12,000 Shoring Frames and Beams Get the Job Done on Reservoir Project

12,000 Shoring Frames and Beams Get the Job Done on Reservoir Project
12,000 Shoring Frames and Beams Get the Job Done on Reservoir Project
12,000 Shoring Frames and Beams Get the Job Done on Reservoir Project
12,000 Shoring Frames and Beams Get the Job Done on Reservoir Project

Woman-owned for seven years, San Diego, Calif.-based Upright Shoring and Scaffold recently completed the roof false work of the new Powell Butte Reservoir project, a new twin-cell 50MG reinforced concrete reservoir in Portland, Ore., on time and under budget.

Somewhere around 80% of Upright’s work is in the concrete water reservoir niche, with all its core management and field employees having anywhere from 20 to 30 years of experience in that particular line of work.

“There are a handful of us shoring and scaffold contractors that do this type of work,” says Shawn Huang, Upright general manager. “Because of the unique and potentially dangerous nature of this type of work, where erectors often work on shoring and false work structures more than 40 ft. high in the air, contractors that bid these jobs have extensive experience on similar projects and meet specific criteria. If general contractors that self-perform are excluded, we probably get somewhere around 90% of these types of jobs.”

Tight Schedule
The reservoir needed to be operational by Oct. 30, 2013.  Calif.-based general contractor SSC Construction Inc. selected Upright to provide the reservoir roof false work shoring for this buried structure located in a nature preserve.

Dez Evans, general foreman with SSC says: “We’ve worked with Upright for seven years on various projects and trust their team’s ability to meet a deadline. No matter how tight the schedule is, they hit the mark.”

The project ultimately required the installation of 260,000 sq. ft. of false work in three phases, with 98,000 sq. ft. of deck to be erected at any one time. Once awarded the job and well before the project was scheduled to begin, the Upright team, led by David Braswell, Upright’s operations manager, began designing the shoring layout.

“David has more than 30 years of experience in constructing this type of false work. He works with the engineers and draftsman to create a design plan that incorporates the most efficient shoring design specific to each job to increase efficiency on the jobsite,” says Huang. “At Powell Butte he went to the jobsite months in advance with the SSC team to figure out the best way to build the false work and pour the roof deck. That way, we already had a clear vision on how we were going to build the project before we mobilized for the job.”

 Initially the Upright team contracted to build 66,000 sq. ft. of decking at a time, rolling it over four times.  However, after the start of the project, SSC realized this schedule would not enable them to  meet the deadline. Upright then agreed to accelerate their scope to do the 98,000 sq. ft. at a time, and that has kept SSC on schedule and able to meet their deadline.

Huang says: “We were able to agree to the extra square footage to meet the deadline, and finished up the main decking on the reservoir June 19, 2013.”

Ultimately, 25 false work specialist craftsmen led by Ed Cowen, Upright general foreman, working 40 ft. in the air have utilized 12,000 of Upright Shoring and Scaffold’s proprietary heavy duty shoring frames, 12,000 Upright aluminum shoring beams, and 4,000 sheets of plywood to get the job done.

Challenging Elements
While workers on these types of jobs have experience with the unique challenges of working on a concrete reservoir, the most challenging obstacle at Powell Butte was Portland’s weather. 

“The type of work we do is inherently dangerous and our teams are used to that; however, the Powell Butte team has had to work through sideways rain and a blizzard,” explains Huang. “We have a deadline to meet and the team simply has marched on.”

Safety in such demanding conditions is a priority.  Huang says, “We achieve 100% tie-off using double lanyards and unhooking and tying off as the erectors climb up and down. It takes a bit to get used to, but once the workers do it day-in and day-out they get used to it and become more efficient at their job.

The Powell Butte job is still on-going with Upright estimating its scope of work on the reservoir to be completed in late July with the removal of the last of the shoring and false work.

SSC and Upright will team up again on the construction of the slightly larger 54MG Silver Lake Reservoir in Los Angeles, Calif. This is the first of two concrete water reservoirs, second reservoir being a 56MG, which will be out to bid at the completion of the first reservoir.


Lift & Access is part of the Catalyst Communications Network publication family.