A completely new urban quarter is being created at Heidelberg’s main railway station with the “Europaplatz” construction project. Major challenge for the shell builders: All five buildings are being constructed at the same time, which requires an optimally coordinated formwork concept.
ZECH Bau SE is providing construction management for the entire building project on behalf of the Gustav Zech Foundation. Among other things, the company is also coordinating all trades and suppliers in order to achieve optimal interaction between all stakeholders. Hünnebeck is the formwork supplier responsible for this challenging project.
The Gustav Zech Foundation is investing around 300 million euros in the large-scale, future-oriented “Europaplatz Heidelberg” project, which pursues a lively mix of living and working with a variety of uses and is also designed for climate-neutral operation. A total of 122,000 m2 of gross floor area will be built on the approximately 24,000 m2 site south of the main railway station and is expected to accommodate the first users in 2022 after a construction period of only three years.
The project comprises a total of five buildings that frame the new Europaplatz. In detail, these include: an eleven-storey hotel building, an office and commercial building for Sparkasse Heidelberg, an office and commercial building for Heidelberger Volksbank eG, another office and commercial building as well as a residential and commercial building with approx. 8,000 m2 of living space. In addition, there is a two-storey car park and a bicycle parking garage, also with two storeys. All ground floors bordering Europaplatz are used as commercial, gastronomy and service space.
There is no question that such a large construction site first and foremost requires sheer masses of formwork material. But only sensibly coordinated use of the available systems ensures optimal utilisation and thus high cost efficiency. The site management of ZECH Bau SE and Hünnebeck therefore worked closely together to select formwork systems and develop formwork solutions that provide the site with occupational safety, speed and cost effectiveness.
Topec modular formwork without beams is used as slab formwork in the standard storeys of the buildings, which have a maximum height of eleven storeys. 11,000 m2 of the hand-operated formwork are in continuous use. This saves crane time that can be used elsewhere. The uncomplicated Topec system with its lightweight aluminium frame panels does not require any beams and can be set up comfortably and safely from the ground in just a few steps – hook in the panel, swing it up, support it. Stripping the formwork is just as uncomplicated, which is further accelerated by the rapid lowering of the Hünnebeck Europlus steel tube beams. To ensure that the forming times are really reduced, the Heidelberg site team uses the 180 cm x 180 cm Topec large panel with 3.24 m2 of formwork area wherever possible.
For slab areas with particularly high loads or complex geometry, Hünnebeck has equipped the site with Topflex timber beam formwork. Around 37,000 linear metres of H20 beams for a total of around 9,000 m2 of formwork area are in stock and are being used in many places in combination with the high-performance Gass aluminium support system. The special advantages of the system: a load capacity of up to 140 kN per leg and self-explanatory, safe assembly from only three basic components. In this way, Gass fulfils the precise conditions that are important on the construction site.
The biggest formwork challenge is the construction of a 7.33 m high loggia (107 m long, 15 m wide) on the ground floor of the large office complex, which extends over two floors. Due to of the high loads involved – steel beams (HEB1000) including reinforced concrete ceiling covering had to be supported at a height of 7 m – Hünnebeck suggested the use of the Infrakit modular system. The modular system, preferably developed for infrastructure construction, offers load-optimised system components for transferring light, medium and heavy loads. On the Heidelberg site, longitudinal rows of load frame beams and Infrakit stringers supported the steel structure of the future loggia. The Gass system was again used for the formwork of the massive edge beams. The construction site team is very satisfied: “With the Infrakit solution, the Hünnebeck formwork experts have given us an extremely practical application for demanding loggia construction.”
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