Building mimics ships’ curves with concrete planks

The office building at the Navy Yard’s Corporate Center in Philadelphia, is intrepid in address and in nature. Located at 1200 Intrepid Avenue, the master-planned development within the Navy Yard is constructed entirely of flat concrete planks.

This is easy for the three sides of the structure that are conventional flat walls. Not so much for the east façade, which is designed to resemble the curve of the ships docked in the nearby Navy Yard. This side has a variety of radii, ranging from 97.5 meters (320 feet) at the ground floor, to just over 2.7 kilometres (8 900 feet) at the parapet of the roof. Each concrete plank is set at an angle so the composition gradually becomes a curving wall with mesmerising optical effects.

The flowing and curved shape of the Intrepid building required significant cantilevering and structural load analysis, with the curving façade tilting outwards as much as 23.56 degrees. Not to mention the safety backup connections that were required to prevent a progressive collapse, if one connection should fail.

A daunting task for any precast concrete company. But possibly less so for High Concrete Group, an avid adopter of 3D modelling, who have been using constructible models to LOD 400 (Level of Development).

“We couldn’t have done the Intrepid project in 2D,” said Dave Bosh, Design Team Leader, High Concrete Group. “Tekla Structures made a significant impact on our success by allowing us to collaborate, save time, reduce costs and work efficiently with all of the project stakeholders.”

High Concrete Group were easily able to collaborate with other parties, provide more accurate bill of materials, and cut erection time by almost 40 per cent. See how in the case study on the Tekla website.