Diacon was contracted to install 270,000 sq. ft. of Retroplate polished concrete at Solyndra solar manufacturing within 45 days on a tight time frame job. Numerous challenges were encountered along the way, that created innovative solutions to issues not usually encountered. In addition, a visit by President Obama and Governor Schwarznegger shaved 2 days off of the schedule and created a last minute rush to finish the highlighted floor space.
The concrete was poured over 30 days with around the clock operations occurring. A method of alternating pours was utilized resulting in some edge finishing complexities. Once the slab was poured, Diacon was contracted to apply Ashford Formula to significantly harden the concrete and cure the slab for installation of Retroplate polished concrete. Diacon began the installation of polished concrete within 45 days of the final concrete pour. Diacon utilized large 3 headed Bobcat mounted grinders that turn at 1960 RPM. By use of these machines Diacon was able to reduce staff from approximately 10 guys per shift to 5 people per shift and in turn produce 12,000 square feet of fully complete polished concrete within 23 working days. Diacon started the grinding of the floor at a 40 grit diamond tool and finished the floor with the equivalent of an 800-grit resin bonded diamond.
One of the major issues that came up during the polish installation, is the high construction joint that had discoloration along the edges. These were not only ugly, they also were going to cause issues with the movement of the manufacturing robots throughout the floor. Diacon developed a system within the tight time constraints that resulted in a pre-grind of all construction joints, followed by pre-densification diamond steps, then installation of custom mixed water-based stain/dye product, densification with Retroplate 99, final polish, and then installation of Retroguard to protect the floor.
Challenges that Diacon overcame through innovation include: 1) Stain/Dye procedure for joint edges 2) Refueling operation and exhaust scrubbing for Bobcat grinder 3) 3-stage concrete slurry sorting and water reclaiming 4) Bobcat acting as secret service blocks for a visit by President Obama and Governor Schwarznegger 5) Tight time crunch and major maintenance of equipment occurring at on-site maintenance station 6) No water hookups, so required remote operation of a water containment system 7) Coordination with other trades requiring work in each area 8) Installation of polished concrete system on metal edged 5’ x 10’ trench plating without damaging metal edge and creating a uniform surface that matches rest of floor.
At the end of the project, Diacon completed within budget, on schedule, and a beautiful floor for all to enjoy.