"Empire State of Mind" sung solo by Alicia Keys.
"In New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made, oh
There’s nothing you can’t do, now you’re in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you, let’s hear it fr New York
New York, New York”
LOS ANGELES (AP) A Los Angeles project laying the foundation for the tallest building west of the Mississippi broke the world record for the largest continuous concrete pour, a Guinness World Records adjudicator said Sunday. Round-the-clock pouring started at 4:47 p.m. Saturday with 208 trucks making more than 2,100 trips and pouring 82 million pounds of concrete during an 18 Â½-hour period, said Sean Rossall, a spokesman for the project building a skyscraper called the New Wilshire Grand. For the past several months, crews have prepared the site by digging an 18-foot-deep pit and lining it with 7 million pounds of reinforcing steel. Because the concrete must be poured within 90 minutes of being mixed, trucks had to arrive on time.
Went to the Kotel for the first time in several weeks this past Thursday to daven mincha, and lo and behold there’s a concrete truck placing concrete as I walk into the plaza. My friend said it was G-d welcoming me back. I was inspired and felt a deeper level of connection to the paragraph of the Amidah about the rebuilding of Jerusalem, and left a note in the crevices of the Wall for the first time in years. Throughout my Judaic studies here in Israel, I oftentimes discover ancient textual references to concrete and construction, such as the building of the Tower of Babel, the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments, the slaving of the Jews in Egypt to construct the Pyramids, Bezalel as designated construction manager for the Mishkan. And at the same time, I have the privilege of being a part of living history here in the land of Israel and see the modern day building of Jerusalem all around me. I could not feel more blessed to be here.
"Let Your Presence dwell within Jerusalem Your city as You have spoken to the prophets. Speedily establish the throne of David Your servant in its midst, and build it as an eternal structure, speedily, in our days. Blessed are You, G-d, Who builds Jerusalem."
There is plenty of courage among us for the abstract but not for the concrete.
Cold Weather Concrete
A friend of mine who is a civil engineer/project engineer/construction manager/soon-to-be certified Israeli superintendent and Israeli soldier and future Kablan, is currently working on a new building for an Israeli michlala (college) in Jerusalem. He ran into what truly would be considered an “Act of G-d” that is always included as default language in construction contracts with regard to unforeseen acts of nature. We experienced the coldest winter and most snow that Israel has seen in 60 years (aka The Jerusalem Storm of 2013 that I blogged and posted about until my cousins said they had, had quite enough). Putting into perspective that the modern state of Israel was only established 66 years ago in 1948, this has happened once. As a favor to me (and/or as a result of my nagging?), he wrote up a little something about his cold-weather concreting experience, which I found very interesting. !תודה רבה לך
Picture of concrete core taken for compressive strength testing.
"In mid-December 2013, Jerusalem experienced the biggest snow storm in 60 years, caused by a rare cold front which brought temperatures down to 3 degrees in the daytime and negative 2 degrees at night. The day before the cold front arrived, on a certain construction project in Jerusalem, 40 cubic meters of concrete walls were poured. The temperature at the time of pouring was 8 degrees Celsius and in the evening dropped to near freezing temperatures. For the next 5 days, the temperature fluctuated between 6 degrees in the sunlight and zero degrees at night time. One of the conditions for pouring concrete is that the temperature must be above 5 degrees.
In countries where they often have freezing temperatures, sheets of nylon are used to enclose the area and gas heaters are brought to bring up the temperature, but in Jerusalem where the temperature rarely drops that low, the construction crew was unprepared. There was a fear that the low temperature could have negatively impacted the hydration process of the concrete and reduced the strength of the walls. These was were cast with ב-30 type concrete, which is a compressive strength of at least 30 mpa. The construction team decided to test the walls by means of coring samples in the walls and doing a compressive strength test after 30 days (full strength).
Three samples were taken and surprisingly the strength of the walls was an average of 38 mpa, with one sample being 42 mpa! Clearly the temperature was not low enough to stop the hydration. Two possible reasons come to mind as the cause of the excellent strength results. 1) Walls are protected from the elements on both sides and this could help retain some of the heat of the hydration itself, whereas a slab would have surely frozen at the top. 2) Due to the cold, wet weather, the concrete retained maximum water for an extended period of time after pouring, which may explain the higher strength attained.”
Never use abstract nouns when concrete ones will do. If you mean “More people died” don’t say “Mortality rose.”
Concrete breathes sun’s heat.
I like it when a flower or a little tuft of grass grows through a crack in the concrete. It’s so fuckin’ heroic.