Two Placing Booms Add Omni to Louisville Skyline
The new 30-story Omni Hotel in downtown Louisville will alter the City’s skyline. In order to coordinate the progress of two intersecting towers that create a unique design, F.A. Wilhelm Construction Company, Indianapolis, put two placing booms on the project to meet the schedule for concrete completion. Wilhelm specializes in complex concrete projects and the $320 million Omni job started out with more than 17-miles of cast-in-place augured foundation piers.
“We placed more than 5,000 cubic yards with our Schwing boom pumps,” Joe Popp, Wilhelm’s project superintendent, explains in describing the pile caps and footers started April 2016. The company has nine Schwing pumps in their fleet devoted exclusively to Wilhelm’s projects. The company has built more than 8,000 major projects in their 90-year history. Wilhelm project manages many of their jobs but is handling the concrete place and finish only on the Omni. “The ability to use our own people and our own resources gives us a distinctive edge in controlling the construction schedule and producing the highest quality work,” according to Popp, “Self-performing the concrete is another way to demonstrate accountability and achieve the best value for our customers.”
After the cast-piles were placed the company pumped the first three levels of the structure with their long booms. “Our Schwing S 61 SX had the reach for the majority of the pours on the 262,840 square foot structure,” explains Popp, “It’s easy to set-up and move with the Super X outriggers.” The S 61 SX features 198-feet of reach with its Overhead Roll and Fold® boom. Output kept up with demand thanks to the long stroke 2525-6 pumpkit. An added benefit of the 98-inch material cylinders is the slow stroking action that reduces noise in the urban environment. “On a 200-yard pour the Schwing pumps 500 strokes less than other pumps,” Popp explains, “Which also keeps fuel consumption down.”
Upon reaching the fourth level, Wilhelm installed two separate placing booms on the main structure that will house luxury apartments on the top 14-floors with hotel rooms below. Other hotel rooms will be in a 16-level wing that sits perpendicular to the main tower on a north-south axis. The company purchased a new Schwing S 39 SX in 2016 for the project. The new unit was ordered with the detachable boom option that allows the four-section Roll and Fold® placing boom to be lifted from the truck chassis and mounted on the structure. “This unit is very versatile for high utilization,” explains Popp, “It can function as a 39-meter boom pump for our commercial work or lift the boom off for high rise work.” The company is using the concrete pump on the truck chassis to feed both separate placing booms on the project.
The other boom required to complete pours on the large footprint is a dedicated SPB 35 also from Schwing. “With more than 44,000 cubic yards to be placed on the elongated structures we needed reach, reliability and output,” Popp explains. The standard 2023-5 pumpkit on the S 39 SX ,with detachable boom, has output of 208 cubic yards per hour. The pump can be switched to a high pressure setting for up 1621 psi on the concrete. “We are pumping through 800-feet of line from one location that serves both booms,” according to Popp, “We have not needed the high pressure setting even at that distance. Pumping has been seamless.”
Wilhelm engineered the mounting of the placing booms with Schwing’s help. They chose two different methods from many options. “We were able to place an octagonal mounting mast at the far end of the main structure to reach all of the 14-story intersecting wing with the detached boom,” explains Popp, “Then we conveniently mounted the dedicated separate placing boom on a zero elevation frame on the climbing form system for the core of the main structure.” Both booms are now dedicated to the main structure as it climbs beyond the 14-story height of the hotel.
The mast-mounted separate placing boom is equipped with an optional self-climbing mechanism. “Self-climbing allows scheduling flexibility not dependent on the tower crane’s availability,” says Popp, “The one-person climbing operation allows movement in two-foot increments unlike systems that can only jack the boom a full floor level.” The Schwing system positions two hydraulic cylinders on either side of the mast for balanced climbing with an integrated climbing rail. The mast can be elevated a full floor in 15-minutes. Schwing’s system requires a small 41” x 41” opening with bolt-together floor frames positioned on two levels. The Schwing self-climbing system for the mast is powered by the separate placing boom’s hydraulic system.
Concrete placement on the two towers below level 16 was executed in three pours per day over an eight day cycle. Above that level the footprint was reduced to the main tower and two pours per day were required over a six day cycle. Each pour requires approximately 300 yards for the verticals and decks. The schedule required pumping six days per week. Total square footage will be 1.2 million square feet at completion. The company has been pumping through separate placing booms for more than 17 years throughout their territory of Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois.
In meeting the Omni concrete deadline with innovation and dedication, Popp says, “We are never satisfied with industry standards when it comes to safety and quality in our work practices and equipment. We desire to strengthen and inspire our people to be their best and it’s people, not concrete, who form the foundation for our success.”
Scheduled to open in late spring 2018, this Omni Hotel’s intersecting towers represent the crossroads of the past, present and future of Louisville. Inspired by the city’s rich history and authentic character, the Omni Louisville will transform one of the city’s most significant urban blocks into a unique and vibrant mixed-use environment offering hotel guests, residents and locals a chance to connect and enjoy the best of a great city.
Owner: Omni Hotels, Dallas, TX
Architect: HKS Inc, Dallas, TX
General Contractor: Brasfield & Gorrie, Birmingham,. AL
Concrete Contractor: F.A. Wilhelm Construction Company, Indianapolis
Pumping Contractor: F.A. Wilhelm Construction Company, Indianapolis
Pumping Equipment: Schwing S 39 SX concrete pump with detachable placing boom, Schwing octagonal self-climbing mast, SPB 35 separate placing boom with zero elevation cross frame and Schwing S 61 SX trick-mounted concrete pump with placing boom.