Online Information Centre for Stainless Steel in Construction
Case Studies > Structure
Called an “Anchored Mirror”, public conveniences have been set up on the beaches of the Basque coast. Fully clad in mirror-polished stainless steel, the parallelpipedal building resists marine corrosion and winds. In the case of very strong tides, it is even submersible.
The Armada Platform is operated by BG Group and exploits three gas and condensate fields in the Central North Sea, 250 km east of Aberdeen. It comprises a four legged steel spaceframe jacket supporting a single integrated deck containing wellhead, process and accommodation facilities. The living facilities on the platform required extending to accommodate 59 personnel. Four blast and fire rated accommodation modules and two walkway modules linking the new modules to the existing accommodation were added to the platform in 2009. The structural cladding of these modules was corrugated stainless steel.
This resource is a case study on stainless steel fencing separating a swimming pool from the adjacent Pacific Ocean. It contains information and images that focus on the stainless steel elements, describing the design criteria and method, the construction and the performance of the finished product after construction. Also presented is a stainless steel selection criteria which uses the case study as an example, it considers: environment, salt exposure, weather, design and maintenance. Both grade EN 1.4401 and 1.4301 were specified in a highly corrosive coastal and hot environment. Grade EN 1.4301 which was used for the posts shows pitting and discolouration while the 1.4401 retains a smooth finish with only discolouration around the weld zones.
The floor-to-ceiling partition walls of a bank office are made from glass tubes. Arranged in a sinuous line, they are held in place by stainless steel profiles grade 1.4401. Despite their transparent character, the view is inhibited and confidentiality remains ensured.
This resource is a case study on the Bridge in Cala Galdana on Menorca. The study contains information, structural drawings and images that focus on the stainless steel elements, describing the design criteria and method, the construction and the finished product after construction. The main structure of the bridge is duplex stainless steel (grade 1.4462) and comprises 2 parallel arches connecting to longitudinal and transverse beams that support a reinforced concrete deck. Stainless steel was chosen for its corrosion resistance and low maintenance.
The Cala Galdana Bridge crosses the Algendar River in Menorca. There are panoramic views of this popular beach-side holiday resort from the 55 m span, 13 m wide road bridge. The main structure of the bridge is entirely stainless steel and includes two parallel arches, two longitudinal beams and transverse beams supporting the deck. Reinforced concrete makes up the abutments at each end, which sit on piled foundations. The bridge, opened in 2005, was the first stainless steel road bridge in Europe.
The new headquarters of the Chamber of Commerce of the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg was completed in 2004. It is located on the Kirchberg plateau of Luxembourg and comprises a fully renovated existing building of 5,000 m2 and new buildings providing an additional 20,000 m2 of office space. The new buildings form a succession of four distinct wings linked together by glass footbridges. They have a steel primary frame with glass and steel façades, and the floors are designed as composite slabs using stainless steel panels profiled in a sinusoidal shape. Within the composite floor slab, water-carrying plastic pipes are placed to provide heating and cooling through the exposed stainless steel ceilings, leading to significant energy savings.
This resource is a case study on the San Nicola Stadium, Bari, built for the 1990 Football World Cup. It contains information, structural drawings and images that focus on the stainless steel elements, describing the design criteria and method, the construction and the finished product after construction. Stainless steel is used for the main column and stabilizing structures for the staircase. A welded stainless steel section is also used to support the glass steps that cantilever out.
This resource is a case study on the suspended Glass Walkway in the Basilica of Aquileia, Italy, built to allow visitors to view the ancient stone mosaic without causing damage. The study contains information, structural drawings and images that focus on the stainless steel elements, describing the design criteria and method, the construction and the finished product after construction. A stainless steel (grade 1.4401) support system consisting of a stirrup frame composed of steel flats that connects off cables that attach to the roof is used to suspend a glass walkway. Horizontal bracing is provided by stainless steel tensioning bars between the frame uprights and the steel-glass fixings, which include joints to minimize stress concentrations.
The Helix Bridge is a landmark pedestrian bridge in Singapore, comprising a walkway surrounded by opposing double helix structures made from stainless steel. The design was inspired by the geometric helicoidal arrangement of DNA, which is seen as a symbol of continuity and renewal. The 280 m long bridge is the first double-helix bridge in the world and forms part of a 3.5 km continuous waterfront promenade, linking the Marina Centre, the waterfront area and a large casino/hotel resort. It is a very lightweight structure built almost entirely using duplex stainless steel.
Big Wood Secondary School in Nottingham is situated on the edge of Bestwood Country Park, with approximately 750 pupils aged between 11 and 16 currently on the roll. As part of the UK Government’s Building Schools for the Future initiative, the school is being completely rebuilt and the first phase of the £18 million development, the construction of three two-storey rectangular teaching blocks (about 40 m x 20 m in plan), was opened in the autumn of 2009. The buildings are brick-clad, structural steelwork frames, with composite floors. The brickwork is supported by a stainless steel masonry support system over the windows (some are in excess of 9 m wide). The support system provides a horizontal ledge for the masonry and is fixed to rectangular hollow edge beams.
Beijing’s Poly Plaza is the new headquarters for China Poly, a state-owned organisation with diverse responsibilities in the defence trade, real estate, cultural industries and mineral exploration. In addition to the company’s headquarters, the 100,000 m2 building comprises office space, shops and restaurants. The structure is triangular in plan, with an L-shaped office block forming two sides and the third side formed by one of the world’s largest cable-net glass curtain walls. This creates a large atrium inside the structure, within which the 8 storey Poly Museum-‘The lantern’-is suspended. Stainless steel cables and castings support the cable-net wall. The support fittings were cast from high strength duplex stainless steel.
This resource is a collection of case studies demonstrating the use of stainless steel to rehabilitate old structures to enhance function and improve Stainless steel is proving to be one of the most versatile materials in these projects due to its broad range of alloys available. Numerous case studies are presented from a wide range of applications; Historic buildings such as: Archaeological sites in Turkey (EN 1.4571, frame) and bold, innovative solutions on more modern buildings such as: Office in Finland (1.4301, frame), Visitors centre in Vienna (1.4301, ceiling), Former bunker in Netherlands (1.4404, exterior). Each case study provides information and images describing firstly the original structure and then the particular detail on the stainless steel elements used in the rehabilitation, describing the design criteria, benefits and dimensions of the stainless steel element.
The Parliament Library building in New Delhi, India, was completed in 2002. Given the significance of the building, the developers (Central Public Works Department) were keen to use the best materials possible, with the latest technologies. It was also imperative for the building to blend in with the surrounding environment. The result is a four-storey building, two floors of which are above ground. The main architectural feature is the twelve individual domes which make up the roof, each comprising different dimensions, designs and materials. The domes are both the highest and most recognisable elements of the building. Two of the domes are made from glass and stainless steel.
The Paul Klee Centre in Berne consists of a three wave-like structures. The steel ribs of the building's frame have been cut using CNC flame-cutting equipment and welded by hand. The roof surface is clad with 0.4 mm stainless steel sheet grade 1.4404.
This resource is series of case studies on stainless steel pedestrian bridges throughout the world. Each case study contains information, structural drawings and images that focus on the structural stainless steel elements. The design, grade and finish specification and construction method are also described. The bridges included are: Girder Bridge in Stockholm, Helical bridge in London, Stress-ribbon bridge in Via Mala Gorge, Arch bridge in York, Girder bridge in Chivari, Arch bridge in Terni, Cable stayed bridge in London, Arch bridge in Andresy and Trough bridge in Bilbao. These bridges demonstrate the use of grades 1.4462, 1.4401 and 1.4404 for both structural and non structural elements.
Built from 1938 to 1941, the Progreso Pier and has been in continuous service for over 70 years without any major repair or significant maintenance activities. A combined environmental life cycle assessment and life cycle costing study was conducted on the pier to show environmental and economic benefits of using stainless steel rebar. The analysis which was conducted by Thinkstep considered the cradle-to-grave impacts of the stainless steel reinforced structure compared with the same structure, had it been reinforced with carbon steel. Engineering experts were engaged in order to design the alternative structure, accounting for differences in materials, maintenance, and estimated service life in the local marine environment.
This resource is a case study on the San Nicola Stadium, Bari, built for the 1990 Football World Cup. It contains information, structural drawings and images that focus on the stainless steel elements, describing the design criteria, the construction and the finished product after construction. Grade AISI 316L (1.4404) stainless steel provides the support structure for a cantilevered roof that is reaches out over the seating area. Tubes, plates and tie bars of various thicknesses create the necessary support for series of Teflon coated fiberglass membranes that cover the roof. Stainless steel was chosen because of its low maintenance and lack of pre-treatment after fabrication that allowed a shortened construction period.
The Schubert Club Band Shell is an outdoor venue for performing arts on Raspberry Island, in the middle of the Mississippi River in St Paul, Minnesota. It was commissioned by the Schubert Club and completed in 2002. The island had been neglected for many years before the Band Shell was built but now offers generous pedestrian walkways, unique and scenic vistas as well as a central location. The structure itself is saddle-shaped (anticlastic) and brings together concrete, wood, stainless steel and laminated glass to create a functional space. The design team developed a 7.6 m wide stainless steel lattice grid that spans 15.2 m between precast concrete abutments and covers a wood-framed stage. Acid-etched glass is offset from and supported by the lattice.
Completed in 2006, this stainless steel cable stayed pedestrian footbridge spans 60 m over a busy motorway in the suburb of Ruffolo, Siena, in central Italy. The bridge girders and pylons are fabricated from a ‘lean’ duplex grade of stainless steel and it is one of the first times this grade has been used for a footbridge. The bridge has a striking appearance, is functionally efficient and cost-effective with a low life cycle cost.
Stonecutters Bridge, Hong Kong, is a cable stayed structure with a total length of 1596 m and a main span of 1018 m. Opened at the end of 2009, the bridge crosses the Rambler Channel and is the main entrance to the busy Kwai Chung Container Port. It is visible from many parts of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. The most striking features of the bridge are the twin tapered mono towers at each end supporting the 50 m wide deck. These tapered towers rise to 295 m above sea level; the lower sections are reinforced concrete while the upper 115 m are composite sections with an outer stainless steel skin and a reinforced concrete core.
Duplex stainless steels are increasingly used as structural materials in building and architecture because of their exceptional mechanical properties. Their room temperature yield strength in the solutiona nnealed condition is more than twice that of standard austenitic stainless steels not alloyed with nitrogen. Over the last few years, they have started playing an increasingly important role in the construction of bridges, wherever specific environmental conditions combine with the need for high load-bearing capability.
London is quite vulnerable to flooding and that threat has increased over time due to the continuous rise in the high water level over the centuries and the slow "tilting" of Britain. There are twice daily 6.4-meter tides and during severe storms there can be surge tides. The Thames River Barrier became operational in 1982, and it is expected to protect the city through 2030.
The first water desalination plant in the UK, the Thames Gateway Water Treatment in East London, opens in 2010. It will treat water from the brackish waters of the River Thames, producing up to 140 million litres of clean, fresh, drinking water each day during times of drought or extended periods of low rainfall, or to maintain supplies in the event of an incident at other water treatment facilities. Within the plant, saline river water passes through lamella clarifiers to remove solid particles. The clarifiers are large, open tanks containing a coarse filter media that is supported by a grillage of 78 stainless steel I-beams.
This resource is a case study of the Grande Arche Panoramic lifts at La Défense, near Paris. It contains information, structural drawings and images that focus on the stainless steel elements, describing the design criteria, the construction and the finished product after construction. The lift shaft comprises a stainless steel structural frame that is designed to allow maximum transparency. A duuplex grade of stainless steel was used to provide high strength and stiffness with low thermal expansion.
The Pavilion marks the new western entrance into Regent's Place, a 13-acre development in the heart of London which features retail, leisure and public spaces. It is a structure made entirely of stainless steel in which a field of vertical columns supports a roof canopy 8 m above street level. The pavilion is 20 m by 5 m in plan, with 258 highly slender rectangular hollow sections supporting a roof plane, reflecting sunlight during the day and projecting light at night from lights integrated into the paving. The structure was opened to the public in 2009 and won a 2010 Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Award for architectural excellence.
Mirror-polished, angeled stainless steel windows in grade 1.4301 highlight the rectangular grid of the structural frame.