An oblique statement
New corporate headquarters projects may sound like plain sailing for contractors and suppliers. After all, such facilities tend to be a routine matter, posing similar requirements. However, as experienced builders know, the devil is in the detail and it is this detail that often makes all the difference.
Smart formwork solution for inclined V columns
The new Garz & Fricke GmbH corporate head office in Hamburg-Harburg is a case in point. Located in a southern district of the north German city, the new central company site will offer some 12,826 m² of floorspace. The scheme includes a factory hall, warehousing plus an administrative block with office and laboratory facilities.
Inclined column arrangement
The perimeter of the new building features V-shaped columns spanning two storeys and supporting a cantilevered slab and the floor levels above. "MEVA's creative standard solutions offer an economical and tailored means of delivering unusual building elements such as this," points out Hans-Heinrich Gerstenkorn, Head of MEVA Engineering in Hanover. Here, the V column geometry was effectively created by forming a wall with large triangular box outs. As the use of wooden box outs of this size would have entailed a disproportionate amount of effort, the project team devised a smart solution. In the words of Tobias Kempke, the site manager from HTG's Hamburg branch, "Instead of incorporating full-scale box outs, the 60 cm wide columns were bounded at the side by Mammut 350 wall formwork. Above and below, the shape of the V columns was formed using coated 3S facings held in place by props."
Two systems for 100 kN/m²
Like the V columns, all other structural elements were made from reinforced concrete. For these, the use of MEVA's Mammut 350 and CaroFalt systems offered the contractor numerous benefits. The formwork assemblies were delivered just in time by MEVA's sales partner Siloco GmbH & Co. KG. Both systems can accommodate a fresh concrete pressure of 100 kN/m² and thereby allow faster concreting, particularly for high walls and columns. The reduction in pour times accordingly speeds up progress on site, with the use of Mammut 350 wall formwork facilitating the adoption of large formwork cycles. The CaroFalt column formwork likewise impressed by its smart handling features. Comprising four identical panels that are hinged together in the manner of windmill sails, it vastly simplifies formwork assembly and stripping.
Site manager's verdict
Site manager Tobias Kempke was full of praise: "The MEVA systems proved to be extremely practical. The 3.50 m tall wall formwork panels eliminated the need for vertical extension in casting a storey. And the final product with its horizontal joints looks really good. What's more, the fact that all components of the CaroFalt column units are hinged together makes it very easy to handle. In fact, the formwork was quickly put in place with a single crane lift."
The works are scheduled for completion this summer. When finished, the new building will offer Garz & Fricke GmbH employees ample space for future development.