Construction Project Observations

Construction Project Observations Project Description After several months of planning and design, excavation for the new ACES library on the University of Illinois campus began in May 1999. The project is sponsored and will be owned by the Board of Trustees for the University of Illinois. Six separate contractors are working together under one general contractor. The project, which began in May of 1999, is scheduled to be completed by February 2001. Through informal interviews with Charles O. Pickar we learned that the project is 4-5 weeks behind schedule. Pending weather conditions 25 to 35 workers usually present on site.

The typical workday can run between 6:30am and depending on deadlines can last until 9-10pm. As of the third week in January 2000, the concrete foundation and the steel framework for the five-story structure, with the exception of the roof, were intact. The appendix of this report contains photographs of observed procedures and site materials. Observed Operations January 27, 2000 On the morning of January 27, two massive 18-wheel trucks carrying various shapes and sizes of steel beams were unloaded on site. It took almost two hours to unload each truck. A crane approximately 200 ft.

high was used to move the steel from the truck onto wooden planks on the ground. The steel was separated by shape, and by using the quite large reaching span of the crane, the workers were able to deliver the beams directly from the truck to their appropriate sides of the site. This operation involved a six-man crew. Two men connected the hooks from the crane onto the steel. Two men guided the steel onto the planks on the ground.

Two men took turns operating the crane. This process was very time consuming due to the amount of steel needed to be lifted entirely over the five story structure to the other side of the site, and due to what seemed to be a lack of experience of the rigging crew. It took them a very long time to make the connections on each beam, and check for security. These factors may have influenced the unloading time taken that morning. As these trucks were being unloaded, another crew of men worked in the basement.

No equipment was being placed at that time, but people were hauling down tools and what looked to be some sort of electrical cords. Perhaps they were working to install some piece of equipment already lowered down there, or maybe they were moving already dropped equipment away from the opening in the floor to make room for more to be lowered. January 28, 2000 Installation of metal decking floor supports began on Friday, January 28. By the early afternoon, the level between the first and second stories was nearly complete. There were some openings left, mostly on the south side of the building, which will serve as stairways and elevator shafts. The center of the building also lacked decking, and judging by the design drawings, this section was left opened for a skylight, which will cover the apex of the roof upon completion.

The decking between the second and third stories was about half installed by 3:00pm. A two-man team of welders worked to secure the union of the decking to the steel framework as each section was placed. Special protective masks and eye shields were used to ensure no damage was done to the eyesight of the welders during this process. Decking sheets lay in bundles on the beams between the third and fourth floors, awaiting installation. Upon completion, safety inspectors will come out to the site to check the torque on the bolts and the security of the welds.

The sheets were placed connecting to studs sticking upward from the steel framework. The outside beams were such that they remained higher vertically than the steel reinforcement going in. This design allows for concrete to be poured over the decking without it spilling over the sides of the building. This entire process, including the welders, men placing the decking, and one man who was sweeping debris from the recently installed supports, entailed a crew of seven men. Due to the afternoon increase in snowfall, and the increase of wind, the crew began covering their equipment with plastic tarps and prepared to quit for the day at around 3:30pm. January 31, 2000 No work was done on this site during the weekend, but activity began again early Monday morning, January 31. The 200 ft.

crane lifted three of six large steel beams onto the top mid section of the building, which will eventually support a roof that slants upward from the fifth story to the top of the skylight. The crane was attached to the top of the beams and lowered them vertically onto the structure. Each beam had three small steel ledges, which stuck out horizontally near the top, and were designed to support piping that will run above the ceiling. Two men waited, standing on the fifth story framework to secure the beams in place once the crane had placed them. These men drove spikes into holes in the beam to anchor them to the structure. Both wore safety harnesses to ensure that they wouldn’t lose their balance while hammering the beams in place.

By noon, three beams were set and secured. At the same time the mid section steel erection was taking place, another crew worked to pump concrete into the basement of the structure. A concrete mixing truck was backed up to a pump truck, which had a long arm reaching over into a hole in the concrete foundation. Two men watched to ensure that the materials flowed smoothly from the mix truck to the pump truck. Two other men stood near the end of the long arm of the pump truck, making sure the concrete reached its final destination. Perhaps this meant that all the necessary equipment for that area of the basement was installed, so the flooring was ready to be set. February 1, 2000 The afternoon of February 1 was exceptionally slow.

The blowing snow forced the ironworkers to abandon their placement of any additional decking. Storage of steel beams is adjacent to the construction site organized by type and size. The steel beams are the main materials being used during this phase of the construction and are closest to the workers for convenience and efficiency. A few men worked down below in the basement, but no surface activity was happening. This delay no doubt forced the schedule back for the completed installation of flooring reinforcement, and in effect caused delays for pouring the floors.

This leads to a domino effect, pushing back the completion dates of every other part of the process dependent on the flooring being secured and the basement equipment being installed, which in essence, is every other part of the project. February 2, 2000 While observing construction on Wednesday there were approximately eight workers operating the machinery and working with the steel materials. Two men were on the ground going through the piles and hooking up pieces of steel to the crane. The crane operator wou …