The key to success in the University of Rhode Island project was preplanning. The goal was to enter the construction phase knowing, not just hoping, that the project would succeed. To assist in this effort, General contractor Dimeo Construction brought in an expert in polished concrete early in preconstruction: Eric Traffie from Premier Concrete Construction out of Wilton, N.H.
Traffie and the design team met to review the project specifications, which were challenging given the public bid format that required 3 manufacturers be listed for each product. Subsequent meetings generated changes to mix design, admixtures, aggregate preparation, transportation, placement, finishing, curing, texture and testing parameters resulting in a specification specifically tailored to a high-end finish.
Bid scopes were improved by tightening subgrade tolerance to ensure uniform hydration; specified standards for floats, grinders, sprayers & sawcutting equipment; and identifying appropriate temporary heat methods to limit products of combustion. Mock-up sizes of locations and grinding depths were defined to present the university four options for appearance. To ensure accountability polishing was included within the placement contract. By touring other university projects, knowledge on guardrail installation and floor protection products was gained, both of which were included in this project's bid documents.
Immediately after the polishing subcontractor was awarded, multiple pre-installation meetings with the installers, suppliers, the testing agency, design team and the owner were held. These comprehensive meetings further defined things such as the polishing sequence to minimize handwork as well as construction joint layout. The amount of energy invested in pre-planning paid off in a smooth installation and great finished product.