Spanning the Distance
Verti-Crete’s innovative vertical battery mold technology has revolutionized the way precasters make sound walls. From residential privacy walls that increase homeowner value and security to interstate highway sound attenuation walls that silence the roar of speeding traffic, Verti-Crete walls are leading the way.
Verti-Crete’s double sided privacy walls are “right sized” to handle elevation changes, radial turns and tight accesses. But for the Department of Transportation, bigger it seems, is better. Heavy highway construction generally calls for long straight runs of sound wall. The walls also tend to be taller, much taller. The taller the wall the heavier the pier load. Then add the higher wind load for increased exposure and your cost per footing can really add up. Increasing the span to reduce the cost per footing has become critical to controlling costs.
When Owell Precast was awarded a large sound wall project in Boise, Idaho (USA), they were faced with the daunting challenge of producing nearly three and a half kilometers of precast sound wall in less than seven months. Further complicating matters, the project demanded a range of panel sizes, each with multiple textures. As Owell evaluated its production options the solution became clear. By using a Verti-Crete Panel Stacker system, Owell was able to produce a high volume of large precast pieces in a fraction of the time and floor space otherwise needed. In addition, Verti-Crete’s mold and form system made it possible to provide the Idaho Department of Transportation (IDOT) with a product that had a molded texture on both sides of the wall, far surpassing the surface quality specified on the project.
Verti-Crete was able to guarantee impeccably molded textures on both sides of each panel because all of their mold work is done in-house in its own custom mold shop. For this project, Verti-Crete produced five new mold designs to IDOT’s exact specifications.
Efficiency by Design
Labor is not only one of the largest components of a project like this, it can also be the biggest variable. Bill Ashton, President of Owell Precast, explains, “The time during which we produced this job for IDOT was one of the busiest we’ve ever had, in terms of our production schedule. We had a number of large projects going on at one time, all with crucial deadlines. We had to maximize every inch of production space and every minute of our workers’ time. We just couldn’t afford to spend the time it would take to cast horizontally. That’s what made the Verti-Crete System such a fantastic option for us. We were able to pour ten panels in a system that fit in the corner of our production building—and it only took about an hour to strip the pieces from the previous day, clean and prep the forms, and it’s ready to pour again. All our guys had to do at that point was trowel off the tops of each panel, and then they could move onto working on our other jobs. You can’t find a more efficient way to cast.”
Removable Formliners Lower the Cost per Job
Verti-Crete is proud to announce the introduction of removable formliners for its DOT sound wall systems. While our proprietary method of permanently laminating our formliners to our steel divider sheets works great for longevity, it doesn’t always work best for DOT jobs. For many sound wall jobs, flexibility can be the top priority.
Most sound wall jobs are custom designed to fit the architectural style of a specific project. The texture for one job may not be used again. So building the Panel Stacker System to accommodate removable liners makes it much easier adapt. An investment in a battery mold like this can now be amortized over many jobs. For more information on how we can custom make the most efficient and now adaptable precast sound wall system for you call or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org