Unique techniques at the core of billion-pound project

Development of the £2.2 billion Nova, Victoria project, which will see a revolutionary change to the London Victoria area, is underway and has utilised unique and fabricated formwork systems to ensure the project meets its tight construction schedule

This unique construction project is based in the heart of London and is set to transform the area’s architectural landscape and create a new landmark in the capital. Set to deliver an 897,000 square ft development, the project will comprise of five modern buildings split into Grade A offices, contemporary high quality apartments and restaurants, all within a new pedestrianised public space.

The project’s intricate design, which has been made through a collaboration of four of Europe’s most innovative architectural firms, is becoming hotly anticipated and is set to be complete by July 2016. Experienced specialist concrete contractors, PC Harrington, have been tasked to complete the reinforced concrete (RC) frame elements on the first phase of the project.

To meet the demands of such a complex development PC Harrington called upon PERI Ltd, provider and manufacturer of formwork and scaffolding systems, to provide expert guidance and bespoke solutions for specified concrete finishes. The ambitious project required an unusual specification of unique and innovative fabrications being applied as a result of tailored formwork systems during the RC frame construction phase.

PC Harrington engineering manager, Lincoln Charles said: “As expected, a project of this size delivered complicated and intricate design features, including the need for top-down construction and white columns with high specifications."

A range of PERI equipment, including its VARIO column formwork, TRIO formwork and RUNDFLEX radius formwork, were designed and fabricated off site and delivered to the yard based near Southall.

Engineer at PERI, Dan Mounter, explains the use of their equipment for the project and how it aided the construction process: “To support the top-down construction, we utilised the TRIO 1.2m high panel range. As top-down construction was the method being used, with the above slabs in place, there was no crane access, meaning the panels had to be lighter and easier to move across the site and avoid unnecessary delays to the construction process.

"By using standard TRIO panels, PC Harrington could achieve a better pour rate, using 20mm tie rods allowing 80kN pressure. PERI’s concrete pump connectors were also utilised throughout the project to enable the concrete to be poured through the panels as access from above was not available due to the existing slab being in place.

“The project also had unique requirements for its column specifications. PC Harrington required a blemish-free feature column with chamfered corners and special box outs at the top and bottom without any face fixings that would show up on the concrete finish.

“By utilising the VARIO Girder formwork system, the architect’s concept was achieved due to its bespoke design flexibility allowing the required width of panels and tie hole positions.

“The specification had its challenges. The special box elements at the top and bottom had to be fabricated in such a way so that they were not broken down into pieces each time, when struck. This was achieved by machining the box outs at lots of different angles so the box could slide together, yet the joints had to be tight to avoid any grout loss when the concrete was poured. PERI’s fabrication department produced samples of the box outs for PC Harrington to review prior to final fabrication as part of the overall PERI service."

The first phase of the construction project is set to be complete by April, with the multi-billion pound project set to finish in July 2016, four years after it was first planned.

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