Things are going down at the Mill District site and we mean that literally.
Earlier this month our crews started excavating dirt to create the subterranean footprint for our Canopy buildings. According to Doug Harrington, director of design and construction, site excavation crews removed, and stored onsite for reuse, approximately 20,000 cubic yards of dirt. Excavating down to 19 feet across the footprint of all three buildings they created the space for the parking garage and provided the foundation and structural support for the buildings going vertical.
The milestone means construction of our first buildings is formally underway.
The crews installed 45 foot long steel beams around the perimeter of the excavation along with wood lagging to shore up the 19 foot high walls of the garage and to prepare them for steel reinforcing and concrete. They will spend the rest of the month installing 30” diameter aggregate piers in the floor of the garage to provide additional support for the buildings prior to the concrete foundations being poured. As Doug explains it, this will create a very strong foundation for all three buildings—a foundation that will provide covered parking.
“Many places in California build with a slab on grade,” he said. “We took a different approach. Our primary goal was to allow homeowners to keep their cars out of the landscape to provide a pedestrian friendly park like neighborhood.”
As Doug explained it, the next step—tentatively scheduled for early next month is the installation of rebar, or steel rods. These rods will be installed along the perimeter and floor to help strengthen the concrete, which is slated to be poured in early September. This concrete will form the base layer of the parking structure, and the key foundational elements for the buildings themselves.
“Once we finish digging and we get the concrete in place, we’ll be ready to go vertical,” he said. Doug noted there are number of different teams of subcontractors working simultaneously on the project right now, and they’re working together “like an orchestra.”