The concrete portion of the Salvador Dali Museum (SDM) in St. Petersburg, Fla., was a huge undertaking for concrete contractor Reinforced Structures Inc. (RSI). This was RSI’s first project using self-consolidating concrete (SCC). SCC is a typical concrete mix doused with high-range water reducers to make the mix highly flowable while preventing aggregate segregation. SCC’s lack of bugholes and smooth texture after the forms had been removed left the pristine finish that the architect on this project demanded.

One of the challenges was to ensure that the structure could withstand Florida’s unique weather and oceanfront environment. Before being officially selected as the concrete contractor, RSI started the preconstruction planning phase. During that time, SCC was selected as the best choice for the project. Due to the complexity of SDM, the contractor undertook tremendous preplanning and quality assurance measures. Consistency and organization made the RSI crew successful on this project. The same amount of SCC was poured every day and three crews were always at the jobsite—setting and stripping forms, placing concrete, and placing rebar. The result was a structure that is as breathtaking as the artwork it houses. Today, the 60,000-square-foot building can withstand a category 5 hurricane. It has 18-inch-thick concrete walls, was built with 10,000 cubic yards of concrete, and includes 1,000 tons of reinforcing steel.

Photographer: Michael L Rixon

Teamwork is a contributing factor to the contractor’s success. All aspects of its projects are weighed to ensure the best possible solution. RSI uses On-Screen Takeoff (OST) from On Center Software in the preplanning phase to generate various scenarios for the general contractor to come up with the optimum choices. Using OST, RSI was able to handle change orders expeditiously, ensuring the project stayed on budget and on time.