An Increase in High-Rise Buildings in the North East and Construction Efficiency

October 14, 2015 1:54 pm


High-rise construction has played a big role in the urban landscape of major US cities. We are beginning to see changes to familiar skylines once again. High-rise construction markets are experiencing significant growth as high-rise projects in the form of residential and commercial skyscrapers increase in the Northeast cities such as New York, Boston and Philadelphia.

Population growth in these cities could be a contributing factor to the increase in residential high rise buildings. According to the Commerce Department, building permits are 25.4% above what they were in May 2014. Within the commercial sector, technology companies such as the Comcast building in Philadelphia are leading the increase in high rise construction.

As material, labor and administrative costs continue to increase, efficiency and innovation in the construction process becomes the focal point for the Structural Engineer, General Contractor and concrete subcontractors. New methods and products are being introduced to aid in the construction process of high rise buildings. Structural systems are providing further durability and ease in the placement of concrete forms while rebar connection systems are making it easier, quicker and reliable to connect keyed joints and rebar in the formwork.

Products for heavy structural concrete are being utilized by concrete subcontractors, iron workers and forming contractors/suppliers in the construction of these buildings in the North East. Most of the skyscrapers being built feature large concrete cores, shear walls and floor slabs as the structural shell and base of the building. One example of a product being used in the construction of these concrete cores is the Keyway Splice Box, Meadow Burke’s Stabox and Couple Box offering. As an extremely fast way to provide keyed joints and rebar connections in the formwork, the Stabox has made a huge comeback due to formwork ease and damage reduction.

So exactly how does the Keyway Splice Box work and why is it being used? The Keyway Splice Box system is a metal Dovetail keyway system that replaces penetrating rebar in construction joints. The system is easily placed and attached to a concrete form prior to concrete placement. Once the concrete is placed and the formwork is removed, the Keyway is opened to reveal the internal reinforcing steel. The reinforcing steel is easily bent into place for subsequent concrete pours.

Meadow Burke has been involved in the manufacturing of the Keyway Splice Box since it’s original introduction to the US market in 1992. The Keyway Splice Box is currently produced in the Meadow Burke Fort Worth manufacturing plant. It is commonly produced in 4’ lengths but may keyway joints from 2’ to 8’ units in order to accommodate your project needs. It has been a popular product for a number of large high rise construction projects in the North East.

In addition to the Keyway Splice box, other Meadow Burke products like bar supports, heavy forming accessories, and Burke Anchor Epoxy are being used in the construction of high-rise buildings such as the Tower Three project in New York City. Meadow Burke’s Rapid Lok, which is heavily used in the Precast industry, is also being used in the cast in place concrete of the 1919 Market in Philadelphia.

Similar to the Keyway Splice Box, the Rapid Lok system allows for speed and formwork solutions when faced with forming concrete corbels. Rapid-Lok easily combines formwork efficiency with the need for a structural support on a concrete wall. This product is commonly utilized to support the prestressed concrete double tees which attaches to the building core as part of the buildings parking deck.

As major cities are once again going vertical, the resurgence of skyscraper construction will continue as a focal point for Structural Engineer, General Contractor and concrete subcontractors to further improve construction efficiency.

If you would like to learn more about the Keyway Splice Box or any other Meadow Burke accessories mentioned, please visit the website at