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F.A. Wilhelm works faster with Tekla

To Wilhelm, concrete is the bread and butter of building. The company, founded in 1923 by Francis A. Wilhelm, was built on a strong foundation of values - and concrete - and now serves as a construction manager, general contractor and design-builder. It’s the largest employer of construction labor in Indiana and mostly operates in Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. Wilhelm works on various kinds of projects from health care to entertainment, with higher education, parking structures and wastewater infrastructure as examples.

Parking garage model

The top tool for concrete contractors

Tekla Structures is an advanced structural BIM software, purpose-built to meet the needs of concrete construction. Enabling efficient creation and management of accurate and constructible models and offering purpose-built functionalities from pre-construction to on-site management, the software is an essential tool for those building concrete to estimate, plan and manage their projects better.

Adam Joraanstad, formwork detailer at Wilhelm, tells how Tekla Structures significantly speeds up the planning process but also makes it more accurate.

“For us, constructible models represent exactly what we will be producing,” he explains. “Something that’s got all the points exactly the way they should be. The slopes and slabs in it, as well as formwork and layout pours. If need be, even the rebars and embeds. Virtually everything.”

The constructible and accurate model helps ensure the team that they are on the right track.

“With the model, we know we are right,” Joraanstad says. “We know we have the right material, we know where things are supposed to be. We can communicate better with that, too”.

Quick and easy modeling

Wilhelm uses Tekla software particularly in formwork planning and planning their concrete works. Tekla software provides unique technology to plan pours using modeled cast-in-place concrete geometry. Utilizing concrete models and automated tools in Tekla, users can also create accurately detailed formwork plans quickly and easily. The software’s capability to create and manage structured pour related information efficiently brings great accuracy and efficiency to planning processes and enables contractors to prepare to pour at a completely new level.

Intuitive modeling functionalities, like Direct Modification, make the work quick and easy – what you see is what you get.

“You can basically push and pull every point and face of an object in the model. If you find something that’s wrong, you can just drag it to where it needs to be,” Joraanstad says. “It really lets you do what you need to and makes modeling really fast." 
F.A Wilhelm formwork

Formwork planning is taken to the next level

As formwork is one of the most time-consuming phases of concrete construction, good planning is of crucial importance. For Wilhelm, Tekla’s formwork planning and detailing functionalities were one of the biggest reasons for deciding to start using Tekla.

Joraanstad says he doesn’t know any other software that even tries to do formwork the way that Tekla does.

“It's benefited us a lot, because we've been able to use the software with all formwork systems we have. There’s really nothing you can’t do. We use it for everything from our wall panels to beam sides to supported slabs.”

Gates formwork components

Wilhelm primarily works using Gates formwork systems, which are known for their flexibility. “For our walls, it's kind of our take at Gates. When it comes to beam sides and everything else, it's a form that we build”, Joraanstad explains.

One of the benefits of using Tekla Structures for formwork is that it can be used with any system. 

Tekla offers automated formwork modeling tools with intelligent object placing, which adapts automatically to concrete geometry, thickness and angle. Joraanstad has experienced the productivity the software brings to formwork planning.

“With Tekla Formwork placing tools, it’s a breeze to lay out a wall really quick, add ties, platforms and other parts and pieces really fast. You can select the whole wall at once, trap everything on there, and it’s quick and easy. The amount of speed that’s behind it, nothing I’ve seen matches it.”

To communicate formwork plans to the field, one obvious way is to use drawings.

“It’s pretty simple and straightforward with Tekla. We’re able to make drawings in less time than we ever did before. There’s an automated labeling implemented in Tekla as well as dimensioning that just make things a lot faster,” Joraanstad tells.

Formwork drawing

Concrete pour planning - unrivaled speed and accuracy

When it comes to pour planning, Joraanstad says that the speed and ease of Tekla are unparalleled. So is the level of detail, which helps significantly in planning sequencing, reliable material takeoffs and communication with the field.

“One of the big benefits of using Tekla for us is creating a pour layout,” he explains. “I can do the sequencing of the pours by drawing a line at each location, and it cuts my wall, slab, footing, or whatever I need into pours”

The unique pour functionalities of Tekla Structures set it apart from competitors. Pour break tools enable splitting design intent models to pours without actually breaking the geometry. Those planning and sequencing pours can utilize the same model that is used for detailed planning and coordination of structures, and all changes are updated automatically.

“It also gives you all the quantities, all the information you need about the pour,” Joraanstad tells. “And once it's modeled, it doesn’t take longer than half an hour to get that drawing out. I don't think there's anything you can improve upon on there.”

The depth of detailing enables careful planning. The team can add every bolt and plate on the model, including all connections. This minimizes costly surprises and waste of material and thus boosts the profitability of projects by optimizing the entire process.

Try Tekla software for free

“We can do things that we never would have done with any other software before Tekla. The level of detail is just beyond anything we could imagine”, says Joraanstad. “You go and pour, and you can quickly see if something is out of place. There’s nothing out there that matches the pour planning in Tekla.”

Formwork model

Work faster by sharing the workload

Tekla Structures enables sharing the project workload by letting different team members work on the same project regardless of their location. With Tekla Model Sharing, teams can work on the same model at the same time, but their work never collides. This powerful collaboration technology brings great flexibility to resource management and significantly increases the productivity of the Tekla Structures users.

“Tekla Model Sharing allowed us to do a garage in half the time, because two people were modeling together, and we all saw it virtually live,” Joraanstad tells. “As we get to see things updating throughout the process, it speeds up modeling and reduces work in comparison to having one person model it once, or modeling the project numerous times. It just works.”

Just keeps on getting better

In the future, Wilhelm plans to take advantage of Tekla Structures to further refine the technology they use and make modeling work better and better for their purposes

Joraanstad describes Tekla as a huge benefit to the company – and the team likes where the tool is headed.

Read more how you can estimate, plan and manage pours better