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Projects: Design-Build Special Inspections & Threshold Inspections

Construction Materials Testing

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Situation

Truck loads of concrete and miles of steel reinforcement bar were being moved in to build the largest construction project the City of Gulfport had ever seen. This new Armed Forces Retirement Home was the second largest U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) project in the history of the organization. There was an excitement and special pride by the crews, who were preparing to build it, as they knew what they were about to construct would be a place to honor America’s Veterans. The site was located in a velocity zone – which required the structure to withstand 150 mile per hour sustained winds. The project would consist of three eight-story elevated towers atop a 180,000 square foot post tension structure. Safety standards were so stringent on the project that each of the four tower cranes, used to move materials, had their own distinct warning horn and dual radio systems. ATC personnel were called on site to make sure construction materials met equally strict specification guidelines. Inspections and tests included building envelope quality assurance, floor flatness and a variety of ancillary services to ensure compliance with 2006 International Building Code requirements.

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Results

ATC’s ability to quickly adapt testing procedures and supply diverse expertise was crucial to this design-build project, where specifications were provided just prior to inspections. ATC personnel were on call 24/7, and worked closely with the design-build team to ensure all specifications were met in real time. The testing standards required specialized expertise and certifications that ATC provided from in-house personnel. Post-tension and pull testing was conducted throughout the project to demonstrate building material components met design specifications. Along with building envelope quality assurance, ATC monitored the installation of 2,700 60-foot auger cast pilings within a three-month time span. ATC’s personnel also provided non-destructive alternatives to the client’s destructive materials testing methods. ATC’s non-destructive testing methods provided the desired information while saving on building materials. This project required a National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NAVLAP) lab, and ATC established the only one on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in order to meet the client’s needs.