Project Details:

Project: Cook Children’s Medical Center, Parking Garage
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Concrete Contractor: Lithko Contracting
Project Coordinator: Jesus Villarreal
General Contractor: Linbeck
Architect: HKS Inc.
Design Architect: David M. Schwartz Architects, Inc.
Structural Engineer: Dunaway Associates


PS=Ø®: The PS=Ø® system was used on three floors for two different conditions that eliminated traditional pour strips: slab-to-basement wall connections, a total of 1,680 LF on two levels, and slab-to-slab connections, a total of 445 LF on three levels.

PS=Ø® On the Rise

As an emerging technology in the post-tensioned (PT) and reinforced concrete (RC) industry, the PS=Ø® system is gaining traction with major industry players, and for good reason. The mechanical reinforcement splice system eliminates the need for traditional pour strips and backshoring and allows for transverse or longitudinal movement.

The best part of our job at PS=Ø® isn’t saving contractors time, money, and headaches. Our favorite part is knowing how satisfied customers are, with how our innovative system worked for them, and knowing that they will never use a traditional pour strip again. Lithko Contracting, a long-time client shares their experience using PS=Ø®: 

Lithko Contracting: Getting Ahead of Schedule

One of the largest concrete contractors in the United States, Lithko Contracting places millions of square feet per year of slabs, tilt-up, and precast concrete. Their experience and commitment to excellence has earned them the #2 ranking on ENR’s Top Concrete Contractor list for the past four years. 

Lithko was the concrete contractor on the Cook Children’s Medical Center’s Parking Garage. The 10-story, PT structure houses 850 parking spaces for families, patients, and physicians, and the extra space allows for relocation of valet services currently serving the existing Dodson building (also on the Cook Children’s campus). Overseeing the project was Project Coordinator, Jesus Villarreal. We sat down with Jesus and asked him for some insight into the project, and how the PS=Ø® system worked for them.

Can you tell us a little about you and your company? 

I’ve worked for Lithko Contracting for several years. Lithko is the second largest concrete contractor in the nation. We place more than 40 million square feet per year of slabs, tilt-up, and precast concrete. 

Aside from the parking garage project, I worked on the Linbek Dodson clinic expansion, which is on the same campus as Cooks Medical Center. 

Can you share a little more about this project? 

Our company was tasked with pouring concrete for the Cook Children’s Medical Center Parking Garage in Fort Worth, Texas. We needed to build ten floors of a parking garage, and three of the levels required pour strips. This was a large project that would take a lot of time, with multiple pour strip conditions to contend with.

How did you hear about PS=Ø®? 

Knowing how big the project was, we were trying to shave days off our schedule, so we started asking around. We reached out to Suncoast, our post-tension supplier for ideas. They put us in touch with the people at PS=Ø®.

Was the PS=Ø® system included in the initial design of the project, or was it brought in later to improve the schedule? 

We were in the estimating phase, pre-construction, when we pulled in the system. That said, it’s definitely something we could have pulled in later. If we were in the middle of a project, the PS=Ø® coupler is the type of system that can be worked-in last-minute with very little redesign. 

Did implementing the PS=Ø® system require any redesign? 

In this case, yes, however, we were already in the estimating phase, so all we had to do was get the engineer to sign off on a few things. It was as simple as adding rebar in some areas. 

The PS=Ø® engineers were instrumental in the process and they worked with our structural engineers directly. There were multiple pre-construction meetings with the design and construction teams that were as simple as, “Let’s just get on a call. We’ll have all the players get on a computer screen to walk through everything.”

Where was the PS=Ø® system used?

We used the system on the first three floors of the parking garage. In the basement, we had a wall-to-slab connection around the perimeter of the structure, and then fifth-span, slab-to-slab conditions in the slabs for the second and third floors.

How would you describe your experience using the PS=Ø® system?

Just to give you some basic background knowledge, when we pour concrete, it takes up a certain amount of space. But as the concrete dries, it shrinks. If it can’t shrink freely, it will crack, so we need a “leave-out” in the slab to accommodate shrinkage and creep. We need to wait about 30-60 days for the concrete to cure before we can fill in the leave-out and continue on with the project.

The PS=Ø® system allowed us to skip the leave-out entirely but allowed the slabs to shrink freely. With the mechanical reinforcement splice system, we avoided extensive reshoring and backshoring, which saved us a lot of time and effort.

As far as the team goes, the engineers and sales guys at PS=Ø® are top-notch. They provided us hands-on training with the system and supporting materials to make sure the process was straightforward. They flew out to the job site, answered questions, and provided the support that was needed in person at the site. 

Their hands-on quality is the type of service I really appreciate. They gave us all the support that we needed, and I cannot recommend them enough.

How much time did the PS=Ø® system save you? 

Anywhere from 30-60 days. Even though we were planning to use this system from the beginning and had already factored in the time it would save us, the project still came in ahead of schedule.

How do you think PS=Ø® bridges the gap between the goals of the Contractor and the EOR? 

The PS=Ø® team supplies the resources (both people and materials) to get the job done simply and effectively. It just makes things easier for everybody. 

Would you use and recommend the PS=Ø® system for future projects?

I know I am going to use them again. The support they gave us was uncharted. I really can’t recommend those guys highly enough.

Wondering How To Save Time and Money on Your Next Project? 

At PS=Ø®, we know that pour strips are time consuming, expensive, and hazardous. Our President, Gordon Reigstad, invented the PS=Ø® mechanical reinforcement splice system to rid contractors of the problems pour strips bring, and give engineers an easy way to mitigate restraint to shortening. If you’re interested in getting ahead of schedule on your current job or want to design this time-saving system into a future project, contact us today

For more information, check out our website, read our PS=Ø® blogs, and see our videos on YouTube