Armourdeck steel decking from Big River Group provided a quick and cost-effective permanent formwork solution at the Pacific Fair Shopping Centre project in Broadbeach, Queensland. Part of Big River’s wide range of formwork and building materials, the steel decking was selected to support the concrete floors of the underground car park structure and shopping centre.

Steel decks are increasingly being used by architects, engineers and builders across the country for the reinforcement of concrete slabs as they offer a number of benefits such as consistent quality, speed of construction, lightweight designs and considerable savings in material and labour costs.

Armourdeck steel decking is specially designed to provide a fast and cost-effective method for the creation of suspended concrete slabs. Engineered to function as a permanent formwork solution, Armourdeck requires minimal propping and no stripping of formwork, saving on concrete and reinforcement costs while reducing the amount of waste on site. The steel decking forms a very robust composite slab, offering high levels of performance through its intrinsic strength, excellent spanning capabilities and minimal deflection.

Being lighter in construction in comparison with traditional formwork, Armourdeck allows simple handling and installation. Armourdeck is recommended for both concrete and steel frame construction in residential, commercial and industrial applications.

In this particular application at the Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, 40,000 square metres of Big River Armourdeck 300 steel decking were used to support the concrete floors of the underground car park structure and shopping centre. The steel decking was selected in a narrower width of 300mm for ease of cutting, carrying and installing on site.

Armourdeck formwork is available in a range of base metal thicknesses (BMT) including the 1mm required on this project, as well as 0.60, 0.75 and 0.90mm, and is manufactured from high-tensile (G550) quality Australian steel with a Z350 galvanised coating, in full compliance with AS1397.

Some of the advantages of using steel decking in reinforced concrete work include its ability to function as a permanent formwork with minimal propping requirement; steel and concrete composite slabs being lighter and stronger than most conventional slabs; steel decking providing tensile reinforcement, combining with the compressive strength of the concrete for an all-round stronger slab; and steel decking profiles preventing any longitudinal slip between the steel and concrete in the slab itself, and any transverse movement between the slab and supporting beams.

Additionally, a composite slab acts as a safe working platform for various trades. Work can continue onsite once the slab is poured, and cable trays, ductwork and service pipes can be suspended neatly underneath the slab with purpose designed clips, brackets and hangers.

Given the geographical location of the Pacific Fair Shopping Centre near the ocean, there was risk of high corrosion. Big River used BlueScope steel to support local steel makers, guarantee Australian standards were met, and in turn, ensure integrity of product.

In addition to minimising the corrosion issue, BlueScope Z450 Deckform steel delivers excellent durability and comes with a 15-year warranty while Z350 Deckform steel comes with a standard 10-year warranty. Big River Armourdeck has been used in a number of large scale commercial projects including Ikea, Brisbane, QT Hotel Bondi Beach, and St George Hospital, Kogara.

Well placed to meet the diverse needs of the market, Big River operates three roll forming lines, two in Grafton and the third one in Wagga Wagga, NSW.