A simple request from the University of Wisconsin-Madison for the construction of its 102,000-sq-ft, $27.5-million La Bahn Arena presented an engineering challenge for the contractor."They wanted as much open space as they could get in the men's and women's hockey locker rooms," says Dave Beck-Engel, executive vice president, J.H. Findorff & Son, the project's principal contractor. "But with a traditional concrete slab, it got pretty thick, [and the] low ceilings got in the way."After considering its options, the project team chose to use BubbleDeck, a nontraditional concrete slab system which uses evenly spaced plastic bubbles to reduce the amount of
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.