Tables provide the right solution in Swakopmund

26 May 2015

Construction projects are alive and well in Namibia, and currently, the skylines of Windhoek, Walvis Bay and Swakopmund are changing rapidly.

A major contributor to these changes is Platz am Meer, a N$400 development being constructed for Safari Developments, in Swakopmund. Designed by MDM Architects in association with MDW Architects, the total project will consist of a 20,000-m2 retail centre, covered and rooftop parking, 40 luxury residential units, and recreational facilities by way of a new small-craft slipway.

Namibia Construction, one of the leading local construction companies in Namibia, is the appointed contractor and recently completed the first milestone of the new waterfront, the Breakwater and Sea-wall. They are now on track to meet the next milestone – the completion of the Retail Centre.

This concrete structure has a footprint of 20,000 m2, requiring 10,000 m3 of concrete and 800 tonnes of reinforcement. The first-floor slabs are designed as coffered slabs at a propping height of 4.5 m.

“Namibia Construction has had to deal with a number of challenges on this project, including an extremely demanding construction programme,” said Riaan Coetzee, NC’s construction manager.

Doka South Africa rose to the challenge and offered a solution using Dokaflex Tableforms in conjuction with coffers supplied by Namibia Construction. “We have used Doka in the past, on a number of our projects, and have been impressed with the solutions offered, the back-up service provided and the quality of the products. This project proved to be no exception and choosing Doka was the right decision,” Coetzee explained.

For Doka South Africa the challenge was getting the site staff to buy into the concept of tableforms with coffers, as quickly as possible, as, although they had previously worked with Dokaflex, they had never done what the company was proposing. And certainly not on wheels!

“We decided to pre-assemble two Tables and the corresponding beam formwork in our Cape Town yard and make a video of the components being moved and erected by a team of two people using a shifting trolley,” says Dave King of Doka. “It was extremely important that the video showed local people, to emphasise the fact that Doka systems are global and can be utilised anywhere in the world.”

Armed with this video and the standard ‘user information’ books, Doka’s regional technical manager and a site supervisor went to Swakopmund to train the NC site staff in the pre-assembly of the table forms and then the erection of the entire system using the video as a live demo. This proved to be a great success.

The Tables were pre-fabricated on site by Namibia Construction’s own formwork teams, under Doka’s supervision, and the teams received further training in the moving and erection of the formwork.

“This training was a key factor in achieving the productivity required,” site engineers Gerrit Schrader and Stefano Strappazzon confirmed.
“The on-site training gave the site staff confidence in the system right from the start. We knew the system would work and it has. Our planned cycle time for the slab formwork was 10 days for 650 m2, and we actually are achieving a cycle time of 6 days.”

Each table covers an area of 10.5 m2 and, using a Doka shifting trolley, takes about 15 minutes to move into position. The connection of the floor props to the Tables is a fixed connection which means the props can be loaded by another 10 Kn, thus creating better access under the supported floor for following trades. Generally Dokaflex weighs about 50 kg/m2 which is significantly lighter than more traditional systems and adds to increased productivity.

Doka South Africa is represented in Namibia by GardTech Construction Supplies who have a sizeable, and well-stocked yard in Windhoek to assist in providing the necessary back-up on an everyday basis.

However, it’s not just formwork systems that produce high quality and productivity, it’s a total team effort. Site supervision and quality of housekeeping play a major role in ensuring high productivity, and the Platz am Meer site bears testimony to that philosophy.

A walk around the site uncovers a passion for cleanliness and tidiness. Very little material is seen lying around, and if there is, it is in easy-to-move bundles and pallets. “If it’s not needed, take it away until it is”, is the clear instruction and the resultant pristine site speaks for itself.

More information from David King, Cell: +27(0)83 654 7211/

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