Thoughtful detailing practices helped to ease steel congestion at beam/column connections on the Pacific Park Plaza condominium tower in Emeryville, California, and fabric cages cut labor costs while making it easier to correctly position the transverse steel.

Three specific detailing procedures used where applicable to reduce steel congestion within the beam/column connections: Inset beam faces the faces of the beams were inset 2 inches from the faces of the columns in order to minimize rebar interference; Varied beam depths beams joining or intersecting at columns were designed with varying depths in order to reduce bottom bar interference; Bent bars terminated outside exterior columns at perimeter beam/column connections, a 5-inch stub of concrete was provided on the outside face, thus permitting bent beam bars to be terminated outside the column, away from the region of steel congestion within the joint.

Structural engineers specified wire fabric, a prefabricated reinforcement, because they anticipated that faster field work would result from the easier handling and assembly of the fabric shapes for column cages and beam stirrups. In addition, the prefabricated reinforcement helped provide the accuracy of steel placement that they considered essential. Time savings as a result of these procedures were impressive: Column cages were placed in about half the time site-assembled cages would have required, and placement of the preshaped stirrup cages was done in only one-fifth the time needed for individual stirrups.