2018 Associated Masonry Contractors of Houston Golden Trowel Excellence Award – Hardscape/Landscape

The Marriott Marquis is the newest addition to the Houston downtown skyline.  The 1,000 room hotel has over 100,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, including Houston’s largest ballroom.  This 30-story hotel is recognized for its unique Texas-shaped lazy river and heated infinity pool located on the sixth floor amenity deck overlooking Discovery Green Park.

Camarata Masonry Systems, Ltd. (CMS) supplied and installed limestone and cast stone coping and veneer throughout the landscape of the level six amenity deck.  The landscape consisted of large limestone planters, short cast stone planters and two fire pits using the following material:

2,135 pieces (2,735 sq. ft.) of 1” thick honed and tumbled ivory limestone ranging from 1’-1/2” to 5 5/8” tall by 2’ wide.

974 pieces (1,223 sq. ft.) of 1 ¾” thick ivory limestone coping.  The coping was required to have a honed top finish with cleft finished sides and the average size was about 1’ wide by 11 ¾” long.

656 pieces of cast stone planter coping, ranging in radii and sizes, with an average size of 23 5/8” long by 9” wide.

One of the challenges that developed as work progressed was material distribution.  Since the crane was no longer on site when the landscape portion of work began on the level six amenity deck (110’ above finish floor), all of the stone had to be removed from the crates on the ground floor, carefully stacked in smaller quantities and transported on a pallet jack to a freight elevator.  From there the pieces were rolled to their final location, but, a direct path to the installation site rarely existed.  Distribution routes changed constantly as other trades blocked the most expeditious path while completing their work and travel around the large Texas shaped river was always required.  In addition, the stone required for the planters within the center portion of the lazy river had to be hand carried across two bridges.

Due to the unique shape of the state of Texas, different radii were needed to make the multiple corners of the state.  Special care was needed to ensure the pool, the pool coping, and the abutting planter coping had the same radii at these corners.  The anchorage of these coping pieces had to be set carefully in order to prevent damage to the water proofing near the lazy river and the pool.

Although unseen, there are over 15,000 8” x 8” x 16” CMU on the level six amenity deck.  In order to adjust for the depth of the lazy river, the pool, the plumbing, and the required drainage system, the final floor (111’-0” above finish floor) was raised 6’ above the structural floor (105’-0” above finish floor).  Before CMS could begin the landscape portion of the project that is seen by hotel visitors, over 170 individual CMU walls were built at approximately 5’ tall x 6’ long on the subfloor.  These walls were built at varying heights to match the required slope of the finish floor above and serve as supporting walls under the raised floor.  Other trades set precast planks across the walls then added pavers to achieve the finish floor for level six.

Material distribution was laborious in this portion of the project also.  In order to access the amenity subfloor where the CMU walls were built, the materials needed to be lowered 6’.  CMS installed a small material hoist to accommodate this challenge.  CMU, mortar, and grout were taken up the freight elevator to the sixth floor then rolled to the hoist to be lowered to the subfloor.  After the material was lowered, navigation through and around the large amount of plumbing pipes that were being installed on top of the subfloor for the lazy river and pool was required to distribute the material.

As the NFL’s official hotel for the 2017 Super Bowl, the grand opening was scheduled one month before the highly anticipated event.  The project schedule always showed the level six amenity deck to be one of the largest portions of the hotel to be constructed toward the end of the project.  CMS worked diligently to finish our scope of work as quickly as possible to allow proceeding trades to have time to complete their work.  Although the site was extremely crowded with multiple trades, CMS was able to complete our work on the amenity deck prior to the grand opening date.

2018 Associated Masonry Contractors of Houston Golden Trowel Honor Award – Government/Institutional

Houston Methodist – The Woodlands Hospital was designed to provide the surrounding community a full service, acute care hospital with many of the same services found at the main Methodist Hospital in the Medical Center.  With this in mind, they constructed a new 187 bed, 470,000 sq. ft. hospital and an adjoining 150,000 sq. ft. medical office building.

Camarata Masonry Systems, Ltd. (CMS) supplied and installed approximately 425,500 Rosewood modular bricks; 40,400 Renaissance smooth and rocked Arriscraft pieces, averaging 11 5/8” tall x 23 5/8” wide and 3 5/8” to 4 5/8” thick; 975 cast stone coping pieces, averaging 3’-0” long x 1’-6” wide x 4” thick; and 21,100 lightweight CMU.  CMS also provided and installed 8,650 burnished Arctic White 12” x 8” x 16” and 8” x 8” x 16” CMU, the majority of the units burnished on both sides.  In addition, 1,000 sq. ft. of Moca Cream honed limestone was provided and installed at the exterior sides of the chapel.  These stone pieces averaged 4’-0” tall x 1’-3” wide.

One of the first obstacles CMS had to overcome was providing the thicker 4 5/8” Arriscraft on the MOB portion of the project.  A typical Arriscraft piece is 3 5/8” thick, however, the design called for the Arriscraft to have a 1” projection and, specifically, that the back of the Arriscraft had to align with the back of the brick to maintain an exact 2” cavity.  CMS’s Arriscraft supplier had to manufacture and make special thicker units for this portion of the project.  In addition, the manufacturer’s machines, which are set up to cut quirk miters for standard 3-5/8” thick corner pieces, had to be adjusted to produce quirk miters for the required thicker corner units.

The different heights between the Arriscraft, brick and window openings of the Bed Tower also provided additional challenges.  The final location of all of the relief angles throughout the 6-story building had to be double checked by all parties due to these different heights.  Any adjustment also had to be checked to ensure it worked around the entire building and its different elevations.  Different sized windows and Arriscraft bands varied on different elevations, making the exact locations of the relief angles critical.  In addition, making sure the masonry bond of the brick and Arriscraft was correct from one elevation to the other became vital to the completion of the building’s veneer.

The Bed Tower was an extremely large tubular welded frame scaffolding project.  CMS erected and dismantled over 6,000 tubular welded scaffolding frames to perform our work on the project.  A majority of this scaffolding was 17 frames tall (over 101’-0” above finish floor).  Due to the high volume of scaffolding, CMS’s Scaffolding Installation and Usage Procedures were consistently followed and regular inspections were conducted.  Due to the design of the building, all windows needed to be installed prior to the masonry veneer.  With the windows in place, material could not be distributed from the inside of the building through these openings and CMS had to find the most efficient way to carry the material up the scaffolding from the exterior side.  This was accomplished by installing and connecting two material hoists directly onto the scaffolding and spacing them appropriately so they could service the most distance.

Both the Bed Tower and the MOB were completed on time and well in advance of the hospital’s ribbon cutting ceremony on June 10, 2017 and for the major grand opening on July 1, 2017.

2018 Associated Masonry Contractors of Houston Golden Trowel Honor Award – Hardscape/Landscape

The Main Street Improvement Project enhanced and revitalized key hubs of activity in downtown Houston. Main Street is one of the primary corridors for Houston’s light rail system, METRORail. This capital improvement project provided for widening sidewalks, with granite pavers in some zones; new landscaping including raised planters; improved lighting systems and wayfinding signage on [...]

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2018 Coverings Installation and Design (CID) Award – Commercial Stone Installation Winner

609 Main is a fifty story Class A office building located on a full city block in the heart of the Houston business district. This 1,150,785 sq. ft. pre-registered LEED Platinum office structure is connected to a 633,782 sq. ft. parking garage. Camarata Masonry Systems, Ltd. (CMS) was responsible for the shop drawings, engineering and [...]

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2017 Marble Institute of America+Building Stone Institute (MIA+BSI) Pinnacle Award of Excellence – Commercial Interior

609 Main is a fifty story Class A office building located on a full city block in the heart of the Houston business district. This 1,150,785 sq. ft. pre-registered LEED Platinum office structure is connected to a 633,782 sq. ft. parking garage. Camarata Masonry Systems, Ltd. (CMS) was responsible for the shop drawings, engineering and [...]

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2017 Texas Masonry Council Golden Trowel Award for Outstanding Block/CMU Craftsmanship

The plans for the San Jacinto River Authority (SJRA) Surface Water Facilities were created in response to the current water demands in Montgomery County outpacing the ability for underground aquifers to recharge. To reduce groundwater use, the SJRA constructed a water treatment facility that included a raw water intake, treatment plant, two storage tanks and [...]

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