The challenging roof design of the Shiley Eye Center, University of California San Diego, required the use of custom-built formwork. The design of the 160-foot-long, 30-foot-wide roof called for arched joists having thickened center sections. The joists and beams also required an architectural finish because they are partially exposed. To meet these special requirements, the general contractor used custom-built wood-reinforced fiberglass forms.
The contractor decided to cast the roof's four beams and 21 joists in five separate pours, thus requiring only five joist forms and one beam form. Each form was reused four times, except for one joist form that was used only for the first pour. The formwork manufacturer's millwork division then created two wood plugs, one for the beam and one for the joist. The plugs were used by the formwork manufacturer's fiberglass division as molds for fabricating the five joist forms and beam form. Workers then attached wood 2x4s to each form to provide support points for shoring. After trucks delivered the forms to the jobsite, workers lifted them into position for the first pour using a crane. After placing concrete and allowing it to cure, workers installed temporary shoring so they could remove the main shoring and reset it at the next location.