When nasty weather results in the loss of 29 work days on a large, fast-track project, a contractor has to pull out all the stops to get the job back on track. That was the situation faced in January 1996 by The Clark Construction Group Inc. during construction of a 748,000-square-foot computer-chip manufacturing facility for Dominion Semiconductor, a Manassas, Va.-based joint venture of IBM and Toshiba. The complex's main fabrication plant is constructed primarily of cast-in-place concrete. The challenging concrete work included multiple floor levels, walls, columns, and sections of waffle slab. But in addition to the complexity of the job, Clark had to contend with the area's worst winter on record in nearly 100 years and one of its wettest springs.

To make up for the nearly month-long delay, Clark had its crews work 24 hours a day, five days a week, as well as several shifts on the weekends. Concrete work started on January 16, 1996, and was completed by June 5, 1996, as planned. But due to the 29 bad-weather days, Clark had to place approximately 51,000 cubic yards of concrete in just 3 months, or an average of more than 3,400 cubic yards per work week. During peak activity, placement rates exceeded 5,000 cubic yards a week.