To the Limits of Technical Feasibility

Infrastructure development in Tübingen, Germany : supporting wall tapers from 84 to 25 cm at heights up to 7.45 m and a slant of 1:10

Data & Facts

  • Project
    • Supporting wall on the freight rail station in Tübingen, Germany. Tapering walls from 84 to 25 cm, heights from 2.79 m to 7.45 m. Architectural concrete finish and board pattern on slanted side.
  • Developer
    • aurelis Real Estate GmbH, subsidiary of DB Immobilien AG, Eschborn
  • Contractor
    • Reiner Schädler GmbH Bauunternehmen, Lichtenstein
  • MEVA Systems
    • Wall formwork Mammut 350 with 100 kN/m² load capacity
    • All-plastic facing alkus
    • Double-up wooden facing
  • Consultation
    • Helmut Baumgart
  • Engineering
    • MEVA Formwork Systems, Haiterbach, Germany


SolidCheck to determine the concrete’s setting time

The area around the old freight rail station in the university town of Tübingen in southern Germany is being redeveloped into a modern residential and commercial centre. Social, energy and ecological considerations play an important part. Infrastructure jobs include building a supporting wall along the active railway line.

The tender was a challenge in itself: a concrete wall, 115 m long and with changing heights from 2.79 to 7.45 m, 84 cm wide at the base and tapering to 25 cm at the top, one side with a 1:10 slant. The concrete finish was specified as architectural finish with a board pattern on the slanted concrete surface.

“It soon became clear to us that a job like this could not be tackled with by standard formwork and run-of-the-mill solutions,“ says Reiner Schädler, owner of contractor Schädler GmbH. “We needed a partner with an in-depth understanding of the technical complexity of the project and who would provide not just the right formwork, but also the right solution. Helmut Baumgart and his MEVA engineering colleagues provided the answer. Everything worked like clockwork from the first pour to the 13th, even though we pushed the formwork to the limits of its capabilities.“

Mammut 350: 100 kN/m² concrete load capacity fully utilized
The pours were organised with just two panel heights of the Mammut 350 heavy-duty system to cater for the changing wall heights. This simplified planning immensely. Tight schedules and the height and speed of the pours required safety measures. Pressure gauges were attached to the ties to monitor the concrete pressure, allowing the site to adjust pour speed if necessary, while fully exploiting the formwork’s load capacity.

SolidCheck to determine the concrete’s setting time
The site also employed the measuring device SolidCheck to optimise concrete batching and pouring. SolidCheck measures the concrete’s exact setting time and allows for a precise calculation of the maximum pour speed. Since SolidCheck measures setting time in real time on the concrete actually batched to the site and in real weather, there is no need for dangerous guesswork. The pour speed can be determined accurately according to the relevant standards.  
External vibrators on slanted walls

The wall slant of 1:10 was solved using MEVA’s articulated flange nut. But how to compact the concrete? This presented no problem on the straight side of the wall. But concrete on the slanted side near the thicker base would not be touched by normal vibrators. MEVA engineers recommended a proven and successful alternative: external vibrators on the slanted formwork. Problem solved.

After hundreds of square metres of clean, smooth concrete surface and thirteen very fast high pours up to 7.45 m, site supervisor Denis Schnabel comes to a powerful conclusion: “Mammut stayed in shape. And held its promise!”