There is a lot happening every week on the North Wing expansion. This week, a section of concrete needed to be removed for excavation. To make the removal process easy for the excavators, the concrete floor is cut with a water bathed diamond saw.
The diameter of the saw blade looks about 30 inches. It is very noisy. You can see the cutline just in front of the operator’s toe. The saw is self-propelled and creeps forward very slowly. The concrete is about 6 inches thick. When the backhoe arrives, it will be very easy to remove the concrete which has been cut into one yard squares. The backhoe can drive on the cut squares to get to the ones in the back first.
Glassworkers also use this same technology to cut glass, although on a smaller scale. For example, the Museum staff sometimes uses a tile saw with a diamond blade and a water bath to cut glass color bar to be used in the Hot Glass Show.
The electrical, gas and water services are being prepared for removal from the former North Wing office building. Some have to remain for a while. Most of the electrical circuits can be removed but some have to stay. Water lines and gas lines are being prepared for removal. The roof drains for rain water have to stay to the last. The sprinklers will stay as long as is practical. Pipes and conduit which can safely be removed are marked green. Those which should stay are marked in red. No one wants to cut into a live electrical line, gas line or water line.
The North Wing expansion is being built in accordance with the tenets of the U. S. Green Building Council. The USGBC promotes the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. There are many elements which lead to a successful LEED program: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, Locations & Linkages, Awareness & Education, Innovation in Design and Regional Priority.
Materials are piled up, like with like, to be recycled. More items are able to be recycled than you might think.
You can find more information about the Green Building Council at www.usgbc.org.