Construction specifications for the 200,000-square-foot clean room at Texas Instruments's (TI) new $3 billion semiconductor manufacturing facility in Richardson, Texas, (RFAB) mandated strict indoor air quality and structural requirements. Since heavy equipment would be used in the RFAB, concrete flooring was necessary versus the lighter weight metal flooring specified for the administration building. Capform Construction Group,

Carrollton, Texas, the project's concrete formwork subcontractor, specified a fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) two-way joist system (waffle pan-dome forms) for construction of the two concrete floor slabs. Capform rented approximately 8000 waffle pans manufactured by the Molded Fiber Glass Construction Products Company, Independence, Kan., which maintains the largest inventory of fiberglass reinforced waffle forms in the world. Each fiberglass reinforced thermo-set composite form was 19x19 inches, 14 inches deep, and 24 inches center-to-center. According to Lucky Gabriano, Capform's field operations manager, “MFG was selected because it could provide waffle pans that met the standard size, width, and depth specifications for the job. Because we were able to rent standard forms, and they were reusable, we were able to achieve substantial cost efficiencies versus custom forming.”

Capform personnel built a deck frame and installed the MFG two-way joist system according to the design plan. Steel rebar was then installed and concrete poured. Over 57 pours were required for the entire job. After two days, the concrete reached 75% of its specified compressive strength (4000 psi). Blowholes built into the pan/joist grid system allowed an air-compressor to “pop” or release the forms easily once the concrete set. The result is a waffle-shaped floor on the bottom. Capform used a total of 30,000 square feet of pans and completed the job in record time: five months (versus the originally scheduled six months). Juan Garza, Capform's project superintendent, said, “Once the pans are stripped, the pattern look provides the aesthetic benefit of having no crooked lines; they're all parallel with the building design.”