DISC 2017: High tech concrete - where technology and engineering meet

Presentation synopses

Fibre Reinforced Cementitious Composites: a challenge for the future of construction
Marco Di Prisco

After decades of research and years of pioneering applications, FRC (Fibre Reinforced Concrete) is now a material ready for the world community. Design rules are already available in several countries and the new fib Model Code 2010 includes specific sections for design of FRC elements. This presentation will explore some convincing design applications, discussing the open questions, the limits and the potentials of these innovative materials.

FRC can be a suitable solution, especially for statically indeterminate structures, where stress redistribution occurs. In addition to the structural bearing capacity, FRC is particularly useful for better controlling crack opening in service conditions, which has a particular influence on structural durability, especially in aggressive environments, seismic, fatigue and impact behaviour.

Fibre reinforced cementitious composites are also becoming very promising materials for retrofitting structures whose service life is close to the predicted one. Textile Reinforced Concrete and High Performance FRC can drastically improve the structural behaviour of the real estate and although some basic problems should still be investigated, they appear to be a possible solution to extend the predicted life of the existing structures, minimising the costs and guaranteeing a sustainable choice.

Special concretes in your project
Ignacio Escobar

This presentation will look at the value of special concretes in buildings and provide an update on recent uses of special mixes. In particular, self compacting concrete will be discussed. Ignacio will explain how concrete properties can be adapted to suit design and construction requirements and why their use has increased considerably during recent years. A feature article on special concretes in tall buildings in the September 2016 issue of The Structural Engineer provides some background to this presentation.

Knitting bespoke reinforcement for new concrete structures
John Orr 

With the goal of achieving low carbon concrete design, two major challenges exist. 1) to reinforce structures with complex geometries, and 2) to provide durable and resilient infrastructure. Meeting both challenges would allow us to capitalise on the fluidity of concrete to meet long-term emissions reductions targets. This will require an entirely new approach to design and construction of concrete structures.

This presentation will describe results of an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council funded research project that aimed to completely replace internal steel reinforcement with a knitted composite reinforcement cage made from carbon fibre tows. By fabricating this reinforcement in exactly the right geometry, it is possible to provide exactly the right strength precisely where it is needed. This is potentially transformative for concrete construction, and will greatly simplify the reinforcing of complex shapes.

John Lewis Leeds – Designing the diagrid
Charlie Scott

Victoria Gate is a Landmark major retail development in Leeds. Its John Lewis Store has been constructed with an elegant façade comprising a diagrid lattice of profiled precast concrete. The geometry of the façade needed to be replicated in the structural frame, which created unique structural challenges and resulted in the development of an innovative 'structural point cloud' by Waterman. This 'cloud' managed the complex data generated by the structural modelling. Charlie Scott will provide insight into the rationale behind the design and the lateral thinking used to efficiently design it.


Speaker biographies

Professor Marco di Prisco PhD CEng
Politecnico di Milano - Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Full Professor of Structural Design at Politecnico di Milano since 2003, Marco is a member of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Coordinator of Civil Engineering for Risk Mitigation Master of Science, President of CTE – National Association for Industrialization in Building constructions - since 2014 and a member of the National Standard Committee in CNR (National Centre of Research). Professor di Prisco is also Honorary Editor of the European Journal of Environmental and Civil Engineering, a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Cement and Concrete Composites, and convener of CEN TC250/SC2/Wg1/Tg2 to introduce FRC in Eurocode 2 and a member of fib (co-opted member of fib Presidium), RILEM (expert member in the Development Advisory Committee - DAC) and ACI. 

Ignacio Escobar DIC CEng MIStructE

Ignacio Escobar is a chartered engineer with wide experience as a structural engineer and materials’ supplier. He has participated in commercial, residential, educational and industrial projects as a structural engineer in the UK and abroad. Ignacio has also been involved with project value engineering through the design and specification of special steel and concretes whilst working for Tata Steel International and Tarmac (formerly LafargeTarmac). Currently, Ignacio is forming a design consultancy within Tarmac, to support projects stakeholders in their design of concrete buildings and develop Tarmac’s DfMA capability for the residential sector.

John Orr MEng (hons) PhD CEng MIStructE FHEA
University of Cambridge

Dr John Orr is University Lecturer in Concrete Structures and EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) Early Career Fellow in the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge. His teaching and research are related to sustainable construction, with emphasis placed on concrete, and structural optimisation. Dr Orr has a funded research portfolio of £3.8M. He has built a team of twelve around his vision for the design optimisation and lightweighting of existing and future infrastructure by learning from real performance.

Charlie Scott BEng CEng MICE

Charlie is a Director of Waterman Structures. He has worked with Waterman since leaving Edinburgh University, initially training under agreement before gradually gaining promotion to his current role as a Director of the company. He manages a team of 24 engineers and delights in mentoring and training graduates to be lateral thinking creative engineers and empowered decision makers. Charlie works on a wide range of projects from small sculptural bridges to major projects, each benefitting from his blend of attention to detail and creative engineering.

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