High-Rise Formwork Construction Downtown Chicago
EFCO Formwork Solution for high-rise Construction
Standing tall along the shores of Lake Michigan, downtown Chicago is bedecked with high rises, many of which are situated along the famous Magnificent Mile. A new addition to this area is the high-rise construction of 300 North Michigan Avenue. EFCO engineers designed a suitable formwork solution that is fast, safe, and cost-efficient, a requirement for any construction process.
550-foot-High Rise Building Construction
300 North Michigan Avenue will boast 45 stories and rise to 550 feet tall. The high-rise building construction includes a combination of retail in the base of the building, a hotel on floors six through 15, and apartments on floors 17 through 45.
Formwork Planning has Lasting Benefits
High rise Construction Projects
The concrete contractor at the helm of this project, Adjustable Concrete Construction, had no problem adjusting to this task. Opening its doors in 1935, Adjustable Concrete has worked on several major Chicago landmarks like Comiskey Park and the John Hancock Center; and they are no strangers to working with EFCO either!
Having partnered on several projects together for decades, including other high-rise formwork construction projects such as Old Town Park – Phase III and 675 North Wells (Marlowe), it was a simple decision to use EFCO to complete this project.
Concrete Formwork Truss Wall
Using PLATE GIRDER
EFCO’s PLATE GIRDER® formwork system formed the unique truss wall design that faces Michigan Avenue. bKL Architecture, the firm that designed the building, had this to say about the exposed feature:
The tower seems to float above the street as the exposed structural wall truss becomes a stated expression of the shift in the program between the base and tower.
Truss Wall Design
EFCO Formwork Solution
The truss wall design was no ordinary feat! EFCO’s Des Moines, Iowa, manufacturing facility pre-drilled 1,300 holes in the all-steel PLATE GIRDER® wall formwork for the bolt locations. Then EFCO’s custom-built forms with V-shaped notches at the top and bottom of each form panel came together to form triangular-shaped wall truss formwork. This truss formwork was then bolted to the PLATE GIRDER wall formwork at the pre-drilled locations, enabling an exact fit and providing stability and rigidity to the wall formwork.
The engineering team planned the formwork solution for each truss wall section. Once the truss wall formwork was bolted together, the concrete was placed into these unique formwork walls. The PLATE GIRDER formwork system was used in different sized dimensions to achieve the specific look and architectural finish as bKL Architecture designed it.
High Rise Edge Protection System
EFCO POWER SHIELD 2.5
While the design elements are a big part of what makes 300 N. Michigan Avenue stand out among the multitude of Chicago high rises, the attention to safety was a huge factor in getting the job done right. Using the POWER SHIELD® 2.5 edge protection system also protects workers and pedestrians from falling debris.
Effortless Operation of Protective Edge
High-Rise Leading Edge Fall Protection
Not having enough workspace is often a point of concern in construction. To contend with the lack of space in downtown Chicago, Adjustable Concrete used EFCO’s leading-edge fall protection system because it could be pre-assembled off-site at EFCO’s Chicago warehouse and trucked into the city easily. The POWER SHIELD® 2.5 system consists of 8’ and 12’ wide gangs “ready to fly” off the truck bed, resulting in cost savings.
With EFCO’s leading-edge fall protection system, Adjustable Concrete Construction minimized the amount of time required to shut down the street while the POWER SHIELD was hoisted into place. Minimizing this time is important, as the cost of shutting down a street can be expensive in downtown Chicago.
High Rise Building Construction
Tall Building Under Construction in Chicago
The high construction cost in downtown Chicago was just one of the hurdles this formwork project faced. With construction beginning during the COVID-19 pandemic, 300 N. Michigan Avenue, owned by joint partners Sterling Bay and Magellan Development Group, was one of only two high rises being constructed in Chicago at the time that was able to secure funding and continue construction as planned. The $250-million project is on schedule, with a project construction duration of two years as originally planned.
With 25,000 square feet of premium retail space, 280 hotel rooms, and 289 residential units, 300 N. Michigan Avenue will be a central location for some of Chicago’s most visited tourist attractions. The development is scheduled for completion by the end of 2022.
Chicago Formwork and Shoring Specialist for This Partnership
511 West Armory Drive Ste A
South Holland, IL 60473
Phone: (708) 893-0521