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BEP Big Panels – Saving Time and Manpower for Martinson Construction

“They pour nice walls – straight and square,” said Dave Martinson of Martinson Construction in Waterloo, Iowa of B.E.P. Forming System Inc.’s new Big Panels. They also allow Martinson to do work in less time with fewer workers.

Martinson Construction used the Big iPanels and power ties to construct a data center for Team Technologies, an organization that provides system and network integration services and internet solutions in the upper Midwest.

There were a total of three buildings constructed for Team technologies in Cedar Falls Iowa. A nearby building, constructed by Martinson Construction and similar in structure to the Team Technologies data center, averaged 14-foot walls and was completed by 12-15 workers in approximately eight weeks using the traditional aluminum forms. The data center was constructed by seven workers, using the larger forms, and was on schedule for completion two weeks earlier than the nearby building.

The B.E.P. panels are different from the traditional forming systems in that they are completely crane-set with the use of a lightweight crane, all-terrain forklift, bobcat crane attachment or track-style backhoe. The crane-set system is highly adaptable to below-and-above-grade, cast-in-place residential and commercial concrete projects, and features a one-man lifting hook device. Lightweight but strong, these panels hook to any conventional aluminum system, steel frame or locking plywood system. Heavy-rail systems with corner guests are high-penetration welded to standard .125 inch thick face-sheet or optional heavy-gauge .160 inch face-sheet to create the strongest big panel in the industry engineered to handle up to 1,450 lbs. per sq. ft. loads, based on ACI pour ratings.

The forms use power ties, similar to large bolts, rather than traditional taper ties to secure the forms together, which facilitate faster set-up and stripping time. There are no loose parts and the tie spaces itself with unique bearing spacer plate to pour different widths of wall. The power ties are placed on the interior so that no holes are seen on the exterior. The holes are then filled. Ties are available in nominal and full width dimension and support up to 40,000 lbs SWL (Safe Working Level).

For this project Martinson constructed 60-70 ft walls using 9′ x 24′ Big Panels. To move the forms, Martinson’s crew moved the panel by taking it down and rotating it. Martinson pointed out the section is by no means a maximum. “If you had a good crane, you could move more forms at once,” he stated.

Ideally, every other day was scheduled to pour with the remaining days to set-up forms. Martinson finds commercial work, such as this data center, is often more complicated than residential because every project is different. He states, “Everything has been a challenge all the way around. There wasn’t one panel that didn’t have a lot of stuff go into it.”

For commercial building, workers are often on the sight longer. However, B.E.P. Forming System Inc.’s new forms saved a lot of time and manpower that would otherwise be needed to complete this project. Martinson was able to cut his manpower in half and shave of a few weeks for completion.

For more information about B.E.P. Forming Systems or the Big Panel System, visit or call 1-866-BEP-FORM (1-866-237-3676). B.E.P. Forming Systems is a family-owned aluminum forming company committed to providing residential and commercial contractors with technological innovations in form design and accessories. The company’s goal is to help contractors maximize profits by saving time and reducing labor and equipment costs.

Martinson Construction, the largest concrete contractor in the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area, complete 275 to 300 foundations per year in addition to their commercial business.

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