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#MeetOurCrew - Marek Rapacz

Marek Rapacz - Techramps Construction Foreman Snow Rider, who used to shovel jumps out of snow, and now pours concrete for the biggest skateparks in Poland. Marek Rapacz, the Techramps Construction Foreman has participated in more than 30 projects, and continues to have a snoot for more. In an interview with us, he talks about his hobbies, hardcore days on the construction site...prancing around with a concrete pump! What was the first skatepark you built with the Techramps team? In retrospect, how do you rate your first concrete memories? I have been building skateparks for 5 years. The first project I took part in was a skatepark in Dąbrowa Górnicza. It was a huge challenge for me, because although I had a lot of experience in \"construction\" and concrete work, I had never even seen a skatepark being built. I grew up in a small village, between the Luboń and Szczebel mountains. Although twenty years ago there was no chance for a skatepark in the immediate area, these two mountains offered plenty of opportunities for fun in the snow in the winter. It was on the slopes of these mountains that I made my first jumps out of snow. At first I jumped on skis. Later came the time for snowboarding, which I have been riding for 17 years now. I have always had great fun with the feeling of inertia and freedom. I love the adrenaline I feel in the air while jumping. Hoops, year after year became bigger and bigger. When winter ended, I didn\'t know what to do with myself, there was always something missing. After a while, other activities appeared: paragliding, jumping into the water from great heights and hiking in the mountains. During these activities, I was looking for new spots for winter fun. The Techramps team during construction. Did your experience in hopping in have an impact on giving the skateparks a \"smooth\" shape? I think that shoveling obstacles out of snow has translated into my work to some extent. It\'s certainly easier for me to imagine the end result. I\'m also aware of how a small irregularity, combined with high speed, can become quite a problem when skateboarding. I remember that after the first concreting in Dabrowa Gornicza I found that it came out zaj*baj! That\'s when I got into building skateparks. How did you find yourself in such a niche branch of the construction industry? Did the pastime of snowboarding influence your career path? I came to Techramps through an ad that popped up on Facebook. I made no secret of the fact that I came to the interview with a desire to build snowparks. From this, specific activity I associated the company, and I ended up building skateplaza, and I have no regrets! Since the first completed Techramps skatepark, a lot has changed. We have improved a lot of things, we have a lot more equipment, the composition of the team with which I actually started this adventure has changed. The changes have also affected my position. As foreman, I am responsible for managing the work of the team. One of the most difficult aspects of this job is maintaining good relationships in the team, because we spend a lot of time together - we eat, work and live together! Conflicts happen and it is unavoidable. It is important that everyone has the opportunity to relax and take a break from work in their free time. Concrete work is demanding, it can be really hard at times, and if you have a family, it requires a lot of sacrifices on both sides because of the postings. The work is also extremely rewarding. The contrast between the construction site and the final result, the object ready to be handed over, gives incredible joy and a big wow! When you know how much work the whole team has put in, how much sweat has been shed during the work, it makes it all the more satisfying when you look at the final result of the project, that you were able to participate in it. Marek in his element - on a snowboard! Before the construction of the skatepark, the team gets a ready-made design for implementation. What is the clash between the work on paper and reality? Of huge importance in building a skatepark is the SketchUp program, in which 3D designs are created. It\'s always easier to chisel something out of concrete if you can see it in 3D beforehand. Now you get quite detailed drawings from which you can make out a lot. Giving shape to the figures is one of the most interesting moments. It\'s gratifying that there\'s a lot of trust in the team when it comes to the work. Everyone at Team Concrete knows what their shuffle is. Nowadays we spend a lot of time planning the next stages of construction. This makes things a lot easier and generates less stress later on. We used to do the skatepark in Pulawy on the basis of designs displayed on the phone! It seems funny to me now, but I used to get most of the drawings via email. This is how one of the largest skateparks in Poland was created A moment of rest at the construction site. The most hardcore day on the construction site? I think the most hardcore was the construction of the skatepark in Wroclaw and the night pouring of the slab! Our pump was not up to the challenge and 5/6 pears of concrete blocked a one-way road in the center of Wroclaw for 3 hours. I remember that everyone wanted something from me, and I just wanted to go to sleep (laughs). The whole action ended around 3:00 a.m. and it cost me a lot of stress and probably gray hair! (laughs) I have already participated in more than 30 projects, and none of them was the same as the previous one. This is also a plus of this job, there is no monotony. Admittedly, some obstacles, such as banks or quarters, are standards and are repeated in projects, but they are always in a different configuration or size. They always need to be approached individually. This work does not get boring, there is always something going on! Which skatepark are you most proud of? I do not have a favorite skatepark, although I remember very well: Pulawy, Kąpielowa Street in Krakow, Brzeszcze, Bystra Podhalańska. I also often return with my memory to Wroclaw, where I think the addition of color to the projects started, which greatly enlivens and adds character to the gray skateparks. Do you prefer building from a template or freestyle? For our team, construction usually starts with the delineation and setting of the patterns that make the embankments, but more often we just supervise this. This is the priority stage of construction, and it must be done accurately. If something doesn\'t go our way, we waste time on corrections later. After the embankments, we set up the formwork and start reinforcing. For reinforcing we now use automatic tying machines, which may be a more expensive solution, but it strongly speeds up the whole process and affects the quality of workmanship. This is quite important, because just shaping the reinforcement into complex obstacle forms is quite time-consuming. When the reinforcement and formwork are ready, the time comes for the most important stage of the entire construction - that is, shotcreting (sprayed concrete). The pressure in the hoses is quite high (about 200 bar). During concreting, everyone should know what they are responsible for. The key during this process is to control emotions, because nerves are inevitable.... The driving force for the work is a close-knit and steady team that simply knows what it is doing. The concrete we use in construction is quite specific and has to be \"learned\". We practically get a slightly different mix of concrete for each project, and this is due to a number of factors related to field conditions. Our main task then is to observe what is happening to the concrete already during the spraying, in order to start at the right moment to process it. Sometimes only 2 hours pass from the moment of pouring to the last sheet, and this is very physically intensive work. I think anyone who has worked with concrete is aware that things can be different. In both the first and second situations, the troweling is finished by impregnating the concrete, which protects it from excessive moisture loss, also from taking in moisture. Bowl before pouring concrete, or the calm before the storm! Tell something about the process of creating a skatepark. What does it look like in practice? It takes about 2 months to build a skatepark, for medium-sized structures. Large skateparks are about 6 months of work for builders. That\'s how much more or less it will take to build one in Minsk Mazowiecki, where we are already after the first concreting. A dome will be built there, which will be one of the most interesting obstacles at this facility and in the whole of Poland. If anyone is wondering whether to try their hand at Techramps - I highly recommend it! I\'ve been through some companies in my life, but when it comes to the treatment of employees and conditions at work, Techramps is the best! There is a good team at Concrete Team, from whom you can learn a lot, but as I said, the work is demanding. Joanna Gęborska Want to join the Techramps Concrete Team? Apply here.

Видете исто така: Halo Jam Kraków / фото-репортажа