The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Thursday, 24 July 2014 10:46

South Korea’s Tallest Skyscraper Opens

South Korea’s tallest building, the Northeast Asia Trade Tower (NEATT), has finally opened after being completed nearly three years ago. American firm Kohn Pedersen and Fox designed the tower and New York developer Gale International worked with South Korean steel company Posco Engineering and Construction to build the structure. The skyscraper is part of the $35 billion Songdo International Business District that was built from scratch starting eight years ago. The 1000-foot, $614 million skyscraper was completed in 2011, but its interior was not finished due to financial difficulties during the recession. After a three year delay, the NEATT is finally opening its doors to the public.

Workers began drilling piles for the Tappan Zee Bridge in March. Since then, equipment has slowly accumulated on the Hudson River in New York to help build the bridge. Perhaps the most impressive piece of equipment arrived last week though when a barge-mounted concrete production factory arrived on site. The barge is one of a pair that will make 300,000 cubic yards of concrete for the new bridge span. The two barges are expected to reduce costs throughout the length of the project and also will likely make the project run smoother as the concrete will not need to be transported to the site. Workers will not have to worry about the concrete getting delayed due to traffic or road hazards. Had the decision been made to make the bridge’s concrete at a regular production factory, the Tappan Zee bridge project would have added 30,000 trucks to the road to transport the concrete throughout the duration of the project. The 60 foot by 200 foot barge is capable of producing 125 cubic yards of concrete per hour and can test the concrete in a laboratory located on the barge.

The StructuralEngineer.info News Center is being funded by our Annual Corporate Sponsors " (learn more):

The Kentucky Department of Transportation has been trying to build a new bridge on I-69 over the Ohio River for many years. The bridge would link Henderson, Kentucky and Evansville, Indiana. When the bridge was first being discussed a decade ago, a $1.4 billion price tag was the popular estimate for the bridge’s cost. This cost estimate proved prohibitive for any discussion of building the bridge as taxpayers felt it was going to be far too expensive to complete the project.  Now, however, a Henderson-Evansville I-69 advocacy group is presenting a modified vision of the project that would lower the cost to $800 million.

Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Non-Destructive Testing IZFP in Saarbrucken, Germany have been working on building robots that can inspect buildings for damage. The current prototype, which made its first inspection in 2011, significantly reduces the amount of time needed to inspect, compared to having a human carry out the inspection, and also does not interfere with the usage of the building. Germany has put a strong focus over the past few years on inspecting many of the country’s concrete buildings. Most of these structures were built in the years following World War II and have begun to deteriorate over the last 60 years due to heavy loading and inclement weather. The current standard of using test engineers to inspect buildings with their naked eye is both time consuming and not completely accurate. It can also require special equipment such as cranes and helicopters to inspect parts of structures that are difficult to reach.

The StructuralEngineer.info News Center is being funded by our Annual Corporate Sponsors " (learn more):

The first of several claims related to the Panama Canal’s $1.6 billion in cost overruns will begin arbitration in Miami next week. The first dispute to be heard by the arbitration court will be a $180 million claim over the cost of draining an area to create work space near the Pacific locks of the 50-mile (80-km) long canal. The project’s contract states that if a disagreement between two parties arises during any part of the project, the two sides must first analyze the other side’s claim and then head to an adjudication board. In the event that these two measures cannot bring an agreed upon solution, the dispute would then head to arbitration. 

Many Cleveland residents were woken early on Saturday morning by the noise from the Inner Belt Bridge demolition. Controlled explosives were used to demolish five of the nine steel spans of the bridge over the Cuyahoga River around 6 a.m. local time. The Ohio Department of Transportation closed all roads within a 1,000-foot radius during the demolition. They also set up a viewing area for the public to watch the demolition nearby.  A video showing the span collapsing in a matter of seconds can be found here.

The StructuralEngineer.info News Center is being funded by our Annual Corporate Sponsors " (learn more):

French architectural firm Chartier-Corbasson has joined in on the green structures trend by unveiling their own concept for a building made from the recycled waste of its occupants. The idea turns the traditional skyscraper financing model on its head by using the paper and plastic waste from current residents to build panels for the building’s continued construction and growth. As more and more material is recycled from the tenants, the building would keep adding floors. Thus, the faster people move into the building, the faster new floors can be added. Chartier-Corbasson believes there would be enough material produced in one year by the building’s residents to create the building’s facade.