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Doka Xpress CEU 02/2019

The 3 phases to fair-faced concrete success

Phase 1: Building planning

Get everyone to the planning table from the very beginning

It all starts with an idea. How can these new ideas be presented in the best possible way for the client, the building contractor? A good question, which we will pass on to the most important players for implementation: How do fair-faced concrete projects become a success or fall flat?

Fair-faced concrete is very popular. All the while, at least SB-Class 2 is required for the majority of tenders. Fair-faced concrete projects fall into the premium sector of the business and require comprehensive expertise. In our 3-part series, we present what is important from the point of view of the experts in the respective phases – building planning, formwork planning, implementation.

The architect

Josef Utzinger

Josef Utzinger | JU+Architekten

From the architect’s point of view, it is not only important to fully clarify the framework conditions during the planning stage, but also to bring all parties involved together to the table in good time before implementation: This includes the client, executing company, representative for the formwork manufacturer, structural engineer and architect. Straight and large surfaces don’t pose any problems – more often that not it’s the corners and details that have to be thought through and problems have to be solved in practical terms from the outset. I believe that success depends on working together with a goal in mind: You have to get everyone on board to achieve the desired result.

 

An example: Consultation

Extension of pool house with wine cellar

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We got to know Doka in the course of implementing projects, but we now make targeted use of its expertise wherever possible right from the planning stage. During the design stage for the "pool house extension with wine cellar" project, I was trained in framed formwork – in this case Framax Xlife plus. In this way, the executing company was presented with a building project where members from the various trades coordinated with each other. With Doka, we know it’ll work. When it’s set in stone, then it’s set in stone.

Josef Utzinger | JU+Architekten

The site manager

Jan Friedrichsen

Jan Friedrichsen | C. Dupré Bau GmbH & Co. KG

A key factor is that the team come together early on to work on the “fair-faced concrete” project in a unified way. In most cases, the client, architect and company carrying out the construction all have different ideas about what “fair-faced concrete” means. What exactly is wanted must be made clear from the outset, including how these wishes can be best implemented.

 

An example: Implementation

Karlsruhe Technical College

Apostrophe

The construction project is extremely complex, with high demands on the fair-faced concrete (SB3) and a very tight schedule. We went straight to Doka with this, mainly because of the positive experience from other successfully completed fair-faced concrete projects. Due to special wishes of the client, we had to use many special elements. Doka quickly and reliably adapted the planning and development of the forming cycles, including the on-time delivery of the material.

Jan Friedrichsen | C. Dupré Bau GmbH & Co. KG

The formwork technician

Claus Hartmann

Claus Hartmann | Doka Centre of Excellence for Fair-faced Concrete

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In my experience, it is always essential to keep in mind the following question: What does the client want? The tender is what is contractually guaranteed. However, it’s still important that you stay in contact with the building contractor and keep on reminding yourself that you’re working in their best interest. We can do our work best as formwork technicians if we are involved at an early stage, ideally at the planning stage. Because it's not just about giving advice on the right equipment to use and how this is set up. Just considering the formwork anchor holes, how far away they have to be from the concrete edge, for example in the case of door openings, can be an important piece of information. This means that we can consult with the client, the architect and the construction company during the planning phase, i.e. before the tender is submitted, with regards to what is possible or not from the point of view of formwork technology and which solution saves more time and is cost-effective. Furthermore, we give tips on the interaction between concrete and release agent formwork, advice for implementation and provide insight into how to correct errors in the further course of construction and possibly get rid of some minor flaws.

CONCLUSION

In the project planning phase, it is vital to bring all those involved in the project to the table together at an early stage – including the formwork experts. Because the more preparation you put in, the smoother implementation will go. In addition, the building contractor should be consulted on a continuing basis to ensure that the result meets the client's expectations, which may change during the course of the process.

Fair-faced concrete seminars

Once again, Doka is offering fair-faced concrete seminars for architects, senior/construction managers, managing directors, foremen and others in 2020. You can find out all the relevant details on our training page.

Find out more

Exceptional geometries. Exceptional formwork concepts.

Of course, every building project is unique. On the other hand, what makes fair-faced concrete projects even more challenging are their complex geometries and the highest demands on concrete surfaces, anchor holes and element joints. Exceptional fair-faced concrete projects therefore demand exceptional formwork solutions in the truest sense of the word – an excerpt from Doka's "Creative Workshop".

Fair-faced concrete with Doka – an all-round success

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Our motto: We don't do things by halves. That's why we take a holistic approach when it comes to the topic of concrete. In the case of fair-faced concrete projects, we support architects and construction companies in all areas that are important for success: This starts with consultation, but doesn’t end with the development and delivery of formwork elements. At Doka, we even have our own concrete laboratory, meaning we also deal with the raw material which we shape to develop our products. In doing so, we work closely together with our colleagues from concrefy, who have developed Concremote, among other things. We also carry out tests at our concrete laboratory. These are not usually the same kind of tests you would expect find at a traditional concrete laboratory. Coatings and the interaction of the coating with release agents and concrete are often investigated in our standard tests. As well as this, we also organise and carry out individually planned trials, which include both small and large-scale trials. Of course, it makes sense to carry out these kinds of tests in advance, but if something does not go the way you want it to during the construction phase, we will be happy to give you tips and advice on how to improve the results in the following concreting stages. This is so that at the end the client and building contractor will receive fair-faced concrete according to their wishes.

Daniela Ehrenreich

Daniela Ehrenreich
Head of Concrete Laboratory, Research & Development at Doka GmbH

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