A.H. Harris Blog

Harris ICF success story from Maine

by Martin Hennig

Project Spotlight Brunswick Layover ICF Project, Brunswick, ME by A.H. Harris Nick Shorey

In July of 2013 Consigli reached out to the AH Harris Team in Augusta regarding an upcoming ICF (insulated concrete forms) Project. At first we did not realize the scope of the project; however we knew the Bangor Team had been narrowly beaten out on the ICF’s for a new hospital Consigli was building up there. Once we got the request for bid and started looking at the plans it was quickly realized that if we could get this order and it worked out well for the customer it would be a banner project for AH Harris not just the Augusta Branch. To put it into perspective the project is over 70’ wide at one end and 95’ wide at the other end. It is 675’ long and both gable ends are over 30’ tall. When completed the structure will be used to perform layover maintenance for passenger train locomotives and will have space for three engines to undergo maintenance simultaneously.

We immediately enlisted the help of Brian Medford and the rest of the team at Fox Blocks to get estimates, submittal packages and freight costs so we could put together a prebid for the customer. While this was happening the customer threw a curve ball at us: “What would happen to the ICF insulation if the hydraulic fluid or diesel from the trains got splashed against it during the maintenance?” After checking with Fox Blocks and a few of our other manufacturers we came up with a solution to first apply the Silpro FSB directly to the ICF surface and then apply Vexcon’s PowerCoat HD Epoxy to gain the extra chemical resistance necessary for this application. A mock up was quickly created and demoed for the customer who was very impressed and soon had an addendum issued that specified both products to be applied to the lower section of all interior walls and the 12” strip on the exterior than runs between grade and the start of the exterior siding.

After getting all our quotes put together and the pricing all polished up the prebid was ready to be submitted when the first delay struck, the bid date had been pushed back to October. The team took the extra time to make sure we had everything as complete as we could make it and submitted our pricing early and awaited results. After the bid date passed we checked in with Consigli’s estimating team on a regular basis to make sure they had everything they need for the submittal and pricing. Unfortunately this was the point where Murphy’s Law came fully into play and the project was met with legal hurdles and lawsuits from local home owners that did not want the facility built in the proposed location. Similar obstacles delay construction of the new Police Station in the previous years so we unfortunately knew that this project was probably going to be delayed for a very long time. Faithfully in July of 2014 when Consigli requested revised pricing the Augusta team got on board and updated all the info, made a few adjustments for new addendums and submitted the prebid. After following up with the head estimator on the project we were told it probably wouldn’t be starting until 2015 but that they were expecting a Supreme Court ruling that would hopefully pave the way for the project to move forward. In July of 2015 Consigli again requested updated pricing and again the AH Harris Team in Augusta reviewed the project, made the necessary updates and resubmitted the prebid.

In early August we were notified that the Supreme Court ruling was in and the contractor was waiting for a Notice to Proceed. By early September we had the unofficial word that Harris was going to get the ICF order, but since the project had not started yet, they were still waiting on the official notice. Once this was confirmed the Special Order Agreement process was started, and after adding some more blocks to the order to increase the margin for error and breakage we were give the notice to proceed and a PO was issued. The SOA was quickly signed and returned, and after a review by the NNE Credit Team the PO was processed and sent to a very happy vendor.

Once the earth work was started and the customer had a team in place, training was setup in our Augusta Branch for their crew members to come get some hands on training and ask any questions, especially for team members that had not completed any large scale ICF projects in the past. The Augusta team made sure to have ICF’s on hand for the training and Brian from Fox Blocks flew in and went over all the aspects of the product and then answered job specific questions for over an hour to make sure everyone from the Project Superintendent to the rebar tying crew was comfortable with the product. The first of eleven truck loads of ICF’s will be delivered to the jobsite before the end of this week, with the entire ICF portion of the project scheduled to be completed before New Years.

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Categories: Building Materials, Construction Industry, Leadership, Concrete Construction, ICF, Forming, Maine, A.H. Harris

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