13.02.2020  | ZÜBLIN Timber

VDBUM incentive award in the category “Innovations from Practice”

Andreas Amorth (middle) accepting yesterday’s award for ZÜBLIN Timber (Copyright: VDBUM/Spoo).
Underground platform hall of Stuttgart’s new underground through station Image credits: plan b, Stuttgart
Around 500 individual three-dimensional formwork elements are CNC-machined to high precision from conifer blocks. Image credits: ZÜBLIN Timber GmbH
Measurement system attached to a formwork element. Image credits: Frueh Engineering

Willingen, 13 February 2020      

ZÜBLIN Timber GmbH yesterday was awarded the VDBUM Förderpreis by the German association for the construction industry, environmental and mechanical engineering in the “Innovations from Practice” category for its formwork construction on the Stuttgart21 construction project. The prize, which recognises innovations from and for the construction industry, will once again be presented in the three categories “Innovations from Practice”, “Developments from Industry” and “Projects from Colleges and Universities” during the VDBUM congress. Each prize is endowed with € 2,500.

The award-winning formwork is used in several projects, the most prominent example being the construction of the chalice-shaped pillars in the underground platform hall of Stuttgart’s new railway station.

The 28 columns represent a structural challenge not only for their fundamentally complex geometry but also because each “chalice” is unique, having its own inclination, shape and height (8.5–13 m). ZÜBLIN largely designed the necessary processes for their production from scratch. ZÜBLIN Timber GmbH applied its expertise in timber engineering to design the formwork responsible for the pillars’ unique shape. The approximately 500 individual three-dimensional formwork elements are CNC-machined to high precision by ZÜBLIN Timber from conifer blocks at the factory in Aichach with toolpaths derived directly from the model via a parametric surface interpolator. Planned/actual comparison for quality control is made possible by a 3D laser scanner and an integrated BIM.5D environment with closed-loop data workflow. To meet the architectural requirement of creating a highest-quality raw concrete surface with no pores or visible joints, the machined formwork elements are coated with a special resin mix in a lacquering line designed specifically for the project. Each element is used multiple times in various combinations on the construction site, with special elements for the foot and edges of the chalice to create the different geometries of each of the pillars.