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2022 Associated Masonry Contractors Houston Golden Trowel Excellence Award - Block

Project: The Revere at River Oaks

>>> The Revere is a boutique condominium located in the River Oaks area of Houston. The 9-story development offers 33 residences with refined amenities for those looking for luxury living near the downtown area.

The veneer of this rectangular shaped mid-rise building is primarily comprised of oversized burnished block measuring 16” x 24”. Utility brick is utilized on the south elevation with pilasters of burnished units protruding from the field. Cast stone banding is used throughout the upper floors, on the coping and on the landscaping planters. The façade utilizes many rustications inclusive of picture framing, recesses, angled pieces, and chamfers which create a high-end appearance.

From the beginning Camarata Masonry Systems, Ltd. (CMS) knew this project was going to be challenging. The footprint of the building is only 5’ away from the property lines on the south and east elevations; with an adjacent townhouse built on the edge of the east property line. The north and west elevations are built within 16’ from the edges of the roads and the west side electrical lines are within 7’ of the finished building. A small amount of storage inside the 2-story parking garage was available but due to the extremely tight site conditions, the primary laydown area was located two blocks away. The site conditions were analyzed in the pre-planning stage, with particular attention paid to hoisting. The crane was not be utilized for the entire duration; therefore, a prioritized buck-hoist was necessary to service the building. Several types of scaffolding were used due to the structure’s proximity to adjacent property. Conventional welded tubular frame scaffolding and multi-point suspended swing stages encapsulated the building. In order for the roof installation to continue uninterrupted, CMS installed the masonry veneer cladding at the parapet utilizing welded tubular frame scaffolding supported by outrigger beams laid out on the floor deck and extended out through the exterior walls at the 8th floor. Light weight swing stages were then used to patch outrigger beam holes after the work on the roof was complete.

Distribution was difficult on the south elevation as the 5’ between the building and the masonry fence on the property line created a “tunnel”. The veneer work on this side involved working on or over the property line with great care taken to prevent loose materials from falling into the open parking courtyard below. The east elevation’s proximity to the adjacent townhouses presented additional challenges, especially with the work on the project encroaching into the 5’ space at the 1st floor and cantilevering over 2’ into that space at the 3rd floor and above. Because of the narrow space on this side, 3’ welded tubular frame scaffolding was used while working at the same level as the adjacent building and an agreement was made for us to enter the townhouse’s air space so we could use our multi-point suspended scaffold system above their roof.

A unique feature of the project is the use of oversized burnished block units. Originally 49 different shapes were specified. Knowing that site storage space and logistics were going to be major issues and that the supplier’s schedule would be unduly lengthened by the sheer number of shapes, the project team decided to reduce the 49 shapes to a more manageable 22 shapes. This was achieved by mapping out each piece of burnished block on the entire building and identifying where each shape was to be used. Multiple meetings with the supplier were held to identify which shapes and angles would work best for the new plan and which could be field fabricated. After these meetings the drawings were re-mapped to specify where the 22 shapes would be used and directions were developed on how to field fabricate the additional 27 shapes from the 22 standard shapes. Planning was important to ensure the modified shapes would be created and installed efficiently. To help this process, a saw and a mixing station were setup on every floor, including the roof, as work progressed up the building.

The project was completed on time and within budget while working in extremely difficult conditions with no recordable or lost time accidents. The detailed burnished block installation combined with the brick veneer resulted in a building facade that exemplifies the craftsmanship and proficiency of our masons.


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