Monday, December 7, 2015

A Winter Condition

The Blue Book Facebook page had a good question today: What's the coldest job site you've ever been on?  It reminded me not of the coldest site I've been on, but some of the effects doing construction in cold weather can have on a project.

We were fortunate to do a financial planner's office in the South Bend, Indiana area.  It was a new 3,800 square foot office building for two financial planners.  We had six round columns as part of the design.  Rather than create them with a column wrap, we decided to use sandblasted cast-in-place concrete columns.  Four columns were part of the main entrance vestibule and two flanked the reception counter.  We also took advantage of them to use as part of the building structure..  

Construction began in the fall of 2008, and the columns were poured into their Sonnotube forms the last week of December, and wrapped with warming blankets.   A few days later, the Lake Michigan lake effect smow machine kicked in dumping fifteen inches of snow on the area along and bringing a straight month of subzero temperatures.  The site could not be accessed until six weeks after the columns were poured.  

The contractor stripped off the cardboard forms, exposing the raised spiral rings which we planned to remove with sandblasting.  However the concrete became tempered to a point where the rings could not be blasted off.  We discussed options such as adding a skim coat of plaster to them to create a smooth surface.  In the end we decided to leave the columns as they were to keep the exposed aggregate, and used the rationale of "architectural honesty" to justify leaving the rings.

We find the rings to be fine and we're proud of the result.

No comments:

Post a Comment