Historic BubbleDeck Project Wins 2022 Michigan Concrete Association Award

February 23, 2022 | Granger’s Self-Perform Building Providers division was honored to get a 2022 Distinctive Ground breaking – Structural Award from the Michigan Concrete Affiliation for implementation of Michigan’s very first-ever BubbleDeck™ Technologies at the Western Michigan College (WMU) College student Centre and Eating Facility. Director of Construction Solutions Jerrod Pung acknowledged this award on behalf of the staff during a ceremony final 7 days. Granger groups were partnered below Walbridge on this innovative task, and the new facility was developed by CannonDesign.

Venture Overview

Western Michigan University’s vivid and unique new Pupil Heart and Dining Facility in Kalamazoo, MI is truly a unique framework combining condition-of-the-artwork design and style with chopping edge construction tactics. The 3-story, 165,000 SF building, situated in the heart of campus, will open up in Fall 2022 and give a selection of amenities, expert services and gathering spaces. The initially two flooring will have most of the college student-focused features, although the 3rd ground features administrative office environment place and a total-services Dining Centre.

Concrete Packages: Granger was selected by Wallbridge (CM) & WMU by means of a competitive bid method to conduct both equally the structural and web-site concrete deals for this 3-tale constructing. The structural concrete offer included:

  • Complex foundation design and style
  • In excess of 10,000 cubic yards of concrete positioned in 11 months
  • 1,400 tons of rebar
  • 90,000 SF of bubbles put in for the BubbleDeck™
  • 115,000 SF of supported slabs
  • 215,000 SF of flatwork placed and completed

This all happened while sustaining an aggressive timetable regardless of bad soils that finished up receiving undercut and replaced.

BubbleDeck Firsts: This venture was the very first creating in Michigan and only the third in the U.S. to employ the revolutionary BubbleDeck™ Technological innovation for elevated concrete decks. This patented procedure of linking air, steel and concrete in a two-way structural slab results in voids in the slab by making use of 12” hollow plastic balls in a grid formation. Each wire mesh grid area is prefabricated offsite and, as soon as delivered to the task, place alongside one another like an intricate puzzle to build the concrete decks.

Currently being the very first-at any time BubbleDeck undertaking in Michigan and a uncommon technique industrywide intended the workforce had to overcome a very significant finding out curve. As a result of intensive exploration, which include checking out related task web pages and consulting with all those groups, meticulous organizing and location-on execution, Granger crews had been capable to provide this concrete deal properly, on time and with exceptional quality.

As a outcome of this different tactic, which dramatically lessens structural useless body weight, WMU was equipped to incorporate far more expansive, open up interior spaces and larger column bay spacing into the design of this new, welcoming and participating facility.

Construction Course of action

This job involved the use of a special system or approach to create concrete voided slabs or “bubble decks” supported by substantial-toughness cast-in-location columns and partitions. This BubbleDeck™ Engineering is a patented method that can make floor slabs lighter and more robust by incorporating large, hollow plastic balls in a lattice of metal.

The system for this different approach starts off with intensive upfront preparing to sequence not only the concrete pours but also the procurement, fabrication, shipping and delivery and placement of the BubbleDeck panels and coordination of the several trade-to-trade handoffs.

A really short description of the development approach for the BubbleDeck part of the project involves:

  1. Shoring and forming of the supported decks.
  2. Putting in the base mat of resteel on the plywood deck leading.
  3. Utilizing a crane to swing the prefabricated BubbleDeck panels into posture on best of the resteel.
  4. Setting up the major mat of resteel on leading of the panels.
  5. Coordinating the set up of the inslab mechanical and electrical elements.
  6. Resteel is inspected and a 3D scan is completed for history documenting as-created site of bubbles, rebar and MEP aspects.
  7. Putting the bottom layer of concrete, consolidating it all-around and underneath the plastic balls and ready for it to get difficult prior to placing and finishing the prime layer of concrete.
  8. Full post-pour analyzer wanting at metrics of the pour, which is then in comparison to the pre-pour analyzer.

Granger utilized two crawler cranes to elevate the panels into location. Once in put and effectively positioned on the base layer of rebar, the panels are tied down and a further layer of reinforcing rebar is put in on top rated. Deck pours began by inserting the first of two levels of concrete – a distinctive and hard facet of this substitute approach. The initial 4” to 5” pass is referred to as a “duster slab” which is placed and allowed to set in get to retain the bubbles from floating to the slab surface. Then the harmony of the slab was poured, generating elevated decks that ended up 15” thick.

Correctly consolidating the concrete around and underneath the plastic balls throughout the first layer was a important challenge on this job. However, there is no “How-To” guide to stick to simply because this is a fairly new procedure in the U.S. If the proper concrete combination is not made use of and the suitable sum of vibration used, it can build high-quality issues linked to the aesthetics or completed search of the base of the deck. Meeting the technical specs of the combine is also impacted depending on how it is remaining put. Our workforce employed a pump truck to position the concrete, which, owing to the stress needed, provides moisture into the combination and lessens slump.

The initially pour had some slight issues that necessary to be repaired, but the workforce figured out from this and corrected the challenges by working with the concrete supplier to examination and a bit alter the concrete mixture and also by making a additional thorough consolidation approach. As you would be expecting, every of these initially layer pours were far better than the previous, resulting in exceptional in general good quality.

The WMU Scholar Heart and Eating Hall job totaled 112,659 SF or 4,619 cubic yards of concrete, with 90,000 SF of that encompassing the BubbleDeck portion of the challenge.