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Detailing East London’s newest icon - Newfoundland - ‘The Diamond Tower’

Image courtesy - Telge Projects

“Overall, this project posed many new challenges for us and provided unique detailing experiences because of its unusual requirements. Our research and development department developed many Tekla plugins to minimize the complexity of this job. Projects involving structural revisions to construct the best, unique shapes, while respecting various other requirements, demand heavy cost on the steel detailing side. This project’s complexity made us think how to make revision work easy and reduce its impact on drawings. Here, Tekla Structures’ user friendly drawing tools helped us to reduce revision impact on drawings without any significant impact on the cost. In addition, we utilized Tekla’s amazing features to easily generate supportive files and reports at extreme level to meet our client’s requirement.”

Mr. Rinu Mathew, Manager - Detailing, Aarbee Structures Pvt. Ltd.

Company overview

Aarbee Structures Private Limited based at Bangalore, India is an ISO 9001-2015 company and a member of National Institute of Steel Detailing (NISD) & American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC). The company is committed to provide world class services adhering to AISC (American Institute for Steel Construction), BS (British Standard codes for steel detailing) and Indian Standards in structural design & steel detailing of industrial, commercial, residential, power plants, stadium, etc., to infrastructure development & construction companies, civil engineering consultants, architects, erectors, Delivering one of Aarbee Structures’ signature project - Newfoundland - The Diamond Tower The company’s proactive team of highly qualified engineers, with the help of the most versatile Tekla Structures software, has a history of delivering some of the best steel detailing projects and work in both imperial and metric standards. The business relation between Tekla Structures and Aarbee has enabled the company to achieve a monthly capacity of 20,000MT and successfully deliver more than 3000 projects ranging from 100 to 45,000 MT of a variety of structures & complexities.

Image courtesy - Telge Projects

Delivering one of Aarbee Structures’ signature
project - Newfoundland - The Diamond Tower

Image courtesy - Telge ProjectsNewfoundland is a 62 storey skyscraper located at the Canary Wharf estate, London’s commercial district in East London. It is also known as ‘The Diamond Tower’ since it has a diamond-pattern steel exoskeleton that structurally supports it. This tower was designed by Mayfair based, Horden Cherry Lee Architects (HCLA) and is the tallest build-to-rent building in the UK (at 220 meters). In addition, Newfoundland is the first ‘residential-only’ building constructed on the original site of Canary Wharf’s financial estate with all amenities like plant room, restaurants, a gym and a residential play space. This construction is on an impressive site beside the river Thames, located at the end of the middle dock, and its prominent location overlooks the front of the main exit of Canary Wharf Jubilee line station. The scope of work of Aarbee Structures included the entire steel detailing work of the project with an aggressive delivery deadline.

Multiple challenges faced in erecting this unique 62 Storey skyscraper

Amongst the various challenges, the 3 major hurdles that the designers had to face that forced them to opt for an unusual design and construction method were,

  • The plot was narrow while the building was 26 meters at its widest point
  • The tunnels for the Jubilee Line were aligned under the site and they converge towards the station creating a ‘V-shape’ under this building, limiting options for piling
  • The east side of the construction site was directly next to a grade 1 listed “banana wall” built in the 19th century during construction of the original historic docks. This wall could not be moved or altered in anyway.

These circumstances demanded a special and interesting design solution as the pilings that usually make up large skyscrapers’ footings could not be evenly spread throughout the site. Also, the construction had to be relatively light-weight since it was to be built above tunnels on a narrow site. The structural engineering team of WSP opted for a method to design an external diagrid, which allowed to transfer the forces, and was an inherently stable structure for a slender building. Another major challenge for the steel detailers was to follow the fabricators’ requirements and to provide the best, most accurate output. In this project, the structural and miscellaneous steel work contract was taken care by a joint venture of two different companies from different parts of Europe – ‘Victor Buyck Steel Construction’ from Belgium and ‘Hollandia Structures’ from Netherlands.

Image courtesy - Telge Projects

Why Aarbee chose Tekla Structures for the complex structural detailing of New foundland

Sharing the plan of action of the project, Rinu Mathew, Manager - Detailing, Aarbee Structures Pvt. Ltd. Said, “Our first target was to finish the detailing of 8 foundation grillages weighing 160MT and 22 mega-columns (built-up box sections to fill concrete) with base node connections of total weight 460MT. The team detailed the 3D model and drawings in two different standards since the fabrication works were taken care by different companies with different shop practices. Also, the customer required 3-digit precision on linear and angular dimensions for the most precise fabrication. We had to detail a lot of embed plates for the accurate connection between the exoskeleton and the inner concrete core.”

Following are some of the benefits of using Tekla that the project team outlined:

  • The execution team widely used the option of ‘shortening’ (+/-) for members by considering anticipated construction tolerance. This job had many preparation cuts in parts for qualified welds. Tekla helped the team to have multiple cuts on parts and generated its electronic files and drawings accurately.
  • Tekla accommodated multiple users without any performance issue while working on this project. The team could resolve all of the customers’ queries thanks to Tekla!
  • Further, timely assistance from the Tekla Support team helped the project at all critical situations
  • Using Tekla Structures the project team delivered massive 3D structural model of 9,160MT steel and more than 12,000 drawings efficiently within the stipulated time
  • Tekla Structures enabled the project team to meet all reporting demands of the fabrication team by generating all the supporting files as and when needed
  • Tekla helped address a number of very specific requirements from the clients as well, including the fabricators’ needs,
  1. Provided extra thickness for bearing plates
  2. Provided layout points at several locations of model for field survey
  3. Provided surface area for each paint coating type by adding surface treatment on all relevant faces
  4.  Weld volume report was provided by adding 100% welds in the Tekla 3D model and generating separate layout to indicate the welds
  5. Prepared site coordination drawings and construction sequence drawings by considering crane location in erection point of view
  6. Assembly drawing carried main assembly fabrication details and individual part details with all checking and assembling dimensions, as required by one of the fabricators
  7. Separate part drawings were submitted for the other fabricator
  8. Scribe marks were included for parts that were included/detailed in assembly drawings
  9. Weld preparation symbol was shown for parts in the assembly drawing, where the part was bevelled for qualified weld

Rinu summarized their experience as, “We feel proud that our organization played a major role in the construction of this awesome, iconic skyscraper by leveraging the best in the fields of BIM & Digital Construction technologies. We are grateful to Tekla for being a companion in our success story of delivering the Newfoundland. Aarbee Structures is always able to crack the complexity of any project with the help of Tekla software combined with the hard work of Aarbee Team! The journey never ends…”