CECO Concrete Construction Embraces New Technologies on Two Twelve Project
Technology aids in concrete construction at $90 million, Two Twelve, a 26-story, 222,588-square-foot residential building at 212 South Meramec Avenue in Clayton, Missouri.
CECO Concrete Construction of Kansas City, Missouri, is forming all of the floors, and pouring vertical concrete with a boom and buckets. The specs call for a 12,000-pound concrete for the vertical work and 6,000-pound for the decks.
Concrete work began in December 2015, with drilling piers and other foundation work, using a robotic total station to continually mark key spots and check the layout. CECO created a Revit model of the project and exported it to AutoCAD. Deploying that technology has enabled the job to progress smoothly.
"With BIM and total stations you can see issues before they come up," says Russ Towell, General Field Superintendent for CECO. "We've already built this thing to the roof as far as drawings, layouts and structures."
The Apartment Project
The apartment project was originally called The Crossing and announced before the "Great Recession". The City of Clayton approved an ordinance providing a redevelopment of a blighted area real property tax abatement of 50 percent to the project in 2014.
Nearby residents of Clayton sued to force a vote on the abatement. Courts ruled the city could grant the abatement, and the while under appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court, the parties settled in May 2016. The abatement will drop to 20 percent, netting the school and other taxing districts nearly $5 million in revenue during the next 20 years. Additionally, the developer will turn off the exterior lights at 10 p.m., install a video camera to allow residents of the other building to see the St. Louis Arch, and pay the plaintiffs' legal expenses and condo association.
CA Ventures, of Chicago, and White Oak Realty Partners, of Rosemont, Illinois, own the project. Union Labor Life Insurance of Washington, D.C. provided a construction loan of $54.7 million.
HDA Architects of St. Louis, Missouri, designed the building with about 12,000 square feet of street level retail. The building is adjacent to the MetroLink Blue Line and on the same block as the bus depot, giving future residents easy access to transportation options.
PARIC Corp. of St. Louis, Missouri, is building the project. Clearing began in mid-2015 to prepare the site for construction of the 250-unit apartment building, with six levels of parking and 20 stories of luxury studio and one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, some with views of Shaw Park and the St. Louis Arch. Amenities include a fitness center, party area, outdoor deck, pool and fire pit.
Using Robotic Total Stations
In the field, CECO uses the CAD model with a Spectra Precision Focus 35 robotic total station with Layout Pro software from Seiler Instrument of St. Louis, Missouri, for laying out the main control points, offsets of walls and columns, placements of anchor bolts and grids for openings in the slab, explains Jordan Enders, Project Coordinator for CECO.
"The robotic total station saves time, but the accuracy of the instrument is beneficial," Towell adds. "We have had great quality control and savings because of that. The robotic total station uses one man instead of two, so you are cutting your labor in half."
Planning the job begins with assessing what the field crews need and setting up and labeling everything in a computer using Layout Pro software.
"It's pretty easy when you have a plan and a process," Enders says.
Crews hard line off the coordinates established by the robotic total station. The total station is accurate to more than an eighth of an inch.
"The investment in the robotic total station is beneficial for the quality control you have," Towell says. "The quality control is important to us and our customers."
The robotic total station provides survey accuracy and quality but it is designed for carpenters and other people in construction, explains Terri Rollings, Construction Equipment Sales Representative with Seiler Instrument's Geospatial Division.
Ken Kozlowski, Project Executive with CECO, adds, "This job is crucial to have layout done properly because of the type of structure it is. We look to this instrumentation to save some man hours and getting this thing built where it needs to be. And it's working for us."
The Two Ten Clayton job is scheduled to complete in summer 2017.
CECO began more than 100 years ago and has become a technology leader in the design-assist structural concrete business. The company provides concrete for high-rise buildings, stadiums and parking garages and encourages creativity.
Towell says CECO's St. Louis district was one of the first to start using robotic total stations. Now a majority of the company's other districts in the nationwide firm have also started using the equipment.
The Spectra system works in the background in feet and inches, Rollings says. It provides digital pictures and blueprints of the job.
"It gives you the ability to do as-builts, to create your own control points, to layout reference lines and offset points," Rollings adds.
CECO also is using a Layout Pro data collector while performing the concrete work at a Drury Inn hotel in St. Charles County. The Ranger 3 data collector includes a built-in radio and offers remote control capability to the total station.
Seiler, a family business founded in 1945 and with a continued focus on customer service, provided training in the use of the total station and support. When a warranty issue came up, Seiler lent CECO another machine until the original one was repaired.
"The goal is not just to sell equipment but to make our customers successful and more productive," Rollings says. "That makes them more money, and they can use this equipment on their own."
CECO has been using totals station for 15 years, upgrading as new technology becomes available. Seiler remains the concrete firm's go-to dealer.
"Seiler is a good resource," Enders says. "The company is great to work with. If we have a problem, someone is right here to help us out."