It’s been a busy few weeks here onsite with setup of project offices, water & mud management along with piling. Startup is my favorite part of a project. The decisions made early in the game regarding site setup and logistics have such a huge impact throughout the course of construction. One of the most challenging parts of this setup was to get a good feel for the “lay of the land” and how the site surface characteristics would affect runoff. We received a large amount of snow this winter and it was decided to do a bulk snow removal from site to help mitigate some of the surface runoff. With the constant freeze thaw cycles we experienced during the course of the early winter, there was also a large amount of ice buildup towards the south part of site. In some areas, there was upwards of 10″ of solid ice! As with any construction site in early spring, mud and water management is always a challenge.
Setup of the site trailers was completed while also thinking about the interaction of the trades that will be working onsite. On a typical job site, the sub-trades set up camp in their own trailers, often with little to no interaction between the trades other than what is absolutely necessary to get the job done. We opted to set up 2 large jobsite trailers that all the trades onsite will share. We’re hoping this set up will improve communication between the superintendents/foreman on site and to help foster a collaborative and positive culture with every worker involved on the project.
After much anticipation, piling began March 10 and before daybreak, the auger had hit the ground on the first of 73 holes. Temperatures the first couple days of piling remained seasonal and the ground stayed fairly firm, but as the week moved on and temperatures increased, site conditions were making piling next to impossible. Morning ground conditions were fair, and an average of 6-8 piles were placed every day. Typically, by noon the ground was so soft we were forced to shut down the piling operations. With the consistently warmer temperatures early this week, site conditions improved especially towards the north end of site. The combination of wind and warmer temperatures were drying things up quickly.
The cooler weather the last few days has been a welcome change onsite. The ground has stiffened up substantially and we are hoping to be complete piling by days end March 24. We’re looking forward to excavating for the foundation next week, as well as the start of the formwork!