In downtown Vancouver, a steel and glass tower expresses its structural frame in a dramatic cantilever over Richards Street. Telus Garden unabashedly celebrates its building components as design features, and that vocabulary continues inside. Exposed structures serve as finished ceilings. The limited palette of materials is meticulously detailed to create a minimalist design that appears effortless.
Upon the announcement of the 2010 Olympic Games, Vancouver studied the expansion of a casino in the entertainment district surrounding BC Place stadium. The concept was intended to help fund its renovation required for the Olympics. Local structural engineering firm Glotman-Simpson was introduced to a deep-ribbed long-span composite floor system for this project. The system-based approach is ideal for large-scale, column-free, multi-story office spaces.
The community ultimately nixed the casino, but the Deep-Dek® Composite floor system left an impression on Glotman-Simpson. With a new multi-story office project on the horizon for Canada’s largest telecom, the engineering firm brought the floor system to the attention of the architecture firm, Henriquez Partners.
The design of the unique office building presented a number of structural challenges. While the design called for an open floor plan, acoustics and floor vibration presented obstacles to overcome. There were additional considerations for how to maximize the floor-to-ceiling height without compromising mechanical and electrical distribution.
The New Millennium long-span composite design development team coordinated with the architect and engineer to meet their project goals. Through the iterative process, New Millennium provided custom solutions to address the challenges of the multi-story office project with extensive in-house expertise. The result is a tailored solution featuring Deep-Dek Composite 6.0.
A key innovation of Deep-Dek Composite is its side-lap tool, Dek-Lok®. This proprietary connection allows for the rapid installation of deck panels, eliminating the use of unsightly screws.
Another critical fabrication component is the closed end of the steel deck panels. This allows for the concrete to be poured continuously, as these tapered ends terminate at the supporting structure and increase its capacity to withstand large reactions at the bearing point.
The steel complements the concrete in a UL-rated assembly. The steel decking with a 5-inch normal-weight topping slab equals an 11 1/8-inch total slab depth that has an unprotected 2-hour fire rating. Intumescent paint is required at the structural members only. Beams have upturned angles as ledgers to receive the Deep-Dek steel decking in the web of the wide flange as opposed to sitting on top.
To meet the challenge of the multi-story office open floor plan, the deck slab assembly cleared a remarkable span of 32 feet and is 30 percent to 35 percent lighter than an equal thin-plate concrete slab. The New Millennium team provided vibration analysis and certified slab analysis that, unlike other composite designs, accounts for long-term deflection.
Initially, the design team selected Deep-Dek cellular acoustical. This profile has a flat liner panel that is shop-welded to the deck “hat.” The cavity alternates between a chaseway and acoustical treatment. Where access panels were required, New Millennium designed a piano hinge-like door with a discrete lock. The cellular acoustical option was abandoned in the late design stage, but most of the unique qualities of the project remain.
During production, New Millennium pre-cut holes in the deck to accommodate junction boxes for electrical distribution. Mechanical piping and most ducts did maintain their location, fitting in the flutes of the deep-ribbed composite without the liner panel. This further maximized the floor-to-ceiling heights, as typical multi-story office and high-rise construction has to compromise ceiling heights by as much as 5 feet with drop ceilings to conceal massive ducts.
A deep-ribbed composite floor system creates cost savings in multiple ways.
As a long-span deck, it eliminates interstitial structural beams, reducing material costs and subsequent labor to fabricate and install. Speed of deck installation creates additional labor savings. New Millennium specialists worked with the deck erector, KWH Constructors, who quickly embraced the Dek-Lok tool. Once familiar with the installation process, the team was able to complete its role in short order. The install goes more efficiently relative to standard composite deck and two to three times faster than cast-in-place concrete projects.
As a result of the pandemic and its corresponding changes in behavior, today’s multi-story office spaces face an evolving environment that demands innovative solutions. Specifically, there are five main challenges in office design and construction. The right combination of steel joists and long-span floor and deck systems enables you to create stunning, practical spaces while addressing flexibility, constructability, sustainability, aesthetics and work environment. Get the guide that shows you how.
The addition of a three-story trackside clubhouse at historic Saratoga Race Course was an important expansion of the storied horse-racing facility in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The erection of the 1863 Club was a construction sprint, meeting a 10-month deadline with the help of a deep-ribbed long-span composite floor system that installed quickly and efficiently.
Franklin School in Washington, D.C., is on the National Register of Historic Places, but it had stood vacant for a decade before a conversion turned it into the Planet Word language museum. A deep-ribbed long-span composite floor system enabled the project to breathe new life into the Modern Renaissance structure while preserving its protected elements.
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