Huge steel trusses are being installed at the site of One Centenary Way – Birmingham’s first Vierendeel Exoskeleton building.
The 16 trusses are amongst the largest ever designed and constructed in the UK for a commercial building and are highly engineered to overcome the challenges of building over a live piece of infrastructure; the A38 dual carriageway tunnel. Once installed the city will begin to see the steel Exoskeleton structure rise out of the ground.
Director Shauna Bradley, who is leading the project, said: “We have adopted a de-carbonised design approach to One Centenary Way, making this building one of the of most sustainable in the city. The factory where the trusses were made, for example, has a wind turbine that produces 65% of the energy required in the manufacturing process. The scale of the trusses is enormous, with each weld between the steel sections taking up to 14 hours to complete.”
GHA collaborated with leading engineers Arup. James Watt, Associate Director at Arup explained more about the frame’s design.
“One Centenary Way is located in perhaps the most constrained part of the Paradise site with the Queensway Tunnel, a service tunnel and a vehicle entrance all to be avoided. This provided a unique opportunity to give real prominence to the structural form. The exposed steel Vierendeel frame provides stability, simplifies the curtain walling and provides shading to help control solar gain as well as giving the building its unique architectural identity.”
The building also marks the start of phase two of the Paradise development which will provide further permeability for an otherwise disjointed civic centre.