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2020: First Quarter Construction Update

2020: First Quarter Construction Update - Azure Ala Moana

Our crane operator has the best view in the house and took this image as the 8th floor slab was being poured.

There’s been a great amount of progress made so far this year at the Azure Ala Moana site, with the construction of the parking garage ramp, framework throughout, and the installation of the manhoist elevator.

At the start of the year, the team worked on pouring the concrete for floors 4 through 6 of the parking structure. They’ve also kicked off installation of concrete masonry unit (CMU) walls on levels 1 and 2, and will soon begin moving up to level 3. Additionally, they’ve worked on below-grade utility installation work, like the drain and plumbing lines, electrical conduits, handholds, and manholes. The installation of ductwork, plumbing, and fire sprinkler lines will continue as they make their way up the tower.

After last week’s slab pour, the podium, consisting of the lobby, parking lot, and commercial retail plaza, is now complete! Now they’re working on forming the 9th floor amenity deck’s slab, beams, and shoring on the makai-half of the building. Once that work is complete, they will begin work on the residential floors before returning back to the amenity deck.

With the recent addition of the manhoist elevator on site, we wanted to catch up with the operator and learn more about the job and what it entails.

Get To Know Azure’s Manhoist Elevator Operator

Meet Bennett Villanueva, the man behind the on-site construction elevator. He’s a Hoist Operator for Albert C. Kobayashi, Inc. and has been in the construction field for 38 years. At Azure, he safely transports the crew and their materials to higher floors in the manhoist elevator that was added last month.

Q: Your job title seems pretty specific. How did you get into this profession?

A: I’ve been with the Operators Union since 1982. I started off with paving work, and eventually started operating manhoist elevators.

Q: How long ago did you start working as a Hoist Operator?

A: It’s been almost 12 years!

Q: What is your favorite part of the job?

A: I love meeting the different tradesman. We have a ton of great people on this job site that make for lots of good days at work.

Q: What’s the most difficult part of the job?

A: Dealing with around 300 people a day can get pretty hectic. The job site can get very busy quickly and there’s only one manhoist elevator on site. As the tower gets taller, and rides up and down get longer, I know I’ll be even busier.

Q: Describe a typical day for you at Azure.

A: I’m pretty much just being busy taking people up and down in the elevator all day. Thankfully right now it’s a pretty manageable workflow.

Q: What makes Azure different from other projects you’ve worked on?

A: One thing I do like about Azure in particular is the different generations working on the site. There are lots of younger people coming into the trades and meshing with veterans, so it’s an interesting dynamic when we all work well together.