Project superintendent Allen Zaffke provides this month’s update on the KA Block project, progressing on the downtown Minneapolis block bounded by Eighth and Ninth streets, Fifth and Portland avenues.
Q: What have been the progress highlights on the KA Block project these past four weeks?
ALLEN ZAFFKE: Great question, there are so many highlights going on right now I cannot list them all but the top five would be:
1. Being able to firmly establish the start dates by virtue of current progress and upcoming scheduled events of both the office (Aug. 22, 2016) and the residential tower (Sept. 16, 2016). This has enabled the rest of the KA Block team to begin scheduling product procurement and subcontractors alike for these respective projects.
2. The beginning and most recently the approved structural review of the first post-tension deck pour directly below (parking level P1) the new office foot print, which was poured Thursday July 28.
3. The completion of the public site utilities, water, sanitary sewer, storm sewer. This effort has constrained the mobility of the project as there have been services for three buildings brought in from the public streets, creating traffic flow delays for both the public and the project.
4. The sheer volume of concrete that has been put in place. Every third day there is no less than 260 cubic yards placed, which was the smallest pour as of yet on the floor slab of the lowest level (P2). The largest has been 580 cubic yards, in the largest footing I have ever seen placed, the elevator and stair tower core of the residential tower. The average placement has been about 350 cubic yards.
5. The site safety. Never before have I been surrounded by a complete team that operates at this high level. There always seems to be that “odd duck” that just does not participate. Not here. Both the KA team and our subcontractors have stepped up their efforts to ensure everyone has a safe place to work all the time.
Q: You’ve begun setting up decking. What are the steps in the this process? How do you coordinate the crews involved to keep progress moving forward?
ZAFFKE: The pull planning sessions in place here have been the driving factor of the process and flow. When we get each subcontractor at the same table to understand the time line and anticipated progress of the others, it not only brings the expectation level higher, it establishes a real time timeline for all to work from cooperatively by understanding the needs and requirements of the related trades and aids in ensuring a lean product delivery schedule.
The pull planning does not stop because the decks have begun or pouring of them, it is being continued through all deck pours and is being represented in the office and apartment tower planning. This planning happens at the foreman level to ensure real time is represented and the details of the tasks are known.
Q: Approximately how big is the crew on site? What subs/trades are present?
Currently represented are; Northland Concrete & Masonry, Woody’s Rebar, CECO, Major Mechanical, Metropolitan Mechanical (MMC), Hunt Electric, Olympia Tech Electric, Ramsey Excavating, United Water & Sewer, Olympic Drywall, Ahern Fire, Concrete Coatings and Braun Intertech.
Q: How are materials and deliveries being staged in this busy downtown neighborhood?
ZAFFKE: All deliveries are arriving on a “as needed” basis or a “Lean delivery schedule.” As of today there is not a high demand for site staging but that condition will change soon when the Office & Apartment teams arrive. Otherwise all deliveries are brought in on trucks and immediately “picked” with KA’s tower crane and placed where the material is needed.
Fortunately, as our downtown KAers know, we have great access to 35W, which helps immensely in getting trucks in and out.
Q: The webcam shows some structure coming out of the ground in the area bounded by Ninth and Portland. What’s happening there?
ZAFFKE: The “U” shape is the elevator/stair core and primary shear walls for the apartments. There are two straight walls running east/west which are sheer walls for the apartments, giving the tower stability. The two straight walls running north/south are the beginning of the ramp to access the low level of the parking area. The others are structural supporting columns as usual throughout the facility.
Q: This photo was taken along the Ninth St. side of the block. What are the concrete pads for?
ZAFFKE: Those footing pads, just poured July 26 are the beginning of the foundation of the Brewtel (and final phase of the foundation package) at its Southeast corner. A view one day later will show the excavation of the elevator core and foundation forming which will be poured on July 28 for the Brewtel.
Q: We’ve experienced some hot days in July. Has this affected schedule? How are crews coping in the heat?
ZAFFKE: Believe it or not, the weather has not played a role in the project schedule whether it be heat or rain. KA has taken the lead role and acquired the Minneapolis Environmental permits to begin work at 5am to beat this heat, and the tradesmen have taken full advantage of this opportunity.
Q: What’s the preview for August?
ZAFFKE: THE OFFICIAL START OF THE NEW KRAUS ANDERSON OFFICE BUILDING!!
The setting of the second tower crane is scheduled for August 15, which will be a four-day event.
The first tower crane will be jacked up an additional 100 feet on Saturday August 13. Stop by and practice your sidewalk superintendent skills mid-day to see this happen if you have never witnessed this. But stay on the sidewalk!
With that, keep your eyes on the webcam as the elevated decks are going to come fast, blink and you’ll miss it.