Working in the facilities department there is always something going on. Whether it is at one of the many facilities across this great country of ours or right here at home in Michigan. Sometimes you get working on a project that require a little more time spent out in the field than others. No recent post for this guy! But now it is time to catch up with the Williams facility and finish blogging about the new addition. The last blog was about getting the building closed in because winter was coming to the state of Iowa. The building did get buttoned up and now it is time for the work inside.
The picture below is the start of the tunnel system under the concrete floor. This is how we get product hose from one place to another. In the second picture below you can see the gray pipes sticking up out of the ground. They are electrical conduits installed previous to the tunnel work this will ensure we can get wires to other spots in the plant from the main distribution panel.
Next the tunnel floors are poured and left to cure. The re-bar sticking up from the tunnel floor will allow the walls of the tunnel to be attached. In this picture you can also see a larger gray pipe. This pipe is part of a drain system in case there is a spill inside the tunnel, the fluid will be able to drain to a catch basin.
This is 1 of 2 tunnel floor covered with blankets to keep the heat in the concrete.
The 2 pictures below are 1 of 2 catch basins in the system. There is a crock in the center where we will put a sump pump in and retain any fluid in the system.
Now the tunnel walls are poured and when finished they will be at floor level. They can not bring the cement truck into the area because it may crush the piping under ground, so the concrete is put into a skid loader bucket and then poured in the wall forms.
This was the only source of heat in this part of the building and it was keeping the temperature just above 40 degrees. I am sure inside the building was definitely warmer than the outside! When pouring concrete in the winter, even with all the additives to speed up the setting process it is important to keep it as warm as possible. The first 24 hours is the most critical time because you do not want the water in the concrete to freeze. If this happens it will greatly decrease the strength of the concrete. Sometimes you have to put a blanket over it to keep the heat in (shown in previous picture).
While the tunnel walls where curing another crew came and installed the 3 insulated garage doors.
Now the building is all closed in from the outside environment it is time to get the floor areas ready for concrete. First forms are installed, then a sand gravel mix is added to bring the ground up to the correct height and then it is compacted. Next a vaporproof/waterproof barrier is installed to prevent any moisture beneath the concrete. The last step before the concrete is poured is installing the reinforcing mesh. This particular area is where the incoming trucks will unload products so the concrete will only be 8 inches thick.
Other areas in this part of the building, the concrete has to be much thicker. There will be 30,000 gallon tanks inside the building where materials will be stored for use at a later time. The concrete will be 12 inches thick with more reinforcement.
The tunnels also have to be capped off. First a corrugated galvanized steel is installed then reinforced with re-bar over top and finally the concrete is poured to make a very nice looking floor inside the building.
Last but not least the openings for the hose tunnels and fluid recovery system are filled in with a fiberglass reinforced grate for access.
What a nice addition to the Williams Facility!