05.08.2019 Topmax, Topec and Manto in non-stop action

The new Olympus corporate headquarters in Hamburg’s "City Süd" is growing. This means non-stop action for the Hünnebeck slab and wall formwork used on the construction site, since there are no storage areas for formwork material on this inner-city construction site with its precisely timed program. What is available on site is also in use, from the basement to the top floor – as envisaged by the formwork strategy.

The Japanese Olympus Group is currently expanding its Hamburg location on a massive scale. In the Hammerbrook district, the Olympus Campus is set to become the state-of-the-art corporate headquarters. On its completion in 2020, 55,000 m² of space above-ground and almost 24,000 underground will provide an attractive working environment for the steadily growing number of employees. Open space, secluded areas, cafés and sports facilities will meet the demands of a new conception of work.

The architectural approach based on plans by Hamburg architects “gmp” comprises three structures, with two L-shaped components being annexed, in a slightly offset arrangement, to an 11-storey main building with a foyer and covered atrium. Olympus is implementing the project with the ZECH Group under a joint venture. All planning and construction services were awarded by the project company to the Olympus Campus consortium as the general contractor (ZECH Bau GmbH, Hamburg branch, and ROM Technik, Stuttgart).

Efficient material provision

Following a tight construction schedule, ZECH Bau is cooperating closely with Hünnebeck for the punctual completion of the building’s shell and drawing on the Ratingen-based company’s high-power expertise in formwork, scaffolding and safety solutions. "Together with the project managers, we drew up a formwork strategy that permits usage of the same formwork material from the basement to the top floor," the Hünnebeck team of formwork experts serving construction explains. This means that the quantities available on the Hamburg inner-city construction site, which is effectively devoid of storage facilities, can be kept as low as possible. Consequently, all the available formwork material is almost continuously in use. This includes some 4,000 m² of slab formwork (Topmax steel-frame floor tables and Topec modular formwork) as well as roughly 1,600m² of Manto large-frame formwork and 10 ready-to-use column forms.

A somewhat unusual idea, which proved highly effective, was Hünnebeck’s proposal of using innovative Topmax floor tables from the basement levels upward. "We of course planned the use of the tables in detail so that they would be easy to extract from the underground areas," the Hünnebeck formwork planners explain. "Now, in the up to 11-storey-high above-ground floors with their open façades, the tables can be used perfectly as fall-proof cantilevered formwork." Thanks to their all-round edge-protected Ecoply all-plastic form linings and their heavy-duty 12 cm high powder-coated steel frames, the Topmax tables require minimal cleaning during their almost continuous use on the large-scale project. Due to their compatibility with the company’s own Protecto side protection system, the cantilevered slab edges held in the formwork are optimally protected from falling. Other advantages of the Topmax system include the simple shuttering of adjustment and infill areas using squared timber, which is simply attached to the tables with a special holder.

On the Hamburg construction site, the Topmax tables are used in combination with manually operated Topec modular formwork, with Topmax and Topec in a ratio of 70:30. "Using this mix, all levels can be shuttered in the same way all the way up the building," say the formwork planners. Topec is used on the smaller-scale inner slab areas, where it impresses with its particularly ergonomic and swift handling. The mainly used 1.80 m x 1.80 m Topec panels are assembled and dismantled from the safety of the ground in just a few steps by a maximum of two operators: the panel is hooked on, swung up and propped, with the reverse procedure to take them down. This is a particularly simple and quick working method that saves time and money.

Speedy shorings

A formwork challenge is the 7.50 m high, approx. 800 m² foyer slab in the entrance area of the main building. Here the slab was supported by Topmax tables in combination with shoring from the high-strength Gass support system whose assembly the builders found extremely practical. The required shoring towers were quickly erected because the intuitive system consists of only three basic components: outer leg, inner leg and ledger frame. Since even the heaviest part of the aluminum modular system weighs only 22 kg, but the load capacity per leg is up to 140 kN, high-strength structures can be assembled very quickly from just a few Gass elements. A special feature here is that the secured ledger frames can be attached to any point of the leg – no special tools are required, just a hammer.

Firm connection

The Olympus project managers are employing Manto large-frame formwork as wall formwork. The large 240 x 330 cm panel is mainly being used – on the three sublevels as single-face wall formwork, for example. Thanks to its special robustness (14 cm frame thickness and interior stiffening ribs), Manto wall formwork – even height-extended elements – is designed for a concrete pressure of 80 kN/m² up to a height of 3.30 m. Among other things, this is ensured by the special Manto aligning clamp, which connects the Manto panels firmly and flush with each other in a single operation. In this way, large sections of formwork measuring up to 40 m² can be transferred by crane, without additional bracing.

High efficiency

Site management is highly impressed by the efficient formwork strategy for the walls and slabs: "Thanks to the skillful selection of the formwork used, we really do not have to change systems as we move upward, so there is no redundant material. We’re shuttering all the slabs with the same available equipment. In our search for the right formwork supplier before the start of construction, that was our main requirement – and one fully met by Hünnebeck."

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