When a specialty alloy manufacturer, located in Reading, PA, needed a building to accommodate a new process area, they contracted Keystruct Construction, Inc. to build the new 22,450 SF facility. Located within an extremely tight footprint, the new Butler Building was constructed between three existing structures, with only one access point to the worksite. Adding to the challenges for this project, the client maintains a 24-hour per day, 7-day per week schedule, and Keystruct’s construction activity could not impact the flow of production in the adjacent buildings. Additionally, the traffic patterns around the site needed to be kept open, so the facility could remain fully functional throughout construction.
Keystruct began the initial work in June 2014, installing 7-inch micropiles that were needed to ensure the structural integrity of the footers for the building. Initial engineering studies indicated that borings to 25-feet should yield load bearing soil, however the actual micropile depth to reach the load bearing soil ranged from 11-feet to 162-feet across the site.
During a typical erection of pre-engineered buildings the contractor excavates the foundation, pours the footers, erects the steel, and then installs the stem walls and siding. Because of the tight location, between three existing buildings with only one access point to the site, this structure was built in four sections. All subcontractors completed their work section by section, with each portion of the building completed to near punch-list standards. Throughout the building’s construction, foundations, footers and building erection were occurring concurrently.
Additionally, the clearance between the new building and existing building was 3 inches along a 137 foot span. In order to place the exterior wall panels in this location, the panels were hung vertically from a crane and then threaded between the two buildings to their proper location.
Coordination and communication were the most important elements in making this project a success. Keystruct Superintendent Kirk Taylor coordinated with multiple representatives from the client’s engineering department, as well as the equipment installers, to minimize conflicts for the on-going work, and to ensure that the concurrent activities would not impact other on-going tasks. Traffic patterns needed to be maintained inside the structure, as up to 23 boom lifts were operating inside, simultaneously, to allow all workers access to their assignments.
Any road closures required a three-day notice to the client’s staff to eliminate their downtime. All concrete pours were done overnight, to coincide with client shift changes, minimizing disruptions to their production. Because of the fluidity of the on-going activities by multiple subcontractors, daily coordination meetings were held at 2:00 pm to ensure that everyone was on the same page, and Kirk met frequently, sometimes hourly, with subcontractors to keep the tasks running smoothly and to reduce conflicts and disruptions to the work flow.
Our ability to complete this project within budget, maintain closely coordinated schedules for all the subcontractors, and meet a variety of challenges in the field with concise, sensible solutions, kept this project and the client’s operation running smoothly.