Pompano Beach, Fla. — Current Builders hosted a topping out ceremony for the University Pointe/Downtown Davie student housing project on Thursday, April 26. This development in the Town of Davie was built using tunnel form construction for the residential areas. CB Structures was able to provide a full-service shell that met all of the developer’s needs, saving both time and money over traditional block construction.
CB Structures, a division of Current Builders, is presently using tunnel form on 40-percent of its projects and predicts an increase due to the state’s decreasing labor pool and the critical need for more rental properties in South Florida.
“South Florida is making headlines for some of the highest rental prices in the country,” said Rolf Severtson, Executive Vice President of CB Structures. “With the need for more affordable housing at a crisis level, more developers must consider the benefits of tunnel form construction to accelerate the building process and reduce costs.”
Tunnel form construction allows the contractor to cast walls and slabs in one operation in a daily cycle. The process combines the speed, quality and accuracy of factory/off site production with the flexibility and economy of in-situ construction. While this form of construction has been available for over 50 years, it is recognized as a modern method of construction that offers energy savings both during construction and the life of the building. Current Builders has always had a concrete structures division, but expanded CB Structures in 2006, and has been able to offer the tunnel form option, when others have not, because they have their own forms and employ their own crews.
“One concern developers face when considering tunnel form construction are the limited number of subcontractors that use tunnel forms,” continued Severtson. “That is why we developed our own division, so we could provide the best options at all times to our clients.”
The saving of construction time of tunnel form construction versus traditional ranges from 15-percent to 45-percent according to Concrete Society, depending on the project. One of the key factors in that time savings is the need for less employees on the job site.
“The number of overall employees needed on the site is greatly reduced with tunnel form construction,” he said. “And when the labor market is tight, as it is now, smaller crews are important.”
Current Builders explained the benefits to Broward Student Housing LLC, developer of the University Pointe/ Downtown Davie student housing project, which will offer upscale off-campus housing, featuring 860 beds and a variety of amenities. The project, which broke ground in June 2017, will have its topping out ceremony in April 2018 and is projected to be open in the spring of 2019.
“With 65,000 students attending the multiple universities in the area, the need for more housing in Davie was critical,” said Severtson. “When we explained the benefits to the developer, they quickly realized a project like this was perfect for tunnel form.”