Placing 48 Hollow Core Concrete Panels

We placed 48 hollow core concrete panels this morning.  The first panel was lifted from the truck at 8:10 am and the last panel was put in place less than 4 hours later at 12:01 pm.

Also, Bryan met with a neighbor that needs a home for some virgin dirt, located only a few blocks away.

Yes, another big day.

Preface

One of our stated objectives for this project is to use ‘innovative building materials’.  We are one of the first single family residential homes to use hollow core concrete panels in Northern California.  We engaged Bill Brown Construction Company to partner with us on 17509 Via Sereno because:

  1. Bill Brown has extensive experience in all the areas that we need expertise (e.g., seasonal perched water tables, waterproofing, ‘green’ building design and construction, etc.).
  2. Bill wants to innovate and be a leader with new building products and new construction practices.
  3. Bill has a great team that can ‘do the hard stuff’ that he leads personally and, most importantly, has a passion for construction while having fun.

Preparation

We wanted to get in front of the day so our plan was to assemble at 7:15, have the crane arrive at 7:30 am and get into position, and have the first truckload of hollow core concrete panels arrive at 7:45 am so we could start working at 8:00 am as we unloaded the first panel.

Chad Sisson, Summit Cranes, and Bill Brown, Bill Brown Construction Company, preparing for the day at 7:35 am.

Chad Sisson, Summit Cranes, and Bill Brown, Bill Brown Construction Company, preparing for the day at 7:35 am.

Korolath strips, which go between the concrete retaining walls and the hollow core concrete panels. These strips help to distribute the load evenly across the concrete retaining wall

Korolath strips, which go between the concrete retaining walls and the hollow core concrete panels. These strips help to distribute the load evenly across the concrete retaining wall

The first truckload of hollow core concrete panels arrived on time at 7:45 a,/

The first truckload of hollowcore concrete panels arrived on time at 7:45 am,/

Bill Brown inspecting the first load of hollow core concrete panels.

Bill Brown inspecting the first load of hollowcore concrete panels.

Chad extended the boom and confirmed the crane could reach everywhere in the site that was required. We're good to go!

Chad extended the boom and confirmed the crane could reach everywhere in the site that was required. We’re good to go!

The First ‘Bay’ of Panels

Chad lifted the first hollowcore concrete panel from the truck at 8:10 am.  Bill and Bryan were on ladders so they could position the first panel at the far end of the house, in the first ‘bay’.

The first hollowcore concrete panel going over the trees at 8:10 am.

The first hollowcore concrete panel going over the trees at 8:10 am.

The first 'bay' of hollowcore concrete panels is almost completed.

The first ‘bay’ of hollowcore concrete panels is almost completed.

As the empty hook left for the truck, a dirigible appeared in the sky.

As the empty hook left for the truck, a dirigible appeared in the sky.

The sixteenth panel is being moved from the truck.

The eleventh panel is being moved from the truck.

Bryan and Bill unclip the chokers from the eleventh hollowcore concrete panel.

Bryan and Bill unclip the chokers from the eleventh panel.

The dirigible leaves as the final panel is being moved to the site. The first truck is empty and the second truck is in position on Winchester Boulevard.

The dirigible leaves as the final panel is being moved to the site. The first truck is empty and the second truck is in position on Winchester Boulevard.

Second Bay

We completed placing 18 hollowcore concrete panels in the first bay and were ready to place the largest and heaviest panels in the second bay.

The first hollowcore concrete panel goes into place in the second bay. Note how agile Bill is while directing Bryan to guide the panel.

The first hollowcore concrete panel goes into place in the second bay. Note how agile Bill is while directing Bryan to guide the panel.

Bill and Bryan are ready as Chad brings one of the heaviest hollowcore concrete panels into the second bay.

Bill and Bryan are ready as Chad brings one of the heaviest hollowcore concrete panels into the second bay.

Jorge Ramirez, on the right, ensured the chokers were positioned correctly and safely when lifting the hollowcore concrete panels from the truck.

Jorge Ramirez, on the right, ensured the chokers were positioned correctly and safely when lifting the hollowcore concrete panels from the truck.

One of the last panels for the second bay coming into position. It was a beautiful California blue-sky day.

One of the last panels for the second bay coming into position. It was a beautiful California blue-sky day.

Third Bay Blind

The entire team placing the hollowcore concrete panels were working well, and the difficulty increased.  In the third bay, the crane operator (Chad) would have limited visibility as the feature concrete wall between the garage and kitchen would be blocking part of his view.  As well, the first panel required Bryan to be on a ladder in the north-east corner of the house.

First panel is in place in the third bay.

First panel is in place in the third bay.

The panels in the first two bays are looking great!

The panels in the first two bays are looking great!

Another perspective as the panels are being placed in the third bay.

Another perspective as the panels are being placed in the third bay.

View of Jorge on the truck as seen through the TV niche in the concrete feature wall.

View of Jorge on the truck as seen through the TV niche in the concrete feature wall.

Hollowcore concrete panel coming in from the truck.

Hollowcore concrete panel coming in from the truck.

Garage

Although it was very close to the crane, placing the hollowcore concrete panels in the garage was a bit trickier.  We had smaller panels and tighter spacing.  Fortunately, Pete Janovich from Bill Brown Construction Company came by the job site and used his house-moving expertise to advise us regarding how to move the panels into final position easily, accurately and quickly.

The first panel in the garage is in place.

The first panel in the garage is in place.

Second panel coming into position in the garage.

Second panel coming into position in the garage.

Pete Janovich helps position a hollowcore concrete panel.

Pete Janovich helps position a hollowcore concrete panel.

Pete directing Bill Brown to position a hollowcore concrete panel in the garage.

Pete directing Bill Brown to position a hollowcore concrete panel in the garage.

Bill Brown directing the crane operator, Chad, to position the third hollowcore concrete panel in the garage.

Bill Brown directing the crane operator, Chad, to position the third hollowcore concrete panel in the garage.

Our crane operator, Chad, getting a better view.

Our crane operator, Chad, getting a better view.

Dustin Buckley, from TEAMWRKX, watching the hollowcore concrete panels being placed into position. Dustin took more than 100 photos today (John Rider took this photo).

Dustin Buckley, from TEAMWRKX, watching the hollowcore concrete panels being placed into position. Dustin took more than 100 photos today (John Rider took this photo).

 We’re Done!

The last hollowcore concrete panel was in position at 12:01 pm.  This was quite a milestone!

Our crane operator, Chad Sisson, completing the billing information before leaving the job site.

Our crane operator, Chad Sisson, completing the billing information before leaving the job site.

Bill Brown (left) and Pete Janovich (right) smiling in the Dining Room by our feature concrete wall.

Bill Brown (left) and Pete Janovich (right) smiling in the Dining Room by our feature concrete wall.

A couple neighbors from Monte Sereno came by to see the progress we made today. Bill Brown discussed the project with them.

A couple neighbors from Monte Sereno came by to see the progress we made today. Bill Brown discussed the project with them.

Moving Dirt in Monte Sereno

Another neighbor in Monte Sereno, Luis Allende, has some virgin soil at his project site only a few blocks away that we can use to backfill our excavation.

Reinforcing steel in place for concrete foundation. This is where the soil came from, which we will be moving to Via Sereno.

Reinforcing steel in place for concrete foundation. This is where the soil came from, which we will be moving to Via Sereno.

Luis Allende, right, describing his project in Monte Sereno.

Luis Allende, right, describing his project in Monte Sereno.

Covered pile of virgin soil that we will be moving to fill our excavation at Via Sereno.

Covered pile of virgin soil that we will be moving to fill our excavation at Via Sereno.

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