When Brandon Gore of Gore Design Co., now located in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, accepted a job furnishing a huge outdoor patio on the top floor of a client’s building in Phoenix, Arizona, there were three massive cranes on the job site. Together with the landscape architect, Gore’s design of concrete chairs, long benches and an immense table with a steel base was to be precast in his Arizona shop. He used an ultra-high performance GFRC mix to fashion the high-strength pieces. In the end, they had concrete placed by helicopter.
When the furniture was ready for placement, Gore ran into a glitch. The cranes were already packed up and gone. Sure the chairs could fit in the elevator, but there was no way the table and benches could — unless they were cut in half. “And that would have ruined the integrity of the pieces,” Gore said. So it wasn’t really an option.
He considered trying to hoist the pieces up through the elevator shaft, but the logistics were too complicated. Then he had a eureka moment — why not hire a helicopter to do the heavy lifting? The contractor was adamantly against this idea. This was because they said they had a no-helicopter policy on its job sites (really?), but Gore persisted. The contractor finally relented when the client agreed to sign a waiver.
Very early on a Saturday morning, the big production unfolded. With a host of policemen on motorcycles looping the area, multiple firetrucks on hand and ambulances on the ready in the wings, the helicopter whirled and whisked the concrete up, up and away. It took three separate lifts to get the table and benches up on the roof.
“It was an awesome way to finish the job,” Gore says. “I’d like to do this every time.”