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Tunnel Formwork is the best solution for manpower shortage

Tunnel Formwork is the best solution for manpower shortage

The repetitive nature of the system and the use of prefabricated forms and reinforcing mats/cages simplifies the whole construction process says Satish Kolaki, Managing Director, Satcon Engineers and Construction Equipment.

What kind of projects are best suited for the Tunnel Formwork System?
Using one set of tunnel forms, you can build the shell for a house in one day regardless of the building system or materials used, and there is no faster way to build a house than with tunnel form construction. With the smallest labour force, walls and decks (ceilings) can be erected using one forming operation and a single concrete placement. Tunnel form construction can be ideal for high-rise buildings, student hostels, hospitals, joint family and nuclear family residences, hotels, town houses, military housing, prisons, and some warehouse applications. But to take full advantage of the system, the decision to use tunnel form construction must be made before the design process starts. A crane is required on the jobsite as also an opportunity for repetitive use of the tunnel forms.

The initial investment of the Tunnel formwork system is high, what kind of advantages does it offer to the end user?
There are other hidden cost benefits. Concealed electrical wiring and plumbing, HVAC are complete with the casting. This means the other agencies don’t waste time & labour for cutting holes, grooves, etc. preparation for fitment of above services which can be obtained without damaging the surfaces thus time and labour is saved. With this overall project cost and time can be controlled.

The ceiling and interior wall plastering & surface finishing preparation for painting can be eliminated with this system. Even smooth mirror finish surfaces can be achieved if deployed best quality tunnel formwork is deployed. It reduces the number of construction cycles too. So the duration of construction loans are shorter, and homes can be handed over to their owners more quickly, enhancing cash flow.

Keeping the cost in mind, what kind of pre-planning is required to ensure best results are achieved? With the opportunity to strip, set forms and place concrete every day, RCC contractors can easily produce more than other trades like electrical, plumbing, HVAC etc. can keep up the fitment ready, so they too must be involved in the planning. Each member of team must know their daily activities to maintain the site rhythm.

Considering that Tunnel formwork systems require the services of highly skilled labourers, is it a feasible idea in the current scenario, wherein there is shortage of manpower?
In fact, this is the best solution for manpower shortage, the repetitive nature of the system and the use of prefabricated forms and reinforcing mats/cages simplifies the whole construction process, producing a smooth and fast operation.

The techniques used are already familiar to the industry, but with tunnel form construction there is less reliance on skilled labour. On average, a team of eight site operatives plus a crane driver can strike and fix 300m2 of formwork each day, including placing approximately 35m3 of ready-mixed concrete. The work can continue in all-weather except high winds and heaters can be used to accelerate the concrete curing process.

How does Tunnel formwork help in optimum usage of materials?
In today’s environmentally conscious society, we are under ever-increasing pressure to reduce waste and provide energy efficient buildings within sustainable communities. Tunnel form provides benefits in key areas like insitu casting of units on site and the local availability of ready-mixed concrete supplies to reduce transportation impacts. Just-in-time deliveries and near zero wastage produce an overall tidier site with associated cost savings and safety benefits plus minimum disruption at the site which is already partly occupied.

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