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Sat 11 Jun 2005 04:00 AM

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Formwork spending bonanza reaches dizzying new heights

Big buildings are big business for formwork suppliers in the region, as contractors scramble to finish projects on time.

Formwork spending bonanza reaches dizzying new heights |~|Aluma200.gif|~|Aluma’s 6.95 metre-high, flying supertruss used at the Mall of the Emirates by Al Jaber Grinaker-LTA.|~|A seemingly endless list of building projects meant that the formwork business was one of the busiest in town last year. CW spoke to suppliers to find out whether 2005 is yet another bumper year.

One supplier that has enjoyed a successful 2005 is Toronto-based Aluma Systems. So far this year, the company has picked up eight major new contract awards for the construction of 14 buildings. The contracts call for the supply of the company’s formwork systems on a number of major projects, including the company’s first projects in Qatar and Sharjah.

In Qatar, the company will supply its Alumalite flying table and Aluma Frame Shoring systems to the Doha City Centre Project, located in the West Bay Area.

The building, made up of five levels offering 350 outlets, is one of the largest shopping malls in the Middle East, and includes five multi-phase high-rise hotels including the Marriott Residence, Marriott Courtyard, Shangri-la, Merweb and Rotana Hotels. The company plans to place a full time representative in Doha in order to service this project for contractor Al Habtoor Engineering Enterprises, with a view to setting up a sub branch in the near future.

In Sharjah, the company has also bagged another contract from contractor Al Zamalek General Contracting, to supply its Alumalite Flying Tables for the new 20-storey Sharjah Tower in the emirate’s Al Khan district. The project is estimated to cost US $27 million to build.

New awards have also been picked up in Dubai. The first is for Goldcrest Tower, where the company will supply its Aluma Frame Shoring and Aluma Gang Wall and Column Forms for joint venture contractors Al Habtoor Engineering and Murray & Roberts. Once complete, the building will consist of open office units and fully furnished apartments. Completion is slated for 2007.

For Lake Terrace, Aluma Systems is providing the high performance, time saving Alumalite Flying Tables, which will reduce the project’s floor-cycles from 10 to three days. This improved performance directly impacts on costs by reducing crane time, equipment and labour.

Alumalite Tables are also being used on Ascon’s Jumeirah Lakes’ car park projects. This consists of large 60 m2 tables used in a rolling movement application, weighing only 1920 kg each. Alumalite Tables will also be used on the new Sheikh Ahmed building, also for contractor Ascon.

Additionally, Aluma Systems also announced that they have won a substantial order to supply its equipment for six high-rise buildings for contractor Nasa Multiplex for phase 3 of the Burj Residences project.

Commenting on the awards, Terry Taylor, managing director, Aluma Systems Middle East, said: “Helping clients worldwide to complete projects safely, timely and profitably
is what Aluma Systems’ reputation is built upon. Our design-
efficient systems and products provide proven ‘fast track’
equipment and technology to contractors from the initial
design of a project to completion. What’s more, products
like the Alumalite table and truss keep projects on budget
and on time because of professional-grade engineering quality and material.”

Another supplier that is building upon a strong 2004 is Mivan. This year, the company has secured another project for its aluminium system formwork in Dubai, with the award of the Fortune Tower Project at Jumeirah Lake Towers.

Main contractor IJM Con-struction (Middle East), impressed with Mivan System’s track record for quality and speed, will use the company’s specialist aluminium formwork to complete the typical floors of the Fortune Tower.

Once complete, the tower will stand 34 storeys high and will be amongst the first buildings to be completed at the Jumeirah Lake Towers development.

Commenting on the Fortune Tower contract, Mivan chief
executive officer, Dr Ivan McCabrey, said: “Mivan System’s ability to provide rapid, high quality and cost effective formwork solutions to some of Dubai’s most prestigious
high-rise projects has been key to its continued success in the market.

“We are delighted to be working with IJM Construction (Middle East) for the first time,” he added.

Mivan’s System Formwork has already been used successfully to construct two of the Middle East’s tallest residential buildings: phases one and two of the Al Fattan Towers project
at Dubai Marina, for Arabtec Construction. Both towers are scheduled for completion before the end of 2005 and will stand 245 m tall.

The Mivan System is also currently being used by Al Shafar General Contracting Co. to complete the 41-storey Golden Sands Tower project on Sheikh Zayed Road.

Designed and manufactured from lightweight aluminium panels, the system can be used over 250 times, offering
excellent cost efficiency.

The high strength-to-weight ratio of Mivan System’s components also avoids the need for craneage in the operation of the equipment on site, as each and every component can be erected, dismantled and moved by hand, thus providing the main contractor with further time and cost savings.

The modular nature of the system’s components and the simplicity in erection and dismantling of the equipment enhances labour productivity and reduces operator training periods.

It is widely recognised as one of the world’s fastest and most versatile formwork systems, with a typical floor-to-floor construction cycle of just four days.||**||

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