To speed up construction work and help to bring contracts in on schedule, reinforcing steel must be placed accurately and efficiently. Trained, experienced ironworkers are a key because better crew productivity as much as 50 percent higher results when the workers have gone through training and apprenticeship, then sharpened their skills on the job.
One element that affects the constructability of a job and its importance cannot be overemphasized is pre-planning. It can mean the difference between a project getting off to a bad start and continuing to go poorly, or its going smoothly, and coming in ahead of schedule and under budget. To us, pre-planning is so essential that we employ full-time, professional reinforcing steel detailers. One of their most important functions is to review reinforcing steel design drawings before a job ever gets off the ground. It is their task to identify potential problem areas and to look for other cost-saving measures.
The detailers may, for example, see that the plans for a slab call for a large number of small, #3 bars. That automatically suggests substitution of a heavy gauge wire mesh. The material may cost more, but the labor savings are enormous. Another important role of the detailer, once the general contractor has established the pour schedule, is bundling the rod and setting release lists. Bundling supervision includes specifying the number of pieces of steel that go into each bundle, and assuring that each is properly labeled. If there are three pours on a floor, there will be three steel releases. And the rebar is itself bundled functionally: that is, all bottom steel will be bundled together, all column steel together, and so on. The size of the bundles is of critical importance. It must be optimized. Too many small bundles unnecessarily consume costly labor time. Yet bundles that are too large present handling problems, also a drain on labor.