Saturday, January 31, 2009

Kansai International Airport

Kansai International Airport is located on two artificial islands in the middle of Osaka Bay in Japan. It´s the first airport located on an man-made island.

The construction:

In 1987 the construction began.
In 1989 the sea wall of the first Island was completed.
In 1990 the 3km long bridge was finished.
Between 1991 and 1994 the Terminal was built. It was designed by the world renowned Italian architect Renzo Piano, the same architect who designed the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.

On the 19th April 2001, the airport was one of then ten structures which were given the "Civil Engineering Monument of the Millennium" award by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

In the next video we can learn a lot of aspects concerning the building of the Kansai International Airport, like how to resolve the gradual sinking of the island, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of locating an airport in the middle of the sea.

Kansai International Airport 1/5

Kansai International Airport 2/5

Kansai International Airport 3/5

Kansai International Airport 4/5

Kansai International Airport 5/5

Kansai International Airport in the Google Earth

Ver mapa más grande

From: wikipedia and youtube

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Taipei 101

Taipei 101 as its name says is in Taipei in the Republic of China (also known as Taiwan) and has 101 floors above ground and 5 underground floors. The Taipei 101 was the tallest skyskraper in the world, until the 21th July 2007 when the Burj Dubai overtook that title. It was designed by C.Y. Lee & Partners.

The construction started in 1998 and it was opened to the public on the 31st December 2008.

A engineering interesting aspect:

Taipei 101 has a tuned mass damper (also kown as active mass damper AMD or armonic absorber) of 660 metric tons suspended from floor 92 to floor 88. The particularity of this AMD is that anyone can see it, because it´s shown to the people. This AMD was designed by Thornton-Tomasetti Inc and Evergreen Consulting Engineering.


Now we can see a video composed of 5 parts, showing the construction of the skyscraper. Then, I have put another video showing us the tunned mass dumper in action and finally 2 videos about the wind that hits the top of the Taipei 101.

I hope you´ll enjoy it.

The construction of Taipei 101

Taipei 101 1/5

Taipei 101 2/5

Taipei 101 3/5

Taipei 101 4/5

Taipei 101 5/5

Video of Taipei101´s tuned mass damper in action

Curiosity: How much wind can there be on top of Taipei 101?

Wind on top of Taipei 101 1/2

Wind on top of Taipei 101 2/2

wikipedia and youtube

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ting Kau Bridge

The Ting Kau Bridge (Chinese: 汀九橋) is a 1177 meters (3861,55 ft) long cable-stayed bridge in Hong Kong, China. The bridge connects North-west New Territories with Hong Kong Island, crossing the Rambler Channel.

It was designed and constructed by a joint venture composed by:
- Cubiertas y Mzov (22%), Entrecanales y Tavora (22%), now both part of Acciona, from Spain.
- Ed Züblin AG (22%), from Germany.
- Downer and Co (Downer EDI) (22%), from Australia.
- Paul Y (12%), from Hong Kong.

The construction began in 1994 and it was finished in 1998.

The video, composed of 5 parts, it´s really interesting because it explains the building of the
bridge step by step.

Construction of Ting Kau Bridge & Approach Viaduct 1/5

Construction of Ting Kau Bridge & Approach Viaduct 2/5

Construction of Ting Kau Bridge & Approach Viaduct 3/5

Construction of Ting Kau Bridge & Approach Viaduct 4/5

Construction of Ting Kau Bridge & Approach Viaduct 5/5

From: wikipedia and youtube

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Daruma-otoshi demolition technology

The Daruma-otoshi demolition system was invented by the Japanese construction company, Kajima Corporation.

This technology to demolish skyscrapers consists in replacing the support columns with gigant computer controlled hydraulic jacks. Then, the first floor is demolished and the debris is taken out. Next, the entire building is lowered down with the hydraulic jacks and the demolition of the second floor begins...till the end when the last floor is demolished.

The method is called daruma-otoshi, because of an old Japanese game called that way. It consists of hitting a Daruma doll (composed of 5 pieces one on top of each other) using a small hummer, from bottom to top, avoiding the pieces from falling during the whole game. The Daruma-otoshi japanese video game is available here.

Video: Daruma-otoshi demolition method used in floors 17 and 20 of buildings in Tokyo, Japan.

- City center buildings can be demolished without interrupting the traffic.
- Too much space is not needed to collect debris, because it is taken out all the time.
- The recycling process is more effective: 99% of steel and concrete and 92% of the interior materials.
- No need for explosives.
- The demolition is better controlled and safer.
- Less noise is produced.
- It's 20% faster.

- I suppose that it must be more expensive.

From: youtube, wikipedia

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Citigroup Center in New York

The Citigroup Center (First called Citicorp Center) is in New York City. There´s also another Citigroup Center in Chicago, but I´m going to speak about the skyscraper of New York. It is 278.9m (915 foot) tall, with 59 floors. It is easily distinguised in the skyline of NY because of his 45º angled top base, which was thought to have luxury apartments on it and then, solar panels, but finally they didn´t do anything.

The skyscraper, completed in 1977, was designed by the american architect Hugh Stubbins Jr. for Citibank. The engineers were William LeMessurier and Associates.

This building was pioneer in using a shock absorber, technically called tuned mass damper (TMD). They were used in bridges but not in buildings. Nowadays the tuned mass dampers are used in skyscraper architecture to reduce movements of the building in windy days or when earthquakes happen. The Citigroup Centers TMD is a 400 tonne concrete block moved by a hydraulic system.

In these 2 videos we can learn how engineers resolved structural problems before the design and once the skyscraper was built.

Citigroup Center´s secrets 1/2

Citigroup Center´s secrets 2/2

wikipedia, PBS, tuned mass damper, youtube

Monday, January 5, 2009

Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Students build a steel bridge

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology or MIT is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It's one of the most important Institutes of the USA and among its Professors and former students there have been a lot of Nobel prizes.

The MIT website contains many free videos allowing as to follow courses and lectures of their different departments: Architecture, Civil and enviromental engineering, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, History ...

In this video we can see building a steel bridge by the MIT Civil and Environmental Engineering team.

From: MIT

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Rio Antirrio Bridge

It's called the Rio Antirrio Bridge (Γέφυρα Ρίου-Αντιρρίου in Greek) because it links the town of Rio in Peloponnese to Antirrio on mainland Greece, crossing the Gulf of Corinth. But its official name is Charilaos Trikoupis bridge, because Trikoupis was the first one who envisioned the brigde during his period as Prime Minister of Greece from 1875 to 1895. This bridge was finally constructed nearly a century later. Its building started on 1998 and it was inagurated on the 7th of August of 2004.

The cable stayed bridge was designed by the French group Vinci.

5 videos showing us how it was constructed. It´s really interesting.

Rio Antirrio Bridge construction 1/5

Rio Antirrio Bridge construction 2/5

Rio Antirrio Bridge construction 3/5

Rio Antirrio Bridge construction 4/5

Megastructures: Rio Antirrio Bridge construction 5/5

From: youtube