LSAA 2007 Design Awards Entry 3348 Category:Projects -- Glazing

Entrant: Taylor Thomson Whitting

Client: University of Sydney      Architect: FJMT
Structural Engineer: Taylor Thomson Whitting
Specialist Consultant(s): MPG Façade Innovations
Builder: A W Edwards      Fabricator(s): Long Span Steel

Application and Function: This is an office and lecture building. It forms the entrance to the Engineering walk.

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Design Brief

The brief was to produce a design for the support structure of the acoustic screen. The screen has two functions:
The screen principally acts as an acoustic screen against the noise of the traffic on Cleveland Street. Note that the screen is closed off at the base and the ends. The secondary function is to provide some sun shading to the facades.

Structural Systems

The structural system consisted of two different systems. The dead load is supported by hangers off the concrete structure for the eastern levels 2, 3 and 4 of the building. There are brackets that take the wind loads. The brackets also enable the screen to cantilever past the building.

For the western building, the screen is 5 metres off the building. The weight of the screen in this case is taken by the steel columns. The weight is carried by diagonal hangers from the masts. The lateral loads are taken by brackets back to the concrete frame at level 3, 4 and 5. The western most part of the screen extends out beyond the building by 2.7 metres. The weight is taken by diagonal rods within the frame. The last two columns are braced back to a steel frame that cantilevers off the main concrete structure. This frame also supports the façade of the main building.

Materials

Structural steel was chosen because it gave a structural system that was light and gave the impression of the screen floating free of the building.

Fabrication

The structural steel was fabricated by Long Span Steel. There are a number of complex details to give the impression that the glazing bars are continuous.

Construction and Maintenance

The erection of the screen consisted of erecting the steel frame and then mounting the glass. To erect the steel it was necessary to prop it. This is because the verticals of the grid is offset from the supports. This was particularly critical at the far western end of the frame where the screen cantilevers out.

Note: Drawings have not been displayed.