When Heitkamp Masonry started the estimating process on The Meadows, they realized this was a true mason contractor's dream. There are six buildings totaling over 260,000 sq ft. All 100% loadbearing masonry, including masonry columns, moment frame walls and tie beams.
There were 1,600 yds of masonry grout and over four miles of rebar, countless box ties and J hooks. In some of the masonry columns more than 16 vertical #9 bars had to be placed. All of this in 8 in. CMU walls. There were no perimeter steel columns and the entire structural steel package was roof joist and interior columns.
In order to coordinate all of the steel and grout requirements, Heitkamp met with the engineer and addressed issues they thought would be problematic. Every process was reviewed and put into shop drawings.
The tie beam over the storefront was the most crucial. Some of these span 28 ft. In order to construct this beam, masons set up shoring and laid the wall to half the beam height, then grouted and repeated the process. After 21 days, they removed the shoring and in most cases the roof was already installed.
The finishes were very challenging due to the many different masonry materials used. The job required rubble stone (280 tons), modular face brick (580,000), cut Indiana limestone (30,000 cu ft), Cast Stone (medallions & address blocks), and architectural precast concrete (planter urns). There were also 175,000 concrete masonry units.
The site package alone was literally a "monumental" undertaking. The masons built two large pylon signs on either end of the 90 acre site, two large main entry monuments, three smaller location monuments, and a large central plaza area consisting of a large clocktower, a stage area, and numerous walls and masonry piers.
The buildings were the hardest to coordinate. There were approximately 100,000 pieces of cut limestone and these were detailed throughout the wall. There was a stone base, then numerous transom window sills, intermediate and high banding. It was critical to have the stone there and get it set in order for the wall to continue upward. Combined with a 12 month schedule, everything had to click.
The end result was one of the most attractive masonry projects Heitkamp has completed. Most notable are the project's tremendous curb appeal and unlimited use of masonry. This is truly a timeless design and a modern masonry landmark.