Wednesday, July 27, 2011

#86 Exterior Insulation Finish System Instalation

Description: Seen above is a construction worker putting the finishing touches on the Exterior Insulating Finish System (EIFS) of a building.  EIFS are composed of insulation panels that are connected to the building via mechanical fasteners or adhesive.  These panels are then covered with synthetic coatings to provide both a visually appealing and weather proof finish. Many times EIFS is confused with stucco, however, technically they are different materials.

Monday, July 25, 2011

#85 Mock Up Building Skin

Description: What is this random wall doing in a parking lot of job trailers?  It is a mock up of the future building skin that will be built in this area.  This allows the architect to see what the building will look like in the area before the entire building is completed.  It also allows the finish contractor to gain valuable experience in what is to be expected from the architect in terms of finish detail quality.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

#84 Stalled Bridge Project

Seen here is the end of the Ambassador Bridge that extends from Detroit, MI, USA to Winsor, Ontario, Canada over the Detroit River.  This particular picture is of the ramp up to a proposed second crossing.  However, the permits were not issued and the project was therefore halted and now stands with a drop off to nowhere.  The lesson from this is quite straight forward: get your permits before you start the project or you may end up with a useless piece of infrastructure.

Monday, July 18, 2011

#83 Equipment: Bulldozer

Description:  Seen here is a D6R Caterpillar track-type tractor, or in construction terms, a dozer.  Dozers are used for pushing soil material around construction sites, light soil compaction jobs, and many other tasks in the construction, mining, and logging industries.  Dozers are known for their ability to be used in almost any terrain thanks to the crawler tracks they use for movement.    As can be seen here, the dozer is working in a wet clay filled soil material that is very prone to bogging down traditional wheel vehicles and is doing just fine.

Friday, July 15, 2011

#82 Concrete Pump Placement Boom

Description:  The blue folded arm on top of the tower is a placement boom off a concrete pump truck.  This setup is used to allow better access to the bottom of the excavation for crews pouring concrete in the foundation.  By moving the base of the placement boom to a tower, much more range is added to the boom.  If you look closely the truck the boom belongs to is next to the excavation on the left side of the photograph.  As usual with a concrete pump truck, concrete mixers deposit their concrete into the pump truck which pumps the concrete through a pipe into the boom. The boom then places the concrete anywhere in the bottom of the excavation it can reach.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

#81 Equipment: Concrete Mix Trucks

Description:  Many times when using reinforced concrete in civil engineering applications thousands of cubic yards of it are needed.  However, concrete usually isn’t made on site for a project, but at a local batch plant.  This means it must all be trucked to the site using concrete mix trucks in approximately eight cubic yard batches.  Seen here is a line of concrete mixer trucks from a local batch plant waiting to deliver their loads to a job.  This pour was over 6 000 cubic yards of concrete and took place in one continuous operation lasting nearly 40 hours.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

#80 Steel Arch Bridge Carrying Utilities

Description:  As seen here bridges don’t always carry people in cars or trains over obstacles.  This is a bridge in Detroit, Michigan at the Ford Motor Company Rouge River Plant.  This factory is so large that roads actually pass through the complex.  This requires utilities, such as steam pipes, to cross the road to access different parts of the plant.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

#79 Construction Material Storage Silos

Description:  Seen here is an elevator storage building. It was once used to store building materials, such as gravel, to ensure proper moisture content was maintained in any weather conditions.  On the right side of the building the conveyor belt used to lift the material into the silos can be seen quite clearly.  Conveyer handling of materials is quite efficient and is still used today to load gravel, and other granular material like corn, into silos for storage. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

#78 Water Towers on Factory

Description:  Seen here are two water towers on top of an abandoned factory in Detroit, Michigan.  Water towers are used to input pressure, or head, into a water distribution system.  Water towers are particularly good at this because water can be pumped up at an off demand time on the water distribution system and then retrieved by simply opening a valve when demand is high.  This ensures that water pressure in the system doesn’t fall too low.  This becomes especially important for events such as fires where firemen draw large amounts of water from the system in a relatively short time.  These water towers, however, were most likely used in a process involved in the factory, not for an entire city's distribution system.