Shaping South Asia Issue 01-2012

Page 1


IN THIS EDITION Structural Specialists talk about Seismic Design

Visual Transparency Faรงade Solution for IFC 2, Jakarta Interview with the Bangkok Post: Building Design Complacency Shaken Up Profile: Meet Mick Atkin, BMU Specialist





ISSUE 01 2012


Regional CEO Message


A happy 2012 to all. In this new year of the dragon, we bring you a brand new issue of SHAPING South Asia. 2011 was a fruitful year for Meinhardt as we advanced further as a Group. This issue illustrates our efforts and the high quality which we strive to deliver in our projects. Meinhardt’s experience and specialist expertise in structures can be seen in our extensive track record over the past years. To further develop our capabilities, we do encourage and explore the possibilities of cross-geographical collaborations among our structural specialists in various offices. Here, we have a special feature in which the Singapore and Australian structure specialists discuss such collaborations and the trends and developments on seismic design,

John Pollard Regional CEO, South Asia

followed by an insight into earthquake risks in Bangkok by one of our Thai seismic design specialists.

j o h n p @ m e i n h a rd t . n e t

Our combination of local expertise in offices throughout Asia, together with support from experts in our international offices, forms a formidable team to deliver original designs. In Meinhardt, we value our people as they play a key role in our development. Here we are delighted to announce two key recent appointments. We now have Peter Galvin on board as Regional CEO for Australia and Dean Thornton as Manager, Urban and Landscape Design, Australia. In addition, this issue features Mick Atkin, BMU specialist for Meinhardt Facade. I hope you will enjoy reading this edition of SHAPING South Asia and I look forward to hearing your feedback.









Understanding Seismic Design A thorough comprehension of seismic design is essential in creating a building structure that can withstand earthquakes. However, seismic design considerations vary for different infrastructure projects, ranging from low-rise to high-rise buildings, metros and bridges. In addition, new trends have emerged over the past years which might form important design considerations. In this discussion, we have invited representatives from our structural specialist groups to explore these topics and discuss the possibilities of future collaboration.

What makes an effective seismic design? Juneid: The essence of successful seismic design is the collaboration within the design team, especially the architect and the structural engineer. Seismic design is unique in the sense that, unlike other common load conditions such as gravity or wind, design forces are based on the assumption that a significant amount of inelastic behaviour will take place in the structure during a design earthquake. In nearly all buildings designed today, survival in large earthquakes depends directly on the ability of the building’s structural system to dissipate energy while undergoing large inelastic deformations. The key to an effective structural seismic design therefore lies in the initial concept design of the structure which needs close collaboration with the architect. The broad guiding principles of a good seismic structural

Juneid Qureshi Group Design Director – Structural Meinhardt Singapore

Peter Placzek Design Director/ Specialist Engineering Manager - Structures Meinhardt Australia

design are:

Ensuring competent load path with direct transmission of seismic forces to the ground Providing redundancy Avoiding configuration irregularities through uniformity and symmetry Avoiding excessive mass Providing appropriate torsional resistance Detailing for controlled energy dissipation Limiting deformation demands

Mark Hennessy Director/ General Manager - Structures Meinhardt Australia

Doug Wallace Senior Engineer - Structures Meinhardt Australia

It is important to note that complex analysis or design techniques should not be used to justify a poor concept design flouting the above fundamentals.

Reflections at Keppel Bay Singapore

What are the differences in the seismic impact and design between low-rise and high-rise buildings? Juneid: During an earthquake, buildings oscillate, but not all buildings respond to an earthquake equally. Low-rise buildings have short natural periods and are excited by short wavelength, high frequency seismic waves. High-rise buildings, on the other hand, have long natural periods and are excited by long wavelength, low frequency seismic waves. If the frequency of oscillation of the ground is close to the natural frequency of the building, resonance (high amplitude continued oscillation) may cause severe damage. In the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, over half of the buildings that collapsed were around 20 stories tall because the natural periods of those buildings matched the ground movements during the earthquake. Â In general, studies of performances under recorded earthquakes indicate that if buildings of all heights receive the same level of attention to design and workmanship, tall buildings are safer than shorter (stiffer) ones when subjected to ground motions caused by an earthquake. This is because tall buildings vibrate slower than shorter buildings and are less likely to be excited by ground motions recorded till date for most earthquakes. Peter: For low seismic risk zones such as Australia and Singapore, a critical factor that must be taken into consideration for high-rise building designs is the wind load. Wind tunnel testing must be done to ensure an efficient building design. In Australia, for low-rise buildings with large floor plate (equivalent to large mass per floor), seismic will be critical in particular for important post disaster structures such as hospitals. There are more challenging issues in high-rise design such as long term concrete shortening and active damping or isolation for movement control (seismic or wind).

Craigieburn Bypass Craigieburn, Australia

Are there any special considerations for infrastructure projects such as metros and bridges? Juneid: Earthquake resilient infrastructure is an important consideration for an effective disaster response and quick reconstruction activities after a seismic event. For infrastructure systems, in addition to structural vulnerability, functional vulnerability has to be carefully considered. Examples of infrastructures which are particularly important during disasters include Public Service buildings (hospitals, police stations, and fire stations), Transportation systems (bridges, highways, roads, airports, subways, and harbours), Water and Sewerage Supply systems, Telecommunication systems, Energy Supply systems (electricity, gas, fuel pipelines) etc. Of course not all subsystems of the infrastructure require the same level of importance since not every public service needs to function to the same extent as in normal times. The definition of “critical” infrastructure by relevant authorities is therefore important. The seismic design of “critical” infrastructure systems requires consideration of higher resistance and reduced damage.

What are the trends in seismic design? Do you see these factors becoming important design consideration? Juneid: The current trend in seismic design, especially for high-rise buildings in regions of strong earthquake ground motions, is the adoption of Performance Based Design (PBD). PBD has the following distinguishing characteristics which are not explicitly covered by prescriptive Building Codes: a) It allows the choice of both appropriate level of ground shaking and level of protection for that ground motion.

Ocean Heights Dubai, U.A.E.

b) Multiple levels of ground shaking can be evaluated, with a different level of performance specified for each level of ground shaking. c) Target building performance levels range from Continued Operation, in which the building and nonstructural components are expected to sustain almost no damage in response to the design earthquake, to Collapse Prevention, in which the structure should remain standing, but is extensively damaged. d) Specific ductility factors can be specified for each component of the seismic force-resisting system. The ductility factor varies and depends on the target building performance level, material type, and the relative ductility of the component. In short, the PBD philosophy allows the selection of innovative framing systems and materials and through non-linear assessment of building response for specific performance objectives under various levels of ground shaking, leading to more reliable and cost-effective structural solutions. Doug: PDB is an advanced method in which a level of acceptable damage is established and used in the push over type design method. A push over analysis involves a non-linear analysis (i.e. yielding of the structural elements is modelled) where a lateral load is applied and increased gradually at all storeys. It reveals elements that will yield first as the building is pushed over and how the load will be redistributed in the structure. In general, linear procedures are applicable when the structure is expected to remain nearly elastic for the level of ground motion or when the design results in nearly uniform distribution of nonlinear response throughout the structure. As the performance objective of the structure implies greater inelastic demands, the uncertainty with linear procedures increases to a point that requires a high level of conservatism in demand assumptions and acceptability criteria to avoid unintended performance. Therefore, procedures incorporating inelastic analysis can reduce the uncertainty and conservatism.

One Raffles Quay Singapore

This approach is also known as "pushover" analysis. A pattern of forces is applied to a structural model that includes non-linear properties (such as steel yield), and the total force is plotted against a reference displacement to define a capacity curve. This can then be combined with a demand curve, typically in the form of an acceleration-displacement response spectrum (ADRS). This essentially reduces the problem to a single degree of freedom (SDOF) system. Nonlinear static procedures use equivalent SDOF structural models and represent seismic ground motion with response spectra. Story drifts and component actions are related subsequently to the global demand parameter by the pushover or capacity curves that are the basis of the non-linear static procedure. Juneid: A recent trend for high-rise buildings in regions of high seismicity as well as strong winds is the increasing use of supplemental damping systems (energy dissipating devices). The structural design of such buildings is often governed by conflicting requirements of efficient performance under wind and seismic loads. Generally for high-rise buildings, under wind loads, the stiffer the structure, the better is the dynamic performance. However, a stiff structure attracts higher seismic forces. The solution to this is the introduction of a supplementary damping system to the structure which not only reduces the wind response without the need for additional stiffening, but reduces the seismic forces as well. This leads to a more efficient structural system, better performance and cost savings. Â Another latest development in seismic hazard assessment is the realization in many low seismicity countries in Southeast Asia, that large but infrequent distant earthquakes might pose real problems when they occur. As a result of rapid economic growth and development in Southeast Asia, many high-rise buildings and complex infrastructure systems have been constructed on less favourable sites such as soft soils or reclaimed land.

Signature Towers Dubai, U.A.E.

Singapore and the Malay Peninsula are examples of such regions with low seismicity but high exposure. It is important for a detailed risk assessment to be carried out for such structures to obtain a composite risk rating of seismic hazard and building performance.

Where do you see possible collaborations and synergies between both teams? Mark: With many specialists that have great experience and expertise in our offices worldwide, I definitely see the possibility of cross-geographical collaborations. With that, there needs to be a better understanding of the various offices capabilities, key peoples expertise and project experience so that we can leverage more on this capability.  In Australia, we have worked on a number of Large Span Steel Hangars, Varying Types and Size Complex Structures over the years. I do anticipate that future projects will come up soon which our team can benefit from the sharing of expertise within other group offices. We would very much enjoy the opportunity to collaborate with any of our international offices where appropriate. Juneid: We have collaborated in the past with other offices in the group for some of our major projects, but we need to team-up more often. With more structured collaboration and knowledge sharing between various offices, I am of the opinion, that we can provide engineering solutions that would be second to none.


Meinhardt offers distinctive

visual transparency as façade solution PT Kepland Investama has enlisted Meinhardt in the development of a new tower for the International Financial Centre (IFC) in Jakarta, Indonesia. Although it will only reach completion in 2013, IFC 2 aims to achieve the Green Mark Gold to recognise its energy efficient features. Situated a mere 1.2-metre distance away from Tower One, the

As Mr Domenico F. Lio, lead architect of NBBJ, pointed out: “the

construction of IFC 2 presents significant challenges due to its

soft natural light fills spaces that would otherwise require artificial

constrained site conditions. In response to these challenges,

illumination, additional energy, and also have a potential impact

Meinhardt’s team developed a total façade and BMU system that

on lease rates.”

can be installed easily onto the building. The 64,000-square metre development will be fully enclosed with Due to the close proximity of the towers and to meet the authority

curtain wall and high performing low-E coated insulated glass,

requirements, light weight and translucent glass panels are

allowing it to comply with the Green Mark Gold requirements set

integrated within the curtainwall. These panels offer varying

by the Building Construction Authority in Singapore.

degrees of light transmission and visual privacy for the occupants. In addition, as the building design features ten different angles, the glass panels are specially positioned to let in the natural sunlight, creating a feeling of transparency and openness. The angles are synchronised with the surrounding buildings, enhancing the environment aesthetically.

Timothy Soebroto Senior Façade Consultant, Singapore

The soft natural light fills spaces that would otherwise require artificial illumination, additional energy, and also have a potential impact on lease rates. Mr Domenico F. Lio Architect at NBBJ

International Financial Centre, Tower 2 Client: PT. Kepland Investama Design Architect: NBBJ, New York Local Architect: PDW, Jakarta Structure, M&E: T.Y. Lin Green Consultant: Kaer


Building design complacency shaken up In an exclusive interview with Bangkok Post, Dr. Praween Chusilp, Executive Structural Engineer of Meinhardt, spoke about the structural safety of buildings against the backdrop of the Burmese earthquake which has affected northern Thailand. SHAPING reproduces extracts of the article here. The March 24 Burmese earthquake, which registered 6.8 in magnitude, has raised public concerns about the structural safety of buildings in Bangkok and elsewhere in Thailand. Even though Bangkok is located far from earthquake sources, it is not immune to earthquake hazards. The city is underlain by thick, soft layers of clay capable of amplifying seismic waves emanating from distant earthquakes by three to five times. “The soft clay also filters seismic wave characteristics and tunes the predominant period of ground shaking to about one second. As the natural period of ten to 20-storey buildings closely matches the shaking period, these buildings tend to respond violently due to resonance, “says Dr. Praween. Medium-rise buildings (ten to 30 storeys) in Bangkok are more susceptible to damage, while high-rises have a better chance of survival in a strong earthquake. Improperly constructed non-structural elements of buildings such as facades or partition walls can be a source of falling debris and pose the greatest threat to human life. “Based on our study, the typical cost difference between medium-rise buildings with and without earthquake designs is 10 to 15% of the structural cost or 3 to 5% of the project cost,” says Dr. Praween. In 2009, the Public Works and Town & Country Planning Department promulgated an alternative earthquake design standard for buildings.

Praween Chusilp Executive Structural Engineer, Thailand

This standard figures in lower yet more rational seismic design forces for medium-rise standards in Bangkok, with resonance effects also taken into account. Most buildings endorsed before 2007 were designed only for lateral loads arising due to winds, in accordance with Bangkok Metropolitan Administration regulations, which can help to resist some earthquake force. In many cases such as high-rise of more than 40 storeys, wind forces are likely to be stronger than those generated by earthquake ground motions. The safety of an old building in an earthquake cannot be verified simply by considering its lateral strength alone. Unlike wind design, earthquake-resistant buildings require not only strength, but also ductility or pliability. Insufficient ductility provisions of old buildings are an added factor reducing their earthquake-resistant capability. Dr. Praween explains that in order to assess the safety of old buildings, a seismic evaluation based on standards of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE 31) is recommended. “Considering Bangkok’s low seismic intensity, the conventional earthquake design prescribed by present codes should be adequate,” he says. “But an alternative, economical approach would be to add dampers to a building to dissipate energy.” When ground tremors are strong, these devices dissipate seismic energy, minimising damage to the primary building structure. Dampers can be added to new or old buildings, but this should be done by qualified experts.

Meinhardt designed a 30-storey seismic-resistant building located on Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok.

Computer model of a 30-storey seismic-resistant building in Bangkok.

Adding dampers in building frame enhances the dissipation of seismic energy and lowers the structural cost.


An efficient plant design focused on risk management Given its unique production environment, safety is the number one priority in all of Caterpillar’s operations worldwide. The US-based, construction equipment manufacturer has commissioned Meinhardt for its two new facilities in Thailand, with plant safety as the foremost consideration in the engineering design. With this in mind, Meinhardt partnered FM Global, a mutual insurance company, to identify solutions to prevent property hazards and risks. The result is a tailored engineering design that is well planned from the start, with adequate capacity to manage physical hazards and reduce the plant’s susceptibility to loss by fire, flood and earthquake, among other perils.

Project Director, Mr Theera Wattanasup said: “As Meinhardt is experienced and familiar with FM Global’s requirements, the team was able to design and manage both projects in a fast track manner. This provided a distinct advantage that allowed us to meet our client’s schedule and expected quality within reasonable construction costs.”

This ‘risk management design’ is applied conscientiously in the two production facilities located in the Hemaraj Rayong Industrial Land - one of which will manufacture medium track-type tractors and another for underground mining machinery.

The two new production facilities will be completed by late 2012 in anticipation of the on-going infrastructure development plans and growing demand for commodities around the region.

Theera Wattanasup Director (Civil & Structural), Thailand


New BMU specialist for Meinhardt

Mick Atkin




Why Meinhardt

Your career before Meinhardt

Why BMU design

Having worked as a sub-contractor on multiple projects where Meinhardt was the façade consultant, I was impressed with the company’s professional approach and technical knowledge. Meinhardt has definitely a major advantage over the competition as both of the BMU and façade packages benefit from having a consultant that can integrate the design from day one.

I was previously with a BMU manufacturer for over 10 years, gaining substantial BMU experience on projects around the world. I covered all aspects of the project from initial sales and concept work, through to procurement, manufacturing, and installation and commissioning. This hands-on experience has exposed me to issues that can come up with BMU designs and also the best ways we go about solving them.

From the start, I was drawn to the fact that no two projects are ever the same, so you have a constant supply of new design problems to overcome. It keeps the job interesting and you are always learning new things. Each day can be a challenge, but in retrospect it is rewarding and keeps you thinking.

What is BMU? Building Maintenance Unit (BMU) plays an important role in façade maintenance and cleaning of the structure. BMUs can be permanently installed onto the building or the structure, and are usually located within the roof and mechanical services. Particularly where the building envelope has a complex shape, the BMU needs to be flexible enough to navigate its way and access the tough spots for cleaning or replacement of façade materials.

04 Your best work to date and why I am proud to say I have worked on major iconic buildings in the U.A.E such as Burj Khalifa and Aldar HQ. The growth in this country has allowed for completely unique buildings designs, which of course needed unique solutions to all aspects of their design.



As a BMU specialist for Meinhardt facade, what will your role entail

Why should property owners take BMU design and audit seriously

Not only will I be directly involved in BMU projects, I will be able to fulfil a mentor role to assist my colleagues that are specialised in the façade design discipline. This will enable Meinhardt to bring on multi-skilled consultants to the table, on each project that we undertake around the world, offering a first class service to the client.

Although the façade is not the most expensive component of a building, it is the most visual one. Clients pay for the best architects to provide cutting-edge designs to make their building stand out. But in the years to come, if the building façade is not well-kept or maintained properly, this is what the public will see. Building maintenance units are more than just glass cleaning devices, you need to consider maintenance and replacement of aircraft warning lights, façade lighting features, replacement of broken glass and leaking seals. As buildings become increasingly tall and complex, BMU designs too are becoming increasingly complicated. It is definitely in the clients’ best interest to take this matter very seriously, and to integrate the BMU design into the façade package and overall architectural package as early as possible into the design cycle.


Key Appointments Meinhardt welcomes two new appointees Down Under - Peter Galvin and Dean Thornton. Peter has been appointed Regional CEO for Australia. He was appointed six months ago as Director for Strategy & Operations in preparation for this new role. He takes over from Glenn Morris who will continue to sit on the Board as Group Director (Projects) for Australia. Glenn will work with Peter to grow and develop operations in Australia and with the Global CEO on strategic group initiatives.

The addition of Landscape Architecture and Urban Design to our service offer recognizes their importance in the planning and land development sectors. They will complement our existing capabilities and provide a more holistic service. Our team’s focus is to provide the best possible service to our clients and deliver creative imaginative solutions that are practical and contribute to their bottom line.

This is an exciting opportunity, which I am really looking forward to. Meinhardt is looking at several growth areas in Australia, including sectors such as Mining and Resources, expanded service lines in existing capabilities such as Urban Development and Project Management and new geographic locations, and I am delighted to be part of these ambitious plans. Peter Galvin

Regional CEO, Australia

Dean Thornton

Manager, Urban and Landscape Design, Australia

Peter brings on board 25 years’ relevant experience having worked on iconic projects across the globe, from the Darwin Waterfront redevelopment, and Nakheel's retail and mixed use portfolio to Westminster Abbey’s refurbishment in London. His reputation and passion for growing professional services businesses in the areas of property, capital works and infrastructure is well known within Australia and the overseas markets.

Adelaide Bahrain Bangkok Beijing Brisbane Chennai

Danang Doha Dubai Gurgaon Hanoi Ho Chi Minh City

Hong Kong Jakarta Karachi Kuala Lumpur Kuwait Lahore

London Manila Melbourne Muscat Noida Riyadh

Dean joins with 20 years’ experience, the majority gained at award-winning design practice Hassell, where he was a Principal in their Melbourne studio. His specialist expertise ranges from the master planning of residential and mixed-use developments to the planning and design of transport infrastructure projects. Recent experience includes preparation of master plans for the infill of urban sites earmarked for regeneration ranging from 3 to 32 hectares, as well as new community developments within growth areas around Melbourne, Victoria and New South Wales.

Seoul Shanghai Shenzhen Singapore Sydney