Saving Projects with Shotcrete

November 10, 2012by The Conco Companies


A city’s history can be told by its venerable buildings that still stand. Over time even the best built buildings succumb to time and stress. Some buildings are worth saving, but cost prohibitive. Retrofit construction costs can often exceed a budget and doom a building. The Hall of Justice renovation project in Los Angeles could have been halted if a cost-effective solution was not designed.

Massive strengthening was necessary to save the 1925-built Hall of Justice. New 24-inch thick shear walls, hammerhead-shaped boundary elements, and drag beams were critical pieces needed to save the ailing structure. These new concrete members will be joined to the existing structure by anchoring approximately 52,000 drill and epoxied dowels.

Conventional methods of placing this concrete would require that forms be erected, adding both time and cost to the project. Additional hurdles would include form material storage, and crew movement through the thirteen building levels. With all of this complexity, it became apparent that pneumatically placed concrete, also known as shotcrete, was the ideal placing method. Shotcrete will allow the construction team to almost eliminate the forming process all together. Once the reinforcing has been installed, the shotcrete can be placed. Furthermore, because shotcrete is placed without a form there are no concrete consolidation surprises.

The Hall of Justice’s structural retrofit would not have been economically possible without the use of shotcrete. Conco’s efforts during the design, its ability to execute, its robust tool set, and immense experience may have given The Hall a new lease on life. Contact us for more information on how we can save or improve your next project.

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