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Warming up the ICE District
The CP 2110 HP truck-mounted line pump with the Putzmeister MX 34/38Z placing boom were both essential to the project due to their mobility.
A&B Concrete Pumping relies on Putzmeister to revamp Edmonton’s downtown
STURTEVANT, WI (September 24, 2019) – Edmonton, Alberta Canada’s ICE District — a 25-acre development that combines condos, a public plaza, sports, entertainment, retail space and office space — serves as the heart of downtown for one of the country’s fastest-growing cities. In addition to Rogers Place, which provides home ice for the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers, it also includes two underground parkades and three high-rise towers that punctuate the city’s skyline: The City of Edmonton Tower, JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District, and Stantec Tower. As one of Canada’s largest multi-use projects, it has become a living urban district that unites the community and welcomes visitors from all over the world. In order to complete the unique project, ICE District officials turned to Edmonton-based A&B Concrete Pumping (also known as Reach CSG) to handle its particular demands and they turned to their Putzmeister equipment.
“The ICE District is, by way of scale, one of the largest sports and entertainment districts in North America, if not the world,” said Glen Scott, President of Real Estate at Katz Group, who partnered with the City of Edmonton to bring the ICE District to life. “It’s an extraordinarily large project. You don’t typically see projects like this in North America. You don’t really see them outside of the Middle East or China.”
On sight, there were five separate MX 34/38Z placing booms; RS 850 column systems; a BSA 14000 HP series trailer pump; a CP 2110 HP truck-mounted line pump; and 56Z-Meter, 47Z-Meter, and 28Z-Meter boom pumps — in order to rise to the challenge.
“From our perspective, this was a once in a lifetime project,” said Daryl Dika, Corporate Asset Manager of A&B Concrete Pumping. “It was an excellent opportunity to showcase our strengths and gain unparalleled knowledge and expertise.”
Construction began in 2014 with work on Rogers Place. This phase required a variety of pours that consisted of piles, grade beams and walls, slabs on grade, and suspended slabs. It was kicked off with arena’s first pour — the seating risers — which utilized a Putzmeister 56Z-Meter Truck-Mounted Concrete Boom Pump to give shape to the stadium’s seating capacity of 21,000.
“The Putzmeister equipment not only performed, but it was reliable and highly efficient for the project,” said Dika.
One of the arena’s most significant slabs — the ice slab — required a 12-hour process with approximately 20 workers pouring more than 320 cubic meters to complete the eight-inch slab. Because Rogers Place is one of the few NHL arenas to sit atop a parkade, another 16 inches of concrete structural slab sits below the ice slab.
“There was a lot of engineering that went into this,” said Bob Black, Chief Project Development Officer of the Oilers Entertainment Group.
In addition, the arena’s raft slab required multiple pumps to complete the task. Three 56Z-meter boom pumps were employed along with one 47Z-Meter boom pump connected to a City Pump CP 2010 HP truck-mounted line pump. When all was said and done, the pour totaled approximately 9,000 cubic meters.
For all the components that came together to complete the arena, Dika believes it was just the beginning for what the arena means in terms of city pride.
“It used to be an outdated piece of land,” Dika said. “Now it’s brought hockey downtown. That brings a lot of people together.”
The City of Edmonton Tower was also constructed at roughly the same time as Rogers Place: a 29-story, 129.84-metre (426.0 ft) tall, LEED Gold office building that is currently listed as Edmonton’s seventh tallest.
The tower challenged Dika and his team to overcome obstacles associated with pumping concrete in a cold-weather urban center —freezing conditions had to be accounted for, spatial constraints needed to be managed, and nothing could be left on site permanently. The mobility of equipment, particularly the City Pump CP 2110 HP truck-mounted line pump, was essential to the project’s success.
“Working in the downtown area was a challenge due to the space,” Dika said. “Plus, we’re working in a sub-zero climate where wet cement can freeze six months out of the year. Dependability is not always a given with other manufacturers, but Putzmeister met the demands.”
Rogers Place and The City of Edmonton Tower opened in 2016.
Hitting New Heights
Once the arena and the first tower were finished, work shifted to the JW Marriott and Stantec Tower. The JW Marriott high rise — completed using Putzmeister’s MX 34/38Z placing boom — is 600 feet tall and became the ICE District’s first luxury hotel. Utilizing Anglia Concrete, it was the project’s third major pour and one of its most unique.
“Because of the reach and position, all access to our piping system was eventually eliminated,” Dika said. “It actually became encased in concrete, and remains part of the tower. That’s only happened on a few projects across North America.”
Next up was Stantec Tower: a mixed-use skyscraper that, at 800 feet and 66 stories, has become the tallest building in Western Canada. To complete a project of that magnitude, A&B needed reliable, high-performing equipment.
“The selection and support when it came to marrying the Putzmeister system to the client’s forming base is where the Putzmeister equipment really shined,” said Dika.
Two Putzmeister MX 34/38Z placing booms were attached to hydraulic self-climbing cores — a setup that allowed for unique, aggressive pours. For instance, on the 32nd floor, a transfer slab of 3,600 cubic meters was poured at 300 feet in the air over the course of 30 hours. Self-consolidating concrete with molecular elasticity was used due to the vertical height of the buildings. A high-strength mix design of 70-90 MPa was also used.
Other pours on this tower included piles, core walls, columns, large mat pours in excess of thousands of meters of concrete, and suspended slabs that grew vertically as the high-rise climbed.
“We were continually pouring every single day,” Dika said. “We were responsible for staying on target with the owners’ timelines.”
JW Marriott opened in August 2019; Stantec Tower began welcoming tenants in September 2018.
Looking Back Fondly
With phase 1 of the ICE District near completion, revitalization of the Edmonton Core is in full swing. Throughout the project, 300,000 cubic meters of concrete were poured, making it one of the largest projects Western Canada has seen.
Reflecting on the project, Dika said, “I’m ecstatic with how it turned out. Everybody involved, the whole team, came together for a strong joint effort.”
It was a “strong joint effort” in which Putzmiester people and equipment played a vital role.
“The Putzmeister people are very helpful,” Dika said. “This required a lot of logistics and planning to manage the intricacies. They have so much large-scale project experience, which was very helpful. We consider them our partners.”
Phase 2 of ICE District construction is set to begin in late 2019.
Edmonton’s ICE District, one of the largest sports and entertainment districts in North America, is gearing up for Phase 2.
The MX 34/38Z-placing boom and RS850 column systems allowed for aggressive and accurate pours.