GCM Contracting Solutions owner Robert Brown to be featured speaker at The Docks Expo in Nashville
By: GCM Contracting Solutions
Robert Brown, who founded GCM in 1988, will address the advantages of drystack automation and tilt-up construction at The Docks Expo, a three-day conference attended by marina and dock owners, boatyard operators, marine product manufacturers and distributors, engineers, consultants and government officials.
GCM has drawn international attention for its construction of a smart marina that will be the world's first to feature stacker crane technology. Once completed, the fully automated, multi-level system at Gulf Star Marina on Fort Myers Beach will replace the traditional forklift method used in drystack boat storage with an electric railed solution, offering quick rack-to-water vessel delivery.
The Fort Myers-based company also is a leader in tilt-up construction, a type of construction in which the framework for walls is built directly on site, embedded with rebar and filled with concrete before cranes lift walls into place. Tilt-up is known for its supreme sturdiness, fire safety protection and hurricane resistance, and facilities often are built in less time and at lower costs than other traditional construction methods.
"The project at Gulf Star Marina combines two of our specialties – drystack automation and tilt-up construction – and I'm excited to showcase our latest innovations at The Docks Expo," Brown said. "We've built many of Southwest Florida's top marinas over the years, so when we began collaborating with an Austrian-based company in 2011 to co-develop technology to fully automate the storage and retrieval process for boats with no human operator, we knew we were charting new waters. We're still four to six months from project completion at Gulf Star Marina, but our drystack technology already is the talk of the marina industry."
Smart marinas using GCM's stacker crane technology are attractive to marina owners, Brown said, because automation reduces personnel costs and increases a marina's leasable cubic space by 30% to 50%, while boat owners appreciate being able get on the water within minutes of their arrival and face less risk of having their boats damaged by forklifts, hurricanes and fires.
The Docks Expo will be held Dec. 3-5 in Nashville, Tenn., and is produced by Marina Dock Age, a monthly magazine dedicated to marina and boatyard management. GCM and Gulf Star Marina were featured in the publication last year after the project broke ground.