Pump, Place, Finish and Lift At Florida Condo Project

Allen Concrete and Masonry, Inc. (ACMI) is living up to its name, and more, on a 24-story condo project in their hometown of Naples, Florida. The company has evolved in its thirty-year history into a concrete structure company, performing all aspects of cast-in-place construction in southwest Florida with an array of tools. They are the exclusive users in North America of the German-made Ischebeck and Pascal Forms for commercial and residential forming. They are a pumping contractor servicing other concrete contractors in addition to their own work. The company supplies block fill services with stationary pumps and recently added lifting services with their tower cranes. “Getting crane time on a project is an ongoing battle of the trades,” says company owner, Chris Allen, “We are better able to coordinate the tower cranes for concrete related lifting when it is ours and this also relieves the owner and general contractor from dealing with the issue.” ACMI’s thirty-year history in southwest Florida has produced a second-generation Allen with Chris’ son Zack as vice-president. Paul Allen, who is Chris’ brother, is the vice-president of operations and a veteran of the concrete pumping industry.

Allen is providing all of their services on the Kalea Bay project, located on the gulf coast north of downtown Naples. Plans call for five towers similar to the structure under construction. ACMI started working on the clubhouse six months ago that will be an integral part of the social aspect of the development. “Because of the abundance of sugar sand in this part of the state we had to build a road into the area,” according to Zack, “This allowed us to bring in our Schwing S 61 SX which we used primarily to build the 88,000 square foot amenity complex which includes tennis courts, restaurants and three swimming pools.” The pumps 198-foot boom reach enabled the pump to access most areas with very few set-ups. “The Super X outriggers helped to position the pump in the small access provided,” according to Paul Allen, “This is basically undeveloped land so the low soil pressures required by the outriggers on this long boom pump really are important to productivity.” The S 61 SX’s front outrigger spread is only 29’ 2” and the soil pressure’s are 51psi on the front outriggers and 54psi on the back. In addition, the company built a 600-foot concrete retaining wall that abuts a lake next to the clubhouse. “The ability to set-up and move the pump quickly helped speed this portion of the project,” according to Paul.

As ACMI finishes the appurtenances of the clubhouse, construction has begun on Tower 100 that incorporates more than 500,000 square feet and houses 120 condos plus a rooftop pool deck. “We started pumping with both of our S 61 SXs and the Schwing 52 meter to get the bottom floors finished, “ according to Zack, “And we continued boom pumping up to the tenth floor in order for the developer to quickly close in and build out floors one through five so they could start selling.” All of Allen’s long booms incorporate 2525-H pump kits and Big Rock Valves to maintain high volume pumping at maximum vertical boom reach. “We were able to knock out the first ten floors by pumping as fast as our crews could go,” Paul says, “The pumps can put out more than 200 yards per hour.”

On floor eleven, ACMI switched to a system of a concrete pump at ground level feeding a separate placing boom located at either of two mast locations. One mast location allows the Schwing SPB 35 to cover three-fourths of the 22,000 square foot typical floor. The second mast was positioned on the opposite end of the structure to cover the last one-fourth. The boom’s reach of 113-feet allowed every area to be pumped without adding any system for deck pours. ACMI chose the Schwing modular octagonal mast system that provides bolt-together sections available in either 4 or 6-meter lengths. “It is much easier to transport the section lengths to the site,” according to Paul, “We are using two six-meter sections that we bolted together on-site.” The mast requires a 41-1/8” x 41-1/8” floor opening and is secured by a frame with a pin and system of wedges. Accessories (ladders, pipeline holders, work platform) can be easily added thanks to brackets factory welded on each mast section.

With the separate placing boom in place, the company is averaging a floor every 11 days. “We pour the six-inch decks and verticals in two days and follow-up with block fill in masonry walls,” Paul notes, “We are able to fly the boom to the other mast in about thirty-minutes.” The SPB 35 is powered by a hydraulic power pack, which can be separated from the boom if crane capacity is challenged. ACMI’s cranes are able to handle the entire SPB package in one pick. Pumping is accomplished with a 1995 Schwing 32X truck-mounted concrete pump with placing boom. “The pump is giving us 100 yards per hour which is more than adequate for the finishing crews,” according to Paul. “The 1200 pump kit is twin circuit but we have not switched it from the volume side to the pressure side.” When the 32-meter boom pump is not on the Kalea site, it is servicing the commercial projects and luxury residential pumping projects that can exceed 50,000 square feet of living space.

Normal pipeline routing would have the system running horizontally at grade level to both masts and turning vertically with a standpipe. But because the interiors on the first five floors are being finished, the five-inch pipe is routed outside the building to the tenth floor and then across the deck to the masts. Total pumping distance will be 400-feet to top out the 340-foot tall building. Block filling for masonry walls on each floor utilizes three-inch pipe mounted to the side of the structure and then reduced to two-inch hose. The company is pumping the grout with Schwing SP 1000 and SP 500 concrete pumps that offer output to 70 and 45 cubic yards respectively.

At completion, Kalea Bay will consist of 582 units in five luxury high-rise towers overlooking the Gulf. Tower 100 will be completed in the fall of 2017 “By providing forming, pumping and finish service to the general contractor and now crane service, we are in position to transition to the other four towers on the project.” Zack notes. ACMI prides itself on having the right tools for every aspect of the job including boom and stationary pumps of all sizes, separate placing booms, forming systems and tower cranes. “We are all about safety, efficiency and customer service,” Zack says, “And we are a tight knit family company.”