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Monster mall

Dubai - Construction of the world's largest shopping mall is well underway in Dubai.

Situated in the shadow of the Burj Tower, a structure that will become the world's tallest building, the Dubai Mall is well on route to claim a world record of its own.

Being built as a joint venture between Dutco Balfour Beatty and Al Ghandi & Consolidated Contractors Company (AGCCC), the project, funded by EMAAR, is intended to ram home the position of Dubai as a top tourist destination. It will house hundreds of shops, an indoor ice rink, the largest shopping mall aquarium in the world and have more than 14,000 car parking spaces.

The main framework of the four-storey, 350,000m 2 footprint will be constructed using formwork and falsework from RMD Kwikform. The complex is the largest single building project the company has been involved with to date.

Commenting on the scale of the build, RMD project manager Andy Teesdale says: 'In total we have approximately 14,000t of equipment on site, consisting of over 130,000m2 of slab and beam support, and approximately 20,000m 2 of wall formwork.' With RMD's equipment first arriving on site in December 2004, the last concrete pour scheduled for April 2007 will represent a formwork and falsework programme completion time of just 28 months. This for a project that will use more than 650,000m 3 of concrete to create the nal structure.

Before any equipment was brought to site, RMD Kwikform UAE engineers worked with Dutco Balfour Beatty and AGCCC to design formwork and falsework solutions that met both the requirements for exibility and ease of use, and the tight time-constraints dictated by the project.

'With the Dubai Mall we compiled a team of ve engineers and two full-time site demonstrators and inspectors to manage the project, ' says Teesdale. 'Our engineering team is responsible for the design of all formwork and falsework on site, while the demonstrators and inspectors train operatives in the assembly of equipment, quality checking work throughout the process.' Bespoke eel-fabricated column formwork was manufactured and delivered to site in December 2004, in order for work to commence prior to the main delivery of Alshor Plus tables and Kwikstage Shoring in February 2005.

Used to support beams up to 700mm deep and insitu concrete slabs of up to 350mm in thickness, the Alshor Plus tables combine with Superslim Soldier primary beams and GTX secondary beams throughout the main mall areas to support slab heights ranging from 6m to 9m.

For the large bespoke and more individual areas of formwork and falsework, including 1.5m deep beams and complex radial slabs and beams, Kwikstage Shoring will be used.

The design of the Mall Aquarium called for the use of RMD's heavy duty Rapidshor shoring system to support its huge reinforced concrete beams, one of which is up to 14m deep, 1m wide and 30m long.

'Before the nal construction of the Aquarium roof slab the Rapidshor will be removed with the 14m deep beam backpropped using our 1,000kN leg capacity Megashor system at 1m centres, ' says Teesdale.

'Back-propping the beam ensures that zero deection occurs within the deep beam before the construction of the roof slab takes place. In order to achieve this, each individual prop will be constructed to a height of 7m with each prop having an axial capacity of 500kN.'

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