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Welcome back to Episode Seven of the Perlo Podcast! Podcast host Elissa Looney, Director of Strategic Initiatives at Perlo Construction, is joined by Superintendent George Trice and Project Manager Nate Brown, two members of the project team for one of Perlo’s current projects in Ridgefield, Washington.
Overview of Ridgefield Industrial
Ridgefield Industrial is a 480,000 SF core and shell concrete tilt-up warehouse on a 50-acre site being built for Specht. Project teams are about three-quarters of the way through the project, with the total duration spanning about eleven months.
George Trice, Project Superintendent at Perlo Construction, explains that the walls have already been tilted and the roof is about 70% completed. In this specific project, project teams are waiting to pour the truck loading docks until the last minute to allow time for a potential tenant to come in, as they are hoping to do some tenant improvements later on. The team is currently ahead of schedule, and they expect to finish the project a month ahead of schedule.
George explains that although they are now expecting to finish the project a month early, this wasn’t always the case. Times were tougher over the winter, but the crews were able to tackle a few critical items early, such as the truck aprons, that pushed the project schedule ahead.
Nate Brown, one of Perlo’s Project Mangers, states that he’s learned quite a bit since being out on the site. As a visual learner, being on the site in person a few days a week to see what’s going on has allowed him to learn exponentially about building in commercial construction.
General Process of Concrete Tilt-ups
The process for concrete tilt-ups is generally straight-forward. From stripping the site and concrete-treating the soil to digging footings for the slab, the end goal is the have the panels come off the ground when it is time to tilt. One unique factor of concrete tilt-ups is that you don’t run the slab where the wall is going to be. As panels tilt up and sit on footings, there is about a 10-foot gap between the wall and the slab. Once the roof is tied in, project teams start backfilling and do a pour-strip around the building. This is critical, as both the rebar that is coming out of your panels and the roof system all have to tie into the slab perfectly.
George and Nate explain that the biggest challenge on this site was the rain. Every pour that the team conducted was followed by rain, which meant that bond breaker couldn’t be added to the slab. Bond breaker is what keeps the newly poured panel layers from sticking to the slab and is a necessity for panel tilts. The project team and field crews had to take a more innovative route to solve this problem by working over the weekend when the weather was nicer to get as much water off the panels as possible.
Like what you hear? Check out the full podcast to see a tour of this in-progress project!