How Geopanel changed the construction industry
17 November 2021
Geopanel is the first plastic lightweight formwork. Its innovative design made a revolution in the construction industry by making construction faster, cheaper, safer, and more sustainable.
Before Geopanel, civil engineers relied on heavy, unsustainable wood and metal formwork that demanded massive amounts of transportation, mechanical equipment, storage space, and manpower.
Mirco Pegoraro, our product designer and CEO, realized that solving individual issues would not make the construction more sustainable nor profitable, and decided to innovate by going straight for the root of the problem – the weight. Recycled ABS plastic was as high load bearing as wood and metal but immensely lighter, offering numerous possibilities:
- Uncomplicated logistics, which demanded less transport,
- Manual handling and installation, which improved building speed, especially where mechanical equipment is not available, e.g. confined spaces, the congested city cites, underground work, reconstruction projects,
- Resistance to weather conditions, which made it easier to store and perfect for extreme climates,
- Recycled plastic was many times reusable, improving sustainability.
Once he understood the benefits of ABS, Mirco worked on developing a formwork system simple enough it could be set up and dismantled even by an unskilled person:
- The main element was a 120 x 60 cm plastic panel that weighed only 11 kg and could be lifted by a single person,
- Two adjacent elements were joined together by red locking handles,
- Two opposite panels were connected by steel spacers and secured by anchor nuts,
- There were also corner, T- intersection, ending, and smaller panels for special circumstances and precise height adjustments.
The same set of accessories was later applied to our other formwork products: Geopanel Star, Geotub, Geotub Panel, as well as Geosky, our formwork for slabs. This made the Geoplast formwork system so versatile it could be used for the casting of any concrete surface: walls, columns, foundations, beams, pits and shafts, shear walls, ceilings, or roof slabs.