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Decks, slabs, beams and climbing brackets
construction booming and contract schedules tightening across
the region, contractors are leaning more and more to building
solutions that offer faster results, while placing less demand
on their labour force. This has, unsurprisingly, attracted the
world’s major players in the formwork industry to establish
themselves in the Middle East, in the hope of capitalising on
the increased work on offer.
Paschal Concrete Forms opened a Dubai branch in 2004, and the
firm is now supplying formwork to more than 25 developments,
including the Golden Mile, Citadel Tower at Business Bay, Acico
Tower at Twin Bay and the Al Khali Tower.
Further afield, Paschal is providing its formwork solutions for
some major ongoing projects in Qatar and Bahrain, which include
the Scada Water System at the NWCC building near Doha
International Airport and a 52-storey tower building in the
Diplomatic Area of Doha, Qatar.
With strong competition being faced in all the regional markets,
contractors are keen to reduce construction time and manpower as
well as avoid material wastage. Paschal’s panels are
manufactured using 6mm frames of special non-corrosive steel,
while the surface of the panels is covered by high quality birch
plywood with a phenolic coating of 220gm/m2. The edges of the
plywood are protected by a steel frame and the gap between them
is filled with a special sealant, meaning that they can be
re-used up to 250 times.
RMD Kwikform, one of the region’s leading formwork specialists
is working on the Dubai Mall – the world’s largest shopping
centre. A partnership of Dutco Balfour Beatty Group and an Al
Ghandi/Consolidated Contractors Company joint venture, the
project is scheduled for completion by April next year. Andy
Teesdale, project manager, RMD Kwikform UAE, explains that the
company has 14,000 tonnes of equipment on site, composed of
130,000m2 of slab and beam support and 20,000m2 of wall
formwork. By the time the last concrete pour is made in April
next year, the completion time for the formwork programme will
have been 28 months on a project that will use more than
650,000m3 of concrete.
demand for formwork technology is not just limited to commercial
buildings; regional infrastructure projects are also benefiting.
Peri is using its high formwork for some major infrastructure
projects in the Middle East, such as a mega water treatment
facility in Jordan and a dam project in Egypt.
Nearing completion, the wastewater treatment facility is
expected to commence operations early next year. Eight circular
aeration tanks plus eight final settling basins, with diameters
of 65m and 54m respectively, were constructed on the premise of
maintaining a very tight schedule. This required 5,500m2 and
1,000m2 slab formwork to be maintained at all times. A girder
wall formwork was used for the walls, which meant all
construction units, and applications could be cost-effectively
produced using just one flexible system.
The six and nine metre-high walls were divided into two or three
vertical casting segments with the higher sections formed by
placing Vario formwork on type-tested CB climbing brackets.
With such hydro-engineering projects, where demands on
impermeability are increased, Peri utilised its DK tie system to
ensure water tightness. This method consists of reusable sealing
cones that are fitted to the spacer on both sides and enclose
the tie rod. After striking has taken place and the required
concrete strength has been reached, the cone is removed, after
which sealing of the points is carried out through special Peri
concrete cones that are tightly bonded in place with a sealing
The purification plant has been built as a BOT project by the
Morganit Group – after a 25-year operating period, the plant
will become the property of the Jordanian government in 2028.
Peri is also involved in constructing the Naga Hammadi barrage
on the river Nile. Developed by a consortium of Bilfinger
Berger, Vinci and Orascom, the $285.8 million project will, once
complete, improve the water and electricity supply to the Upper
Egypt region. Due to open in 2008 following a four-year
construction programme, it consists of a 64mW hydroelectric
plant, a seven-gate weir facility for water level adjustment as
well as two 170m-long navigation locks of 17m width. The main
columns reached heights of 138m and 17.5m thick with
intermediate walls of thickness of 1m and 4m. The structure
itself, which reaches heights of 30m, required 380,000m3 of
Doka, while best known for its high-profile work on the Burj
Dubai, continues to innovate formwork techniques on a number of
other projects. Of particular interest is a new athletics
stadium in Kuwait, the Jaber Al-Ahmed International Stadium.
Scheduled to open this month, the stadium required the casting
of 52 hollow wall piers from in-situ concrete.
Stepped beams cantilever out as much as 50m from the tops of the
wall, rising to a height of 65m. They carry the roof
construction and the grandstands, and are stiffened in the
horizontal by connecting cross-beams that are made of concrete.
For this, Doka supplied a formwork solution that required no
falsework support. A special cantilever formwork was developed
which can be ‘jumped’ in a similar way to a climbing formwork,
thus ensuring large savings in terms of falsework and labour
costs. Unlike a classic climbing formwork for vertical walls,
this system has to sustain not only its own dead weight and the
wind loads, but the weight of the fresh concrete and transfer
these loads into the previously cured section.
In each set of formwork, elements of Top 50 large-area formwork
are set up on two steel girders. These are fixed in two climbing
shoes on the underside of the stepped beam. At the top, the
whole system is back-stayed with 10m long tie-rods, each with a
failure load of 100 tonnes, which begins at the outermost edge
of the formwork and end in the back-stay unit. This is made up
of steel girders that are anchored in the concrete at the top of
the stepped beam, and these transfer the 70-tonne load of the
fresh concrete into the previously finished section.
Adel Hamdy, project engineer explains the system provides far
better speed in the build: “On the stepped beams, we’ve been
able to manage entirely without time-consuming falsework, thanks
to the climbing formwork solution,” he says.
Using this method, Doka claims the climbing cantilever formwork
results in very big savings of time and equipment. The stepped
ones grow by one 5m-long segment each week. After 38m, the
stepped beams – which have cantilever lengths of up to 50m need
to be restressed.
by Christopher Sell (email@example.com
ITP Digital Ltd.