Doka and BAM span Newhaven bridge project using BIM technologies

14.09.2020 | Press
Located in East Sussex, the Newhaven Port Access Road Scheme is 700m of single carriageway road, with an adjacent footway and cycleway. Doka worked in close partnership with main contractor, BAM Nuttall to develop a formwork package that would speed construction processes on site.

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Doka supplied formwork for all aspects of the project ranging from pile caps and abutments to piers and the bridge support itself. Specific systems included ParaTop for the cantilever slabs and bridge edge parapets, hand-set framed formwork Framax Xlife and large-area formwork Top 50 which was pre-assembled and delivered directly to site.

Doka and BAM worked closely together at very early stages in the pre-construction phase to develop Building Information Modelling (BIM), which helped contribute towards improved on-site progress and reduced re-working.

The Port Investment
A £10 million grant from the Local Growth Fund, the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership and £13.2 million from the county council’s capital programme are financing the scheme. The project will allow direct access into the East Quay area of Newhaven Port, and will help create more than 400 jobs indirectly, supporting a further 1,430 around Newhaven.

The need for the bridge arose as the Port is currently accessed via local residential roads, which are unsuitable for heavy goods vehicles. The Newhaven Port Access Road is a key priority for the Council’s plans for the economic regeneration of the area and the need to promote the vital role in transporting goods both internationally and around the UK.

The development has been identified as of strategic importance within a number of schemes including the Lewes District Local Plan, the Port’s own Masterplan, the LEPs Strategic Economic Plan’s and also as part of the Newhaven Enterprise Zone and, once complete, will support the unlocking of an additional 80,000 square metres of business space.

The new road rises on an embankment from the Pargut Roundabout and crosses the Newhaven to Seaford Railway line and Mill Creek on a new 120m long 3-span bridge terminating at a new Port roundabout just south of Mill Creek. Doka’s first delivery of formwork took place at the beginning of April 2019 with final deliveries in summer 2020, ready for the road to open later the same year.

Bridge Formwork ParaTop
BAM utilised bridge formwork ParaTop for all decks of the structure. Integrated into the ParaTop system was large-area formwork Top 50 which was pre-assembled by Doka. ParaTop turns the Top 50 into a cantilever arm formwork that can be operated completely from above. The versatility of the system and its modular system concept enables easy adaptation and can be fixed to either concrete or steel superstructures.

Another advantage of using the ParaTop system on this particular civils project was that it could be specially placed to allow full access to the deck for enabling works to be carried out before the concrete was poured.

Pre-assembly Service
In addition to the parapet systems, BAM also took advantage of Doka’s pre-assembly service for the abutment and pier formwork to help speed up the program and provide precision off-site constructed elements. This service helped to conserve BAM’s own labour resources by reducing assembly of the equipment to be carried out on site prior to use. Safety was also a key priority and Doka’s pre-assembly service contributed to these high safety levels by ensuring less activity was undertaken on-site.

The pre-assembly service was used for various areas of the project, including a comprehensive package for the two piers. The taller of the piers measured in at 5.46m x 14.50m and was pre-assembled using large-area formwork Top 50. In total 14 panels were constructed with nine different types used.

Virtual Model Increases Productivity
The formwork experts at Doka supplied a bespoke BIM solution for all the decks, which also included 3D visualisation of the ParaTop system and took into consideration the high safety requirements and project transfer via Projectwise. Doka created a virtual BIM model for the construction of the pile caps, abutments, piers and the bridge support so that wall formwork and cycle times could be planned precisely. This reduced the on-site work and re-focussed resources required by BAM to enable increased productivity.

Additional benefits of working with BIM for infrastructure projects such as this are that potential issues can be identified and resolved in the office before they are incurred on site. Working with a BIM model also gives customers a clear view of how formwork will be placed on the structure and can therefore be altered before construction begins. BIM also helped to identify any clashes with other workflow tasks and better integrate key subcontractor processes.

Everyone involved on the project at BAM and Doka had around-the-clock access to the BIM model created using the Autodesk Revit software. Working on a shared project platform (CDE) made communicating within and coordinating the project significantly easier. It also meant that important criteria could be considered during the planning stages. As a result, formwork quantities were optimised to avoid the need for conversion measures, which significantly reduced the time and work required. Pieter Strydom, BIM Coordinator at Doka UK commented, “Doka worked collaboratively with BAM, whereby we attached our bridge ParaTop system to their CDE platform. This enabled the potential of eliminating early errors and ensuring a smooth transition on site”.

Chris Buckle, Senior agent at BAM Nuttall said, “We involved Doka very early in the planning of this project. Doka offered a complete design, formwork and shoring service, which spanned from pre-assembly design paired for our individual needs, to BIM which was connected to our own design platform in order to reduce clashes and better manage all of our critical paths".

A video of the 3D BIM model can be seen above.

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