Its façade is made of fiberglass reinforced concrete (GFRC) elements, whose dimensions and geometry exceed the standards for the use of this type of material and for the wind loads (up to 350 kg / m2) at which they go to be subject during the useful life. Considering that there is no design regulation for this type of elements, and due to the high loads, the design, manufacturing and assembly aspects represent a challenge and a milestone both nationally and internationally in terms of the structural application of the GFRC.
The company EConcretus is in charge of the manufacture and installation of all the GFRC parts for the facade. Smart Engineering has verified the resistant suitability of the material as well as the structural safety of all the elements manufactured with this material. The uniqueness of the different pieces, as well as the emblematic of the building and the conditions in service, together with the lack of calculation regulations for this material, made this a totally unique project.
In this sense, Smart Engineering has carried out an intense work of structural modeling of the different manufacturing parts. The parts have been practically modeled in their entirety, using 3D finite elements, to verify the behavior of the material against the existing wind load and own weight requirements.
On the other hand, it has been necessary to carry out characterization tests of the material and of the manufactured parts. To this end, Smart Engineering has carried out tests at the Structures and Materials Technology Laboratory (LATEM) Lluís Agulló of the UPC as well as full-scale tests of the parts at the EConcretus facilities in Sentmenat (Barcelona).
The collaboration between EConcretus and Smart Engineering has allowed the design and manufacture of the GFRC parts for the building’s façade, which stand out for having optimized dimensions taking into account the high service loads and the large number of parts a manufacture (most with different dimensions). The set has set a challenge and a new milestone in the use of this material for this type of application.