Booms Over Miami 2002
Separate placing booms are dotting the Miami Beach skyline thanks to the diligent efforts of a pumping contractor that really sells the method. "Most of these high-rise condos are fast track and pumping through remote booms is the only way to meet the deadlines," claims Al Ross, representative of Florida Concrete Unlimited, Inc. located in Miami. The company is owned by Jim Goff, who thirty years ago began pouring house additions with a pickup truck and a small trailer pump. Goff’s business formula and hard work has produced a fleet today that consists of eight boom pumps, four trailer pumps and seven placing booms. Three of Goff’s boom pumps feature detachable booms to perform double duty of on-grade pours or high-rise climbing booms.
By providing a "package deal" of place and finish, Florida Concrete dominates the condo construction on the beach. "Planning is the key, " according to Ross, "We will go to a customer before we have been awarded a contract and suggest a layout for the basemat and the floor pours using scale drawings of the pumps and booms." With a project portfolio that reads like Who’s Who of the most recent and largest condos (Murano, Murano Grand, The Greens, Peninsula, Ocean I, II and III, The Hamptons, Toscana,Trump Palace, Trump Royale, Acqualina) Florida Concrete has gained the confidence of the owners, developers and general contractors.
With many of these concrete behemoths covering upwards of 45,000 square feet per floor and as many as 45 floors, a lot of concrete is flowing through Goff’s all-Schwing fleet. "When we get the green light on a project, we hit the job like Marines landing on a beach," Ross notes. This generally means a multiple pump pour for a thick basemat required in the Florida soil conditions and then a pump and boom combination that requires efficient pedestal placement. Floor pours may incorporate up to four pedestals and one or two booms flown by the tower crane. Most of the floors are poured in 4 days or less and include up to four different mixes ranging from 10,000 psi down to 5,000 psi.
Wayne Johnson, project superintendent for general contractors Miller & Soloman, Miami on the Peninsula project says, "I’ve been working with Florida Concrete for twenty years. I run a fast track project. On this building we are on a 23-month schedule which I believe we will finish in seventeen and one-half months. The subs and the developer are all part of a team. There are no ‘buts’ when it comes to the schedule and it takes a lot of hard work and cooperation. I can tell you we’ve never lost a pour due to a pump breakdown."
A recent start is the Trump Palace, a 43-story structure with 10-foot ceilings that will top out at 554-feet – the tallest on the beach.The building is banana shaped to take full advantage of beach views. In order to withstand the wind loads the shear walls are three-feet thick. This set-up requires two pumps and two booms to stay on schedule
One of the largest generals on the beach, John Moriarity & Associates of Florida, Inc., has 900 condo units built and another 520 under construction. The Boston-based firm has been building in Florida since 1990. "Once we have confidence with our subs we treat them like one of the staff. We get a lot of insight from Florida Concrete and they do a better job of logistics and planning," according to James Palermo, V-P and general manager for Moriarity. Palermo notes that when the developer says "go" they start the meter running. Generating move-in revenue from these condos is critical to cash flow.
Moriarity is proud of their record and reputation in the Florida market. "We’ re old fashioned – you do the job, we pay you," notes Palermo. He also refers to his company as "the fair haired boys for OSHA." By never failing to deliver on time for developer customers, Moriarity has never failed to do repeat business- a complement to Florida Concrete.