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FLAT FLOORS, MEGA POURS

Half a century ago, in the early days of Concrete Construction, it was big news to hear about a project where 5000 square feet of floor was placed and finished in one day. Completing a 3000-cubic-yard mat pour in less than a day was unheard of. Advances in pumping technology that would exponentially increase placing potential started in the 1960s, but finishing and quality control techniques still had strides to make.

In the 1980s Concrete Construction reported on two developments that raised the bar for quality and productivity in slab construction. The first article, “A Time Bomb in Floor Tolerances?” by Allen Face, appeared in November 1982. An April 1987 article, “A Screeding Machine That’s More Than a Strike-Off,” was subtitled “Ride-On Vibratory Screed Spreads Concrete by Auger and Sets Grade by Laser.”

F-number system

Dipsticks are used to perform F-number measurements (January 2003).
Dipsticks are used to perform F-number measurements (January 2003).

Allen Face, president of the Edward W. Face Co., had begun to develop a new method for measuring floor flatness in 1979. Though he didn’t specifically use the term “F numbers” in his 1982 article, he introduced the concept and described an instrument that could be used during construction to monitor and automatically graph floor profiles.

Face explained that two industry trends were driving the need for flatter concrete floors. First, warehouses were using new small-profile, high-lifting material handling equipment that would not function properly on a floor that was not flat. Second, modular portable partition systems now widely used in high-rise office buildings required tightly maintained clearances between ceiling and floor.

Face’s F-number system quickly replaced the standard 10-foot straightedge method. In 1987 ASTM issued ASTM E 1155 “Standard Test Method for Determining Floor Flatness and Levelness Using the F-Number System.” ACI-117 “Standard Specification for Tolerances for Concrete Construction and Materials” adopted the system in 1990.

Concurrently, developments on the equipment front would advance quality and productivity.

The laser screed

The first laser screed model to hit the market is featured in the April 1987 issue.
The first laser screed model to hit the market is featured in the April 1987 issue.

In April 1957 Concrete Construction reported that vibrating screeds were gaining popularity. Thirty years later, a case study of the new screeding machine with laser receptors described how by striking off 240 square feet of floor in less than two minutes the machine enabled a crew of nine to screed a 14,000-square-foot floor in five hours. The screed, invented by a concrete finishing contractor, was now available for purchase.

True to journalistic form, the coverage presented the features, operation, and benefits of the screed without fanfare. A historical viewpoint allows more license to evaluate the impact of a technological breakthrough. In a January 2000 retrospective titled “The Equipment Revolution,” a segment on the laser-controlled vibratory screed stated that the machine “changed how concrete is placed and how other equipment is used.”

Ride-on trowels are essential for finishing massive slab placements. A January 1999 photo shows attachment of a straight-edge to produce a flatter floor.
Ride-on trowels are essential for finishing massive slab placements. A January 1999 photo shows attachment of a straight-edge to produce a flatter floor.

David and Paul Somero, the concrete contractors who invented the laser screed, had observed the use of lasers to control bulldozers and graders. The Someros couldn’t sell the idea to manufacturers, so they teamed up with a mechanical engineer and developed it themselves. They created a prototype in 1985 and sold their first machine in late 1986.

“Prior to buying and using the Someros’ machine we would average 5000 to 10,000 square feet of placed concrete a day,” Ken Endres of Middleton Construction, Middleton, Wis., told Concrete Construction in January 2000. “Now, with the screed, we average 20,000 to 25,000 square feet per day with the same manhours.”

Also in that article, Allen Face observed that the laser screed had had a “profound impact” on floor flatness and levelness.

In 1999 the laser screed was enhanced with a 3-D attachment that converted the machine from single-plane to multiple-plane screeding. The “Achilles’ heel,” according to a September 2002 article, was that workers installing control joints and applying curing agents would find it difficult to keep up with the highly productive machine. No doubt there are innovations on the horizon that will soon solve those problems, just as in the past.

Before placing booms were incorporated, the reach of a pump was limited by the length of the hose (November 1968).
Before placing booms were incorporated, the reach of a pump was limited by the length of the hose (November 1968).

For example, productivity increases resulting from concrete placing advancements created a demand for finishing equipment that could keep pace. The ride-on power trowel had been patented in 1973, but it was the demands of the 1980s that propelled the riding trowel into widespread use. According to the January 2000 equipment article: “On a 40,000- to 50,000-square-foot slab, four to five riders can do the work of 25 to 30 walk-behind trowels—or 125 to 150 finishers working on their hands and knees. Today’s mega-slab pours wouldn’t be feasible without rider trowels.”

Mega mats

The boom extension played a major role in the proliferation of monolithic continuous pours, such as the Columbia Center in Troy, Mich. (November 1999).
The boom extension played a major role in the proliferation of monolithic continuous pours, such as the Columbia Center in Troy, Mich. (November 1999).

Technological innovations ushered in the era of record-setting placements of thousands of cubic yards of concrete. As reported in Concrete Construction:

1981 The 485,000-square-foot George R. Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco logged in with “one of the largest foundation mats in the history of modern building construction,” requiring more than 12,000 cubic yards of cast-in-place concrete reinforced by 8000 tons of steel.

1988 On a Seattle foundation job, nine concrete pumps set West Coast records for placing concrete. After the first hour of pumping, 1350 cubic yards of concrete were in the hole. The 30,000-square-foot area required 10,700 cubic yards of concrete for an average depth of almost 10 feet. The continuous pour was completed in 13.5 hours.

1991 A 71,000-square-foot foundation mat for a multiuse building complex in Newport Beach, Calif., had to be placed over a quagmire 21 feet below sea level. The 7400 cubic yards of concrete was placed overnight in a monolithic pour using 130 ready-mix trucks and five truck-mounted pumps with 170-foot boom extensions.

2006 The concrete foundation of the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago is placed in a continuous 7000-cubic-yard pour, representing North America’s largest single pour of self-consolidating concrete.

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24 Steps To Successful Floors

24 STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL FLOORS

Setting up, pouring and finishing a concrete floor doesn’t just happen. It takes some careful planning. And the more complicated the floor, the more planning. Factory and warehouse floors with high F numbers, steel reinforcing and toppings are a good example.

The following 24 steps to pouring successful floors are excerpted with permission from the January 2000 edition of Concrete International, the magazine of the American Concrete Institute.

  1. Conduct a preconstruction meeting to set up a well-executed installation and placement plan for slab-on-grade.
  2. Facilitate on-site communication between suppliers and contractors with continuous site visits by the consultants and the inspection/testing service.
  3. Select an experienced flooring contractor with a proven SFRC floor construction record.
  4. Require adherence to specified tolerances and reject defective products.
  5. Reduce cost without compromising quality and safety by improving the construction schedule.
  6. Insist on a clean work site with well-organized storage areas.
  7. Retain trained and responsive supervisors and coordinators and insist on field supervision by the general contractor.
  8. Coordinate on-time delivery of materials.
  9. Review joint details, placement size, and sequence of activities prior to scheduling each placement. Correct interferences and resolve site constraints before placing concrete.
  10. Optimize the concrete mixture on a quantitative basis to improve construction productivity as well as reduce cosUse 1½” (40mm) maximum coarse aggregate size and a 50-to-50 ratio of 1½” and 3/8″ (10mm) blend of coarse aggregates.
  11. Strive to obtain a consistent water-cementitious materials ratio (w/cm) of 0.45 plus or minus 0.02.
  12. Attempt to keep cement content consistent to reduce further adjustment to sand proportions.
  13. Achieve surface durability using trap rock, liquid sealer/hardener.
  14. Use SFRC to achieve higher concrete tensile strength, toughness, and ductility.
  15. Use the pinwheel contraction joint pattern to isolate columns and control irregular shrinkage cracks.
  16. Design fewer construction joints to reduce construction costs and to control curling at joints.
  17. Use a ½” (13mm) choker coarse lime screening as a slip-sheet between the slab-on-grade and the subgrade.
  18. Design using compactable granular subgrade material and appropriate thickness.
  19. Use 4000 psi (30 Mpa) concrete with minimum cement content of 560 1b/yd3 (330kg/m3), a 6-bag mix.
  20. Do not use fly ash in lieu of portland cement content in floor slab application.
  21. Maintain a smooth, well-graded and compacted subgrade and subbase surface.
  22. Allow sufficient mixing time between high-range, water-reducing admixture and steel fiber.
  23. Use a Laser Screed to obtain a flat and fiber-free surface, reduce the number of placements, and place larger areas.
  24. Insist on skilled operators and tradesmen utilizing new tools and maintained equipment.
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BENEFITS OF LASER SCREEDS

BENEFITS OF LASER SCREEDS FOR CONCRETE CONTRACTORS

Laser screed® technology was developed because there was an increased demand for flatter and more level industrial floors. Laser screed models help contractors produce concrete floors that are flatter and stronger than those produced by more conventional screeding techniques. This new technology has changed the concrete industry by raising the standards and client expectations for concrete floors.

Benefits of Using Laser Screeds for Concrete Leveling

Laser screeds offer many benefits for concrete
contractors when compared to manual screeding techniques:

  • Flatter floors – One of the greatest benefits of laser screeds is that they can achieve laser-precise flatness and levelness every single time. Floors are typically flatter, stronger, and more level than those produced by conventional methods.
  • Less manual effort – Laser screeds allow you to get more work done with fewer workers because the equipment is doing the majority of the strenuous work. This helps increase efficiency on the jobsite as larger daily placements can be completed with fewer workers.
  • Greater accuracy – Laser guided technology helps assure that concrete contractors achieve greater accuracy on every job. This increases customer satisfaction and can lead to further profitability.
  • Faster placement – Laser screed equipment can easily move around jobsite obstacles and eliminate most framework. This means that more floor or paving can be placed each day, helping you meet schedule deadlines or even surpass them.

All of these benefits allow you to increase productivity, efficiency, and quality of each and every job. Using this equipment can also lead to a reduction in labor costs since the technology allows for faster placement and reduced manual labor. Ultimately, laser screeds can help concrete contractors increase their profits as they are able to produce better quality work in less time.

A staple in screed technology has been the laser screed, patented by Somero Enterprises in the 1980s. The laser screed relies on a laser to determine the level of the concrete surface. To make this work, the look of the screed has changed dramatically. In this case, a laser screed is a wheeled machine with an extendable arm that reaches out over the concrete. The screeding occurs as the arm is drawing inward over the concrete. The laser screed considerably improves floor flatness. Because the laser maintains a constant grade across the entire floor, it is not subject to the inconsistencies of eyeballing.

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Concrete Touches Everybody’s Lives

Concrete Touches Everybody’s Lives

This isn’t a fancy industry, but like one of our speakers said, ‘concrete touches everybody’s lives,’” said Bill Gleason during a concrete seminar offered at Bisett Building Center in Bradford on Tuesday.

Gleason, vice president of operations at Bisett, offered the comments while contractors and business people from the area took a break in a seminar offered at the company.

“Concrete is really underrated for what it does,” Gleason remarked. “Right now the big thing is the (replacements and repair) of bridges in Pennsylvania, and we are responsible for that.”

Gleason said the seminar was the first of its kind to be sponsored by the company and was attended by approximately 40 contractors from several municipalities and businesses as well as the Bradford Area School District.

“We sent invitations out and got a real good response so that tells us that people want to get educated,” Gleason continued. The goal of the event was to help contractors brush up their skills with the product before the start of spring and construction season.

The seminar opened with a discussion on the composition of cement which is made from coarse gravel, sand, water and Portland cement, a basic, paste-like ingredient of concrete. Gleason said the class also taught contractors about mix designs and how to work with the company’s concrete after it is delivered to a job site.

“Then it’s their responsibility to place it and finish the project to the specifications that the owner wants,” he said of contractors. “Once it gets to the job site, these guys are responsible for what the finished product is going to look like.”

Speakers included a representative from Armstrong Cement and the BASF company.

“We have a concrete technician (Ernie Cowell) on site that Bisett hired” for questions that arise, he added.

George Gigliotti said he and Ken Schaming, co-owners of Bisett, approved the seminar planned by Cowell. Rudy Snow, manager at Bisett, said Cowell’s expertise and certification in working with cement is required for government contracts.

“That’s why we’re doing this,” Snow explained. “We’re making sure our contractors know there is a little more to it than throwing sand and gravel together.”

Gigliotti agreed and said the science of creating solid, durable cement was brought to the country by immigrants, who learned the craft from their forefathers.

“They don’t have that experience that helped (create) bridges that will last 100 years,” Gigliotti said of some modern day contractors. He said this is why the seminar and training with the product is important.

Those who attended the event included Andrew Miller, a construction management student at the Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport.

“We spent a whole semester on concrete last semester,” Miller said. “I figured this would be a refresh run, and good to hear it out of somebody’s mouth instead of a professor

Another attendee, Mike Gleason of Gleason Masonry in Bradford, said he also appreciated the class.

“(The speakers) are very knowledgeable — I’m learning a lot about the different chemicals that go into concrete,” he concluded.

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BEST QUALITY, LOW PRICE, LAST MINUTE CONCRETE PROJECTS

FOR BEST QUALITY, LOW PRICE LAST MINUTE CONCRETE SLAB, STAMPED PATIO, ETC!

We have a couple open days next week that we can pour your flat concrete whether it be:

  • stamped concrete
  • driveway
  • patio
  • agriculture slab
  • warehouse

If you need a last minute crew to come and do a quality job at an affordable price we are your concrete solution.

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2 Day Pool Project by Yoder Laser Concrete

Yoder Laser Concrete Pool Project

Concrete project this week, in between anchor jobs!

This pool was a 2 day project for Yoder Laser Concrete.

Call us for your next detailed project. Get great quality at an affordable price!

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Large Square Footage Concrete Jobs

Large Square Footage Concrete Jobs

We are busy all over, especially in the greater Columbus area. We have a couple 70,000-80,000 sqft schools, and a 80,000 sqft hardware in Cincinnati.

We also have some other miscellaneous projects beginning to fill up our books for the year. We are still looking for a couple large square footage projects (100,000-500,000 sq ft). We are bidding full packages this year i.e footers, slabs, and site work.

So if you’re looking for a 12-20 man crew that has a Somero S-100 Laser Screed and Riding Power Trowels for your big slabs, look no further than Yoder Laser Concrete. We can save you money with our laser screed by cutting down the number of pours.

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Ready For Your Concrete Project

Ready For Your Concrete Project

Our Laser Screed, Riding Power Trowels, and Crew is fired up and ready to save you $$ on your large concrete slabs.

Whether it is a warehouse, parking lot, ag slab, or school project. We want to help you. We have jobs in Columbus, Indiana, and Grove City. Jobs range from 3 schools, VA hospital, Sams clubs; a short list of some projects in our schedule. Looking for more big slabs 10,000-20,000-50,000 sqft. If you can give us the sqfts, thickness, location, jobs start, we can have you a quote in little as 30 minutes!

Call Main Phone: (330) 231-4282 or Alternate Phone: (614) 668-0038!

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What jobs are Yoder Laser Concrete specializing in?

What jobs are Yoder Laser Concrete specializing in?

Being in construction now for 15+ years we typically pour 10,000 sq ft to 40,000 sq ft per day. Last week we poured 40,000 sq ft a day in Cincinnati Ohio. We also pour Wal-Mart floors.

The largest commercial school was 500,000 sq ft, this was a 2 year project. Most of the schools we are working on now are only about 100,000 sq ft each.

We can do footers and slabs, but most contractors prep the slabs and have them ready for us to pour. We then pour, finish, seal and saw cut.

We follow these contractors all over Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Indiana. If you have a lot of slabs coming up, we make special combo packages with large sq footage jobs. Any large concrete pad works with the latest 3D laser screed SXPS240 and S100 laser screeds making it faster, and flatter.

Need quality work at a great price? Call us today and ask for Dan at 330-231-4282!

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Do you need a Concrete Contractor?

Do you need a Concrete Contractor?

Do you need a Concrete Contractor?

With over 20 years experience Yoder Laser Concrete has the expertise to accurately bid on your next project!

Contact us or request a free quote today!