The first U.S. use of Doka's Table Lifting System (TLS) in conjunction with pre-assembled Dokamatic Tables has proven to save time and labor on the high-profile Renaissance Hotel project in Raleigh, N.C.
Dokamatic, the fast pre-assembled slab formwork system that has become the standard for forming slabs on many construction sites in Europe, was introduced to the U.S. market in 2004. Because the completely assembled (including plywood) system saves manpower and crane time, the Dokamatic Tables quickly gained popularity for medium to large single- and multistory cast-in-place slabs.
Since the system is available in standard table sizes, it can be moved by just one field worker with the aid of a powered drive unit and shifting trolley. Large pre-assembled work platforms mount directly to the Dokamatic Table to provide an extremely safe environment for working at the slab edge and also to help increase overall production. Plus, when combined with the flexible handset system, Dokaflex S, the result is a fully engineered system that covers all slab areas and can adapt to any building plan.
The system has now been enhanced with the development of the Doka Table Lifting System (TLS). The TLS is an electric powered lifting platform that allows the table forms to be cycled between floors without the use of a crane. The system is adaptable to any building structure and can be used from the ground floor up. It attaches to the previously cast slab with embedded anchors and cantilevers from the building as a mechanical outrigger platform.
"Crane time is a valuable asset on concrete building projects, and if not planned for properly, it can be the driving force of production on any job site," said Michael Schaeffer, product manager of Doka. "The Doka TLS was designed with this in mind and takes the crane completely out of the formwork cycle schedule, thereby increasing production and greatly reducing bottom-line costs."
The TLS proved beneficial for the Renaissance Hotel, a new 10-story hotel structure with a post-tensioned slab built over two levels of parking. The project is currently under construction at North Hills, a new mixed-use district in Raleigh, N.C. The 229-room four-star luxury hotel will anchor the district and feature six luxury suites and one presidential suite, as well as a club level, 8,000 square feet of meeting space, a 5,500-square-foot ballroom, and an upscale restaurant. The hotel will connect directly to a European-style day spa and guests will have access to a new 50,000-square-foot Gold's Gym Athletic Club. Construction is underway with an anticipated opening in 2008.
According to Vladimir Lugin, Doka engineer, "Because of the proximity of the existing structures, roadways and sidewalks, the use of a large table system was not practical, as the contractor would have to interrupt pedestrian and possibly automobile traffic. Further, hand-setting involves the risk of dropping equipment on pedestrians. The TLS ensures safety for pedestrians as well as savings in terms of the schedule."
By installing the Table Lifting System to the structure in order to move the tables from floor to floor, the crane was free to move the shear wall formwork and rebar as well as unload trucks for all contractors at the same time. Juvenal Ibarra, general superintendent of United Forming, said, "I like the TLS for two reasons. It takes less labor and no crane time to move the tables, and it is much safer then pulling them out with a crane."
Concrete contractor United Forming Inc. began using the TLS on level four in August 2007 and topped out in January 2008.