Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

MAR 2014

LC/DBM provides landscape contractors with Educational, Imaginative and Practical information about their business, their employees, their machines and their projects.

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28 LC DBM Not the Beaten Path The rugged nature of the job site dictated that all work be done by hand. "We couldn't get any equipment in there because it was a steep slope on either side of the restaurant," August says. Picks and shovels and big crewmembers did the digging. To move the huge bedrocks, they used a large bar and took advantage of gravity by usually moving the rocks downhill and putting them into place to make the base of the walls as they went up. In fact, everything was carted down. The restaurant, ad- joining parking lot and incoming road were set above the jobsite so as materials were delivered, they were stored in the lot and brought down as needed by wheelbarrow. On a typical day, August had a crew of two to six. Over the course of the project, he went through 20 people, most who quit because of the strenuous work. "The last year I had two women working for me and they were great," he asserts. The workers started at the bottom and moved upslope, building a series of walkways and retaining walls as they pro- gressed. The terrace pod walls were a minimum of 18 inches thick and up to 10 feet tall. Each one was built with three layers. First, an inner wall was constructed using site-cast, cellular concrete block. The outer layer is made from basalt stones and reclaimed bricks set with ½-inch joints of cement mortar. The basalt was gathered at a beach in Kaupo, an area on the southeast side of Maui. A big Cat loader was used to pick them up and pile them into a nine-yard dump truck. The bricks came from an old building that was torn down in Honolulu. August had them barged to Maui, where they were trucked via flatbed from the docks to the jobsite. August rented a big drum concrete mixer and tumbled the bricks to give them a weathered look. He used a cam oper- ated guillotine-type brick cutter to size them. "There was probably a million bricks in there by the time I got done cutting," he maintains. As the inner and outer walls were being built, corrugated tabs were mortared into the grout joints so that when con- crete, the third layer, was poured in the resulting cavity, the two walls would bond to one and other mechanically. Before that was done, steel rebar was placed in the cavity Top: All the steps for the project had a uniform six-inch rise and a 16-inch run. August incorporated nosing whether the units were brick or rock. All the bricks for the project came from a demolished building in Honolulu, and the basalt stones were gathered from a beach at Kaupo. Middle: The benches are custom made from concrete. August designed the master and then built it with help in a friend's wood shop. He made the molds himself, and then cast & assembled the pieces. The casting material was 120 PCF cellular concrete for a 20 percent weight reduction over regular concrete. Bottom: For an outdoor entertainment center at a residence in Malibu, August created a dolphin mosaic on the fireplace's smoker stack by breaking up picture flagstone, then matching the black and gray lines to fit the dolphin's contours. 026-031.indd 28 3/3/14 11:24 AM

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