Construction & Contractors/columns,

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Question
Dear Robert
WE have four columns that are built and they absolutely empty from inside, they were not filled in with cement at all from top to bottom. Also the connection angle of old and new constructions empty as well. The builder says he does not have to. Is he right? Should columns be filled from inside?

I have attached pictures.

Please let me know. Thank you very much and have a great day.

Regards,

Nushaba

Answer
Sorry but there are no pictures attached and I'm not sure exactly what the columns are for or what the magnitude of the issue is.

Concrete columns should be tremied (filled from the bottom up).  This will reduce the potential for concrete hanging up on the reinforcement or entrapped debris.  However, this is not always done because there is a chance that the added pressure of pumping the concrete upward can rupture the form work.  It's also not as easy as just dumping it from the top.  However, at the least, the concrete should be vibrated to densify it and reduce entrained air bubbles.  If you have evident voids then the vibration was inadequate.  Regardless of the method of placement, the builder is responsible for the quality of the concrete after the forms are stripped, and if there are unfilled areas he will either need to tear the work out and do it all over again or grout up all the voids until the result is satisfactory.  In this case I would recommend the former, as this contractor has demonstrated a lack of skill generally.

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Robert Cummings, P.E.

Expertise

I can answer questions related to rock blasting, rock and soil excavation (such as tunnels and highway cuts), stability of such excavations, and foundations in rock and soil. I can also answer questions related to geology and mining.

Experience

30+ years as a geotechnical engineer and minerals engineer. Active consulting practice in rock blasting, geotechnical engineering, and rock mechanics for mining and heavy construction.

Organizations
Society of Mining Engineers, Deep Foundations Institute, Association of Engineering Geologists, and International Society of Explosives Engineers.

Publications
Mining Engineering, AEG Bulletin.

Education/Credentials
BS and MS Geological Engineering

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