RMD Kwikform’s Ascent formwork system made its UK debut on the construction of the new eight-storey London Hilton Tower Hotel, located on the South Bank.
The Ascent system is a mast climbing formwork with built-in edge protection and close-off rails at either end/
The basis of the system is two masts, usually 2.5m apart, which are anchored to the wall and carry platforms up to 6m in length- although these dimensions can be reduced to take account of elevated wind speeds. Running on the masts is a cantilever platform on to which mounted brackets hold formwork that can weight up to 5 tonnes.
In addition, the platform provides a working space of more than 1m in width and comes complete with a guardrail and screening. This not only protects up to 12 people working at height but prevents debris falling.
As the building rises, new mast sections are added and climbing the platform can be done using a crane or hydraulically. The platform remains secured to the structure and is therefore not as susceptible to the unpredictability of weather conditions as loose formwork hanging from a crane would be. Moving formwork as a hanging load can be a tricky task in even a slight breeze and is normally the first activity to be stopped as wind speeds pick up.
Depending on the construction method employed, there way be no need to have edge protection on the building itself as the crew pouring the concrete does its work from the platforms. By the time the flooring crew move in to lay the slab, the walls are already in place. Crews on the floor below can be protected from falling through unglazed windows by following screens attached below the main platform.
If necessary a lower deck can be added to allow a finishing team to install windows and fit cladding as the construction team above pour the concrete for the next storey. Alternatively the platform can be lowered to the ground to allow the cladding crew to do its work during a repeat operation.