Concrete Formwork Key in Fast-Track Construction of Student Housing Project

Doka is supplying 8,000 square feet of formwork at the 14-story Grand Central Student Housing project on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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The need for more housing options at the University of Wisconsin in Madison has resulted in a real challenge -- a six month schedule for a 14-story apartment complex.

Work on the 174,484 square foot structure, known as Grand Central Student Housing, began on July 15, 2008. With a targeted completion deadline of finishing before the Fall semester begins at the University of Wisconsin, time is of the essence. Having worked with formwork supplier Doka USA on several projects, general contractor Stevens Construction selected Doka to aid in fast-track delivery.

According to Adrians Bekeris, Doka Account Manager, Doka was asked to prepare preliminary elevator core and slab formwork drawings to assist in the most efficient formwork reuse possible.

"Planning the reuse of shoring formwork for varying slab elevations and conditions was key to this fast-track schedule," said Bekeris.

The project has post-tensioned slabs with two cast in-place stair cores. To facilitate this concrete construction, Doka is supplying approximately 2,800 square-feet of Top 50 gang formwork in conjunction with bias-cut stripping corners for the cores to provide fast stripping and resetting as a complete unit. The Top 50 has adaptors to connect the Framax Stripping corner, which strips cores from the top in only 5 minutes or less per core. Cores are poured ahead of the slab on a fast pace, which dictated that an efficient slab system must follow behind to match the speed of the cores.

To construct the slab, Dokamatic tables were delivered to the jobsite completely pre-assembled with plywood, and ready to use straight from the truck, eliminating assembly time. The preassembled forms helped reduce labor and crane time, as the system is optimized for minimal forming times on medium and large deck projects and deals easily with varying requirements in terms of slab thickness and geometry. To allow a fast and safe working environment, this system also includes a pre-assembled walkway platform that bolts directly to the table providing continuously safe working conditions around the entire perimeter of the building. As compared to other systems where clamping, lagging or screwing rails to the deck formwork are necessary, this system is light and easy to move into position. The platform and table can be repositioned as a single unit.

The props are an integral part of the Dokamatic Table and can be easily locked at angles of 75 degrees or 90 degrees to allow flying the tables over parapets or under drop beams. This allows for continuous safe working conditions and allowed Stevens Construction to keep perimeter protection around the building in place at all times on the stripping floor when cycling equipment to the floor above. According to Bekeris, the system is providing a safe, fast and efficient means to construction on a challenging and fast-track project.

According to Steve Vogt, Superintendent, Stevens Construction, Doka's solutions have allowed them to efficiently form the two stair towers and finish the cores months ahead of schedule.

"The entire system is safe, and with only five picks per tower, it does not consume precious crane time," said Vogt. "With the elevator being part of the stair, a core that is plumb and square is essential. We have achieved both of those factors, with the easy adjustment on the slip form system."

In total, Doka is supplying about 8,000 square feet of formwork.

About DOKA
With 50 years experience in formwork engineering, Doka serves customers in more than 65 countries and has participated in construction of some of the world's best known structures including the world's tallest skyscraper (Burj Dubai), the Hoover Dam Bypass bridge, along with many other projects of all sizes. From wall and slab formwork systems to automatic climbing technology and superior safety solutions, Doka can deliver any type of formwork needed for residential, industrial, commercial, transportation, infrastructure as well as stadium and sports arena projects. For more information about how Doka's safe, fast and efficient solutions can aid in your next project, please visit, or call 877-DOKA-USA.