"Las Gardenias": 16 apartments completed per day

Project: Social housing with 5,000 units in Barranquilla, Colombia

Contractor : Consortium Unión Temporal Havivir, comprising 4 contractors

Developer: State ministry of housing, Bogotá

MEVA Systems: hand-set wall formwork AluFix as wall and slab formwork

Formwork Engineering: MEVA Sistemas de Encofrado S.A.S, Bogotá, Columbia



16 apartments completed per day

MEVA FormworkHelps Build Social Housing on Colombia’s Caribbean Coast

Colombia’s economy and building industry are booming and the country has embarked on ambitious housing development to provide homes badly needed for the growing population. At Barranquilla, the state is building “Las Gardenias”, a town with 5,000 apartments for the poor. Traditionally, home building in Colombia works without crane. 

In addition, walls and slabs are poured in one go to save time. And instead of plastering the walls, they are left as is. A formwork was required that is easy to assemble by hand, robust enough for tough conditions and with a facing that withstands the hot humid climate while delivering a first class finish the first time, every time. The consortium Unión Temporal Havivir, comprising four contractors, chose MEVA’s AluFix hand-set formwork with the alkus all-plastic facing. 

The requirement: Fast, efficient, cost-effective
Government policy is to compensate a huge shortage in economic housing by speeding up residential building projects. Speed is meant literally: very fast building cycles, efficiency in the process and straightforward building design. A good example is the „Las Gardenias“ residential project. 5,000 apartments divided into 250 blocks, each with 5 levels housing 4 apartments each. The layout of each apartment is always identical.

AluFix for walls and slabs
The walls are 2.30 m high, 8 cm thick; the slabs 10 cm thick. AluFix covers the slab formwork with the same panels used for the walls by using props with special prop heads. This simple system is fast to set up and easy for any worker to learn. It is the first time the teams are using high-tech formwork from Europe instead of the traditional local wooden forms. The solution also answers the demans for low inventory, few additional parts and easy logistics.

Fast: One formwork set for one complete building level per day
With a load capacity of 55 kN/m² the AluFix allows any pouring speed up to 2.64 m, which means that the walls can be completed in a single 2.30 m pour, including the slab. One set of formwork is used for all five levels of a building. Thanks to temperatures up to 35°C the concrete sets quickly and the formwork can be stripped fast. Another time advantage is provided by the alkus all-plastic facing. It does not swell or shrink, absorbs no humidity and retains its flexural rigidity irrespective of the climate. It is also cleaned on site and repaired using the same material. This eliminates unnecessary transport to and from the yard.

Building is on schedule for completion in 2014
Building work started just a few months ago and is going so well that the site is aiming at completing 20 instead of 16 apartments per day. In addition to the apartment houses, a complete residential infrastructure is being developed on the site. Set in a large park and covering almost 5 ha., it will include community facilities, medical centres and schools. In 2014 the first tenants will be moving in, leaving their housing shortage behind them.

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