• Concrete Solutions: Buro Happold Structures Create Greener, Safer Campuses

    28 October 2020

    Can an old material like concrete learn new tricks? In fact, recent building projects created with structures experts at Buro Happold for U.S. college campuses and museums are proving that concrete isn’t what it used to be.

    With innovations including concrete facade shades, lightweight yet strong hollowed-out slabs, greener replacement materials for energy-intensive cement, and even carbon-capture technology, Buro Happold is turning these iconic building projects into proving grounds for future directions in sustainability.

    “Concrete can be a beautiful material when finished expertly and left exposed, and it’s inherently durable,” says structures designer Stephen Curtis P.E., CEng MICE, a principal with Buro Happold. “Yet behind the scenes, there is a revolution in what concrete can do and how it is being used today.”

    Examples of the innovative structural concepts include:

    – Voided Slabs Using hollow plastic balls inside concrete slabs, building floors can be thinner, lighter and less expensive to construct thanks to the voids inside, which reduce sizes of other structural members, too. Proprietary systems like BubbleDeck are widely available and highly efficient, and Buro Happold has employed them for Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper Quad in Pittsburgh and the ISTB7 research complex under construction at Arizona State University.

    Designed by Moore Ruble Yudell, the void-form slabs in Carnegie Mellon’s five-story business school use 35% less concrete than conventional solid floor slabs, reducing embodied energy by about 30%, according to the expert Roorda.

    – High-Tech Mixes

    Cement manufacture is energy intensive and often fueled by gas, oil or coal, meaning high levels of carbon emissions even before buildings are constructed. Buro Happold is partnering with architects and construction companies to increase the use of cementitious replacements and to study applications of carbon-capture technology in some concrete assemblies to actually draw carbon out of the atmosphere over the building’s life.

    For the ISTB7 building designed to achieve LEED Platinum by architects Grimshaw and Architekton, the concrete mix developed with Buro Happold includes a recycled waste product, fly ash, as well as a superplasticizer that reduces the need for water in the concrete mix. The concrete is highly workable and the resulting structures are just as strong as equivalent mixes, yet the carbon footprints is reduced dramatically for buildings made with these mixes, says Curtis.

    – Concrete Curves Curved concrete shapes are rare, yet they can win awards. In Los Angeles, Buro Happold’s structures experts designed a curving concrete dome for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures that not only dazzles the eye — it also saved time and money in creating the acclaimed new building by Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Gensler. Buro Happold’s team called for casting 690 precast concrete panels that were used as formwork for structural concrete, which was cast in record time.

    – Lightweight Sunshades

    With its expertise in analyzing and designing sustainable buildings, Buro Happold’s facade specialists and structural engineers often collaborate to create glass-and-concrete walls that optimize daylighting for occupants, bringing in useful sunlight while also cutting heat gain and energy use for heating and cooling.

    To strike the right balance between daylighting and minimizing heat from the desert sun, Buro Happold and the architects designed the vertical enclosure of ISTB7 with glass fiber-reinforced concrete (GFRC) panels that offer self-shading, faceted reveals to protect the large windows from overheating. From Buro Happold’s perspective, “Concrete is high in embodied carbon, and so these innovations are not only laudable but also essential to a more sustainable future,” says Curtis.

    For more information on Buro Happold and the projects described above, contact Adam Sullivan, 646-838-1033 or [email protected]

    More Technology & Products
    Buro Happold Authors White Paper Calling for Transition to HFO Refrigerants that Reduce Social and Climate Change Impacts
    (7 October 2020, Los Angeles) Buro Happold, an international, integrated engineering consultancy creating solutions for buildings, campuses and cities, has announced the publication of its authoritative new white paper calling for building owners and designers to transition to use less refrigerants and more environmentally friendly options. Used for heating, ventilation and air-conditioning [...]
    TALK: With 3-D Printed Homes, an Affordable, Sustainable Future (Buro Happold)
    As major real estate markets of all kinds face severe shortages of affordable housing, investors and prospective homebuyers are beginning to look for new, preferably climate-friendly solutions. Enter Oakland, California-based Mighty Buildings, a company that constructs pre-fab dwellings in a range of sizes, using a proprietary 3D-printing technology to build them. According to Patti [...]
    COLOURLIVING launches new online lifestyle shopping portal
    COLOURLIVING, the one-of-a-kind concept emporium in Hong Kong championing impeccable design and cultivating a premium lifestyle, debuts its online shopping store www.COLOURLIVING.shop today. The online platform is the brand’s latest addition that complements its existing retail store in Hong Kong COLOURLIVING was founded in 2000 to foster a majestic lifestyle and channel a [...]
    Go Touchless – Hygienic and Safe access
    “Barrier Free” Automatic Sliding and Swing doors solutions for Public Toilets, Commercial buildings, Shopping malls – to ensure a hygienic and trouble free access to any public areas and facilities. AUB has developed a complete solution including automatic door operators, user-friendly indicator panels including braille, audio and visual human interface as well as the logic control to [...]
    IN office chair – 3D seating at its best.
    One of the most dynamic, comfortable, and attractive office chair, is also perfect for the home. Equipped with Trimension®-the IN chair ensures maximum 3D capabilities while sitting at the same level of flexibility people experience while walking. Sporting an athletic look, the backrest is covered with 3D form-strick, the same materials that are used in running shoes. Minimal shifts in [...]
    The safest, high-speed security door in the world
    Top protection for your assets against burglary, robbery and vandalism –Security without limits The EFA-SST ® Secure combines speed with security in a single door solution. It provides maximum protection to the people around you, whilst incorporating the speed of an efficient EFAFLEX high-speed door. Double-sided automatic locks secure the door during every closing operation, transforming [...]
    Comansa Releases Flat-Top Crane with Load Capacities Of 50, 66 T
    The new 21LC1400 from Comansa is designed for use in infrastructure and prefabricated construction projects, but also delivers in any environment with heavy loads such as shipyards and mining. The 21LC family features a modular design counterjib designed to significantly reduce the operating radius in small sites. A new single and highly compact trolley-hook has also been designed for the [...]
    LG debuts revolutionary steam clothing care system – The Styler Series
    (18 October 2019, Hong Kong) Aware of the needs of the modern family, LG Electronics (LG) is proud to introduce the Styler series, a steam clothing care system which uses TrueSteam® technology combined with an innovative design to enable easy dry-cleaning of laundry at home. Designed to care for a range of dry-clean-only fabrics, from suits and evening dresses to delicate fabrics and [...]
    World’s Largest Solar System at Sea
    (23 August 2019, Male) A technological breakthrough changes the perspective on renewable energy – the world´s largest solar system floating at sea has been installed at LUX* South Ari Atoll. This unique technology called SolarSea gathers solar energy directly on the ocean to power the island in an eco-friendly fashion. (按此浏览简体中文版) As part of the resort’s commitment [...]