Rebar causes headaches, yet many contractors, developers and even engineers are hesitant to try proven alternatives, simply because they are different.
Every month, 200,000 transport trucks cross the border from Mexico into Laredo, Texas using the city’s four international bridges. Each of these trucks stops at a local warehouse to load or unload, resulting in a high demand for durable, multi-use facilities.
Park Avenue Construction is one of Laredo’s leading general contractors, in charge of building these essential facilities. “We are a design/build construction company for the local industrial market,” says Gary Chatham, Director of Corporate Development with Park Avenue Construction. “We’ve been around for 30 years, and we like to innovate. We like to be out-front with new ideas and better ways, always looking for new efficient, sustainable ways to do construction.”
Always looking for ways to build better, the construction company started using Helix® Micro Rebar™ concrete reinforcement just recently.
Taking the First Step in Improving Concrete Reinforcement
“A few years ago, there was a spike in steel prices that affected our bottom line,” Chatham recalls. “We had a huge warehouse designed on old prices and the costs for us significantly increased. We realized that with rebar prices being so unreliable, we needed to find alternatives.”
Park Avenue Construction’s management had seen Helix® Micro Rebar™ reinforcement used elsewhere, and had already done their research, so they contacted Helix Steel to learn more. Although their own engineers were hesitant to trust the one-inch twisted steel rods over the much-larger and well-known rebar, the results quickly proved that the decision to choose Helix Steel was a wise one.
Luke Pinkerton, Helix Steel’s President and Chief Technology Officer, communicated the benefits and characteristics of Helix® Micro Rebar™ concrete reinforcement and walked the general contractor’s team through the product, processes and expected results, which greatly helped to alleviate concerns.
“Once we understood the structural integrity of the reinforcement it was a pretty easy decision to make, and a pretty easy thing to do,” says Chatham. “The first time we used it was in a small 30,000-square-foot parking area at a refrigerated warehouse. The owners realized they needed more parking than they originally wanted because they also have a trucking company. After we poured the concrete with Micro Rebar™ we told them not to drive trucks on it for a week, but I guess that message wasn’t passed on, because two days after we poured it, they had it covered with trucks. We were afraid to see the damage, but there wasn’t a single crack. We couldn’t believe it.”
General Contractors Know That Saving Time and Money Involves Doing More With Less
With Park Avenue Construction’s engineers in agreement over the durability of Helix® Micro Rebar™ concrete reinforcement, they worked with Helix Steel’s engineering team to create further dosage efficiencies. Today, Chatham says that they can lay it as cost effectively as asphalt.
Park Avenue Construction recently completed a 20-acre paving project, and saved 73 days of construction time by not having to install rebar and tie the steel. That resulted in more than just time savings – there were significant cost savings, and gave Park Avenue Construction the opportunity to work on more projects in a year.
“Our subcontractor needs a fraction of their usual crew, and Micro Rebar™ lets the concrete truck do all of the work,” says Chatham. “All we need to do is back up the truck and dump it out where concrete is needed for the slab. It creates tremendous savings in both labor and time. The material costs a little more per square foot, but when you factor in the savings it makes it much more cost effective.”
The Engineering Behind the Product
The affordability, schedule reductions and labor savings are of course reason enough to consider Micro Rebar™ concrete reinforcement, but for many general contractors, it is the engineering that sells them on it.
“Anyone can claim product benefits,” says Chatham. “But Helix Steel worked on the engineering with us to determine the right loads and product dosages. Now we don’t need to do the math every time; We have an established dosage just from the experience of working with Helix Steel.”
Park Avenue Construction’s General Contractors Are Doing More and Growing Faster
With five projects on the go right now, Park Avenue Construction is showing no signs of slowing down, and is about to sign a contract for a 300,000-square-foot “tilt-up” warehouse that will all be built with concrete panels and paved with Helix® Micro Rebar™-infused concrete.
The future relies on businesses operating smarter than ever before, so owners and builders like Park Avenue Construction must use the most advanced products available. Chatham understands this well and sees Helix® Micro Rebar™ reinforcement becoming the new standard for many concrete applications. They value it so much, they’re also a distributor, selling the product to other general contractors throughout Texas.
General Contractors Understand That Helix® Micro Rebar™ Reinforcement Makes Sense
To learn more about how Helix® Micro Rebar™ reinforcement is a better way to build with concrete, contact Helix Steel today or continue exploring our website to discover past concrete reinforcement projects, applications and the many benefits of working with Helix Steel.
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