THE successful construction of landmark office and residential towers in the region hinges on detailed planning, careful and efficient execution of all concrete work and achieving top results including a perfect concrete surface, says a leading German formwork solutions provider.
More importantly, contractors should focus on ensuring maximum worker safety, especially when working far above the ground, says Meva, which offers a range of formwork systems that can be tailored to the special needs of high-rise construction and offer integrated safety.
“Doha, Dubai, Mumbai and Manila: it is here and in other cities in the Gulf, the Far East and Asia-Pacific region where record-breaking office and residential towers are growing skywards one after the other,” says a spokesman for the company.
He says Meva climbing systems and formwork are in use on challenging projects around the Gulf and beyond offering efficiency with maximum worker safety.
• MAC for cores and shafts: This is an automatic hydraulic climbing system with full cladding. It combines safety and speed with precise adjustment, enabling a lift of 4 m in only about 60 minutes. The system’s inner and outer formwork comprises pre-assembled panels and a three-way formwork adjustment allows for a completely independent adjustment of the panels.
MAC was used for the Al Manara Tower in Dubai and the Al Nadha Tower in Sharjah, both in the UAE; the prestigious Palais Royale in Mumbai, India; the Grass Residences in Manila and the World Hotel and Residences in Makati, both in the Philippines, and the Burswood Tower 5 in Perth, Australia.
At present, MAC is being used to climb the One World Corporate Tower in Manila, the Ardmore Park Tower in Singapore and the Roche Tower in Basel, Switzerland, where safety regulations are particularly strict.
• MGC for shafts and walls: MGC is a crane-dependent rail-guided climbing system that is safely assembled on the ground. The climbing system and the formwork on its fully enclosed safety platforms are one single unit that remains firmly connected to the building during its use and lifting by crane. MGC was used for the Maze Tower in Dubai, the main pumping station on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, the Palais Royale in Mumbai and the Discovery Primea Tower in Makati.
• MGS: This also is a rail-guided climbing system that stays firmly connected to the building throughout the building process offering protection to workers. Its cladding encloses complete floors, protecting workers and equipment against wind and weather. The size of its units can be adapted to the building geometry and to floor heights ranging from 3 to 4.25 m. Lifting is done by crane or with a mobile hydraulic unit. MGS was also used on the Palais Royale in Mumbai, the Maze Tower in Dubai, and is being used on the Roche tower in Basel, and for high-rise projects in Manila.
• KLK: The KLK climbing scaffold allows the advantages of large-format formwork to be used in great heights without any safety hazards. To achieve this, the formwork is attached to the climbing scaffold. A slide carriage allows the formwork to be moved back from the poured wall. What’s more, the KLK system combines five functions and can be used as a safe working scaffold, as a support platform for wall formwork, for tilting formwork, for climbing formwork with a slide carriage and as a single-side climbing formwork. The KLK system is being used on sites in many countries, among them the More London Business Tower in London, UK, and the Mirax Federation Tower in Moscow, Russia.
• SecuritBasic modular safety system: When working at low heights where climbing systems cannot be used or would not be economic to use, some may feel tempted to fulfil safety requirements such as fall-down protection with makeshift arrangements pieced together on the site, says the spokesman. “This proves penny-wise-pound-foolish in contrast to all-in-one tested safety systems, especially when costs for consumables and tedious assembly are taken into consideration,” he points out.
As a solution to the demand for a simple, cost-effective system that offers complete worker safety when working on walls, Meva has developed the SecuritBasic safety system that can be combined with Meva’s Mammut 350 and StarTec wall formwork systems.
SecuritBasic is claimed to conform to the strictest safety requirements internationally and is being used to build the new production facility for the new international pharmaceutical group Novartis in Switzerland where safety regulations are very strict.
“The site had to prove and certify adherence to the local safety regulations and the contractor required safety equipment that would obtain Suva (the national Swiss occupational health and safety authority) approval without a hitch. This was achieved with SecuritBasic that offers complete worker safety with integrated working platforms, guard-railings on all platform sides and ladders with access hatch. A non-slip corrugated aluminium sheet and the platform’s 75 cm width make for comfortable, safe work at any height and in any weather, explains the spokesman.
• STB 450 support frame: Maximum worker safety is a must not only for working at great heights but for work anywhere on a construction site. High-rise buildings often have several basement floors and their walls often need to be poured against earth. This requires single-sided formwork that is not just 3 m or 4 m high but much higher and transfers the high concrete pressure of singled-sided walls without problems or safety hazards.
“Meva’s single-sided support frame STB 450 has proven its power on innumerable projects and supports single-sided formwork that is more than 12 m high,” the spokesman explains. “The support frame STB 450 with its basic height of 4.5 m is extended by simply mounting and adding 1.5-m extension units on top as the walls and single-sided formwork grow in height. There is no need to disassemble the formwork and support frame construction when increasing heights. In addition, the Meva support frame STB 450 measures only 2.45 m at the base and thus fits on a normal truck and needs little space for assembly and placing. This provides an essential head start when building high structures in confined spaces.”
• Mammut 350 wall formwork: The higher or thicker a wall, the stronger the fresh concrete pressure that is exerted on the formwork. When faced with pouring high or large walls fast and efficiently while offering maximum safety, the Mammut 350 wall formwork is the right solution, the spokesman stresses. “It boasts the industry’s highest concrete pressure load in panellised wall formwork – 100 kN per sq m – and allows pouring up to 4 m as fast as you want. Its largest panel offers a formwork area of 8.75 sq m and is ideally suited for buildings with large or high walls,” he adds.
• The alkus all-plastic facing: Top quality concrete surfaces are becoming more important as exposed walls are ever more frequently used in all types of buildings. This calls for a facing that delivers a top quality concrete surface from the first to the last pour – hundreds of times.
“Meva has committed itself to a unique all-plastic facing technology that makes plywood redundant: the alkus all-plastic facing. It has been employed in all Meva formwork products around the world for years and is resistant to water, sunlight, weather, rotting, discoloration or loss of flexural rigidity.
“Significantly, it can be nailed like plywood but never swells or shrinks. And it achieves a high-quality concrete finish reliably, time after time. It can be re-used without limitation and handles tough cleaning using a high-pressure washer directly on the construction site,” says the spokesman.
In the Gulf area, the contractor community is serviced by Meva KHK in Dubai. The company is part of the Meva group, which is represented through 40 locations across the globe.