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Methods of Construction

Columns and Shear Walls

Columns and Shear Walls are vertical reinforced structural element that is
composed of concrete. Cast-in-place concrete is the type of concreting used in
Princeview Parksuites to construct columns and shear walls.

The first thing to do in constructing columns and shear walls is to look on the
general notes as well as the plans and specifications in order to know the correct
dimensions and sizes of the elements comprising it. For the rebar elements, the sizing of
diameters, numbers of rebars as well as its length are carefully analyzed in which these
serves as requirements in creating a rebar cutting list. In rebar cutting list, a detailed
drawing of a specific column or shear wall is shown as well as the splicing zones in
which the rebars are spliced. Rebars are being spliced to transfer the load of a previous
rebar into the new rebar. Due to length limitations, a single rebars length is not sufficient
for the construction of multi-level building and thus several rebars are being spliced and
joined together.

Once the cutting list is approved, the rebars will be fabricated and from that, it
will be transferred from the fabrication area up to the active floor with the help of tower
crane.

On the active floor, the rebars are installed based on approved For Construction
Drawings (FCD). Some of the things that are needed to secure in the installation are;
diameter of bars, number of main bars, spacing of main bars, number of stirrups, spacing
of stirrups, and length and zones of splices. For intersections of rebar, tie wires are used
and must be checked that these are secured. Before closing the columns and shear walls,
concrete spacer blocks must be strategically placed on each faces to ensure that the rebars
will not be directly exposed to the formwork. Further cleaning of the column and shear
walls must be imposed so that the only thing that will be poured is concrete itself and not
some leftover debris.
Figure 1.1. Rebar Installation on Columns

Before enclosing the columns, the phenolic sheets are being painted by form oil in
order for the concrete to not stick with phenolic sheet and for ease of stripping. The
columns and shear walls are now being enclosed by phenolic sheets.
Figure 1.2. Inspection of Column Before Closing

For locking of formwork, Steel Waler and Tie Rods are carefully placed to secure
the integrity of the column upon pouring. Meanwhile, for shear walls, the type of
formwork that is used is gang form. If the said columns and shear walls are properly
enclosed, the plumbness of the structure is checked for tolerance on plumbness, our QC
Engineer told us that it should be 3-6mm. The structure should also have adequate
support to prevent buckling. Also, there must be no gaps on the formwork joints to
prevent concrete leakage.

Figure 1.3. Steel Waler and Tie Rods Interlocking the Column
Figure 1.4. Gang Form Type of Formwork for Shear Walls

On the concrete pouring, columns and shear walls are the first structural elements
to be poured. The first thing to do is to estimate the volume of concrete to be poured.
Afterwards, the ready-mix concrete will be ordered with corresponding design strength.
When the ready-mix concrete has arrived, slump test is done to observe the workability
of concrete and it should have a slump ranging from 6-8 inches. When the concrete is
ready to be transported, it will be transferred to a concrete bucket then will be craned
from the ground to the active floor. This method of transferring concrete is called Crane
and Bucket method.
Figure 1.5. Concrete Being Placed in a Bucket

On the active floor, the designated column or shear wall is located and from then,
concrete is slowly poured. To ensure that the concrete reaches every corner and spaces of
a column, a concrete vibrator is used to even the concrete through each spaces. In every
concrete pouring our QC Engineer told us that there should be an extra concrete vibrator
in case the main vibrator fails. Ultimately, vibration prevents honeycombing from
happening the condition wherein there are occurring voids due to some concrete not
filling up the spaces thoroughly.

Figure 1.6. Concrete Vibrator


After 24 hours from pouring, the formwork will be removed. Afterwards, curing
shall commence to maintain the moisture. The method of curing used in the site is
conventional water curing for 3 times for 7 consecutive days. After curing, the area shall
be cleared and be freed from debris.

Beams and Girders

Beams and Girders are horizontal reinforced structural element that is comprised
of concrete the same way as what columns and shear walls are composed of. Again, these
are constructed using cast-in-place concreting.

Planning is the first thing to do in constructing beams and girders. Just like in
columns and shear walls, an approved cutting list and for construction drawings are
needed to initiate the construction. Cutting list includes detailed drawings of the beams as
well as the number of rebars, spacing, number of stirrups, and splice zones. For
Construction Drawings include the layout, coordinates, and elevations of the said girder
or beam. The rebars will then be fabricated and will be transferred through the use of
crane.
When the planning stage is complete, surveyors will commence layout as to
where markings, grid lines, and setting outs are located in order to trace the exact location
of the beams and girders.

In constructing the beams or girders itself, the first step will be the installation of
formworks. The type of formwork that is used in beam and girder construction is the
conventional system. It is composed of shoring jacks, H-frames, U-heads, aluma beams,
and phenolic boards.

Figure 1.7. Installation of Conventional Formwork

Shoring jacks serves as the support of the frames on the floor level. The most
important part of it is that it should have a base plate to avoid shearing on the floor. The
H-frames carry the load of the aluma beams. It is mounted on the shoring jacks. The
connections on the H-frames should be carefully observed so that these may not buckle in
case of load application. U-heads are the connections between the H-frames and aluma
beams. It is adjustable and should conform to correct elevation so that the carried
formwork is levelled. The aluma beams are laid to carry the load of the actual girder or
beams that will be composed of phenolic board. The phenolic board is then devised based
on the dimensions of the girder and just like in construction of columns, form oils are
added for easily stripping of the forms after concreting.
Figure 1.8. Conventional Formwork Supporting the Beams

Once the formwork system is established, the installation of rebars will now
commence. The rebars will be fabricated based on approved cutting list. From the
fabrication area, it will be hauled on the active floor through the use tower crane. From
then, the workers will install the rebars on the designated girder or beam. The main
bottom bars will be installed first as well as the extra bars and confinement ties for
columns. Afterwards, the main top bars and extra bars will be installed. The bars will be
marked as to where the stirrups will be placed. Before the stirrups will be tied, pipe
sleeves from MEPFs (Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, and Fire protection) will be
placed based from Consolidated Shop Drawing (CSD). CSD is a key plan that contains
all of the MEPF elements in one drawing in order to know what elements may have a
conflict to the structural elements such as beams. Concrete spacer blocks will be attached
to each faces of the beam. Finally, the beam will be cleared by air compressor so that saw
dusts and other debris is removed for these may lower the strength of concrete when
these are included in the pouring.
Figure 1.9. Rebars on a Girder

When the installations of rebars and MEPFs are done, the beam or girder is now
ready for concreting. For beams and girders, the method used in Princeview is by
utilizing Pumpcrete. A series of pipes interconnected from the ground to the active floor
is set and concrete will then be pumped on the designated beam or girder. Our Operations
Staff told us that, the technique in pouring should start from farthest area up to the nearest
because as it goes nearest, disassembling will be an easier task. Whereas, if pouring is
from nearest to farthest, the tendency is you would have to add up more pipes which is
very tedious. When concrete is poured, it is vibrated simultaneously by a concrete
vibrator. Vibrating should not focus on one area because it may destroy the formwork,
and also, vibrating will even the flow of concrete to prevent honeycombs from
happening.
Figure 1.10. Pumpcrete System Utilized in Concrete Pouring

After 24 hours, stripping of beams and girders will commence. Again, it will be
cured by the use of Water Curing. The beams and girders will also be re-shored to prevent
deflections to happen. Shoring will be removed for every three floors for sufficient
supporting on the beams.

Figure 1.11. Reshoring of Beams in Preventing Deflection

Slabs

Slabs comprise the largest part of structural element in a building. Slabs act as the
flooring system. Cast-in-place concrete is, again, the method used in construction of the
slab.
Just like previous elements, constructing the slabs starts with planning. The usual
devising of Bar Cutting Lists and consulting on Consolidated Shop Drawings are a must
to properly lay the needed properties of slabs such as its thickness, number of bars, and
spacing. The CSD plays a larger role in the slab because the slab contains the most
number of MEPF pipes that may or may not coincide with the drawing and thus, the
dimensions of such pipes must be carefully observed.

After consulting to planning, Surveying takes place to ensure that each slab is on
the correct gridline. Also, the correct elevation must be marked to ensure that each slab is
correctly levelled.

Prior to installation of rebars, formworks are established first. The type of


formwork used in construction of slab in Princeview is Table Form or Flying Form
system. It is a reusable form that is installed or flown for every 3 floors and its very
convenient on such building with a typical floor plan.

Figure 1.12. Table Form also known as Flying Form

A table form consists of shoring jacks, steel trusses, aluma beams, and phenolic
boards. Again, shoring jacks are adjustable supports that holds steel trusses on strategical
locations. Base plates should be installed on its foot to prevent shearing on the floor. The
steel truss holds the load of multiple aluma beams. Since slabs has more surface area and
consequently, has more volume than beams, it needs more spans of aluma beam and thus,
such steel trusses are adequate to hold the forces brought by the slab.
Figure 1.13. Steel Trusses Supporting Multiple Aluma Beams

Lastly, the phenolic boards are placed on top of aluma beams which serve as the
formwork of the slab. Previously, phenolic boards are said to be reusable. Our QC Staff
told us that phenolic boards can be used up to 8 times per face. It should follow that
stripping procedures should be delicately observed in order to not damage the phenolic
board. Therefore, application of form oils should be mandated at all times.

Figure 1.14. Application of Form Oil on Phenolic Sheets

Now that the formworks are established, installation of rebars can now be started.
First the bottom bars must be spread throughout the slab. The spacing must be adequately
given attention based on approved shop drawings. Afterwards, MEPF pipes shall be
installed. Surveyors have marks for its location as to where these should be placed in
accordance to CSD.

Figure 1.15,1.16. MEPF Markings and the Actual Installation with Rebars

From then, top bars are installed and, again, spacing must be carefully observed.
In order for the top and bottom bars to not touch each other, a chair bar is placed
strategically throughout the slab. Concrete spacer blocks are placed so that the bottom
bars may not touch or be exposed with the formwork.

Figure 1.17. Chair Bar for Separating Top and Bottom Bars

The last process will be the cleaning of debris through the use of air compressor
in order to make sure that these debris will not be included in concrete pouring.

Proceeding with concreting, Pumpcrete is the method to be used just like in beams
and girders. Again, pumping is done on the farthest area up to the source of Pumpcrete.
Simultaneously with pouring, vibrators will be used to shaken all the areas of the slab. To
even the concrete, a bara or screed is used to make the surface smooth.
Figure 1.18. Pumpcrete Preparation for Slab Pouring

Figure 1.19. Levelling of Concrete through the use of Bara

After 24 hours, the slab will now be cured. Water curing using Burlap is used
wherein it will be dampened with water, will be spread out across the slabs, and will be
left for 24 hours. Afterwards, the Table Form from 3 floors below can now be transferred
to the active floor. The table form will now be assembled to form another set of slabs.
Figure 1.20. Water Curing on Slabs using Burlap

Interior Walls CHB

Interior walls in Princeview Parksuites are composed of concrete hollow blocks


(CHB). A CHB has hollow spaces and have rough sides for plastering. CHBs are
alternately stacked together with fresh concrete mortar to form a desired length or height
of a wall. In the Philippines, CHB comes with 4 or 6 thickness.

The first thing to do in installation of CHB is to consult For Construction


Drawings (FCD) for specifications and technical requirements of CHB. Then, estimates
will be done to know the amount required to purchase CHB from the supplier. Next is to
prepare shop drawings related to wall layouts, door and window schedules, pipe sleeves,
block-outs, and electrical outlets.

When planning stage is done, the line and grade team will stake correct gridlines
and elevations. In condominium business, floor areas must be exact and so, wall layouts
and gridlines should be exact too, because every square meter counts on the client.

Figure 1.21. Measuring Locations of Wall Layouts Prior to CHB Layering


Next is to identify the strategic location of bagger mixer to centralize the mixing
of mortar. It must be accessible from two floors below, say for 6 th and 7th floor, bagger
mixer should be placed on 8 th floor. Also, the CHB cutter and mixing board should be
accessible for laborers.

Figure 1.22. Mixing Board and Bagger Mixer on Top Left of the Photo
Figure 1.23. CHB Cutter

When all the markings are complete, rebar and MEPF pipe installations may
proceed. Rebars may be installed during concreting or can be drilled and glued by using
structural epoxy. It must be careful to not hit any embedded elements such as electrical
pipes in installing rebars. For every 600mm spacing, vertical reinforcements must be
placed while for every 3 layers, horizontal reinforcements must be placed.

Figure 1.24. Rebar Installation Prior to CHB Layering


Laying of CHB can now start after rebars are installed. For toilets, a zocallo is
required with height of 300mm. Zocallo, a cast-in-place concrete, is needed for water
proofing purposes.

Figure 1.25. Zocallo Installed for Waterproofing Purposes in Bathrooms

Meanwhile, in other walls not requiring zocallo, before installing the first layer, a
50mm thick mortar is placed. The cement mortar mix of 1 cement to 3 sand is used in
CHB installation. The CHBs in the first layer can now be placed on the mortar paste and
they should have spaces of 10mm between two adjacent CHBs. All the cells of CHB must
have mortar fillings. Repeat the steps until the end of the wall is reached. It should be left
for 24 days before the next layering for inspection of MEPF pipes.

Before placing the next layers, it should be noted that additional weight can affect
the plumbness of the wall and thus it may move sideways. The rule of thumb in placing
the next layers is for 100mm CHB, limit it to 5 layers and for 150mm CHB, limit it to 8
layers in one placement. For vertical bars, splice it with maximum length of 1.50m for
ease of installation. On top of first layer, a mortar of 25mm thick must be placed and the
CHB shall be pressed to the desired elevation. Adjacent CHB should have at least 10mm
gap and all cells should be filled with mortar. Install the proceeding CHB until reaching
the end of the wall. Ensure that there are horizontal reinforcements on strategic locations
before laying CHBs on it. Leave the CHBs for 6 hours undisturbed for setting of mortars.
Figure 1.26. CHB Layering

Lintel Beams are beams that hold the weight of CHB above openings such as
doors and hallways. Lintel Beams are prefabricated on the floor for ease of installation.
Its reinforcement will be tied on the reinforcement of CHB and installing it is just like
normal installation. A mortar paste is placed to join Lintel Beams and CHB layers.

Figure 1.27 and 1.28. Lintel Beams Fabricated (left) and Installed on Doors (right)
Layering of CHB up to the top can now proceed. When reaching the last two
layers, installation can now be difficult because the vertical reinforcement almost reached
the dowels drilled on soffit. The technique here is that normal installation shall proceed
but when CHB will conflict on a rebar, it will be cut and fit respectively. After all layers
are placed, a gap is expected and it will be filled by a modified CHB called serujo The
same way for installation is applied for serujo. Mortar paste and gaps should be placed.
Lastly, above the layer of serujo a Styrofoam is applied as an interface between the slab
and CHBs. This is to prevent cracking of CHB in times of sudden movement because
Styrofoam absorbs such vibrations.

Figure 1.29. Styrofoam Interface Between CHB and Beam

After all layers of CHB are installed, certain locations require stiffener columns to
ensure stability of walls. Formwork for stiffener should be installed right after and
concrete will be poured ensuring that it will be tapped to prevent honeycombing. The
formwork shall be removed in 24 hours.
Figure 1.30. Stiffener Column Being Installed Between Two CHB Walls

Figure 1.31. Stiffener Column Stripped from Formwork

Precast Concrete
In Princeview Parksuites, exterior walls are made up of Precast Panels. Precast
Panels are pre-fabricated concrete panels that includes openings, ducts, pipes and
fasteners.

The first thing in construction of exterior walls is to consult the shop drawings for
the detailing of precast concrete panels such as dimensions, openings service ducts, pipes
and lifting, and fasteners. Reinforcements are also included on the fabrication. After
consulting the shop drawings, it will be forwarded to the supplier for actual fabrication.

When the fabrication is complete and is delivered, it will be transferred from the
ground up to the floor of installation. Before lifting, the panels will be checked for
defects such as honeycombing or other blemishes.

Figure 1.32. Precast Panels as seen from Alimak

Before installation, site inspection on vertical and horizontal offsets, coordinates,


and dimensions must be acknowledged. After this, locating the beam or slab to be drilled
will be assessed. It should be noted that there should be no installed rebar will be
damaged on the installation of anchor plates. Anchor plates will be bolted on the drilled
surface.

On installation of precast panels, chain blocks should be prepared for adjusting of


horizontal alignment of precast panels. Measure and check the horizontal and vertical
alignments of precast based on offsets or gridlines.

Figure 1.32. Chain Blocks are Installed in Adjusting Horizontal Alignment

Once it is positioned, the metal bracket is prepared for stick welding. Our
Operations Staff told us that it should be full weld.
Figure 1.33. Welding of Plates Between Precast Panel and Slab

Welding flux, oil and grease must be removed afterwards. Upon welding, some of
the top and bottom edges of precast might be damaged. For this, a 1:3 cement plaster is
applied for restoration. In edges of precast, Styrofoam is inserted as an interface between
walls. This is to absorb unnecessary vibrations in case of lateral movements. Braces and
shoring should be applied afterwards to prevent deformation of panels.

Figure 1.34. Shorings and Braces Installed on Precast Panel

A testing called dye-penetrant test is applied on the metal plates to know if there
are cracks or surfaces porosity happening on the said plates after welding. This is to
ensure the integrity of metal plates as the most secure connection between precast panels
and beams or slabs. It is done every 5 floors and 3 plates per floor is being tested.
Figure 1.35. A Metal Plate Undergoing Dye-Penetrant Test. If Red Hairline Cracks or
Voids Appear, the Plate is Said to be Defective