A new landmark in Ho Chi Minh City

At the heart of Vietnam's largest city, another remarkable building is coming into being. Once completed, the 163-meter-high twin towers will harbor a luxury hotel, apartments, a business center, a shopping mall and entertainment facilities. Holcim Vietnam is proud to participate in this project as construction materials and solutions provider.

Built on the area of nearly 90,000 square meters, the Times Square complex, located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, will enhance the city centre with two towers when completed. The twin towers with a height of 163 meters will feature a luxury hotel, apartments, a business center, a shopping center and entertainment facilities. Upon completion, the building will be among the highest in Vietnam. The project is financed by the premier real estate developer in Hong Kong, the Times Square Vietnam Investment JSC. Foreign direct investments total US$125million.


Crucial pile cap

The pile cap is crucial to a high-rise building as it transfers the loads of the building to the foundation piles and walls. In the case of Times Square, the pile cap was a massive slab of 9,000 m3 and some 1.5m thick. As such a large slab poses a risk of thermal cracks which endanger the stability of the construction, the main contractor for the pile cap, An Thai, was looking for an experienced specialist. It opted for Holcim Vietnam as partner, which is known not only as supplier of high-quality construction materials but also as solutions provider.

A special concrete for a special solution

In order to avoid thermal cracks in hardening concrete, strict requirements were imposed on cement and concrete. The use of low heat cement was required to reduce heat development and the temperature of the fresh concrete had to be kept below 32 °C. During the hardening of the slab, the temperature at the center of the slab must not exceed 70 °C; the temperature differentiation between any two points must be limited to a maximum of 25 °C. With these strict requirements, Holcim Vietnam provided a special solution comprising of "Mass Beton" concrete using the low heat cement "Holcim Mass Pour", and controlling the fresh concrete temperature with ice and chilled water.

To ensure a successful pile pouring, a 2mx2mx1.5m trial block was cast to observe the actual temperature development inside the concrete and to verify compliance with the specifications. Holcim technical staff tested the temperature of the trial block every 2 hours over 3 days. The trial pour was successful and the green light was given for the actual pouring of the pile caps. Thanks to the extensive utilization of Holcim Vietnam's batching plant network and logistic efficiency, Holcim Vietnam was able to deliver the necessary high volumes of concrete on time. The construction of the pile caps lasted nearly two months and was finished March 9, 2010.

The exciting Times Square project is planned to be completed by November 2011 and will create a new cosmopolitan landmark in Ho Chi Minh's city center.