Construction building near water poses a number of challenges. Whether you’re building a bridge or constructing an office building, there is a need for reliable water control. Today, the best solution is a cofferdam. Keep your work areas dry and secure with a type of cofferdam that will meet your construction requirements.
A coffer-dam can be defined as a structure that holds or guards water away from a work area. By dewatering a worksite, construction crews are able to do use their equipment and materials with better precision. To better understand the capabilities of cofferdams, consider the differences between the three most common types.
Aqua-Barrier Inflatable Cofferdam
1) Braced Cofferdams
Generally used in shallow water levels or bridge pier construction, braced cofferdams are formed from a single wall of sheet piling. Each sheet pile is driven into the water and then braced together. By creating a box around the excavation site, water can be pumped out of the enclosed interior to create a dry site.
2) Cellular Cofferdams
Reserved for circumstances where excavation size precludes the use of cross-excavation bracing, cellular cofferdams are designed with steel sheeting. By forming a watertight wall, each steel sheet pile is filled with clay or sand to provide stability against lateral forces. There are two different types of cellular cofferdams, including the diaphragm and circular type:
Diaphragm Type – Consists of circular arcs in the inner and outer sides of the cofferdam. The cell is usually filled with sand or coarse-grained soils to weigh the sheet piles down and secure overall stability.
Circular Type – Consists of a set of large diameter circular cells interlocked by smaller arcs placed in-between. Each circular cell is filled independently, providing greater strength against lateral pressures.
3) Aqua-Barrier Water-Inflated Dams
Unlike traditional cofferdams, the Aqua-Barrier is a water-inflated dam. Moreover, it can be used alone or together with other dams to absorb various depths of water. Instead of having to pump the water into another location, Aqua-Barrier innovatively pumps excess water into itself to provide stability. Designed with industry-grade vinyl-coated polyester, each inflatable dam will protect the area to be enclosed with durability.
Pro Tip: Use the AquaBarrier in a variety of construction projects including culverts, boat ramps, pipelines, bridges, and many others.
Reliability for Your Work Area
At the end of the day, finding reliable water control systems is crucial for construction projects to be completed safely and on time. Without a dry site, pouring concrete, driving equipment, or welding materials could become hazardous. If you have a construction project located near a body of water, choose a dewatering solution you can trust.
In 539 B.C. the first cofferdam was built by King Cyrus of Persia to capture the city of Babylon. While modern dewatering efforts don’t usually concern advancing empires, the cofferdams used today are just as important for construction projects. That being said, the cofferdams used in construction look nothing like what the Persian empire had.
If your construction site is near a body of water, chances are you need a water control solution. A cofferdam used in construction might vary in material and size, but the goal is to divert water from the worksite. By having a system to control nearby water, you can maintain a dry work area for your projects.
Defining a Cofferdam
A cofferdam is defined as a “watertight enclosure from which water is pumped to expose the bed of a body of water in order to permit the construction for a pier or other hydraulic work.” In other words, it’s a structure that is able to retain water and pump it out into a different area. Whether it stores water or pumps it in a different location, a cofferdam ensures a dry area for construction sites.
The Evolution of Dewatering
Throughout history, there have been a variety of cofferdams in existence. After those first earthen cofferdams created by the Persians, the Romans created their own cofferdam out of wood pilings. Fast forward to the 1880s, people started to use bags filled with sand to create temporary dams and flood protection.
During the early 1900s, engineers designed a cofferdam that has stood the test of time by using steel sheets. By creating ‘U’ shaped steel sheet piles, each piece was designed to interlock together to ward off water. Also called a cellular cofferdam, the sheet piles are able to form a single wall. Often used in dam construction, the circular arcs of the sheet piles can be used in a variety of water levels.
Introducing the Aqua-Barrier Inflatable Cofferdam
In 1996, innovation and technology collided to create the Aqua-Barrier cofferdam. Unlike past cofferdams, the Aqua-Barrier is an inflatable cofferdam with a patented internal baffle system. Besides being environmentally-friendly and easily transportable, the Aqua-Barrier gives construction sites unparalleled functionality. The quick and user-friendly installation allows construction projects a dewatering solution that doesn’t cut into the actual building phase. With an inflatable water dam, construction sites can save time and money.
Does your construction site need an alternative dewatering solution? Our water-inflated dams have been designed with your projects in mind. Every Aqua-Barrier is equipped with durable materials that can be easily repaired and reused. We’re committed to providing a product that will create a dry site for each of your applications.
Are you ready to protect your construction site from nearby water? Connect with our sales team to customize an inflatable cofferdam for your next project.
During the colder months, many businesses and construction sites may not think to safeguard against flooding. If you’re part of this majority, you might think hurricane season is the important time to think about flooding. However, according to FEMA, winter flooding is a major risk for every part of the United States, whether you’re near the coast or not. This winter, make sure your construction site is prepared for this weather threat.
Flooding is the number one natural disaster in the US, and the wintertime isn’t an exception. From storm surges in coastal areas to river flooding from ice jams, no area is protected from winter weather. In the construction industry, the chance of winter flooding can cause extensive damage and project delays. Practice these five steps to get your site ready.
Watch the weather forecasts
Install flooding protection
Store your equipment properly
Plan for project delays
Protect your employees
1) Watch the weather forecasts
Stay ahead of incoming storms by keeping a close eye on what weather forecasters are predicting. For an updated flood outlook for your area, reference the National Weather Service’s updates. Depending on the location of your worksite, the prediction center can help you plan better for potential flooding.
2) Install flooding protection
Be ready for heavy rains and melting snow with a flood protection solution designed for you. Whether you need to install a metal flood barrier or inflatable cofferdam, make sure the barrier is accessible. If water levels were to rise during a storm, you need to be ready. By protecting against winter flood, you can minimize the amount of water damage that affects your site.
Pro Tip: The Aqua-Barrier is an excellent flood control alternative to traditional sandbags. Make sure the cofferdam is apart of the emergency aid kit for your business.
3) Store your equipment properly
Keep your equipment dry and warm this winter season. The severity of winter storms can be hard to predict, but it’s important to have a way to protect your equipment. By moving trucks to higher ground, using appropriate hydraulic oils for cold temperatures, and providing a way to warm tools, you can ensure the durability of your equipment.
4) Plan for project delays
Include weather-based extensions in the contract for your construction project. As much as you’d like to stick to your project’s schedule, rain, snow and ice storms can prevent your workers from being able to build. Be sure to schedule a reasonable completion date by planning for weather delays in advance.
5) Protect your employees
Have you prepared an emergency plan for your employees? In the unfortunate case that your worksite is flooded, it’s important to have a way to keep your employees safe during and after the storm. Be sure to have a first aid kit and communication system convenient for all employees to use in the time of a severe storm.
Are you ready for the winter months?
Whether your construction site is near a body of water or not, it’s important to have the resources available to protect your team and equipment in the winter. That being said, the risk of flood damage is ongoing throughout the year. Make sure you’re prepared to handle the changing weather conditions for your next construction project.
Do you know the warning signs of frostbite or hypothermia? Completing construction projects in cold weather can present a number of health concerns for your crew. Make sure your construction site is prepared to handle the cold temperatures this season.
Because of skin numbness, most people won’t realize they’re suffering from frostbite unless someone were to point it out. For construction workers, this can be very dangerous. As the manager of your company, how are you planning to help your team avoid frostbite? This winter, it should be your top priority to keep your workers warm and safe on your job site.
Make Training a Priority
The first step to avoiding frostbite or any injury is through proper training. From identifying what clothes to wear to knowing how to recognize a problem, colder weather presents a number of new concerns. Even the healthiest workers can suffer from frostbite or hypothermia; preparing your whole team to watch out for warning signs will protect you from further harm. Hire a professional or enroll your team in a class to teach them the health-related risks.
Wear Appropriate Clothing
Out of all of the ways to protect yourself from cold weather, the right construction gear is the most beneficial. Make sure your team has the right clothing to protect against freezing winter air and snow. From hard hats with liners to waterproof jackets, your clothing is the first defense against cold weather. Keep your team protected by providing the appropriate uniform for working in cool temperatures.
Provide Dry and Heated Break Areas
The risk of frostbite and hypothermia is heightened in areas that contain moisture or dampness. Between bridge-building and pipeline construction, the majority of worksites have water in or surrounding them. Protect your workers by allowing regular breaks and providing warm, dry areas to rest. With a portable heater and inflatable cofferdam, you can easily turn your job site into a suitable place for anyone to work.
Pro Tip: Dewatering is the process of removing water from a construction site for better application in construction sites. Invest in a water-barrier for your job site to keep surrounding water under control.
The Importance of Winter Construction Safety
From freezing equipment to slippery work conditions, construction in cold weather can put your workers at risk for trench foot, frostbite, or hypothermia. Without the proper safety measures, your project won’t be completed in time and your workers will get injured. This winter, prepare your job site for the various weather elements that occur.
2019 has zipped along to the end in the blink of an eye and the holidays are upon us. Amidst the hustle and bustle of celebration, this is the season to pause and reflect on this past year. We consider what went well and look for opportunities for growth. With that in mind, here’s a look at 2019 with HSI Services!
In all of the construction sites we service, we’ve been able to assist different industries to remove water to help them complete their projects on time. From the initial installation to building completion, our water solutions have become a great resource for the dewatering process.
This year, Houston and surrounding areas have seen a major amount of unforeseen flooding. Our inflatable water dams were able to help properties prepare for incoming storms and avoid unnecessary damage. Whether a business has already experienced a flood event or not, a cofferdam can be installed easily to protect against incoming water.
Pro Tip: Residential and commercial property owners can both benefit from inflatable water-dams. With customized sizing, an Aqua-Barrier can be specifically designed for your property.
Safety Features of the Aqua-Barrier
Our professionals have witnessed enough injuries and dangerous situations amidst flooding and uncontrolled water sites this year. Thankfully, the Aqua-Barrier product was designed with top safety features to keep you and your loved ones safe. Important features like reflective tape and watertight seals have been added to help you protect against floods.
The holiday season and the end of another year are always busy. As you gather with your family and friends, we wish you all the love and thank you for connecting with us this year. HSI Services is dedicated to improving ourselves in 2020, and we hope to pass that hope for improvement to our clients!