On a recent trip to view the progress of the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, I was simply blown away by the sheer magnitude of the project. But, there was something else I noticed at the jobsite when speaking with a number of people: pride.
Everyone—from the project's contractors to the ironworkers placing rebar prior to a concrete pour on the 40th floor—is proud to be affiliated with this project.
It got me thinking about why so many on the crew have this sense of pride. Is it because the tower is going to be the second tallest concrete building in the United States, or is it the huge amount of concrete—180,000 cubic yards—that will have been placed by the time the project is complete?
Both solid reasons, but I believe this sense of pride also can be directly associated with the personal involvement on a successful, quality project from commencement to completion. Whether the work takes a few days or a few years, contractors can look at the projects they just finished and know they played an integral role in the construction process.
I have seen evidence of this pride on other occasions. First, during a recent association event I attended where contractors beamed as they spoke in detail about obstacles faced and overcome prior to completing successful concrete projects.
I also noticed pride from a different aspect of the concrete industry during a visit to a local concrete equipment manufacturer. Following a tour of their manufacturing facility, I saw a group of employees working hard on a display highlighting a specific piece of equipment. Not only was the display a visual history of this product, it was being prepared in time for an open house for employees and their families. Hundreds of people were anticipated at the event—on a Saturday, no less. It was apparent how much it mattered to the employees that their families and everyone attending the event understood the amount of pride they took in their product.
Reverting back to the Trump building, the trend toward bigger and better concrete-based projects has taken over our landscape as projects continue to stretch the limits of concrete.
Across the nation, concrete professionals push the envelope, using higher strength concrete mixes, more complex formwork, and making even larger pours.
Evidence of the above can be found in this issue's feature covering a handful of such concrete Mega Projects. Individual profiles examine jobs ranging from stadiums to highways to commercial buildings, each offer a snapshot into the integral concrete-related processes and logistics involved. Although this article will not directly focus on the people or the equipment involved in these Mega Projects, I can guarantee there is one ingredient common among them in regards to the success of these projects: pride.
Editor in Chief