Innovation in casting hollow circular columns for Caserta Hospital construction, Italy

The more complex great architectural works represent a challenge for more than just the architects and structural engineers. Often, bold, elaborate projects require detailed study of innovative construction methods as well as a great deal of planning regarding the provisional equipment necessary for their construction.

An interesting example of this is the solution designed by the Pilosio technical team for the construction of the hollow circular pillars on the site of the hospital in Caserta, where more than 45,000 square feet of interior space has been created in which to house 500 beds.

The Hospital of St. Anna and St. Sebastian has 13 large pillars, known as the “Centuriatio”, which are four storey’s high and support the floors of the hospital wings. The cavity inside the hollow circular pillars allows wiring to be passed through it giving a practical solution to the problem of technical compartments.

The hollow circular pillars have a total height of 18 meters with an outer diameter of 2 meters and an internal diameter of 1.40 meters. Since the casting process was foreseen for the summer, the internal temperature of the “steel pipe” could have reached a temperature of 50 ° C. so for this reason the construction company required an ad hoc solution for the safety of the workers.

Taking into consideration this problem, the Pilosio hollow circular columns solution was so designed that no worker had to carry out any routine work inside the formwork during the operations of arming, disarming and handling.

The external formwork is made from two half-shells, while the internal structure is a single mold, with 6 conical semi-circular elements connected to each other through a “conical sledge system” that allows the automatic removal of the entire formwork with a construction site crane.

Once the necessary time period for the conglomerate to take has passed, the removal of the internal formwork is very simple and safe: lifting the internal formwork with a hook, the 6 component parts slide over one another reducing the circumference and so allow the complete removal of the formwork, without any of the workforce having to enclose themselves within the pillar.

If for any reason, access to the interior is necessary, an integrated ladder system has been provided that is embedded and welded onto the formwork structure as well as a safe working platform at the base, also useful as protection from any falling objects.

The system was used with climbing platforms for the casting process in five successive stages, and the formwork reused for a total of 52 times.

This solution has a double advantage. Firstly: rapid execution due to the quick operation of disarming and rearming with the use of cranes to lift and remove the whole formwork. Secondly: a high safety level since all the work is carried out externally.

The formwork was made directly in the company’s metal workshop. All the mounting and handling testing was also done at the workshop to individualize any eventual critical points.

Besides this special hollow circular columns system, Pilosio also provided the following equipment: 

– To make partition walls with molds of circular hollow pillars incorporated in the walls, special formwork that was designed to be reused for the casting of circular pillars of 60/70 cm diameter;
– P300 standard formwork for the construction of vertical walls, stairwells and elevator shafts;
– SVELT circular formwork for the construction of curved walls;
– LINEAR formwork system for floor slabs with steel props and aluminum props for areas at greater heights;
– T28 TOWERS for making cantilevered floors at elevated heights
– and finally, service access towers in multidirectional MP of 150×250 cm.

Pilosio is one of the leading European companies in the field of construction and maintenance equipment. It was founded in 1961 as a manufacturer of scaffolds and formworks for above-ground walls, floors, ground containment systems. The company also manufactures equipment for sale and rental.

Moreover, Pilosio is specialized in the design, construction and sale of stage structures such as stage-boxes, platforms, coverings, and sound and video towers. Pilosio is also strongly focused towards foreign markets, in particular Middle East, North Africa, South Africa, Canada and United States, Southern America, Eastern Europe, C.I.S. and Australia. The company registered an export quota equivalent to 80 per cent, in 2014.

Manuela Zanier l Marketing & Communications
[email protected]
Luca Drigani l External Relations Dept.
[email protected]


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