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Construction site news

CONSTRUCTION SITE
NEWS
#2
STEEL CONSTRUCTION

In this issue, we talk about the unique aspects of the Archive of the Future’s steel construction, focussing on the building’s underlying physical framework. Civil engineer Undine Fuchs, responsible for the structural engineering of the Lichtenfels project, answered our questions and provided in-depth explanations. She also took time to share intriguing details about the project's planning and implementation. Together with the interview, we’ve included photos and some brief explanations.

Since construction began, we’ve documented the process, which can be viewed in our showroom.

The public wall-newspaper, entitled Construction Site News, chronicles the stories and experiences behind building this unprecedented structure. We interview experts and provide detailed, behind-the-scenes insights.

The showroom is currently closed, but you can watch and listen to the latest edition of our Construction Site News here:

A ) Underlying features of the steel construction process

The architect conceived the building to have an open and transparent spatial effect. Boundaries between inside and out will mix and merge, rendering them altogether indistinct. This, however, requires the load-bearing segment of the structure to be manoeuvred into the background. Undine Fuchs overcame this underlying constraint with an elegant combination of slender steel girders and highly reduced floor thicknesses. In this way the aesthetics—pushed to the fore—become the primary focus.

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B ) Significant structural challenges

How can maximum structural stability be attained when using minimal materials? Foremost, the stability strategy requires a thorough analysis of all forces that will later act on the building: the stationary loads of the façade and roof; live loads, such as furniture and people; and the environmental influences, such as wind or snow. All these forces must be borne by the steel structure’s composition and anatomic arrangement. Not surprisingly, a highly accurate level of stress analysis and design acumen were called for, bringing together diverse planners from different engineering disciplines.
The figure above illustrates an in-depth deformation analysis.

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C ) From planning to implementation

Months are spent planning, and the individual parts of the steel structure are drawn down to the last detail. Every bead of weld, screw hole, and steel connection is taken into consideration and captured in a construction manual for the workshop. The steel fabricators manufacture and deliver the building components, while the construction crew assembles the structure. Before long, Ms Fuchs is able to witness months of complex calculations materialize on site into a solid, deceptively simple structure. The figure above depicts a section of a workshop drawing for one of the steel columns.

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D ) The process continues

The next step is to install the floor superstructures, put in the building services and start on the interior fittings. The next major construction site project to follow will be the fitting of the glass façade.

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Tip: you can also find information detailing the construction site challenges in the most recent issue of our magazine: