Thanks to a great deal of planning and coordination, winter placement of a massive foundation mat for Columbia Center No. 2, a 14-story office building in Troy, Mich., went without a hitch. The 21,000-square-foot mat was placed in November, at a time of year when Michigan weather is always unpredictable. But weather wasn't the only worry. Because the building was part of an office complex and surrounded by existing high-rise structures, parking decks, and parking lots, the concrete placement had to take place on a Saturday, when office traffic is minimal. This gave concrete contractor Simone Contracting Corp. only 1 day to place the nearly 3,200 cubic yards of concrete required for the 4-foot, 2-inch-thick mat.

Three ready-mix plants were reserved for the project, with one serving mainly as a backup. The plants hit the target of producing 500 cubic yards of concrete an hour, sending out approximately 320 truckloads of concrete to maintain a steady flow of material to the jobsite. Five operations managers facilitated traffic flow and concrete delivery to four truck-mounted pumps. A temporary truck washout pit on an adjacent paved office parking lot also helped keep traffic moving. The pit, built the day before the pour, could handle up to 10 trucks simultaneously.