The American Concrete Institute (ACI) Awards Competition was created to extend recognition to outstanding projects involving the use of concrete. It provides not only industry recognition, but also draws public attention to unique applications of concrete in both design and construction. The year, ATL was a member of LeChase Construction Services’ team who was nominated for the ACI award.

LeChase Construction Services, LLC was employed by LG Constructors of Atlanta, GA to provide concrete footings and foundations for a new steam turbine power plant for Empire Generating Co, LLC. The 40-acre project site along Riverside Avenue in Rensselaer, NY was a brownfield site.

This project included over 30,000 CY of concrete and 3,200 tons of steel reinforcing bar. 50 individual foundation items including foundations for valves, transformers, oil and water storage tanks and chemical storage facilities, as well as massive foundations for the cooling towers (3,500 CY), turbine pads (1,700 CY each) and three building foundations, including the turbine building (5,600 CY) were constructed.

The most challenging aspect of the project was the installation of a 5,000 SF raised turbine pad. The pad was 42 feet above the ground and was required to be six and a half feet thick in order to support the 265-ton steam turbine.

Another challenge included maintaining a near zero tolerance for installing the thousands of anchors and embedded steel plates for the turbines and other heavy machines. Extensive planning and logistics were also required for some of the concrete foundations which in several cases required placing 1,800 CY in a continuous 10-hour operation.

There were several advantages to using concrete on this project. In order for the 265-ton computer-driven steam turbine machines to function properly, these machines needed to have a minimal deflection base. Concrete provided this stabilized base. A second advantage was that watertight concrete for the cooling tower acted as a foundation, as well as a holding tank. With concrete the client did not need to provide steel or fiberglass baffles. And lastly, concrete provided a greener alternative to other options, such as fiberglass tanks with resin or steel tanks. Seventy-five percent of all reinforcing steel used in this project was recycled. Also, the concrete mix contained fly ash in order to achieve concrete strengths while using industrial byproducts.

The Empire Generating project is a significant project for the local community and New York State as it will generate clean energy, provide local and state tax revenue and the project provided environmental benefits by remediating a contaminated site.

Steve Moore, (AT) accepted the ACI award on behalf of ATL.