Since the earliest permanent settlers arrived in the mid-19th Century, Salt Lake City has been known as the “Crossroads of the West.”
In the expanse of the western United States, it is a metropolis that is conveniently accessed by planes, trains and automobiles and is relatively equal distance from major Pacific coastal cities like Seattle, Washington and Los Angeles, California.
“There are thousands of acres in the Northwest Quadrant of Salt Lake City that are now open for development,” says Tom Stuart, owner of Tom Stuart Construction in North Salt Lake. “When the state pays for the lines to run out there, it’s an even better option.”
Tilt-up concrete involves pouring the building’s walls on the ground and then “tilting them up” using a massive crane. The walls are then secured to the previously poured concrete foundation, flooring and roof.
“It’s very popular in the warehouse arena,” Tom says. “It speeds up construction and is very cost effective.”
Part of this efficiency comes from the fact that nearly all construction is done at floor level and doesn’t require laborers and materials be elevated through scaffolding around the building.
“A 1 million-square-foot building requires between 40,000 and 50,000 yards of concrete, which means roughly 5,000 truckloads of ready-mix concrete,” says Terrence Savage, vice president of concrete for Geneva Rock. “There are few companies in the state that have the capacity to build these types of buildings. It requires pouring big floors and walls very quickly.”
Not only are quantities high, but the concrete’s performance has to meet exacting and consistent performance — especially in a warehouse storing valuable goods on massive shelving systems. Warehouses stack heavy products high in the air and require concrete that can withstand the pressure that comes from all that weight being secured by four-inch metal plates.
That’s where Tom relies on Geneva Rock.
“We’ve used Geneva Rock from the beginning for almost every square foot of concrete over the years,” Tom says. “In all of those years, I have never had an experience where Geneva hasn’t met the required specifications.”
Besides helping Tom Stuart Construction complete numerous warehouses in the last few years — including multiple buildings over more than 1 million square feet on one floor — the two companies work together on a number of others projects, too.
One such project is the Utah Test and Training Range (UTTR) west of Salt Lake City. Tom Stuart Construction is a second-tier subcontractor on the military project. The company was brought in specifically to erect 10 new structures for the project that serves both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force.
“Tom Stuart was brought into the project at Geneva Rock’s request because of their experience in the concrete structures called for in the project plan set,” says Shane Albrecht, vice president of area construction for Geneva Rock. “We partnered with the other contractors to formulate a strong team that prevailed through the proposal process.”
“The people at Geneva Rock are some of the best people I know — some of my best friends — and that extends beyond any project we’re working on together,” Tom says. “They are honest and you know they are going to treat you well. That doesn’t mean we haven’t had some disputes, but we’ve always worked through them because we trust each other.” The relationship isn’t one-sided, either.
“The relationships we have with the people at Tom Stuart Construction genuinely make any opportunity to associate with them something we look forward to,” Shane says. “We enjoy the camaraderie and shared interest we have with each other and the projects we build together.”