Over a period of eight days, our new flagship headquarters gained a stunning architectural profile as its concrete wall panels, each weighing 60,000 pounds, rose 40 feet into the air above our new 6-acre campus in Chandler, AZ.
“It is really exciting to see the project go from a two dimensional set of plans to a huge building right in front of you,” says AvAir Director of Operations Tyler Botthof. “To put the size of the building into perspective, it’s twice as high and three times as long as the Wright brothers’ first powered airplane flight, which Orville piloted at an altitude of 20 feet and covered a distance of 120 feet before landing.”
A massive building project, (the concrete floor poured in May covers three football fields), even the logistics of getting equipment onsite is demanding. For this phase, the crane arrived on ten separate flatbed trucks and required the use of another crane to assemble it.
A real teamwork operation, each wall panel was poured into forms placed directly onto the facility’s concrete slab floor and, once cured, was “tilted” into place by the crane operator, who received signals from another worker on the ground. A crew of eight workers guided the wall panels into place, and bolted each to the slab with long metal beams.
Despite all the logistics, engineering and teamwork, in the end, it came down to the weather as to whether or not the project could proceed.
Pouring the concrete wall panels took place after midnight to take advantage of cooler temperatures. Yet an even bigger factor was the wind—too much would cause the concrete to cure incorrectly, leaving imperfections in the slab. Due to windy conditions, the project was delayed for four days.
Working through the weekend, however, the crew was able to keep to the project’s original schedule and our facility is on-target for a fall 2014 opening. When completed, the 180,000 square foot facility will triple the size of our current facility and allow its 5 million + in-stock inventory to soar, right along with those 40 foot walls.