Doka & BAM span Newhaven bridge using BIM

East Sussex, United Kingdom

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. 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.

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.

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.

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Project data

Year of completion
Project duration
Two Years
United Kingdom
Zip/Postal Code
BAM Nuttall

Building data

Construction method
Cast-in-place and Precast
Overall length of bridge
120 metre, 3-span
Longest span
49 Metres

Systems used

Framax Xlife
Top 50

Services used