Climbing safely and flexibly despite complex geometries

Typhoon Karen was already sweeping over Metropolitan Manila when the foundations were cast in 2016 – extreme conditions even for MEVA systems

Data & Facts

  • Project
    • Ayala Triangle Gardens Diamond, Makati, Manila, Philippines 
  • Principal
    • Ayala Land Inc.
  • Contractor 
    • MDBI Construction Corp. (MDC and BBI joint venture)
  • MEVA systems
    • Mammut wall formwork 
    • MAC automatic climbing system
    • MGS guided screen system
  • Engineering and support
    • MEVA Schalungs-Systeme Haiterbach, Asia Pacific Far East

Flexible on-site adjustment

At the start on site in October 2016, the MDBI Construction Corporation  - a joint venture between Makati Development Corporation and Bouygues Batiment International - spoke of the "biggest continuous concreting operation in the company's history". A 52-hour concreting marathon saw the placement of over 9,727 m³ of concrete. As if this was not challenging enough, conditions were aggravated by Typhoon Karen, which swept across Metropolitan Manila during the work. This was only one of several complicating factors that have enabled the MEVA systems to underline their reputation for reliability, ­flexibility and safety.

At the heart of Makati, an urban district of Metropolitan Manila with a population of around 580,000, MEVA is playing a key role in the two major projects that make up the Ayala Triangle Gardens Diamond scheme. November 2016 saw work commence on the 126,500 m2 development, occupying a 2,400 m2 site and comprising a 25-floor five-star hotel complex and a 194 m tall, 41-floor office building.

Assembly on constricted site
"The geometry of the corewall is challenging and requires very long support beam spans in our MAC system. The rapid progress on the 41-floor office complex is a testament to the efficiency of the MAC system and our MGS perimeter screen is providing a safe and productive work environment for the project team on four floors," explains Mark Rose, Region Director Asia Pacific & Far East. Quite apart from extreme weather conditions, which can also be a factor outside the May-to-November typhoon season, even delivery and assembly of the MEVA systems demanded extreme precision. "The area in and around the site is severely constricted by two major traffic arteries that flank the buildings," adds MAC Supervisor Boominathan Muthu Ramalingam.

Flexible on-site adjustment
Meticulous advance planning allowed the complex geometries and spatial constraints to be factored into the on-site assembly process. "The unusual building shape with curvilinear sides and sharply rounded ends made the job really tricky to plan," says Stefan Kappler from MEVA's Engineering department in Haiterbach. "Our MGS system was primarily developed for orthogonal building footprints. In Makati we collaborated with MDBI in devising a safe and flexible anchorage solution for the curved building front." This allowed advance provision to be made for all the anchors needed to secure the 47 MGS units, each of which is a full 6.5 m wide and includes multi-level working platforms for post-tensioning. Even the external cladding of the MGS assembly was subject to special requirements. As Stefan Kappler points out, "As soon as we examined the reference data for storm events in the Manila region, we knew that a perforated external cladding was an absolute must for resisting the high wind loads." 

Automatic climbing
In June 2017, with the MAC system fully assembled, the buildings started growing skywards in leaps and bounds. With slab-to-slab heights of 3.75 m in the hotel tower and 4.20 m in the office complex, the automatic climbing system with the Mammut 350 formwork allowed work on the core to progress rapidly. "In fact, as the core climbed ahead," adds Stefan Kappler, "the project team had to slow down the corewall to give the rest of the structure time to catch up with the rapid pace set by the MAC system." The veteran MAC specialist Boominathan Muthu Ramalingam is responsible for ensuring that work proceeds smoothly on site. In close collaboration with the MDBI site management team and with the backing of his Haiterbach colleagues, he oversees what Kappler describes as a "gigantic assembly, even by European standards". MEVA's involvement in the project is scheduled to run until May 2019. The planned project completion date is in January 2020.