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Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/16/2017 5:10 PM

We are remodeling Furnace Creek resort in Death Valley CA, we will use approx 2500yards of Concrete; Pahrump Nevada is closest batch plant, 2 1/2 hours plus of road time. The Batch Plant is adding Sika Plastiment ES to get it to our job site still workable and in spec except for time from batch. Now it is in the 90's during the day, because of disturbing the guests in the resort we can only start at 7:00 am. We are batching using Chilled water and adding on site Sika 2100 Super P. A 4 inch slump was almost impossible to get out of the truck without the Super. We thought about a batch plant here, there are obstacles like the natural water temp is 90 degrees plus, hauling all materials to site and getting permitted in California. Any suggestions for handling this would be appreciated.

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#1

Re: Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/16/2017 5:39 PM

I would only listen to one guy here.........Moosie. he claims to have concrete running through his veins. ignore everyone else he knows his stuff

I sent him a msg

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#13
In reply to #1

Re: Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/17/2017 12:13 PM

Thank you Fredski for the complement! LOL

Since I'm only 1/4 Italian (it's a masonry thing you know), only a 1/4 of my arteries and veins contain flowing concrete. The rest not so much....after all, I'm a Heinz 57 Variety kind of guy. :-)

Do we even know the capacity of the OP in this project, be he/she the Owner (or Owner's Rep/Project Manager), Architect, Structural Engineer, or the Contractor/Subcontractor?

Given the given ambient air temperatures and ready mix concrete truck travel distance, ACI 305.1-14 "Specification for Hot Weather Concreting" must be strictly adhered to.

What are the project's Design Professionals saying about this issue, considering that they are responsible for signing off of the acceptability of the concrete work in general?

There's been no mention of the daily concrete volumes to be placed. This is a very important factor to consider.

It is possible to set-up a small concrete batch plant at the site if it is acceptable to all involved parties, especially the Owner. Consideration must be made regarding the visiting clientele creature comforts who are utilizing the existing facilities. It would not be wise to upset them.

May I may a suggestion? Why not set-up a portable/temporary batch plants and truck in the cement, aggregates, and potable water in bulk to the Job Site? It can be economically done, given the presented concrete volume for the proposed project.

Trucking ready mix concrete over 90 minutes and the high ambient air temp is a big no no regarding acceptability of the concrete as it relates to the above referenced ACI Standard. Yes, you could employ cold water, ice, and/or dry ice in the mix, but IMO 2.5 hours driving time is really pushing the envelope once the mix is initially processed at the remote batch plant.

Has anyone even considered utilizing Precast Concrete Structural elements in the design? These members can be cast at a remote plant under controlled conditions, thus eliminating a host of concerns involved in transporting ready mix concrete. Their strength and quality would be far superior to fiend cast concrete work. It may be more cost effective too. Naturally, ready mix concrete would still be required for the project foundation work.

Just sharing some of my initial thoughts...

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#30
In reply to #13

Re: Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/18/2017 12:28 AM

Moosie, you laid it out nicely! GA from me!

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#2

Re: Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/16/2017 5:39 PM

I would do a materials study first, is the sand usable? in what quantity? is aggregate available? Usually having it mixed and trucked in for a job this small is the way to go...but a lot of that depends on local materials available...and equipment on hand....Usually desert sand is not suitable for concrete, too small grained and smooth for strength....

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#4
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Re: Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/16/2017 6:30 PM

Yes the local materials are too salty, everything would have to be trucked in, but it will be sitting in the 120 degree heat also.

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#3

Re: Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/16/2017 5:55 PM

Can you truck in the dry ingredients separately from the water (which could be iced or chilled) and then mixing on site?

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#5
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Re: Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/16/2017 6:32 PM

Right now the owners engineering are saying no dry batching, we are looking at many solutions, dry batching can give you clumping also.

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#7
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Re: Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/16/2017 11:22 PM

Back at the plant, it is dry batch until they put the water in, is it not?

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#6

Re: Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/16/2017 6:42 PM

Can you build the structure in modules off site and truck them in?

http://www.steelconstruction.info/Modular_construction

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#12
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Re: Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/17/2017 11:04 AM

That looks good, but I doubt those modules fit into load weight restrictions for highway transport.

Move the mountain to Mohammed in this case.

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#8

Re: Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/17/2017 1:46 AM

Perhaps insulate the equipment. No, not that type of insulation. Sound insulate the equipment so that work can be performed from 10 at night to 7 in the morning.

Whatever you do, better have it done before May rolls around.

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#9

Re: Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/17/2017 5:53 AM

Which route do the trucks have to take?

I have no idea what these roads are like: do the trucks have to go up to Amargosa valley.

I wonder if you could get an exceptional relaxation of the speed restriction on the trucks?

If the 2½ hours is still correct then the 7 O'clock start at the resort doesn't stop the trucks leaving Pharump at 4:30.

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#10
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Re: Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/17/2017 9:26 AM

Because of a weight restriction on the road going west they have to go up 160 from Pahrump to 95 to Amargosa Valley then to Death Valley Junction and then down to Furnace Creek.

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#11
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Re: Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/17/2017 10:28 AM

I think Tornado's suggestion deserves another look.

Portable concrete Plant. I have been to Death Valley, and Furnace Creek resort, quite a few times. There are areas where a plant could be set up not far from the jobsite.

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#14
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Re: Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/17/2017 12:45 PM

Yes perhaps Moosies precast structural elements and a locally established plant are the answer.....

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#16
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Re: Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/17/2017 12:54 PM

No Precast, the Architectural firm hired has be working on this project for 3 years, time is running out and they are responsible for holding up the everything now, We still have the same completion date yet they are still redesigning.

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#15
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Re: Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/17/2017 12:49 PM

It it under consideration, big meeting on Monday.

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#17
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Re: Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/17/2017 12:59 PM

I would recommend that you go to the meeting prepared after reading CaptMoosie's comments in post 13.

Given the given ambient air temperatures and ready mix concrete truck travel distance, ACI 305.1-14 "Specification for Hot Weather Concreting" must be strictly adhered to.

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#21
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Re: Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/17/2017 2:26 PM

Yes that is the approach I think will keep the project going, we will be limited by the amount of chilled water we can produce.

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#23
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Re: Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/17/2017 2:38 PM

I wonder if some outfit like Aggreko might have rental chillers available.

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#24
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Re: Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/17/2017 2:59 PM

If they just can haul enough water, the humidity is very low in the surrounding area, I am pretty sure. Evaporative chilling should be enough, but if not, supplement with rental chiller unit(s).

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#25
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Re: Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/17/2017 3:07 PM
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#26
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Re: Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/17/2017 4:30 PM

Good point. It would useful to know the wet-bulb temp during the time of the project, especially combined with Fredski's intervening comment. Might or might be cool enough for the job, but maybe worth a look.

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#29
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Re: Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/17/2017 6:36 PM

job site

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#34
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Re: Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/20/2017 11:48 AM

Gee that looks appealing.

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#36
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Re: Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/20/2017 2:17 PM
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#18

Re: Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/17/2017 1:47 PM

Even at this late date in the project timeline, installing precast concrete structural elements is entirely possible, and could be more cost effective than cast-in-place concrete work.

Of course, the cost of a switch would have to be negotiable with the General Contractor. It's even possible that a Construction Cost Credit be awarded to the Owner.

The Architect and Structural Engineer can dictate that the precast concrete supplier provide the Structural Engineering design work at their own cost, provided that it submits copies of the design calculations along with their Shop Drawings and other concrete QA/QC Documents, all as part of the review and approval process dictated in the Project Manual. The time period to do this design work, fabricate the structural members, and then transport them to the Project Job Site may actually be shorter than field cast concrete work, and could potentially save on a ton of field labor and equipment costs too.

Of course we haven't a clue about the architectural and engineering plan requirements to ascertain if precast concrete (or a mix thereof of precast and cat-in-place) incorporated into the work is feasible. I would bet 100% that it could be made to work.

It's been my experience that EVERYTHING is negotiable when it comes to construction.

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#19
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Re: Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/17/2017 2:08 PM

I am glad you mentioned field cast concrete, and not fiend cast concrete in this post! LOL!

I know you are being serious, but the urgency on OP's part does not create an emergency on the party of the second part, or the third part either.

This should have been thought out on a decision tree a long time ago.

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#20
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Re: Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/17/2017 2:24 PM

Won't work to prefabricate, they are all slab on grade structures that match the existing must be approved by the National Park to match historic values.

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#22
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Re: Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/17/2017 2:27 PM

Well, then you have narrowed it down to doing the concrete portable plant. Good luck, and BTW you will need the chiller plant if you want concrete in spec.

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#31
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Re: Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/18/2017 12:27 PM

Honestly, I wish that you had mentioned these CRITICAL requirements from early in the discussion, because I wouldn't have suggested the precast concrete alternative. I'm not trying to be difficult here, although I do feel that you have wasted everyone's time and effort going down a dead end avenue. Perhaps it's a deep rabbit hole? Oh hell ya.

Frankly, IMPO, to meet or exceed the concrete specifications, you'll need to set-up a temporary concrete batch plant on the project site or nearby. I see no other alternative, given the encountered temps and the ready mix truck travel times, both of which do not adhere to the ACI Standard that I posted earlier.

And yes, you can provide a chiller unit for the potable water tank(s) at the plant to keep the batched concrete temps within reasonable and acceptable tolerances. It is done all the time in high temperature regions of the world, including parts of the USA. Search out and you shall find....

You'll also will need to protect the cement and aggregates temperatures within acceptable range as well. Then you have to deal with proper concrete curing issues to boot.

I've been in this field as an Engineer just shy of 40 years, so take my advice and that of other forum participants. We're trying to help you, as much as practically feasible on an Internet Engineering Forum. And yes, I am a New York State Registered Professional Engineer, as well as having been a US Army Corps of Engineers Engineering Officer with over 15 years of experience, many of which have included high temp concrete construction activities around the World.

Okay aleevdb, please tell us your connection to this project? Inquiring minds want to know.....

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#32
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Re: Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/18/2017 12:51 PM

ugh.

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#27

Re: Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/17/2017 5:25 PM

Concrete's not my field, but maybe also cooling of aggregate before mixing as well as the water if mixed on site. Water is a reltively small proportion of the total mass.

Is there option to run tubes of chilled water through each pour, and then later grout fill those tubes to become integral.

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#28
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Re: Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/17/2017 5:47 PM

hat technique was employed during the construction of the hoover dam they performed a "continuous pour", otherwise it would have taken about a century for the mass to cool and harden.

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#33

Re: Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/20/2017 12:21 AM

Although I was raised in southern Nevada, I do not live there now. In the last of our previous century, I completed my career there and at that time , while growing fast, Pahrump was still not keyed to large projects. It does have more capability now, however you should talk to all the suppliers, not just the closest. The hot conditions in death valley are not that much hotter than the surrounding area and many locations are Just as remote so your problem is not a new one. I doubt very seriously whether the supplier in Pahrump has as much experience as other suppliers in Southern Nevada. One idea is that a small batch plant could be set up in either Beatty or Death Valley Junction, In fact the last time I drove through that area to look at Wildflowers in Death Valley (2016) there was indeed a small batch plant set up in Death Valley Junction. To cut driving distance smaller trucks should be used. These can travel faster anyway.

I recommend that you talk to all available suppliers in southern Nevada and I believe you will find one that can get product to you more economically. Around 1997 There was even one Las Vegas supplier that used smaller trucks that were designed to carry dry loads and had the capability to mix in the water on site. (Please understand these were special trucks designed for that purpose.) I don't know how many of these trucks he had because I only saw them at one site, a remote mine.

There are a lot of suppliers that have small batch plants that can be moved to near the location. quickly set up, and quickly removed. If it is set up outside the restricted area the only thing it will do is add a little land rental to someone who probably needs it. Have you talked to the Indian reservations across from the campground to see if they have the same restrictions you are facing. If they can and would allow a plant there, that would be close. Or are you repairing damage at the Castle? You never did say where, and Death Valley is a big place

Basically, right now Pahrump is a fast growing area and I doubt if your supplier is being competitive, anyway.

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#35
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Re: Here's a Hot one, Pouring Concrete in Death Valley CA

03/20/2017 12:15 PM

Thank guys for all the input I am the person in charge of placing the concrete, and ultimately responsible for the outcome. I just wanted to be sure everyone was on board that it is feasible.

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