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CFA Project of the Year Awards

In 1999, the Concrete Foundations Association (CFA) started its "Basement of the Year" awards to recognize contractors and projects in the residential concrete foundation business. In 2008, the award was changed to "Project of the Year" to recognize more than one contractor and include not only residential foundations but commercial and above-grade projects as well.

The 2009 awards recognized four winning projects by three contractors in the categories of Commercial/Multi-Family, Above-Grade Concrete Home, Single Family Residence 2,000 to 5,000 Square Feet and Single Family Residence over 5,000 Square Feet. To read more about these projects and the honorable mentions, visit www.cfawalls.org/awards/project.

Ekedal Concrete, Inc.

Single Family 2,000 to 5,000 Square Feet & Single Family over 5,000 Square Feet
Ekedal Concrete, Inc., Newport Beach, Calif., won both residential awards for two separate projects. The first, Assael Residence in Newport Beach, Calif., won in the 2,000 to 5,000 square feet category. The project used a total of 700 yards of concrete, 231,000 pounds of steel and took six months to complete.

The oceanfront location of the house created a challenge for Ekedal Concrete. The basement was below sea level, and the contractor had to make sure dewatering systems, drilled piles, and the foundation and waterproofing systems were sufficient and worked.

After drilling 32 piles and excavating the basement, Ekedal Concrete poured a waste slab, then installed the waterproofing membrane and a cover slab before installing the rebar and pouring the mat slab. "The reason we sandwiched the waterproofing was to protect it from being punctured from the rebar placement," says Vice President Ryan Ekedal.

But the sea wasn't the only location challenge. Since this house was in a residential neighborhood, next to other high-end homes and the ocean, the contractor had to ensure structural integrity of the surrounding properties along with being conscientious of the neighbors. They had to maintain strict scheduling of pours and material drops because there was no room on site for storage. The tight quarters also restricted the construction of poured-in-place walls, leading Ekedal Concrete to form shotcrete walls instead.

Ekedal Concrete's winning project in the over 5,000 square feet category was the Villa Del Lago Residence in Newport Coast, Calif. This home, at 23,557 square feet, required 1,700 yards of concrete, 297,000 pounds of steel and required 500 pages of detail sheets for the deck and walls. The project took seven months to complete.

The contractor's job consisted of pouring the basement foundation and walls as well as the structural deck above it, which was designed with a camber to compensate for the massive house which sits above it. To make the project more challenging, it featured about 60 corners and angles, Ryan Ekedal says.

Other details of the project included battered basement walls, which at some points went from 16 to 10 inches. The heavy steel beams used in the structural deck required the use of different mix designs in order to get the concrete between all the steel, which consisted of spacing at 4 inches on center, Ekedal says.

The size and detail of this house created a highly visible job for Ekedal Concrete. "There were a lot of eyes on us," he says. "We had to make sure that on top of delivering the project to our client on time and under budget we had to ensure this massive project carried the Ekedal brand of perfection."

Bartley Corporation

Above Grade Concrete Home
Bartley Corporation's above-grade concrete home was not just a challenge because of its size - 29,000 square feet of walls and floors - but also because of a suspended concrete staircase. The project, the Mangum Residence Concrete House in Stevensville, Md., took Bartley nine months to complete and required 1,016 yards of concrete.

The double, half-moon-shaped suspended staircase was formed with a curve to minimize an obstructed view from the lower level of the house, says Project Manager Ron Mack. This was a new challenge for the company. The suspended nature did not allow Bartley many options for reinforcement. "The top landing is actually bordered by the patio and the steel goes into the patio and all the way back into the building like a cantilever," Mack says. "The building itself is holding the staircase up."

Another challenge was the arched windows and doors within curved walls. Although Bartley had done radius walls before, the windows were formed with square blocks. To create the arched windows, Bartley shaped Styrofoam into an arched radius and placed it into the forms, Mack says.

Action Concrete Contractors

Commercial/Multi-Family
Action Concrete Contractors' addition to an existing 4-story Rhodes Hall Annex dormitory at Clemson University in Clemson, S.C., was a large, seven month project. The cast-in-place walls and foundation totaled 32,000 square feet with 1,852 yards of concrete containing 25 percent fly ash. The elevated slabs also contained 16- to 18-inch drop beams for structural purposes. Action Concrete also poured a detailed staircase with two architectural concrete beams that cantilevered out of the wall, says Vice President Dustin Pelletier.

Forming this project was the most difficult challenge, Pelletier says. Action Concrete used four different forming systems. For the walls on grade, the company was able to use typical aluminum forms. For the elevated columns they used a Gates Column Form System, which allowed them a faster turn around. "It allowed us to set the rebar, lower the gang form system over the rebar and pour right away," Pelletier says.

For the structural elevated flat slabs, Action Concrete used its PERI SkyDeck system which didn't require shoring and saved on labor. But the slabs with drop beams required a different system. Here they used a PERI Multiflex form system, Pelletier says. "Using the combination of these two different form systems for the slabs, we were able to utilize the benefits of each to make it work," Pelletier says.

Space was another issue, requiring Action Concrete to use its mobile tower crane to move all materials and equipment on the jobsite. And because they were working on an open campus, the company had restrictions on the times it could work as well.

Pelletier says that detailed planning both before and during the project was the key to it running smoothly.

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