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Project of the Month: La Fornace Shopping Centre, Tradate, Italy

When a renewal was planned for the La Fornace shopping centre in Tradate, Italy, the construction company decided to precast the main structural elements on-site, and they needed a good solution to connect them. They got in touch with Peikko to help make it happen.

“Construction of the renewed La Fornace shopping centre in Tradate is a huge project, and the finished buildings will be home to numerous shops, offices and services, as well as a multiplex cinema,” says Sergio Montenovo, Architect, Peikko Italia.

Large precast columns were installed and connected with Peikko's bolted connections

Choose Peikko for reliable connections

 “The structure is built on sheer walls and columns, which extend from the basement car park level up to the shopping levels. The construction company, Nuovo Modulo, decided to build these using precast elements connected on top of each other. In addition, they wanted to cast the elements on-site. To achieve this, they needed reliable connection methods and, because space on the construction site was limited, they also needed on-time deliveries and good logistics planning. They selected Peikko because they knew that we could deliver the results they wanted.”

Building upwards with HPM® and HPKM®

Early in the project, Nuovo Modulo contacted Peikko requesting information and advice about the sheer walls for their engineering office. “We produced a big technical report, about 600 pages long, which included the stresses on the structural elements and connections,” says Montenovo. “Then we made a proposal for how to construct the supporting walls and columns. This used three different solutions to ensure good wall resistance across the site: sections with big 24 metre walls, 8 metre walls and columns for the basement, and 16 metre columns on top of those. The total height of the structure was 24 metres and we made connections with grouting every 8 metres. All in all, there were about 20 walls distributed around the construction, and together with the columns, these support the big loads on the structure.”

“One of the most challenging aspects was to build the precast elements on top of each other,” Montenovo adds. “Peikko’s bolted column connections were the best solution for this. We used PPM® High-Strength Anchor Bolts and PEC® Column Shoes for the bottom two sections and then HPM® Rebar Anchor Bolts and HPKM® Column Shoes to connect the top sections.”

“Peikko delivered something special for the customer, and they got the results they wanted thanks to us.”

 Column Shoes and rebars before casting the columns

Peikko makes the customer’s life easy

Sergio Montenovo has worked at Peikko since 2004, supporting customers with Peikko connections. “We did a lot to make the customer’s life easy in this project,” he says. “In addition to the engineering and design, we also prepared the technical reports they needed to get approval for the project. And we helped with the logistics – it was really important to deliver things at the right time because there wasn’t storage space on the building site. We delivered all the products from our storage in Como, which is nearby, to the site ourselves.”

Peikko also supported the customer with the casting on the site. “We did everything on the building site, right down to helping the customer cast the walls, including the molds and form work. For example, I made sure that the concrete curing was accurate, with the right humidity, watering and coverings.”

“Building things this way was really interesting to see, installing the elements on top of each other step by step, and also casting them on site. It was a good mash-up that really worked, Montenovo says. “I can say that the customer was happy with their cooperation with Peikko because we delivered something special for them, and they got the results they wanted thanks to us.”

Project facts 

  • Project name: La Fornace
  • Height: 24 m 
  • Construction company and precaster: Nuovo Modulo
  • Engineering offices: Encunio and Peikko
  • Completion year:  2022 (supporting structure)