Doka's recently created Highrise Centre in Singapore brings together and focuses its automatic-climbing capabilities in the East Asia & Pacific Region. Thousands of miles away from the Group’s HQ in Austria, its building-construction clients can benefit from the concentrated expert knowledge and service offerings of one of the global formwork-technology sector’s leading players.
The Doka Highrise Centre in Singapore is headed up by the Engineering Manager for the East Asia & Pacific Region, Michael Eder, who talks here about this new dimension of customer care:
What was behind the decision to set up the Highrise Centre in Singapore?
The building-construction sector in the Far East is one of the fastest growing markets anywhere in the world. Particularly in the super-highrise segment – by which we mean buildings rising to over 300 m – China, Korea and Malaysia have huge potential. On super-skyscrapers like these, with their complex structure geometry, ‘normal’ applications technology quickly reaches its limits. For work to proceed smoothly on projects like these, wide-ranging know-how, tried-and-tested solutions and comprehensive services are all absolutely essential. True to its pathbreaking approach to customer care, Doka thus decided to set up a regional Competence Centre directly in Singapore. Here, experienced climbing-technology specialists are on hand to support construction firms in Singapore, Malaysia, China, Japan, Korea and Australia with powerful, dependable formwork solutions. Our experts are also completely familiar with the diverse construction methods commonly used in each of these markets, and provide the input needed for developing market-specific formwork systems.
What, specifically, does this support entail?
It begins very early on, in the tendering phase, with planning an ingenious formwork solution. This calls for a great deal of skill and judgement and many years’ experience, as the climbing operations on an advancing structure core are often a make-or-break factor that decides whether or not the whole project stays on-schedule and on-budget. In its over 50-year history, Doka has provided formwork solutions that have aided construction progress on very many supertowers all round the globe. The huge experience this has given us is a competitive advantage that cannot be copied. To achieve a smooth construction workflow, it is not enough to look at the formwork solution in isolation. Because the climbing cycles dictate the pace of so many other operations on buildings of this size, it is essential to optimally integrate them into the overall construction workflow. This is why Doka also offers the services of a project manager to analyse and co-ordinate the entire construction sequence for the tower. When is the best time to place the reinforcement? When can pouring be carried out with the least possible disturbance? What time windows are available for work on the facade to take place in? These and many other questions will be answered for you by the same professionals who helped plan the construction sequence for the world’s tallest building.
What project is the Doka Highrise Centre working on at the moment?
A truly superlative project which will one day be the tallest building in the Far East: the Lotte World Tower will top out at 555 m and stands out for its constantly varying structure-geometry. The greatest possible importance is attached to safety on this site, for quite apart from the human suffering they cause, workplace accidents also mean costly delays to the construction schedule. As well as the self-climbing formwork solution for the complex core and the ‘mega-columns’ running up the outside of the structure, Doka has thus also developed a completely new protection screen that adapts to the tapering shape of the building without needing any modifications. To convince our clients at first hand of the feasibility of this revolutionary system, we invited the decision-makers to our headquarters in Austria, where we had set up several segments of this foldable, 20 m high protection screen in a fully functional life-size display.
What are the values that define your daily work?
Safety and reliability, in every sense! Like certainty in terms of planning, because once the ‘forming machine’ is assembled you need to be able to rely on it to function smoothly all the way up to the very top storey. Also, it needs to be adaptable to wall-returns and geometrical changes with little or no extra work (and lost time). Workplace safety is equally important, because the taller the structure is, the safer the site crew need to feel. It is important here to do more than just minimising the actual – objective – workplace risk, but also to make the crew feel as if they were working ‘on the ground floor’, by completely enclosing their workplace. Cost-certainty is another top priority for us. Even for complex shapes, we try to plan for the highest-possible proportion of low-cost standard components. Knowing the differing local construction methods and requirements as well as we do, we always succeed in selecting the most economical combination of formwork systems.