By Charles Freeman, Carolina Stalite Company
General Contractor: Kraemer Bros., LLC, Plain, Wisconsin
Masonry Contractor: Pyramid Masonry Contractors, Charlotte, NC
Masonry Producer: Johnson Concrete Company, Lexington, NC
Lightweight Aggregate Supplier: Carolina Stalite Company, Salisbury, NC
In October of 2007, Dave Mauney and Brooke Steele of Pyramid Masonry Contractors contacted Johnson Concrete Company regarding the availability of 8x8x24 inch concrete masonry units for the Great Wolf Lodge and Water Park project in Concord, North Carolina.
Pyramid Masonry had used 24″ long units on similar hotel and condominium projects in Florida, where they typically realized a significant savings on labor costs. Johnson Concrete’s Lexington Plant still had the 24″ molds that were used several years ago to make units that were called “Labor Savers”. These units had not been manufactured in this area for a long time. Once the masonry contractor found that the units were available, they approached the General Contractor (Kraemer Bros. of Plain, Wisconsin) and received permission to bid the job with these units and were awarded the contract in November of 2007.
The project called for 87,350 of the 8x8x24 inch units and 64,000 of the 8x8x16 inch units. All of the units were lightweight and met the requirements of ASTM C90. The 24- inch long units were 3 core units and weighed approximately 40 pounds each. The block was laid on a ¾ bond. Each block had 50% more area so production was increased and labor costs were down.
Although the Masonry Contractor experienced labor savings with the 8x8x24 inch units, they felt that if the project had been designed for cmu’s they could have saved even more. They won the bid because of the savings with the larger units. The project has been completed and is currently a beautiful and thriving lodge.