Two times two high-rise cores

MAC automatic climbing system adapts to varying geometries

Data & Facts

  • Project
    • Ritz-Carlton Hotel and The Towers at Elizabeth Quay, Perth (AUS)
  • Contractors
    • Probuild and CASC Formwork (subcontractor)
  • MEVA systems
    • MAC automatic climbing system
  • Engineering and support
    • MEVA Formwork Systems Pte Ltd, Singapore and Novatec Formwork Systems, Australia

MAC for maximum flexibility

Founded in 1829, Perth, the largest city in Western Australia, is particularly noted for its location on the Swan River. Today, anyone standing on the southern bank of the river and looking over to Elizabeth Quay can witness the city's continuing evolution and modernisation. The district named after Queen Elizabeth II is the site of an urban development project featuring numerous new buildings and high-rises that are set to dominate the cityscape.

The new Ritz-Carlton Hotel and The Towers at Elizabeth Quay are being built by the highly respected contractor Probuild, which has enlisted the support of Novatec and MEVA. Having already successfully deployed the MAC automatic climbing system on previous projects, Probuild and formwork subcontractor CASC Formwork opted to use it again. George Chiari, Director of CASC Formwork: “The MAC automatic climbing system has already proven itself in many of our projects. That’s why we’re relying on this system again.”

MAC for maximum flexibility
To ensure full compliance with the client's requirements, MEVA's partner Novatec Formwork Systems conducted detailed consultations on site, at the planning and design stage, with MEVA's formwork experts and the customer. "Perth is the most isolated capital city in the world," says Novatec structural engineer Oscar Tasyurek. "With many other climbing formwork systems, correcting design errors or inaccuracies would have been very complicated. MAC's simple steel frame assembly offers ample flexibility for accommodating changes." 

The Towers
The scheme christened The Towers, occupying plot number 10, will house a total of 379 new apartments, spread between two towers. Not only do these two buildings differ in height – one with 30 and the other with 24 storeys – the varying geometries of the two building cores also had to be factored into the design process. Once the base of the first building core had been cast with standard wall formwork, it was possible to install the MAC climbing system at the second level. During subsequent operations, the assembly had to be adapted in line with the varying storey heights of 2.92 m, 3 m and 3.20 m. With maximum flexibility guaranteed by MAC's three-way adjustment feature, the necessary measures were easy to implement. The construction on the bottom levels of the second core took the form of a large shaft. Higher up, this was divided into two shafts ­separated by a small lobby area. 

Ritz-Carlton Hotel
The neighbouring six-star Ritz-Carlton Hotel likewise incorporates two different cores that required tailored deployment of the MAC automatic climbing system. Here too, the assembly had to cater for varying storey heights, ranging between 3 m and 3.80 m. However, this was not the only challenge posed by the hotel building. For instance, the door box-outs were sometimes located at different positions on different storeys. Hence, to ensure the smooth, ­continuous progress of the hydraulic climbing operation over the full height, prior allowance had to be made for the required box-outs when positioning the jacking and shear key beams. Moreover, one of the two cores becomes narrower on the upper ­storeys. MEVA's engineers thus made provision in their designs for removing parts of the climbing system in order to accommodate this reduced cross-section. 

Safe, reliable planning
Thanks to the MAC system, neither the fact that Perth is one of the windiest cities anywhere in Australia nor the exposed location by the Swan River entailed any disruption to the site operations. The fully enclosed housing around the platform not only provided weather protection during the work on the cores, but also enhanced safety and acted as a visual barrier. The MAC automatic climbing system provides for 4 m travel in only approx. 60 ­minutes. The crane-independent climbing technology thus allowed ­construction programming, irrespective of the possible weather ­conditions. Despite the varying geometries and the different challenges posed by the Ritz-­Carlton Hotel and The Towers projects, the works continue to proceed to plan.