Our ‘heaviest’ Wafflemat install ever!

From time-to-time, we get to participate in a project that’s off the beaten path. The following is not only one of the neatest Wafflemat projects we have ever done, it’s also certainly one of the ‘heaviest.’

In the summer of 2015, the Blackhawk Museum (Danville, CA) started a new wildlife exhibit, and wanted to place a life-sized bronze statue of Shawu the Elephant at its courtyard entrance. Sculpted by renowned South African artist Danie De Jager, Shawu was one of the original ‘Magnificent Seven’ Bull Elephants that roamed in Africa’s Kruger Park for over half a century during the 1920’s – 1980’s. He stood almost 12 feet tall and had the longest tusks (each over 10 feet) on record in Southern Africa.

However, the piece weighed 12,500 lbs, and needed a pedestal structure that would support the loads involved. Wafflemat was chosen because of its ribbed design, that provides a very stiff cross section. This is obviously a huge concentration of weight for the pedestal – which, btw, has three layers; the first Waffleboxes were set, a concrete top placed, followed by a second stacking of Waffleboxes and concrete, then a third with the final concrete top placed. MKM Engineering designed the pedestal (this one used rebar for reinforcement), Conco Concrete the constructing.

Finally, and to put the size of the sculpture in perspective, look at the first two pictures in this sequence. I’m 6’.4” tall with a reach of over 8.5 feet. And, at over six tons in weight, a huge concentrated load supported by the Wafflemat!

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