Building materials for mission-critical facilities like data centers, power generation plants, and hospitals have direct impacts on facility operations. Considering the consistent impact of foot traffic, vehicle traffic, and machine vibration, concrete slabs must be reliable enough to not only avoid becoming a liability, but also maintain long-term strength. For facilities that can’t afford disruptions to operations, setting the foundation with rapid-drying concrete can lower the need for maintenance and keep facilities operating optimally. By achieving target relative humidity levels quickly, rapid-drying concrete helps mission critical facilities compete aggressive timelines, but also avoid several of the liabilities that come from traditional concrete solutions.
The benefits of fast tracking a project are attractive to say the least. Successful fast track construction gives owners an edge by allowing them to enter a target market sooner, launching immediate revenue streams and a chance to beat potential competitors to the punch. If, and this is an important if, a fast-track project can limit its mistakes so costs don’t match or surpass the savings from an accelerated construction schedule, fast track construction would certainly be worth the trouble.
We’ve previously discussed the benefits of design-build compared to the more traditional design-bid-build construction delivery method. The combination of the contractor and designer as one entity can accelerate projects and make an owner’s life much easier when managing fast track construction. The so-called “progressive” design-build takes the original design-build delivery method even further. In addition to the convenient single point of contact, owners can expect earlier collaboration and a more intuitive pricing approach.
Topics: Rapid-Drying Concrete
Fast track construction is becoming more commonplace, especially in industries such as retail, healthcare and telecommunications. The shift away from traditional building methods entails involving the general contractor in a project before designs are finalized, and thus considerably condensing the construction timeline. While there are daunting challenges that must be met to execute this correctly and it’s not without risk, there are several benefits of this construction approach.
We’re diving deeper into the topic of fast track construction to help our readers manage their projects more effectively. Rapid-drying concrete is only one component of a successful fast track project and there are many moving parts that present challenges even relative to traditional design-bid-build construction. The owner, designer and contractors all have a responsibility to anticipate these challenges to get their facilities operational as quickly and smoothly as possible.
Topics: Rapid-Drying Concrete
Water is an absolutely necessary component for the formation of concrete. When mixed with cement, a chemical reaction known as hydration creates bonds between water molecules and cementitious materials to form hydrates. This natural reaction gives concrete the strength and durability that has made the building material the foundation of construction for millennia. Moisture in excess within concrete, however, can lead to a myriad of issues and the erosion of flooring materials. But why is something so essential to concrete’s formation the cause of so much trouble?
Rapid-drying concrete’s benefits are two-fold: the mitigation of moisture damage risk and the immediate acceleration of construction. Owners, general contractors and designers are all, in the end, beneficiaries of the advantages rapid-drying concrete provides. Architects want the most effective materials for their project and the protection of their reputation. General contractors want to please the owner by constructing a facility on budget and on schedule. Owners, meanwhile, want to see their facility become operational as fast as possible so revenue streams can be quickly realized. These goals, however, are unobtainable without dependable, predictable building materials.
The standard design-build construction method, where a contractor and designer work in tandem, differs from the traditional design-bid-build construction method in which the owner/developer maintains separate contracts for both the designer and contractor. Generally speaking, the contractor leads the design-build method, and then hires an architect to design the facility.
Alongside the designer, hiring the general contractor (GC) is the most important decision an owner/developer can make for a large-scale construction project. There are few choices as impactful on one’s project as choosing the correct GC for your facility construction. While there is often the temptation to skimp and opt for a cheaper option, you will want to hire someone you can trust and — as importantly — someone with whom you can collaborate with through adversity.
As a general contractor or project manager you have much to think about at the start of a project. You must choose the right subcontractors and develop a schedule that allows you to coordinate the activity of multiple trades and complete your building on time and within or below budget. Still, unforeseen events can drastically impact your plans, your schedule and your budget. Read our guide on comparing moisture mitigation solutions to see which is right for your project.