Mega employed almost every pump in their fleet at one time on the largest infrastructure jobs in the world. Here a Schwing S 47 SX pumps out a portion of the McGill University Health Center project.

Cross frames bolted to the concrete foundation support the Schwing octagonal masts in free-standing applications for the lower floors. The masts will transition to floor frames with a self-climbing system for the upper levels.

Four Schwing octagonal masts are being used on the project. The masts come in modular sections and bolt together quickly to support the separate placing booms. The masts also incorporate brackets for mounting the pipeline and they feature a climbing rail for self-climbing applications with floor frames.

Three Schwing S 61 SXs were used on the project because of their ability to reach more than 197-feet and set-up quickly.

Diversion valve routes concrete to two separate placing booms or diverts waste concrete during pipeline clean-out to a dumpster. Pump is a Schwing KVM 39X with detachable boom removed.

Huge Hospital Project Is a Mega Pumping Job

One of the largest hospital projects in the world is underway in Montreal, Quebec Canada with multiple placing booms and truck-mounted pumps assisting in the concrete construction. Pompes Mega, Montreal, Quebec is the concrete pumping contractor speeding construction of what will be the new Glen Campus of McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), one of the world’s foremost academic health centers. More than $2.5 billion will be spent on the renovation of two existing campuses and the new construction with completion expected in 2014. SNC Lavallin, Montreal is leading the coordination, design and general contracting on this project.

Sub-contractors Astra Forming, represented by Claude Desroches and Alliance Forming, represented by Andre Pommerleau, share the responsibilities of 7,500,000 Sq. ft. of forms and finishing. They retained the services of Pompes Mega Inc. to handle the concrete pumping of 261,000 cubic yards. Mega arrived on site in late 2010 for preliminary pours but pumping began in earnest in March 2011. Utilizing their fleet of Schwing boom pumps from 28-meters to 61-meters, the company placed foundations in anticipation of erecting four masts that would support separate placing booms to cover the majority of concrete placement. “We utilized two S 52 SX Schwing pumps plus two S 58 SX and three S 61 SXs early on to establish the slabs that would support the masts, “ explains Mireault, “By getting the masts up early, we were able to make great strides in concrete placement due to the efficiency of the separate placing booms.”

Two of the separate placing booms came from Mega’s Schwing KVM 39 X concrete pumps with detachable placing booms. Four pin disconnects allow the booms to be removed from the truck chassis and lifted by tower crane to the masts. Once in place, the booms offer nearly 115-feet of horizontal reach covering more than 41,000 square feet from one location. Mega utilized two 35-meter placing booms for the other two masts. Because the Generation 2 design allows the hydraulic power pack to be flown separately, the picking weight of the four-section boom is only 12,890 lbs – the lightest weight in its class. The dedicated separate placing booms offer the same horizontal reach as the detached 39-meter booms.

Each mast and separate placing boom combination started in a free-standing configuration with a cross frame bolted to the foundation. As the project advances, each of the masts will be mounted into a self-climbing floor frame configuration. “We pump all basements including a large tunnel under the buildings and a couple of floors from the free standing set up and from there we will install the floor frames and each boom will self climb to the top of the 16-story structure,” says Mireault. To “jump a floor” the self-climbing feature uses hydraulic power from the placing boom. An integrated climbing rail on the mast with portable climbing cylinders combines to raise the mast and boom in two-foot increments. The one-man operation takes approximately 20 minutes to climb one floor, allowing the tower cranes to perform other work. “Even with 15 tower cranes on site, the contractor really sees the benefits of a self-climbing system,” explains Mireault.

The 39-meter booms are fed concrete from their truck-mounted pumps through a pipeline system that is laid out through the project. The octagonal masts have integrated brackets to mount the five-inch pipeline. The mast’s modular sections are 6-meters in length and bolt together fast allowing the masts to be tailored to the project. Mega has more than 3,000-feet of pipeline system on the project to connect the four masts to their pumps.

Pumping power is supplied by the two KVM 39 X truck pumps with 2023H-6 120/80 MPS pump kits. The pump kit, with 9-inch diameter pumping cylinders combines with long stroking action (79-inch) for smooth placement through the placing booms. The pumps can apply up to 1233 psi on the concrete to easily handle the long placements required on the huge project. “We have had no problems meeting the volume and distance requirements of the project with our pumping equipment, “ according to Mireault, “And the versatility of the four masts coupled with our fleet of boom pumps has allowed us to meet the aggressive pumping schedule.”

The company is also utilizing a Schwing BPL 4000 truck-mounted stationary pump to shuttle between placing points. This compact unit offers big performance with the ability to switch from high pressure to high volume depending on the requirements of the pour. When slabs call for high volume the unit pumps out up to 170 cubic yards per hour.

Each mast has it’s own pumping station to facilitate concrete delivery. Disposal hoppers at each station accept the waste concrete when the pipeline is washed out at the end of a pour. Two ready-mix firms, Lafarge and Demix, are supplying the mix on the project from Montreal batch plants.

Mega has two locations near Montreal for dispatching pumps to the site. “Many days we have a couple of 61s on the project while we are also pumping through the separate placing booms, “ explains Mireault, “We have used the long boom 61s extensively because they set-up fast and reach over so many of the job site obstructions with 197-feet of reach.”. More than 2,000 workers are employed on the job.

“On a project of this scale, you have to consider a placing system, not just pumping concrete, “ Mireault remarked, “Without the flexibility of the free-standing masts and booms supplemented by our long booms it would be difficult to place this much concrete in so short of time. Plus the complexity of a hospital structure requires the precision placement this system provides.”

All contractors on the project must follow LEED guidelines which prohibit leakage of fluids by any vehicles or equipment. Water tank trucks are used all day to spray roads in the worksite to control dust. Special ramps were designed for mobile equipment leaving the site. The ramps have grates that clean the tires as they are traversed, reducing the amount of mud tracked onto the surface streets in downtown Montreal. “This site isn’t just clean, it’s hospital clean,” Mireault notes.

“The Glen Campus construction venture is one of the largest hospital infrastructure projects in the world. Completing this project gives the Montréal area just the kind of economic boost it needs and will help provide our citizens with world-class health care at the cutting edge of technology. We look forward to the opening of the McGill University Health Care Glen Campus with excitement and pride,” stated Michelle Courchesne, Minister responsible for Government Administration, Chair of the Conseil du trésor and Minister responsible for Infrastructure Québec.

The MUHC system annually handles 38,294 admissions, 170,935 emergency department visits, 31,638 surgery patients and delivers 3,857 newborns.


Owner: McGill University Health Center, Montreal, Canada
General Contractor: SNC-Lavalin Construction, inc., Montreal, Canada
Architects: Groupe IBI, Montreal, Canada
Forming Contractors: Alliance Forming, Bolton, Ontario and Astra Forming, Montreal, Quebec
Pumping Contractor: Pompes Méga, Beloeil, Quebec
Equipment: (3) Schwing S 61 SXs, (2) Schwing S 58 SX and (2) Schwing S 52 SX truck-mounted concrete pumps with placing booms, (2) Schwing KVM 39X truck-mounted concrete pumps with detachable placing booms, (2) Schwing SPB 35 separate placing booms, Schwing BPL 4000 truck-mounted concrete pump, (4) Schwing octagonal masts.