South AL Distribution Center
Producer: Hodgson Concrete
Location: Montgomery, AL
Project Type: Warehouse / Distribution
Construction of a large distribution warehouse in South Alabama posed two unique challenges. First, the floors had to be super flat. Second, the tilt-up panels that formed the structure were unusually tall.
These uncommon specifications required special handling by the crew at Hodgson Concrete’s Montgomery ready mix plant.
“This was indeed an interesting project,” says retired General Manager Bill Hodsgon. “When it came to the floors, the specs were really, really tight. We had to work with the general contractor to come up with a mix design that would give the floor placement contractor their best opportunity to make that floor flat.”
Super Flat Floors
Hodgson explains the warehouse was set up with special automated equipment that retrieved inventory from high shelving throughout the facility. “The floor had to be extremely flat so that when the lift went from ground level up to forty feet it was still aligned with the racks,” he says. Concrete for the “super flat” reinforced floors was placed by specialized workers. “The placement crew for the floors were well trained and well experienced in putting in these flat floors,” Hodgson notes.
Another crew was tasked with the job of handling the project’s large tilt-up concrete panels. “The panels were 45 to 48 feet. I mean it’s a big job to stand those things up and the general contractor had their own crew for that.” Hodgson says the oversized panels, some up to 48-feet in length, required a reliable concrete mix design. “They needed a mix they knew would go to strength with no question. When they went to pick those panels up, they couldn’t afford to have one of them come apart. They had to know the concrete was going to be at the strength required.”
Since Hodgson Concrete was supplying material for the both floors and walls of the project, that meant back-to-back delivery of two very different mix designs to the job site. “On some mornings, we would deliver 700 to 900 yards of concrete for the floor and then we would pause and send another 900 yards for the tilt-up panels," he says. The ability to make that dual delivery possible is made by a central mixer at Hodgson Concrete’s Montgomery plant.
“We are fortunate to have a central mix plant,” says Hodgson. “That gives us a big advantage. The plant is capable of stocking four different aggregates at any one time. We can change mix designs fairly easily, on-the-go and can batch several different mix designs with different aggregates all in the same day and at the same time. It went really, really well.”
The warehouse, completed in 1999, is over 800,000 square feet and was originally built as a distribution point for KB Toys, which ceased opeations in 2009. Today the structure serves as a Coca-Cola distribution center.