According to its developer, Destiny USA, Syracuse, NY, is destined to be the "world's largest enclosed and integrated structure." Upon its completion, the project will feature a 6.5 million-sq.-ft. facility built on a 325-acre site situated within an 800-acre renewal program site.
Phase I of the ambitious project - projected to be completed within two years - will include an upscale hotel, restaurants and retail shops. Future building phases will include hotels, a large indoor park with "invisible" dome and miscellaneous venues for entertainment and cultural activities. There are also plans to develop a complex for the $2.6-
billion Destiny USA Research and Development Park. When completed, the park will have diverse R&D programs in place that will be individually funded, managed and carried out by national and multi-national companies.
Efficiency via technology is a key directive of Destiny USA. All energy utilization on the "green" project will originate from renewable energy sources. The facility will also be a minimum of 30% more energy efficient than the baseline energy utilization of comparable modern buildings/structures. This projection is based on adapting new or improved energy efficient systems.
Given the focus on integrating more efficient technologies whenever and wherever possible, contractors such as A.P. Reale & Sons, Inc., Ticonderoga, NY, have been encouraged by Destiny USA and its construction manager, Cianbro Corp., to present for approval the use of new technological construction methods to carry out their work - including GPS grade control.
A.P. Reale & Sons is responsible for most of the site work. Although much of the grading/excavation work has been completed over the last six months, there is still site work in progress. Throughout all of the rough grading, fine grading, trenching and general excavation activities, the contractor has employed various forms of grade control technology.
The company has four dozers fitted with Leica GradeSmart 3D MAC (machine automation control) GPS. In the MAC mode, blade positioning is automatically precision-controlled to meet the specified grade. The Hold-X-Slope feature holds the blade in the pre-specified position, even as it moves across breaklines; the result is crowns and batters are cut with greater precision. A software program manages breaklines by interpolation.
A.P. Reale uses a comparable setup on its motor grader. The system functions much like the dozer setup, but includes Side-Shift. This feature automatically controls the lateral movement of the motor grader blade to grade precise edges and complex designs.
A.P. Reale was very thorough in evaluating different makes of GPS equipment before investing in the Leica systems - with good reason. Between purchased and leased GPS equipment, the collective market value exceeds $500,000.
"We not only evaluated but actually have had limited experience, at one time or another, using three different makes of GPS equipment," says Jim Reale, vice president, A.P. Reale. "We concluded that the Leica products were best for our use. All three manufacturers' products have their good points, but the Leica GPS products that we bought have more of them."
Services before and after the sale were of primary importance when selecting a supplier. In this respect, MTS (Maine Technical Source), the Leica dealer, excelled. According to Reale, the hands-on GPS training his operators received from MTS' Chris Johnson was exceptional. And since the equipment has been in operation at the Destiny USA site, technical service is always available within a day, even though the field technicians must travel from Massachusetts.
Reduced staking costs
According to Reale, the leased GPS equipment is more than paying for itself, while the purchased GPS equipment, which cost about $175,000, will be paid off in 12 months. A primary reason for this quick payback is the significant reduction in staking requirements.