When Yoram and Sholem Cimet set off to build a major tower in Mexico City’s Glorieta Insurgentes area, they knew they had an exceptional project on their hands. “This area has four of the most important neighborhoods in the city coming together. The Glorieta is a very important icon in the city. When we found this plot, with all of this going on around it, it became a very important jobsite. We had to have a building that had a lot of quality and a lot of personality to equal the importance of the avenues and the site itself in the city. It’s a building of very important design and very important structure,” says Yoram. In addition to meeting the prestige of the location, the Torre Glorieta needed to meet strict city and building regulations in relation to high seismic activity and swampy grounds. In order to stabilize the building in such squelchy soil, massive underground pilings and walls had to be poured, some as voluminous as 380 m³ at a time—a major risk in a labyrinthine city with unpredictable traffic delays and a project where one late load would be disastrous. Another geographical obstacle was the fact that metropolitan Mexico City stands in a notable earthquake zone. The Torre Glorieta’s columns needed to be flexural and possess a certifiable degree of elasticity. For Yoram, this was a major challenge. It was such a challenge, he says, that “no concrete company in Mexico would guarantee that the elastic module of the concrete would be met”. Not only was excellent quality concrete critical to the project, but the concrete designs were unique and varied, ranging from 55 MPA all the way down to 30 MPA—and suppliers were unable to meet the requirements. The Cimets had no choice but to produce their own concrete, on site.
Using a ProAll Mobile Mixer meant the concrete was mixed immediately, producing the freshest possible concrete for the building’s columns and guaranteeing the elastic modulus of the concrete design would be met. Since a ProAll Mixer can be loaded as it pours, it also meant that the building’s gigantic monolithic foundation pours could be achieved, even if it meant pouring for more than 24 hours continuously. So, the Cimets had the control they were looking for, but the quality was another question; with stakes high, they needed to ensure standards were being met. Their solution: on–site lab certification, with curing and compression tests done right there, on demand. Yoram explains: “We had an external lab working with us. We gave them an area on site where they could do all their testing and they worked from there. We were able to comply with all the testing that is done and needed for the concrete of the building, so the security complies with the highest standards of construction, concrete design and concrete building.” So, with over 25,000 m3 of concrete and each pour tested by an external lab, how did the volumetric mixers concrete perform? “We had no failures on test results,” explains Yoram. None? “Not one”.
Covering 60,000 square feet of floor space, the building is 25 levels high, not including the three-floor underground parkade. The building will feature a heliport, a rooftop garden, and—beneath the basement levels—fully operational water and sewage treatment plants. Including these facilities mean that, with the uptake of rainwater during Mexico City’s four or five month rainy season, the building will be 100% water self-sufficient. This feature of the building is part of a larger initiative for Torre Glorieta: achieving LEED status, the world’s premier benchmark for high-performance green buildings. Using a ProAll Mixer not only left the LEED certification intact, it was enhanced. Yoram explains, “When we chose to produce our concrete on site we talked a lot with the LEED professionals, and for them it was a total new thing. We started to realize that we were saving a lot of energy in the production of the concrete since it’s a very simple production which we do with a ProAll Mixer, instead of having all that concrete come from a plant that is very far away. So there’s a lot of savings in transport and there’s a lot of savings in the production itself in the machinery that’s needed to produce the concrete. Here it’s very simple. And of course, there’s no waste. We use all the concrete we produce, so all those were very important for the LEED people as well.”
SQ. FT. FLOOR SPACE
Having the construction of the concrete on site makes a huge difference for building construction. It’s very cost-effective. It’s very good on timing. It helps us a lot. I’m pretty sure a lot of other construction companies will start looking at this method and start adopting it since its worked wonders for us and I’m sure it would for anyone else. I’d like to say that I think that the way this building has been built and the way it was designed architecturally, structurally, and the way we have built it will change the way of construction in Mexico City, and maybe worldwide
Sholem Cimet, Architect for Constructora Ciment
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