Placing the ice rink floor for the Kiel Center, St. Louis' new sports and entertainment facility, was one of the biggest challenges of the building's construction. The 664, 240-square-foot facility is home to the St. Louis Blues professional hockey team. Because smooth ice is critical for hockey play, uniform flatness and levelness of the slab are essential. But the greatest challenge was to pour the 202x102-foot, 8-inch-thick slab monolithically. Because of an elaborate system of refrigerant piping embedded in the slab to produce and maintain the ice, the slab could have no joints.
Before concrete placement could begin, several layers of fill, piping, insulation, and reinforcement had to be installed. Two truck-mounted boom pumps stationed at the opposite ends of the rink placed the concrete. Both pumps operated continuously throughout the pour. Placement started at one end of the rink, and the boom truck on the opposite end was equipped with enough pipe sections and hose to transport concrete to the pour area. As the pour proceeded to the opposite end, the pipe and hose were disconnected section by section from the first pump, then attached to the other pump to extend its reach.
To control the flatness and levelness of the floor and aid in consolidation, finishers used two laser-controlled, 52-foot-wide vibratory screeds to strike off the concrete. This project marks the first use of laser-controlled screeds in the St. Louis area.