The odds of Eric Wayne Inc., Davidson, NC, winning a Golden Trowel at World of Concrete in Las Vegas were stacked against the company. The four-story office building and parking garage structures in downtown Charlotte included a host of challenges, making it difficult to obtain high flatness measurements.
First, there were six separate concrete pours of more than 10,000 square feet on three levels of the office building. "The number of pours and floors made this project a little unique for contending for a Golden Trowel Award," mentions Eric Wayne, president/CEO of Eric Wayne, Inc. (EWI).
Pouring concrete on the unshored deck, the metal base was cambered by 2 inches over a 40-foot span. To ensure a flat floor required the proper amount of concrete to be loaded on the deck. "You can overload the deck and take it past flat or you can under load and leave a hump in it," adds Wayne. "It is what makes this one of the most difficult of all the Golden Trowel categories."
In the end, EWI's crew and equipment finished an incredibly smooth unshored deck. Independent verification of surface flatness using the F-Number (Face Floor Profile Numbering) System came back with an FF 55.5 measurement. "The average F-Number for an unshored deck today is 25," explains Jeff Rogers, director of engineering for The Face Companies and a judge for selecting Golden Trowel recipients.
Achieving a measurement of more than twice as flat as comparable projects, EWI took home the Golden Trowel for the Unshored Metal Deck - 95-Foot-Wide category for the 68,810-square-foot office building. The company just beat out a Silver Trowel recipient from Brazil. "This award represents the best in the world in 2008 for this category," adds Rogers. "The 95-foot-wide placement makes this result even more impressive, as it is harder to achieve higher numbers with large pours."
While EWI has been in business since 2004, President/CEO Eric Wayne has been in the construction and concrete industries for 30 years. Prior to starting EWI, Wayne owned another concrete company for nearly 20 years. He knows what it takes to successfully complete a project: dedicated employees, reliable equipment and a commitment to excellence from all companies involved in the project.
Although EWI won the Golden Trowel, Wayne is quick to share the credit with the other parties involved. "It took a series of different companies to win this award - from the general contractor, Rogers Builders, to the contractors pumping the lightweight aggregate concrete to the deck," mentions Wayne. "In all, it was a five company team that pulled off this level of quality."
Equipment suppliers even pitched in to help ensure the concrete pours went smoothly. EWI purchased two new ride-on trowels from Wacker Neuson just prior to the Charlotte project, one specifically finishing the flatwork at the office building. Kevin Burris, metro jobsite specialist for Wacker Neuson, was at the office building jobsite for a majority of those nighttime concrete pours.
Burris reviewed the new trowels' features with the operators and ensured things went smoothly with the pour. "My 'day' started at 1 a.m. and finished around 1 p.m.," he says. "I wanted to be there to support EWI's crew in case I was needed."
"Finishing 10,000 square feet of concrete with new equipment can make you a little apprehensive," says Wayne. "But Kevin and Wacker Neuson were right there to help out and make sure everything went right with the trowels." In all, two CRT 48-35V and two CRT 36-25 model trowels were used on the 68,810-square-foot structure.
In the past, EWI has used a variety of ride-on trowels, but today the company has begun to standardize on Wacker Neuson models. "My guys have been on every type of machine, and they love the Wacker Neuson trowel. It's easy to steer and operate and has less to go wrong with it," mentions Wayne.