Patrick Nation describes the reinforcing steel for the main tank of the 50,000-sq-ft Seattle Aquarium Ocean Pavilion as a “monster” job for CMC Rebar. In his mind, it was like bending 496 tons of bars “on a golf ball.” In reality, the operation was more like weaving a giant steel basket. Ironworkers had to painstakingly hand-thread the reinforcing steel for the doubly curved and slanted concrete walls of the 350,000-gallon saltwater exhibit—one bar at a time—to create the dense latticework for the 41-ft-tall basket.
The work on the Coral Canyon tank was way “outside the box” of CMC’s experience, says Nation, the rebar fabricator-erector’s operations manager. But that didn’t faze him.