The IntElliDeck, designed by EllisDon and Peri Formworks, is a column-mounted formwork system with a 30-foot clear support span used at the South Alberta Health Campus in Calgary. The companies plan to apply for a patent for the system, which was praised by the president of the Calgary Construction Association.
An award-winning formwork innovation by Mississauga-based EllisDon could have industry-wide benefits, according to the president of the Calgary Construction Association.
EllisDon’s IntElliDeck technology not only helps with the South Alberta Health Campus project, Jim Clement told a crowd of contractors in Calgary. It could be used any time you have a similar type of project, Clement said, “to save time and money, to benefit all of the general contractors in Canada, and to make us, as Canadians more competitive in a world marketplace.” The system means greater efficiency, for EllisDon and all general contractors in Canada, he said.
“On a national basis, EllisDon has shared this information with all of the other contractors in the country,” he says.
“They could use this innovation in different applications. The efficiency seen here could and will be seen on other projects across Canada.”
Conventional formwork wouldn’t fit the schedule and demands. So, EllisDon, in partnership with Peri Formworks, designed and created a new column-mounted formwork system.
The unconventional building required more than 200,000 square metres of structural slab formwork.
“We poured over 160,000 cubic metres of concrete,” said Scott Thompson, project manager for the South Alberta Health Campus.
The IntElliDeck is reportedly the first formwork system of its kind.
Instead of a three- to four-foot clear support span, the IntElliDeck used on the South Alberta Health Campus project had a 30-foot span. It was required, because the formwork was supported off the columns and not the slab below. But with the increase, came an interesting challenge.
“I’d have 200,000 pounds of concrete being loaded onto this form,” Thompson said.
“With traditional formwork and the shorter spans, the form does not deflect, but with a 30-foot span it’s going to deflect a whole lot.”
The IntElliDeck, as the name implies, is intelligent. Each formwork table had five hydraulic motors, complete with a deflection sensor, associated with it.
“As you poured the concrete, the sensor picked up on the form deflection and turned on the motor, which hydraulically lifted the form back into its original position,” Thompson said.
The particular challenge with the South Health Campus is that 156,000 square meters of developed space rise up multiple storeys into the Calgary skyline.
“With traditional formwork the 200lbs/ft2 load is supported off the structural slab below, which unfortunately can only carry 50lb/ft2. Consequently, we would then have to transfer that load to an additional three slabs by the use of re-shores. With our system, all of that is eliminated,” Thompson said.
EllisDon’s use of the IntEllideck system eliminated the use of re-shoring.
“We had four support posts that were supported off the columns, which transferred the load through the structure to the footing designed to carry the structure.
The benefits of not doing re-shoring was time and money.
It actually allowed construction of the floor plates below to start almost immediately, Thompson said.
“We saved about six months on our schedule just by taking those re-shores out. Not only that, we saved an additional six months on our formwork schedule, because it was so efficient, probably 30 to 40 per cent more efficient then regular formwork.”
Thompson says he got 47 reuses each out of the 57 formwork tables used on the project.
The project also saved a bunch of crane time as well, as a result of using the system.
“With this system, we could move it without a crane horizontally, only needing the crane to lift it to the next level.
Originally, we had planned for six cranes, but with the formwork system, we reduced it down to four.”
“The big thing with this project is, it started with a $1.41 billion dollar budget. Through the design, value, engineering (and) innovations like this, we’re $187 million under budget. That’s taxpayer money going back into the system.”
Peri Formworks and EllisDon plan to patent the technology. Currently, there are 1,500 tradesmen on site and EllisDon is billing over $1 million per day, Thompson says. The South Alberta Health Campus is scheduled for occupancy March 27, 2012.