Construction work on existing buildings frequently places high demands on clients, planners and building contractors. Depending on the local situation, the formwork and scaffolding industry is also often presented with a range of unusual challenges. The entire planning procedure as well as the equipment to be used must be adapted to match the project-specific characteristics of the structure and, in particular, the constructional environment. With a wide range of products and their sophisticated use, PERI succeeds in finding the most suitable and cost-effective solution for each of the upcoming tasks.
The diverse number of tasks involved in modernization and renovation work in existing buildings range from the development of vacant inner city spaces and preservation of historical monuments through to the renovation of transport infrastructure features such as train stations and tunnels during ongoing operations. The consequences for building operations are as varied as they are challenging.
In general, here the tasks are focused on looking at the nature and actual condition of the structure in its environment, and deciding how to address these with the most suitable working materials. PERI systems can be tailored according to requirements in order to "fit like a glove" both geometrically and statically. In addition, work must be carried out in very confined spaces within the existing structures which in turn increases the risk potential. Hardly any space is available for the installation of equipment as well as material storage, and there is no possibility to use heavy cranes. In order to be able to work quickly even in such cramped conditions and without a crane, the equipment used should be easy to install and move, preferably by hand. As a rule, supporting formwork concepts and working platforms are needed which are adapted specifically to suit all geometric and structural requirements. All of this is provided through the compact and lightweight aluminium construction of numerous PERI products.
Low weight and easy handling for slab and wall formwork
During the renovation of a fire station in Paris, slabs with different thicknesses positioned at different heights in the building had to be realized – without the use of a crane. For this, SKYDECK panel slab formwork provided a very economical solution. The drophead allowed early striking and thus reduced material requirements on the construction site to an absolute minimum – a great advantage especially as storage options were extremely limited. The SKYDECK elements are made of aluminium and have a maximum weight of 15 kg which meant they could therefore be easily installed by hand. Furthermore, the low number of props required also accelerated the shuttering work.
The west wing of the Natural History Museum in Karlsruhe underwent extensive renovation and modernization work. PERI engineers supported the complex museum reconstruction with a comprehensive formwork and scaffolding solution from a single source. A VARIOKIT framework construction supported the historical west facade while the old wing behind this was demolished and a replacement tract was formed and concreted conforming with the highest architectural concrete demands – all this during normal business operations. For the high SB 4 architectural concrete requirements for the 12 m high outer walls, the experienced construction team combined the external VARIO GT 24 girder wall formwork with the internal 60 cm wide TRIO elements. For the formwork and reinforcement work with the higher wall sections, the PERI UP Rosett modular scaffolding system served as 7.50 m high shoring and working scaffold.
In general, the PERI modular scaffolding with metric grid dimensions can be adjusted to accommodate large loads and the most complex geometries thus providing safe working scaffold for a wide range of tasks – whether the refurbishment of the Maritime Museum in Tallinn, Estonia, which is housed in a 100-year-old concrete domed structure from the Tsarist era, or for restoration of the Gothic-style St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague, built in 1344.
In Tallinn, an historical domed construction from the Tsarist era was renovated and converted into an attractive maritime museum. Here, the PERI UP scaffolding system was optimally adapted to match the geometry of the almost 100-year-old reinforced concrete complex and proved to be an extremely versatile solution for both internal and external work operations.
The restoration of the historical St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague required an adaptable scaffolding system, while the working levels were also designed for the storage and transportation of large-sized blocks of stones. The PERI UP Rosett Flex modular scaffolding system served as flexibly adaptable scaffold – as well as for material storage and as a supporting system for the cable winches with heights of almost 45 m. As a result, the working levels were up to 4.50 m wide in order to accommodate the large-sized stone blocks which weighed up to 600 kg.
Public buildings, in particular, remain partly or completely open while measures are carried out which means short construction periods are required. In order to manage the high work rates and thereby ensuring that no persons are put at risk, the systems must guarantee maximum safety. Thanks to a solution developed by PERI Canada engineers, one of the largest shopping malls in the country – the seven-storey Eaton Centre in Toronto – could be extensively modernized and still remain open for the complete two-year refurbishment period. After the fast and safe erection phase, the PERI UP Rosett scaffolding solution fitted the inside geometry of the centre like a second skin. Through the use of large advertising banners, this remained largely hidden from passers-by. By means of integrated working platforms and access points, all levels could be easily reached by the craftsmen to ensure fast and reliable realization of the tasks. However, visitors to the centre were safely able to move around the construction site using protective roofs, passageways and bridging.
Risks can be avoided only on the basis of exact planning and the right steps undertaken in order to breathe new life into the "old walls". However, refurbishment work in existing buildings is always a journey into the unknown. Not all details can be compiled from the outset so that surprises are often waiting ahead to cause problems. Correspondingly, the jobsite has to be supported fast and flexibly, and the reactions of all concerned show how expertise and good teamwork is really essential. In the event of unexpected problems, PERI deals with these by means of competent engineering and the world's largest stock of rental equipment for the speedy delivery of the right systems.
A wide range of options as well as flexible, lightweight and load-bearing systems that can be used simply and safely – construction work on existing buildings demands a great deal from formwork and scaffolding manufacturers. The fact that PERI easily keeps pace with the challenging requirements is substantiated by numerous references and testimonials. In addition to the efficient planning, services such as fast and expert assistance ensure that any unpleasant surprises are eliminated. All this makes sure that the buildings of today will still be there tomorrow.