08 June 2015

Taking care in hospital renovation

Adding a new elevator in the center of an active VA Hospital is a tricky project, especially since it included removing part of the existing floor and creating a 3 meters deep pit. Using the right equipment and advance planning helped Matcon Diamond, based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US, solve the problem.
The Veterans Association Elevator Pit Project, for the VA Hospital at Oakland, Pennsylvania, was awarded to Addvetco, based out of Bethel Park, Pa. Addvetco subcontracted Matcon Diamond to perform concrete cutting and rock removal. Since the project work site was located in the middle of the hospital, questions on how to access the site, manage water, and remove material were the first hurdle to tackle. All personnel, equipment, and the debris would have to be moved through tight hallways, elevators and loading docks. Matcon decided to move the appropriate equipment for demolition into place and remove debris in stages.

Selective slab removal

Project engineers were concerned the sub-base could potentially fracture when hammering began. Therefore, the first stage of the project included separating what had to be removed from what had to remain. The first step was to cut and remove the existing slab on grade. This was accomplished with an electric flat saw and, since access was an issue, hand removing the 4 meters wide x 6 meters long area of floor. Removing the slab on grade exposed the sub-base of rock that the hospital was built on. To create access for plunge cut wire sawing of concrete footers in the rock sub-base, Matcon next elected to use Husqvarna hydraulic core drills and bits to drill six 3 meters deep, 22 cm wide holes.

After completion of the core removal, Matcon brought in a Husqvarna WS 482 high frequency wall saw and a CS 10 wire saw. Using Husqvarna C950 wire, Matcon’s team wire sawed 680 squares (each individual square was 30 cm x 30 cm) in six different pulls with two of the biggest pulls comprising 140 squares apiece. With the first phase of the project completed it was now time to bring in the heavy hitter, the Husqvarna DXR 310.

Breaking 80 cubic meters of material

DXR breaking rock
The second phase of the project consisted of using the DXR 310 to break and remove rock. Since access to the work site was an issue, Matcon had to remove sections of the DXR’s arm just to get it to the work site. However, the time it took to disassemble and reassemble the arm was well worth the effort. Once the machine was in, they used the breaker attachment to fracture the rock, reaching a depth of 2 meters by working from the edge of the pit. Then the DXR’s bucket attachment was used to load hoppers to remove the broken rock/material. A total of 80 m3 of material was removed. This portion of the project was completed in eight days with one man running the DXR and four men removing the material. The remaining 90 cm was removed by Addvetco’s team by utilizing hand tools and nine men. This took three weeks.

Mission completed

The elevator pit
The power of the DXR was clear for all to see. All in all the project was a success. Addvetco was extremely grateful for the equipment and expertise that Matcon provided to the project. And once again, Husqvarna products turned what looked to be an impossible task into just a difficult one.