New Era for Doka in Sheffield’s Chinatown

Northfield Construction select Doka for their formwork and protection screen requirements at the complex £65m New Era development project.

The first phases in Sheffield’s £65 million Chinatown development, New Era Square, are well under way now and due to finish in early 2018. When complete, the landmark 21 storey scheme will consist of five blocks containing student accommodation, food and drinking outlets, an exhibition and conference centre, office space and shops.

 The Project

 Situated on the ring road, the development was specifically designed so that its penthouse apartments will overlook the Bramall Lane football pitch and it is expected that New Era will become a pivotal communal and community centre in the city. The development itself has also been selected for multiple awards; including the ‘Best Project to Work On’ category and the ‘Corporate Responsibility Scheme of the Year’ category of the 2017 Construction Investing in Talent Awards, set to be announced at in London during November.


Northfield Construction were appointed as the reinforced concrete frame contractor for the project and had worked alongside Doka in their planning and tender processes. They chose to use Doka’s slab, wall and climbing formwork, as well as perimeter protection screen solutions for the project. Doka and Northfield Construction have been working closely together on a number of projects in the UK for many years and Northfield were one of the first customers in the UK to invest in the new Dokadek 30 beamless slab panel system after successfully trialing on another project in Sheffield during 2016.

 Formwork Solutions

 Key requirements for Northfield Construction on both this, and all their projects, include the deployment of safe, productive and innovative solutions. Fortunately for Doka, these customer demands fitted excellently with the recently launched Dokadek 30 slab panel system. The beamless panel not only provides up to 3m2 of hand-set slab formwork in one panel, but also allows for easy to follow installation process from floor level, simple site logistics due to the few components required, Dokaflex infill solutions which require fewer props and last but not least, a 1 metre slab cantilever to accommodate post-tensioning demands.

In addition to the extraordinarily fast forming slab system provided by Dokadek 30, the highly versatile Dokaflex tables were used for forming the stepped slabs. The markings on the H20 beams allow for easy visual checking from ground level prior to casting the slab and can be constructed in almost any formation to achieve more complex floorplans when required.

Northfield Construction also selected the multi-functional Xclimb60 protection screens for this project installed in a configuration which utilized both Xbright poly plastic panels and mesh enclosures for different levels. The Xclimb60 screens were chosen in part, due to the extra large sections which can be created, which in turn also reduces the number of anchor points and minimises setting-up during the lifting processes. This not only sped up and simplified the operation of the screens on the building, but also offered seamless integration with the Doka Table Lifting System (TLS) in order to efficiently move formwork and shoring equipment to the next level once struck.

Northfield Construction specified the crane lifted option for the Xclimb60 perimeter screens, however where crane time is at a premium Doka can also offer a Hydraulically lifted solution which can lift two of the large area screens together in approximately 20 minutes resetting time.

For the sheer walls and column requirements, Doka’s Framax system was employed.

The high-performing steel-framed formwork is crane-lifted and proves ideal for the forming of large areas. Because the Framax system only uses very few different panel formats, a consistent 15 cm increment-grid can be achieved, no matter whether the panels are stood upright or on their sides. All the connectors and accessories fit seamlessly into this grid – making for fast forming-times and high efficiency. The Framax on this project was used in conjunction with various climbing formwork systems on the building including the versatile MF240 jump climbing system. MF240 is a simple to operate crane-climbed formwork system also capable of wall inclinations up to 15 degrees and K platforms to provide working access where required.

The Challenges

 Mark Sherwood, Contracts Manager at Northfield, commented “We faced some interesting challenges on this particular site due to the small footprint and complex shape of the structure itself, but working with Doka’s Account manager, Joe McBride and the team of Doka technical experts and demonstrators, we were able to overcome these tests and are really satisfied with the on-site productivity, quality of finish and safe execution of all the formwork operations on the project.”



Latest Issue

BDC 319 : Aug 2024