If you have been in the commercial construction industry for any length of time, then you are well aware that the use of ground penetrating radar (GPR) is just now beginning to play an integral role. In the days of old, if you needed to cut, core, drill, or embed, you simply lined up the saw or the drill and did your thing. If you cut an important item, well, that was just the cost of doing business. “Move on….nothing to see here” was a common phrase.
Today, however, is very different. For starters, there is so much building infrastructure that is being placed within a given concrete deck that is vital to the building’s day to day operation: Elevator conduit; general electrical conduit and smurf; pex hot and cold piping; pt cables; and other building critical items. All of these items need to be missed when core drilling or cutting concrete. And, as retailers come and go, tenant improvements (TI’s) are without end, most of which require cutting, embedding, and core drilling.
There is always a learning curve as laborers in the field of commercial construction attempt to keep up with the needs and processes used by architects, engineers, and building owners today. Monitoring what is taking place on a tenant upgrade in a given building is critical to the success of the project, and to the structure of the building itself. I am continually surprised at the disconnect in the field of day to day operations and job safety. Many laborer’s will still cut, core drill, and embed, without even a thought of hitting these critical items. On one job I was recently on, the electricians were anchoring an item to the lid without having the area scanned first. They would just pick a spot and drill there 3/4″ hole as deep as they needed. The problem with this ongoing philosophy is multifaceted. PT cables, conduits, and other items can often be within 1/2″ of the top or bottom of the deck. The second your tool penetrates the concrete deck without scanning, is the second you are leaving safety to chance!
It is my hope that as building inspectors, owners, and general contractors get up to speed and continue to improve safety and performance on the job, we will soon see ground penetrating radar technicians on every project.
So, in answer to our question “When should you have your project scanned?”, any time the existing concrete deck will need to be penetrated, you need to have your project scanned. Your safety depends upon it!
Give Scan2Core, Inc. a call today!