Lightweight Formwork for Buttressed Wall Construction

Bethune, Saskatchewan

Concrete Wall Construction for K+S Potash

The Province of Saskatchewan is known as the “Potash Capital of the World” due to the vast reserves of potash extracted by mines yearly. Potash is a key ingredient in fertilizers, particularly those designed for potassium-intensive crops like corn, soybeans, and potatoes. The Bethune Potash Mine, operated by K+S Potash Canada, produces over 2 million metric tons (2.2 million tons) of potash annually. As the demand has increased, so has the need for storage.



PLATE GIRDER for Cast-in-Place Buttresses

Graham Industrial Services, LP, took on the role of the primary contractor responsible for overseeing the construction of an additional storage facility for K+S Potash. To complete the construction, Graham Industrial Services enlisted the expertise of EFCO to construct the cast-in-place buttressed walls using EFCO LITE® and PLATE GIRDER® formwork systems. The PLATE GIRDER system, used with sloping contractor-built wood bulkheads, created the sloping buttresses that support the concurrently poured concrete walls.

PLATE GIRDER for Cast-in-Place Buttresses

EFCO LITE® system for the walls | Lightweight panels in large gangs ranging from 12'-20' (3.6 m-6.1 m) wide with heights ranging from 8'-16' (2.4 m-4.9 m) tall.

Lightweight Formwork Panels

Using the EFCO LITE® system for the walls enabled Graham Industrial Services to handle the lightweight panels in large gangs ranging from 12′-20′ (3.6 m-6.1 m) wide with heights ranging from 8′-16′ (2.4 m-4.9 m) tall. This approach minimized the need for extensive disassembly and reassembly of the formwork, helping to meet the ambitious concrete pouring schedule. The reduced weight of the EFCO LITE system also played a pivotal role in reducing the crane size necessary to position the formwork around the facility’s conveyor systems.

SUPER STUD Waler Increases Tie Spacings

EFCO’s SUPER STUD® served double duty on the EFCO LITE formwork by increasing the tie spacings to up to 6′ (1.8 m) vertically and 4′ (1.2 m) horizontally while serving as a stiffback waler, ensuring formwork alignment without requiring extra components. An all-steel facesheet delivered an architectural finish and minimized the need for extensive concrete patching or cleaning due to the single-line joint in the formwork.

Combination Bias Corners for Precise Alignment

At the junction of the buttresses and wall, EFCO’s Combination Bias Corners (CBC) delivered 90-degree inside corners. Our CBC’s streamline the formwork assembly process and ensure precise and accurate alignment of panels. They also offer a superior concrete finish, thanks to their all-steel facesheets. Combination Bias Corners (CBC) are a standard EFCO product, ranging in widths from 8″-24″ (200 mm–600 mm), reducing the need for wood fillers.

the cast-in-place buttresses using EFCO's PLATE GIRDER® formwork system

Why Graham Industrial Services Chose EFCO

Graham Industrial Services’ decision to select EFCO as their formwork provider speaks volumes about their trust and confidence in EFCO’s expertise. The Innovative EFCO LITE and PLATE GIRDER® systems used along with the Combination Bias Corners (CBC) streamlined assembly, improved accuracy, and offered time-saving features that helped meet the aggressive project schedule. Graham realized the lowest in-place concrete cost due to EFCO’s Quality products and Super Service tailored to meet the project’s needs.





Contact our AIRDRIE office today

527 East Lake Boulevard NE

Airdrie, Alberta T4A 2G3

Phone: (403) 948-5426


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Graham Industrial Services TEAM

Garth Printz, Project Manager

Codi Davis, Superintendent

Maverick Allison, Superintendent

Cory Sawchuk, Project Coordinator



Dave Miller, Territory Manager

Robert Cottam, Field Supervisor

Christopher Manson, Engineer


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