09.08.2016 Safe formwork solutions boost productivity

No formwork planning without all the safety aspects being taken into account – and even including the transfer of formwork without hazard potential. With high-grade products and a formwork strategy perfectly attuned to the conditions on the construction site, Hünnebeck has again impressively demonstrated during the Stuttgart Europe Plaza project that high occupational safety is an assurance of high productivity.

The Europaviertel (Europe Quarter) in the heart of Stuttgart is without doubt one of the outstanding urban development projects in Germany today. It will still be a few years until the new quarter on the site of the old freight and marshalling yard is completed, but key buildings such as the new city library are already standing. Under joint clients GeRo Real Estate AG in Frankfurt and FAY Projects GmbH in Mannheim, the Europe Plaza office building project has been under construction since last fall – an innovative green building with 17,200 m² of rentable space. As striking architectural features, the roughly 23 m high office block will have an over 900 m² courtyard and a recessed penthouse with a 400 m² encircling terrace.

Stuttgart’s Baresel GmbH was responsible for the punctual completion of the building fabric of the tightly deadlined cast-in-place concrete project and expected extra-quick and absolutely safe formwork solutions from its formwork supplier Hünnebeck. The company was allocated an average of just four weeks for each story (2 sub-levels, 7 above-ground levels and foundations) – an extremely ambitious task that could only be accomplished with efficient planning, work preparation, and logistics. The project received comprehensive support on all formwork issues from Hünnebeck GmbH, whose project developers at the bidding stage produced a detailed execution strategy with scheduling, cycle planning, and calculations of formwork quantities.

Close consultation

During execution, the site was served by the technical department of the Hünnebeck South Region that coordinated the use of formwork materials in close consultation with project management. The professional formwork planning and monitoring and close relations with project managers proved to be highly efficient, i.e. time-saving and cost-cutting. Such effective use was made of the materials available on site that it was often possible to dispense with additional supplies. At the same time, the continuous monitoring of stocks kept on site by Hünnebeck kept a tight control on costs – the anticipated costs were reported once per month to project management, thus ruling out unpleasant surprises.

Available on site during fabric construction, which ended in June, was up to 950 m² of classic Manto wall formwork, 2,000 m² of Topec modular formwork (for interior slab surfaces), and 1,650 m² of Topmax steel-frame floor tables. Many running meters of Protecto, the universal fall protection system, were also in action. All the slab edges were thus shuttered with Topmax floor tables with Protecto protective grilles attached to them. The finished slab edges were also fitted with continuous railings of Protecto grilles.

Since the Europe Plaza is an office building that aims to offer future users as much flexibility as possible in terms of room layout, the interior of the building and the open façade have very few wall surfaces of cast-in-place concrete. The main vertical components of this project were therefore columns: some 1,000 in total, of which 700 alone were façade columns. Since the façade has a uniform module of 2.7 m, Hünnebeck’s formwork planners proposed the construction of column batteries each comprising three column forms, which could be transferred with two crane lifts in order to save time. This way, project management achieved perfectly timed progress with a maximum of three batteries.

“Speed and high productivity are only possible in working conditions of absolute safety,” says Baresel site manager Claus Hoffmann explaining why his company always attaches great importance to workplace safety. And high productivity is the key to meeting the increasingly tight cost targets and deadlines of today’s construction projects. “The meticulously planned use of high-performance and safe formwork systems is essential for us in handling projects like the Europe Plaza on time and cost-effectively as well. Hünnebeck is a professional supplier that supported us in every respect,” is the appreciative verdict of project management that was able to hand over the building fabric punctually, despite initial delays in the construction process.

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