Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Get Up, Stand Up

They started setting our tilt up panels yesterday at work. Well, actually, yesterday they only moved existing panels to new locations and it wasn't until the last pick of the day today, that they actually stood one of our new ones up. This is a food distribution center for one of the grocery chains in this area and has been in our company's "family" for a long time. Practically everybody that has worked for our company for the past, oh, 25 years has worked on this building at some point. I worked here once before about 10-11 years ago. We are adding 2 major additions to their warehouse space. I think it is interesting to note that Allen and my ex-husband both worked on the original construction of this warehouse on the same crew way back when. They built these panels that we are moving now. In fact, Allen just recently confirmed my suspicions that a train used to be connected to the building in some way because he and my ex were on the crew that put in the foundation for the train tracks that actually ran through the building for 400 feet. At that time, the owners feared a possible trucker's strike and so installed the rail line but some years later had it removed. Thus, the large section of railroad track that I tripped over on my first day.
But anyway, the photo above shows the crawler crane slowly carrying an old panel down to it's new location.

This is the panel after it has been stood and braced off. This process is very cool but kinda scary. We stay away from the panels. They have a special crew that comes in and does these. I was surprised to see so many very young men on this particular crew. There is only one older man. After the crane is cut loose from the panel, those 2 steel braces are the only thing holding the panels up. It is truly amazing that these guys can maneuver the panels so accurately and place them in exactly the right spot on the very edge of a 12" wide wall and within 3/4" of the panel next to it.

Just another shot of the panel set before. You can see our new panels in the foreground. I was very happy to see that our first panel did not stick or break! Cross your fingers for all the rest.

This shot just shows the location of the lifting eyes on the face of the panel. They have secured the panel are are cutting the crane loose now. The lifting eyes have these neat shackles on them which they connect the long ropes to. They pull on the ropes from below and it causes the shackle to open and fall off the lifting eye so that no one has to get on a ladder or lift and manually remove it. Pretty neat, I think. Sometimes they have to pull pretty hard to get them to turn loose.
We have been having to work even later than normal due to the panels so I may not post again until the weekend but will undoubtedly inflict some more tilt up photos on you. I think it is one of the more fascinating ways that we build.

*Bob Marley


Anonymous said...

I watched them put some of those things up across from work one morning.....personally, if it was me, I'd be running a mile, those things would flatten you the blink of an eye if one fell LOL


edifice rex said...

Hey Molly! Yeah, you should be standing right next to one and have it shift suddenly! I didn't think I could move that fast anymore!

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

I have never seen this kind of construction before. Very interesting. Warehouse space around here is I-Beam skeleton with block walls between.

I grew up in a house that was haydite slab panels.(I hope that is the right spelling). I have only seen this in houses of our vintage. (late 40's) I guess these went out of fashion.

edifice rex said...

Hey Philip! I wasn't sure what haydite was but after looking it up realized that I had actually worked on a house that had a haydite roof. It was build in the 20's and a very large mansion. Apparently, haydite is still used but it sounded like more for commercial work rather than residential now.