Despite the hardships of building concrete vertically without conventional formwork, Adrian Gascon and Neil Hughes of Muud Concrete Design, Los Angeles, Calif., are able to produce pieces with the use of fast-setting cement mix Rapid Set by CTS Cement.
There are two projects that Gascon has worked on that truly display the need to use Rapid Set when creating vertical works. The Cypress Breeze Plantation project in Florida required a recreation center with a 200-ft.-long pool with 14-ft. rock walls and a 40-ft.-high waterfall. Between 45,000 and 50,000 sq. ft. of rock work was used.
Prior to hiring Gascon and his crew, the contractor had one lead man and five workers doing five bags of concrete a day, which was slowing down production. Gascon’s first move was to immediately switch the material to Rapid Set, which resulted with his crew averaging 50 to 60 bags mixed per day. Furthermore, Rapid Set was beneficial with the less-than-desirable weather conditions experienced throughout the build. The quick-setting concrete would cure in 15 minutes, despite the weather, allowing the construction to proceed quickly. Gascon and his crew were able to finish the job in approximately three months with the use of Rapid Set.
Another difficult job Gascon has faced involved building a waterscape in Shawnee, Kan. The crew working on the waterscape was not acquainted with Rapid Set or the procedure, therefore, Gascon had to train the crew in the proper procedures to use the material and how to build vertically. It was an immense job that involved 200 men on the jobsite. The design involved a pool, caverns, and waterscape grotto 250-ft. around, 58-ft. high. The swimming pool held 1.8 million gallons of water, and Rapid Set was used to secure the fiber optic lighting, mister lines, and strengthen the joints between the rocks. To keep the production levels high, Gascon fashioned a zip line to move the material from the landing area to the structure area. The final job used around four to six truckloads of Rapid Set, took 13 to 14 months to build the rock work, and the entire job was completed in three years.
In all these situations, the biggest advantage of using Rapid Set was that after the initial structure was built, cutting could begin 15 minutes later. “By using Rapid Set correctly, it will save you money since time is money, and Rapid Set is faster,” said Gascon. “It’s easy to make changes along the way, which is helpful with customers frequently changing their mind.”
Muud Concrete Design was honored as part of the 10-year-anniversary of the Artistry in Concrete Demos at this year’s World of Concrete. Gascon has participated in the Artistry in Concrete Demos over the years and is pleased to be considered an integral part of the innovative use of decorative concrete.