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Formwork tech finds takers as building contractors seek efficiency

EXCLUSIVE: GCC formwork suppliers must match contractor needs as payment and geopolitical challenges persist

Contractor appetite for formwork tech is growing [representational image].
CW Archives
Contractor appetite for formwork tech is growing [representational image].

Regional construction contractors are more accepting of formwork technologies as they face increased cost pressures and time constraints, a market expert told Construction Week.

Joe Farina, general manager of Dubai-based Meva KHK Formwork Systems, added that contractors are more willing to move away from traditional systems and practices adopted for formwork operations. 

Among Meva's ongoing, high-profile projects is Dubai’s Museum of the Future.

Commenting on the shift in contractor behaviour, Farina said: “Construction programmes are becoming shorter – or at least, that is the intention [of stakeholders]. Formwork providers have to take this into account."

Farina explained that formwork-related time-savings could come either through the formwork system deployed for the project, or the efficiency gains that the framework may provide for consequent site activities, such as steel fixing or waste management. 

"On-site issues of this nature are now being considered far more now than in the past,” Farina added. 

Competition for work in the Gulf’s formwork sector is fierce, with tight margins pushing formwork suppliers to offer products and services that offer more utility to the benefit of both contractors and sub-contractors.

These include advancements such as 3D digital modelling, which is expected to deliver more intricate and accurate formwork designs.

Farina said that despite this market evolution, external challenges continue to impact formwork companies. 

“Payment, as always, remains a major issue due to tight credit lines and liquidity in the market," he explained. 

“Obviously, as a regional company, the most significant challenge is the geopolitical situation in the Gulf, which has created logistical and operational problems that we have to consider and overcome.”

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Construction Week - Issue 737
Apr 14, 2019