Tall Buildings

Plaza 66, Shanghai |  Makkah Tower, KSA |  Landmark, Abu Dhabi |

 Aurora Tower, Belfast | Destiny USA | Greengate Tower Manchester |

Coral City | Sikorsky Street Wroclaw | Bethnal Green London |

Stratford Tower London | Lamar Towers Jeddah | Arwa Tower Doha |

Kings Tower Riyadh | Viet Com Bank Design Competition |

Qatar Silhouette Peer Review | Swiss Re Design Review |




Tall Buildings









This residential tower design is intended to be affordable and of high quality. Chris Bakkala assembled and led the multidisciplinary engineering team at Buro Happold which worked in support of the architectural design by HKR to make the engineering case for sustainable high rise design of this 37 storey residential development in the centre of Belfast.  The engineering planning team included structural, mechanical, electrical, facade and fire engineering.

Of particular note are high quality, low cost wet heating systems using “energy centres” or small heat exchange units located on the residential floors providing domestic hot water and heat using a central gas-fired boiler.  The fire strategy utilized NFPA (USA) criteria to justify the single egress stair for the 37 storey tower, a stair configuration which would be considered highly unusual for such a tall building outside of the UK and Ireland.

Structurally, a central core augmented by fin walls at residential levels is reduced to minimal core and perimeter columns at ground floor lobby. The fin walls derive support from columns at the base while stiffening the central core. Floor plates are minimal 190mm thick post tensioned concrete.  The structural arrangement realized maximum advantage of the superior fire and acoustic performance of concrete structure.  The flat floor soffits combined with low profile extract ductwork for “landlocked” bathrooms and kitchens allowed minimisation of the ceiling void and floor to floor height while also eliminating vertical transportation of air across floor plates (excepting smoke extract) maximizing net/gross floor area. Floor to floor height measured 2850mm.  Substantial economies were achieved through collaboration and coordination of the efforts of designers from various disciplines, each with different particular objectives, but all sharing a common goal.