete contractor, Lithko Contracting, approached Midwest Concrete Placement, also of Kansas City, to assist. Having established a long-term relationship with Midwest Concrete Placement, Lithko staff knew the concrete pumping company’s equipment met the unique requirements of the job.

In one instance, use of a Putzmeister Telebelt® conveyor model TB 105 owned by Midwest was the only practical way to place 600 tons of rock in a 12,000-square-foot basement. First, a skid steer loader was lowered into a small hole via a crane. Next, the Telebelt conveyed clean rock, 3/4-inch in diameter, through a 20x20-foot opening while the skid steer moved it into place below. Then, a 28Z-meter Putzmeister boom pump delivered concrete into a small-hole opening using 200 feet of slick line and a crew to place it below. Although time consuming, the process was more efficient than using a wheelbarrow.

The Telebelt also was used to place 1,900 tons of rock under the core lobby area. Ample space was available to accomplish this without using a skid steer. As a result, the conveyor quickly and efficiently placed the rock.

In another instance, Midwest’s 36Z-meter boom pump proved to be the only 117-foot-reaching unit in the Kansas City area available with a Multi-Z boom to place concrete efficiently. The low unfolding height and versatile 4-section Z-boom configuration allowed the Putzmeister unit to snake under ventilation pipes and over slides, pools and other equipment inside the building. Plus, it attained a long horizontal reach to avoid using system.

Ted Strahm, operations manager of Lithko Contracting, said, “The flexibility of the Putzmeister Z-boom was the best and only choice for us based on the many constraints of this job. Plus, it avoided using costly and labor intensive system.”

Most of the more than 40 concrete pours with the 36Z were conducted inside, placing only 50 cubic yards at a time. This was necessary because there were 8x10-foot drainage areas every 15 feet apart that needed precisely placed sloping floors. Although a time-consuming process, once the concrete left the end hose, it was finished by hand to attain the desired smoothness.

Another problematic factor was site access. Winter weather and site congestion often allowed for just one ready-mix truck to discharge at a time. Therefore, the narrow outrigger spreads of the company’s pumps and conveyor also proved advantageous.

Strahm, of Lithko, Contracting added, “Overall this project was very challenging from the complex cast-in-place basement walls to the sloping pool deck slabs that could not be installed until both the building was up and all the water slides and other fixtures installed. Because we were able to both Telebelt the rock with a conveyor as well as pump the pool decks using a Multi-Z boom pump in very confined spaces, we saved a great deal on overall placement costs.”

Shaped like a flying bird, the lodge has two wings on each side of the building. The wings house guest rooms while the middle section contains the lobby and the 40,000-square-foot water park to the rear. For the lobby and wings, Midwest provided various concrete boom pump models from its Putzmeister fleet. Both roll and fold booms as well as Z-folding booms were used, which included the 28Z, 32, 32Z, 36, 36Z and 42X-meter pumps.

More than 5,100 cubic yards of concrete were poured during the project. The first concrete pour was June 18, 2002. Great Wolf Lodge opened this May.

Owner: Great Lakes Companies, Madison, Wis.
General contractor: Steven’s Construction Corporation, Madison, Wis.
Concrete contractor: Lithko Contracting, Kansas City, Kan.
Pumping contractor: Midwest Concrete Placement, Kansas City, Kan.
Ready-mix supplier: Penny’s Concrete, Shawnee Mission, Kan.
Equipment: Putzmeister 28Z, 32, 32Z, 36, 36Z and 42X-Meter concrete boom pumps, and a TB 105 Telebelt conveyor