While my more athletic university colleagues cut piles and carried rebars, I ran around with our measurement master. My job was the “ZERO”, setting the “0” at the measuring starting point. Construction workers positioned the anchor bolts with plywood templates to the correct places, and the small shopping center then took shape using precast columns with column shoes.
When I was at university in 1991, lecturers told us more about precast structures and bolted column connections as a major connection method. At that time, we used manual calculations and could only dream about Peikko Designer® type calculation software.
In 1996, as a fresh MSc Civil Eng., I found myself as a precaster in Singapore and almost immediately wondering where were the column shoes. “No no, expensive, we don’t use them here,” the locals explained. Corrugated tubes and starter rebars seemed to work ok, despite the extra work from diagonal bracings and counterweights transported to the site and lifted from one column to another. When it rained, the dusty soil transformed to orange mud, and I asked myself what happens if soil softens under the counterweight when grout in tubes is still wet.
Time flies, and over the past 15 years I have worked for Peikko and been telling people around the world about Peikko Precast Connections. Bolted Connections have been the flagship, and they have become popular everywhere. Why? Engineers, by their nature, want connections between prefabricated components which are visually inspected, adjustable and transfer forces in all directions – which is what Peikko Bolted Connections do. Moment resistant connections enable effective and economical design, and any claims of higher costs are offset by faster installations – less manpower and crane time.
In 2021 Peikko celebrates 30 years of success with bolted connections, especially our iconic HPKM®, which was born in 1991 from my colleagues’ pencils. HPKM® was – and still is – the answer to the industry’s need for a compact column shoe, and over three decades has been used worldwide.
I think we can say that Peikko has defined the industry standard for bolted column connections. We will do it again in 2021, when we introduce BOLDA®, the world’s only ETA (European Technical Assessment) evaluated column shoe for high loads. BOLDA® combines the legacy of HPKM® and Peikko know-how in bolted connections, which we are very proud of.