Executive Summary: Ready-Mix concrete proved itself as a versatile building material during the construction of the new world headquarters campus for Skyward. Ready-mix concrete was specified for five unique applications—a partial basement and parking garage, floor and columns; a custom designed retaining in two areas; an employee patio and entryway with a heated slab. Each application brought its own challenges, as well as the challenge of coordinating each pour.
Challenges: Construction on an underground parking area began late in the fall, just as cold weather was setting in. The colder weather proved a challenge, because it required the contractor to maintain the ready-mix at an adequate temperature as it cured. This phase’s large scale required coordination between three County Materials locations to deliver special mix designs with heated ready-mix to ensure a proper pour. Coordination between teams was essential to completing the pours before the ground froze, which would have led to increased construction costs. Expert dispatchers and County Materials’ experienced driving fleet worked with Miron Construction, successfully executing smooth installation.
The building’s parking garage includes an access ramp with a precast retaining wall on both sides. The same retaining wall design can be found on the back patio. These retaining walls feature a decorative surface with the look of fieldstone created by using a form liner system. Several mix designs were tested in order to avoid honeycombing and to ensure that voids would be properly filled. A defaming agent was used in that final mix to eliminate air pockets, and a plasticizer was added for better flow.
Finding a desired stain and applicator to make the wall resemble natural stone was also a challenge. Half a dozen trial tests were conducted on 8’x4’ mock-up panels, which were provided to the owner and architect to make a final decision. The acid-stain was then applied by hand, stone-by-stone and sealed.
Heating tubes were installed under the entry way and patio to aid in snow removal. Extra caution was put into pouring the ready-mix in areas with tubes to prevent any damage to the heating system. Additional coordination was needed with the heating contractor to prevent this damage. The ready-mix was integrally colored at County Materials’ ready-mix facilities, then stamped on site for added aesthetics.
The world headquarters facility opened just under a year and a half after construction began. The owner is proud of the new facility and the aesthetic benefits decorated ready-mix was able to easily bring. The owner believes the campus will create opportunity for continued growth.
About Skyward: Skyward is a growing organization that produces tracking and reporting software for K-12 school districts and municipalities. Their new world headquarters is a four-story office building in Stevens Point, WI. The new building allowed for 350 employees who were previously housed in two separate location to consolidate into one space. This new state-of-the-art facility will also provide space for an additional 500 employees Skyward is expecting to hire through 2021.