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Pool & Recreational Shotcrete Corner basement. Because the overall design is based appears very much at home in the setting (Fig. 1). on English gardening, most of the features in It also provides the soothing sounds of moving the landscape are rectilinear. In that sense, this water, which was one of George’s top priorities elegant waterfeature complies with the aes- for the piece. thetics found throughout the property. The idea Our job was to put it in the ground and make was to create this long, granite-lined runnel fed the whole thing watertight. That meant building by a reclaimed feed trough, all designed and a shotcrete basin measuring 35 x 7 x 3.5 ft (11 x constructed so it looks as though it’s been there 2 x 1 m), with tiered contours to provide a base for generations. for the slabs and feed trough. Aside from the The area had been covered in grass, which unusual shape, which looked like a big concrete George always thought was boring. He was canoe prior to the granite installation, the structure working with a local landscape architect, Dirk is, in many respects, really no different than a Sabin, who we’ve worked with on a number of typical swimming pool. occasions, to create a sort of “garden room” The outside edges of the basin were formed featuring moving water. Together, Dirk and with a 45-degree subgrade taper right up to the George created a basic design for the feature back of the granite, now covered by pea stone and, as is often the case with custom work, Dirk that surrounds the feature. The granite slabs on called us in to meet with his client. both sides of the runnel sit on benches we built In this case, the design was driven largely down the length of the shell. There’s a lower by the materials. George is an avid collector of level in the middle, also covered in granite, reclaimed granite pieces originally used in creating the bottom of the runnel. Ultimately, architecture. Most of the old buildings here the concrete basin, completely concealed by the were built on massive granite slabs, which just granite, is set about an inch higher than the happen to be mostly rectilinear and often per- water level (see sidebar). fect for re-appropriation into new structures, It’s basically a long, narrow, shallow pool such as this water feature. with decorative rock set inside. The concrete The long, narrow, rectilinear design is a sort shell is built to all the watertight and structural of visual homage to the linear aspect of English standards we use when building a tradi- gardening. It’s architectural with what I call a tional swimming pool. The shotcrete’s 28-day historic/country flair: simple, elegant, and now compressive strength is 6000 psi (40 MPa) with A Shotcrete Assist After we shot the vessel, the landscape archi- tect discovered that the design dimensions were incorrect, leaving the top of the feature a few inches below grade. We were asked if we’d have to rip out the whole thing and start over, an expen- sive and dreary prospect to say the least. I was happy to be able say that all we had to do was dowel in some steel at the top of the feature and shoot additional material to raise the structure to the proper level (Fig. 2). In essence, the vessel went from new to renovated before we placed any of the slabs. I explained that this is one of the great advan- tages of shotcrete process: You can add to it without sacrificing structural integrity, which is a common practice in highway and bridge construc- tion—just another reason why I believe shotcrete is a beautiful application method. In this case, it spelled the difference between a major problem that could have threatened the entire project versus making a relatively minor Fig. 2: Image depicts raising the installed shotcrete with a second day of adjustment. shooting (no expansion joints, no bonding agents, no cold joints) Shotcrete • Spring 2014 27


2014SprShotcreteEMag
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