Author: G. Owens
1 April 2016
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This month's letters consider the division of responsibilities when designing steel frames and connections, as well as ways to attract school-leavers to the structural engineering profession.
66 Queen Square in Bristol was the first private development financed by Skanska in the UK. The project on a 1225m2 site in the city centre included the refurbishment of a Grade II listed building and the addition of a new five-storey office, plus basement. The Grade A office has achieved a BREEAM score of “Excellent” and has been designed and constructed using as many Building Information Modelling (BIM) tools as practicable. Despite being on a relatively small site, the building incorporates striking features, components such as reinforced and post-tensioned concrete and an intricate steelwork frame, and a full refurbishment in a conservation area. 66 Queen Square won the BIM Project Application Award at the British Construction Industry Awards in 2014.
Traditionally, extreme events were predominantly considered for structures where there was a high probability of such events occurring, due to their type and location, or where their failure would have a major consequence e.g. offshore structures or nuclear reactors. Clients for such structures are knowledgeable and confident in defining the event parameters and the performance requirements of their structures both during and just after hazard events. This is based on a rigorous understanding of risk, consequence and the costs associated with lack of resilience and post-event clean-up. Stakeholders and clients fresh to the subject can struggle to assess the criticality of their asset and set appropriate design requirements for extreme events such as an earthquake, flood, extended fire and explosion, without understanding the subtleties of designing for resilience. Neglecting to engage with this at project inception, before design requirements are determined and procurement is initiated, can lead to unrealistic or caveated tender returns and ultimately fail to achieve a resilient infrastructure solution.