Hybrid Structural-Façade Systems For High-Rise Buildings

Yanfei Zhao
General Manager
Baidu, Inc., Beijing

This presentation presents an innovative hybrid structural-façade system for high-rise buildings, developed in the framework of an International design competition.
While most of the high-rise buildings feature a core surrounded by a spatial frame defining the volume, the proposed scheme envisions a column-free plan where the perimeter structure is constituted of steel cables, working in tension to suspend the floor plates and transferring the loads to the core by means of story-high trusses located along the perimeter as well as diagonally across the floor, at the mechanical levels.
The steel cables feature custom fittings to support the fully-glazed skin and allow for an optimized redistribution of the loads between the supporting members. The resulting hybrid scheme has beneficial impacts from a structural, sustainability, and indoor environmental quality standpoint. Furthermore, the reduced building footprint equates to smaller volume of excavation, positively impacting cost of construction as well as schedule.
Ultimately, the proposed hybrid scheme, fostering an optimized behavior of the load bearing members and an absolute minimization of the façade elements, has led to a significant reduction of materials and energy embodied in the building, when compared to a standard high-rise construction.
Additional points:
• Application of the scheme on different building types
• Detailed comparision of the structural to embodied carbon efficiency ratio of the proposed scheme.
• General overview of the scheme and the Competition Entry as a case study for its application