Bryan Materials Group Projects

Project Showcase

We have been fortunate throughout our history to participate in many high profile projects in Western Pennsylvania. We have the knowledge and experience to work with engineers to help solve design problems and flexible enough to make things happen quickly and efficiently on a project.

PNC Towers

PNC Towers

The Tower at PNC Plaza is a 30 floor skyscraper and is the newest building to touch the Pittsburgh skyline. When finished, it will be the global headquarters of PNC Financial Services. The project goals were to exceed LEED Platinum status by utilizing green building products and minimizing environmental impacts that are typical to such a large building. P.J. Dick Incorporated was selected as the general contractor back in 2012 and soon after receiving the award, began discussions with us on the concrete supply.

In an effort to help the project attain the LEED goals they hoped to achieve, we wanted to develop a specific concrete mixture that provided higher concentrations of post consumer and post industrial recycled materials while still meeting all the quality requirements on the project. It is always our intention to work with the contractor to provide any and all support necessary to meet the project goals. The mix design was lightweight concrete with a 115 pounds/cubic foot unit weight specification and a compressive strength of 5,000 pounds per square inch. The mix design was a tri-blend of cement, class C flyash and GGBFS slag. This combination provided a ternary hydration profile to elongate strength gain and reduce shrinkage cracking.

An important component of the mix development was providing a high enough paste content to achieve good pump-ability since all the floors would be pumped from street elevation. Pumping lightweight concrete poses various challenges if the lightweight material is not consistent and properly conditioned. The conditioning consists of spraying the lightweight aggregate with water to allow the material to fully absorb.

Along with the optimization of the mix to ensure good pump-ability, we also utilized polycarboxolate and viscosity modifying admixture to achieve a more cohesive mix at high slumps. The kept pump pressures well below the limits while pumping the concrete up 30 stories. The rheology of concrete is a very important component to ensure proper pumping and finishing on the jobsite.

The overall project went extremely well. The lightweight concrete design performed extremely well throughout the duration of the project. The strengths exceeded specifications and the unit weights were well below the target weight.

The Gardens at Market Square

The Gardens at Market Square

The Gardens at Market Square is a hotel and parking garage located on Wood street in Market Square. The contractor on the job was Mosites Construction.

The project was unique in that there required a large volume of lightweight concrete and post tensioned concrete for the parking garage deck. The post tensioned concrete enabled us to utilize our maturity testing and differential curing box like we did on the 100 7th Street project several years ago. With additional technology in the controllers, we were able to update the box to a fully automated PLC with data storage and calculation capabilities. The PLC would take temperature readings of the structure and cylinders at set intervals and perform the maturity calculations. This allowed the contractor to monitor the maturity and strength development in real time as the concrete cured. Once the target maturity value was reached, we could remove a cylinder for the controlled curing box and break it to determine actual compressive strength.

The project was ultimately a success and provided us another opportunity to work with a first class contractor while utilizing some of our technology to improve the overall project.

Squirrel Hill Tunnels

Squirrel Hill Tunnels

The Squirrel Hill Tunnel project was a unique challenge because the contractor was required to demolish sections of roadway beginning Friday evening and have the completed pavement back in place by 5:00am Monday morning. There were significant liquidated damages if the Parkway was not opened on time Monday morning.

The concrete on the project was an accelerated concrete pavement that needed to achieve 5,000psi in 24 hours. We already had several versions of accelerated concrete so we modified them to meet the requirements for this project. Heat signature analysis was a key component in the mix development to determine maturity values at early ages. These values could then be compared to develop an optimum combination of cementitious materials to safely achieve the required strength. The temperature data also gave us important information on curing practices for the in place concrete. Overall the job was successful with no delays in getting the roadway open to traffic.

Fort Pitt Bridge

Fort Pitt Bridge

We were selected as the concrete suppler for two major reconstruction projects of the Fort Pitt Bridge, a major artery into the city of Pittsburgh.

First was the temporary patching of the bridge deck prior to total reconstruction of the bridge. This aspect of the job allowed us to pioneer the AAA Accelerated mix design. The district engineer, approached us about developing a mix design that would attain the minimum f’c of 4500 psi in 24 hours. This was a very unique design prior to this job. The key point was that PennDOT would issue a contract to remove and replace specific sections of the bridge deck on Friday night starting at 6:00PM and would have to reopen the deck at 6:00AM Monday morning.

The liquidated damages were approximately $30,000 / hour for every hour after 6:00AM that the bridge was not opened. We developed the mix design and utilized heat signature and maturity data as a part of the quality assurance for the concrete being placed. As it turned out, we were able to attain the required 4500 psi in less than 24 hours, averaging in the 18 hour time frame.

The second phase, several years later, was the total reconstruction of the bridge. We provided thousands of yards of bridge deck concrete. In an effort to help elongate the concrete life cycle, we utilized specific percentages of Supplementary Cementitious Materials (SCM) in order to help reduce the potential of concrete cracking and elongate the strength development in the concrete. The concrete was specifically optimized with the cementitious replacements as well as the particle size distribution of the aggregate. In combination we were able to reduce the shrinking potential of the concrete. This specific type of concrete was later implemented on a state wide level, known today as AAAP Bridge Deck concrete.

Emsworth Lock and Dam

Emsworth Lock and Dam

We worked on two major project on at the Emsworth Lock and Dam.

In the early 1980s we supplied all the concrete for the last major reconstruction of Emsworth Lock and Dam. The General Contractor was Morrison Knudsen, a large national/international contractor. Much of the concrete was supplied by loading our trucks onto a ferryboat and taking them out to the placement site. Often times a pump was located on the ferry with the trucks and the trucks would jockey around to position themselves at the pump. Other times the pump was situated on a work barge tied to the lock wall and the trucks would discharge from their place on the ferry into the pump hopper with all the chutes down.

The next part of the project occurred in 2009 we began work again on the Emsworth Lock and Dam. The front channel portion of the Lock was being repaired. The project involved several caissons and scour protection at the bottom of the river. The scour protection was converted to large precast slabs that would be placed by divers on the river floor. Concrete Concepts Inc. was awarded the precast on the job and began casting these large sections.

A large portion of the ready mixed concrete on the job required an anti-washout concrete design. In combination with the anti-washout properties, we were also required to provide self consolidating properties to the mix. The Self Consolidating Concrete (SCC) was required due to the rebar density within the caisson as well as the distance the contractor had to pump the concrete. The anti-washout properties prevent the concrete from separating when the concrete is dropped through water. The traditional design used by the Army Corps of Engineers was modified to provide a more fluid and cohesive mix. The testing performed was to determine the percentage of cementitious wash-out which was basically tested dropping a sample of concrete contained in a porous basket through a column of water. Traditional numbers for the wash-out test were around 5% wash-out with a maximum of 8%. After several iterations of the concrete design and optimizing each component of the mix, we were able to achieve a wash-out below 2.0%. This combined with the fluidity of the mix proved to be one of the best anti-washout concrete designs the contractor has ever placed.

We also did some smaller jobs at Emsworth, which resulted in our developing a mix that we poured into 4 three yard concrete buckets, that were sitting on a work barge on Saturday morning. The concrete was not placed until Sunday afternoon, when the contractor had removed some existing concrete and replaced it with the concrete we provided. Key point was the use of a set retarding admixture properly dosed and controlled in the mix. The concrete went into the buckets at a 9” slump and was placed the next day at a 6” slump.

These are good examples of the flexibility and ingenuity we can provide our customers on highly technical and uniquely challenging projects.

North Shore Tunnel

North Shore Tunnel

The North Shore Tunnel Project was a very unique job requiring a lot of attention to detail as well as innovative thinking. We had the opportunity to work with some of the best engineers in the world. Their ability to think on their feet and problem solve different issues that arose, was truly amazing to be a part of.

The job required a lot of standard concrete as well as specialty mixes. We provided them with a mass concrete mix design to help control temperature. The mass concrete utilized a percentage of pozzolans to reduce the total heat generated. Extensive testing was performed at our Research and Development Center to collect data on the heat signatures of this mix. The results of our study matched with the results attained by CTL, the top independent testing lab in the country. Through the addition of ice to the mix we were able to lower the initial concrete temperature resulting in reduced peak temperature at the core of the structure.

Another portion of the job required anti-shrink, anti-washout concrete. This was a very unique application and a mix design was formulated to provide the necessary expansion of the grout mix as well as the cohesiveness to prevent the mix from separating as it was placed under water.

The tunnel project required a lot of attention and the overseeing engineering company performed audits on all of the sub-contractors as well as the materials suppliers. All historical documents, weights, calibrations, certifications, etc. were combed over during the evaluation. The overseeing engineering group told us that we were one of the best and most thorough concrete suppliers they have ever worked with.

Parkway Reconstruction

Parkway Reconstruction

The parkway project was bid in 1983, just 3 years after Frank Bryan Inc. purchased the South Side plant from Dravo Corporation. This project was a follow up to another parkway job near Edgewood. The project consisted of 13 bridges, a large "flood wall", and paving. The job called for 80,000 cubic yards of concrete to be delivered over a two year span.

The quantities and production requirements of the job led Frank Bryan Inc. to install a central mix drum in the plant. A new Rex Central Mix drum was purchased and the south side plant was retrofitted to accommodate the new drum.Up to this point Frank Bryan's largest single year was 63,000 cubic yards.

Dick Corporation was the low bidder on the job and hired Eisenhower as the paving contractor. Eisenhower was on the job for about a year when they backed out and Beaver Valley Builders Supply's contracting division stepped in to finish the job. There were several large placements including 800 cubic yard continuous pours as well as 2,000 cubic yard per day placements.

Concrete temperatures were a consideration during portions of the job so Frank Bryan used chilled water and liquid nitrogen to keep the concrete temperature down. At the time of this job PennDOT required all concrete to be placed at 1"-3" slump.

This was a landmark job for Frank Bryan Inc. and the start of many more technically challenging and unique jobs for the company.

PET Scanner

PET Scanner

This project was a unique application for concrete. The project involved the supply of concrete to enclose a PET Scanner that was being installed in Oakland. The location of the scanner in the building and the concern for containment of neutron particles led to the development of a concrete mix that contained an additive to provide neutron particle absorption.

With the help of Dr. Adams, a Geneva College chemistry professor, we began to examine different materials that could be incorporated into the mix. The material selected was isotope elemental boron. Mix designs were performed to insure that incorporation of this material would not have a negative effect on the concrete's structural properties. Concentrations of the isotope were based on anticipated neutron particle bombardment levels. Petrographic analysis of the concrete was performed in order to insure that the isotope was uniformly distributed throughout the mix. In addition to these parameters, the concrete had to be pumped to the 7th floor of the building where the PET scanner was located.

The entire job went according to plan and came to be one of the most interesting concrete designs and placements in Pittsburgh.

Encore 100 7th Street

Encore 100 7th Street

The apartment building consists of 18 floors and stands about 190 feet tall. Approximately 8,000 cubic yards of concrete were used during the construction process. Given the volatility of steel prices at the time, and their past successes with concrete construction, the owner’s (Lincoln Property Company, Dallas TX) to construct the building with post tensioned concrete floors.

Construction proceeded at a pace of one floor per week. Mascaro Construction was the contractor on the job and being an extremely forward thinking company, allowed us to utilize some innovatve technology we had been working on at our Research & Development Center.

Our work with maturity meters and programmable logic controllers started years ago but as technology advanced so did our ability to accurately monitor and control concrete temperatures. Since the floors were all post tensioned, the time of the tensioning was critical to meet the tight project schedule and dovetailed perfectly into the research we had been conducted.

The concrete had to achieve 3,000psi before the tendons could be tensioned. Instead of waiting the standard 3 days to test for compressive strength, we monitored the concrete temperatures and calculated maturity values to alert the contractor exactly when the concrete reached the required strength. In combination with this maturity value, we invented a differential curing box that enabled us to cure concrete cylinders in the same conditions and with the same heat signature as the structure. This concept was extremely important because we were not solely relying on a maturity value, we also had a hard compressive strength value to ensure the maturity value was accurate.

The temperature probes were placed in the thinnest sections of the structure to account for the worst case scenario, i.e. lowest temperature. Every pour, the floor was wired with thermocouples and connected to the differential curing box. Data was downloaded the morning after the placement and provided to Mascaro. If the concrete reached the required compressive strength required they could proceed with tensioning of the cables.

The design strengths for the floor slabs were 5,000 psi in 28 days. The design for the columns and shear walls was set at 7,000 psi in 56 days.

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