Do it right the first time: As we all know re-work is costly. Something was built, poured or placed wrong and has to be fixed. All the momentum up to this point has been shot. Having checks in place to ensure everything is correct before it's covered up will make you successful. To double check takes minutes, to fix a problem could take weeks or even months.
One way to help you get it right the first time is with pre pour checklist (pour cards).
Pour cards are only as good as the effort you put into them. You have to treat them like any contract document: Use before you think about making the pour and go through them thoroughly.
Click here for free checklist for your use
Hopefully you are noticing a reoccurring theme with a lot of the Constructorator blog posts, we can’t stress enough the importance of the planning portion of your job. As a supervisor it’s your responsibility to plan for all activities your crew will be performing and your crew is responsible for executing the plan.
I am not trying to sound like a broken record, but it’s the most important part that gets overlook the most often. The continuous planning is the first task to be neglected when we are feeling pressure either from schedule challenges or overrunning budgets. We feel the need to “jump in and help” or we just get caught up in moving from one fire to the next.
The first step always is to create the plan - schedule, manpower, materials, logistics. That part takes some serious effort, but if you slack off on your planning you will pay the price later. After you plan the work it's time to execute and maintain the plan. The continuous planning and plan maintenance are often not given the attention needed. We all know that in construction with so many moving parts and prerequisite work that needs to be completed before the next trade can start, we need to be flexible. This means we need contingency in our planning, nothing will ever go exactly as planned we need to be ready for a breakdown in the plan and react to it accordingly. You should always be adjusting the plan, don't let the hard work of creating the plan go to waste when a hiccup occurs.
Last week Ryan talked about the importance of teamwork. He ended his post stating...
"This is why teamwork on a construction crew is so import, if we all don’t work together things can fall apart real quick, the schedule could start to slip behind, owner/architects unhappy with the quality of the work being performed. Driving people on your crew to be unhappy and quite, these are all things that could happen unless we all choose to work together as a team".
To prove his point, I want to give an example. This week's Picture of the Week is a 4,700 CY concrete pour which was poured out in 9 hours, averaging over 600 yards an hour for the first 6 hours, then slowed down a little for the topping. This was an amazing pour in the fact that everything that was planned, was well executed. Teamwork between the concrete contractor, concrete supplier, pumping contractor and testing agency made it all possible. The planning which started early, involved all parties and was a collaborative effort where the specialist in their field had input that everyone would evaluate, suggest or agree upon cycling through until it had evolved into the perfect plan. As far as execution, everyone followed through with their part of the agreed upon plan. So yes, pouring concrete can be planned and executed flawlessly with the help of teamwork!
We're expected to accomplish task with the crews you have onsite, there’s not much you can do about the industry shortage on skilled workers. However, what we can control is our efficiency’s. By assessing every activity asking ourselves do we have the right equipment, tools, materials and plan. Let’s use wall forming as an example; handset Vs. modular panels. Both handset and modular forms have a place in construction, but if you have 12’ foundation walls and a five man crew, the efficient choice would be modular forms. The manpower needed for handset walls could be between 10 & 12 and with a modular clamp forming system your manpower would be between 5 & 6 and you would be done weeks quicker than a crew hand setting the walls.
Handset Forms (manpower needed)
(1) Forklift operator
(2) Drill and prep panels
(1-2) Install panel ties
(2) Set panel & install Johnny’s/Cams & whalers
(1) Feed 2x4’s
(1-2) Install bracing and scaffold brackets
(2) Feed sheets for the 8’-12’ lift
Modular Forms (manpower needed)
(1) Crane operator
(2) Set panel
(1-2) Brace panel
With every task we should be evaluating the process and using a step count comparison:
How many steps are needed to complete one-siding a handset wall section
1. Drill panels
2. Install plate
3. Set panel
4. Install ties
5. Install cams
6. Install whalers
7. Install bracing
How many steps are needed to complete one-siding a Modular wall section
1. Oil panel
2. Set Panel
3. Install bottom plate anchor
4. Brace Wall
The handset Vs. Modular forms comparison is just one example, you can take every task and break it down yourself to decide what's going to be the most efficient way to complete the task with your current manpower.
There are many benefits of using concrete to build commercial properties. Let’s look at the reasons why concrete is popular construction material worldwide.
It is made up of using water, cement and sand. The strongest concrete is the one that contain minimal moisture content and aggregate and more of cement. It has the highest density. The material gets stronger as it dries. It may take a few days to dry it adequately for use, the remaining moisture inside it chemically react and bind the sand and cement, making the surface more firm with each passing year.
It requires little or no maintenance. However, it has to be regularly inspected by a technician. It is to make sure its strength is still intact. Cracks may appear with time. With the help of concrete lifting and restoration, these can be filled.
It makes easy natural water retention by allowing the rainwater to penetrate to the ground. Porous concrete also minimizes the erosion and flooding near the commercial buildings. It is also fire-resistant and can also combat hurricanes and tornadoes.
The properties made using it reflect heat rather than absorbing it. When you use a heat-absorbent material like asphalt in construction, the exterior and interior temperature both escalate, increasing the demand for the cooling system in the warmer months. The heat from it gets transferred by contact to rainwater that flows into ponds and water resources. It can dangerous for wildlife and also promotes bacterial growth.
Concrete lowers the cost of cooling in the summer months and also keeps the temperature at a manageable level.
Ways it can be used
It can be used in making roads, driveways, steps, entire buildings, patios, walkways and garages.
It is very solid material, used for making buildings. It is solid due to the mixing of various additive elements like cement, sand and water. The addition of all these elements gives it a rock-hard state. It can then be cut into the required shape and size. Prior using it for any construction purpose, it has to be made sure that it has the required thickness. Also, different construction sites have varying needs. So it becomes paramount to choose the different kind of cement as well. Also, during mixing, the exact ratio of the elements is a must consider. Moisture is also paramount to give it a rock-solid form. So the water should be used in a deliberate manner.
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