Concrete Formwork System Speeds Nashville Condo Project

By Anita LaFond | September 28, 2010

One advantage of the Doka TLS system is that it frees the project crane for other duties.

Nashville, TN, also known as "Music City," is seeing a boom in multifamily residential construction. That means more multifamily condominium projects — and one of them is The Rhythm @ Music Row in Nashville's downtown.

The 250,000-square-foot, 15-story building, situated at the end of Music Row, will include retail and office spaces on the ground floor. The building's design features a parking garage on the first five levels, above the retail stores, with the 10-story, 110-unit housing complex setback on the roof of the parking garage. Residents will have access to an amenity deck, situated on the parking garage's roof, featuring a pool, Jacuzzi, outdoor kitchens and lounging areas.

Fast Construction A Major Goal

For the builders of the Rhythm complex, a primary goal was to build the structure as quickly as possible. To help meet this goal, the contractor, Harcon Inc., chose Doka USA as the concrete formwork supplier. Doka supplied 15,000 square feet of Dokamatic tables and Dokaflex in-fill, the Doka Table Lifting System, and shifting trolleys for quick cycling of the tables.

According to Paul Campbell, Doka's account manager for Rhythm @ Music Row, because the footprint of the building was so close to the actual size of the parcel of land, the contractor was very constricted as to the type of construction methods that could be used to build the structure. There were existing businesses on three sides of the jobsite and a busy road on the fourth. Additionally, tight jobsite constraints made it difficult to maneuver equipment and there was very little room to lay down supplies.

An Alternative To Traditional Shoring

Originally, Harcon planned to use conventional wood shoring as a method for construction. Although this method would fit the tight job constraints, it would be very time- and labor-intensive.

To meet its schedule and keep its workforce as low as possible, Harcon looked at alternatives and chose Doka's Dokamatic tables and Table Lifting System (TLS). Dokamatic tables — a typical table size is 9-feet-wide by 18-feet-long — are delivered to the construction jobsite completely assembled, including plywood; this eliminates build-up cost, reduces rental costs and allows for smaller crew sizes — exactly what was required to economically construct this structure.

Quick Cycle Times

The Dokamatic tables allow for the quicker cycle time needed for fast formwork handling when casting large floor slabs. Fully assembled tableform units quickly position into place and eliminate the need for labor-intensive carrying of individual components from one location to the next.

But even the smaller 9-by-18 tables were still too large to fly in this situation.

"There was just no room on any side of the building to pull any kind of table out and fly it,." said Campbell.

To handle that problem, the construction team utilized Doka's Table Lifting System. The TLS lifts the tables from one level to the next without using a crane, freeing the site crane for other jobs.

"Doka's Table Lifting System is basically an elevator that mounts to the side of the building," Campbell explained. "When you are finished pouring a floor, the tables are dropped down, rolled onto the elevator and taken to the next level where the tabled are rolled off and re-set."

Doka's also helped the contractor to achieve the desired look that the architect required.

"The architect specified exposed concrete floors and ceilings," said Campbell. "We use very high-grade plywood on our Dokamatic tables, and that gives an excellent finish on the concrete."

Rhythm @ Music Row should be completed in the spring of 2009.