Inspirations in Engineering 2013 - page 14

Winner Special Prize of the Jury
Grontmij’s consultants were responsible for the
innovative and integrated sustainable approach of
this extraordinary building in China. It resulted in a
conceptual design for all engineering disciplines.
The Wuhan New Energy Institute, including an
Exhibition Centre, is a new-build project of 70,000 m
gross in the Wuhan Future City development zone
in Wuhan, China. The sustainability concept and
the architecture of the main-building are inspired by
nature: the calas lily flower, which symbolises purity,
hope and greatness. The tower will be surrounded
by five laboratory buildings and an exhibition centre.
The combination of the BREEAM-international New
Built label and a 3-STAR award of the Chinese Green
Building Evaluation Label implies this building will be
one of the world’s most sustainable office towers.
Conceptual design
The conceptual design of this project emphasises the
theme of new energy utilisation, while it meets the basic
functional requirements of gathering the new energy
technology industry resources from Hubei Province,
from all over China, and even the whole world. After the
construction is complete, it will be the most influential
pilot architecture with renewable energy in central China
and its main building shall be guaranteed to receive the
most senior 3-Star Award in the Chinese Green Building
Evaluation System. In addition, the main building shall
also be aiming for the highest foreign certification with a
BREEAM-international bespoke award.
Grontmij - a leading engineering consultancy
The Grontmij consortium (Grontmij, a leading
engineering consultancy, together with Shanghai Xian
Dai architectural and engineering group) was the
bid-winning company of the international request for
proposal and we signed a contract in October 2010 to
work out the proposal design to a further detailed design
with the goal of starting the construction in summer
2011. Grontmij has the lead in the conceptual phase
of the following disciplines: process management,
sustainability, architecture and urban planning (Jos
van Eldonk), structural engineering, building systems
engineering, energy, building physics and fire safety
Structural design and BIM
Given the short period of time of only 2 months, we had
to be able to react quickly on changes in the design.
Good interoperability between the software was thus
very important.
The organic shape of the building was modelled by the
designer and architect in SketchUp, in close discussion
with the principal. During this period, the Scia Engineer
model was built based on the SketchUp model and
sent to Revit to create the final architectural model.
This however resulted in some hiccups. With the help
of the Nemetschek Scia support team, we understood
that these were linked to the advanced and easy way
complex shapes can be modelled in Scia Engineer, but
that was incompatible with the Revit approach. To solve
this, we turned the process around by first building the
model in Revit, based on the SketchUp model, to then
send it to Scia Engineer.
This proved to be a more reliable workflow.
Similar conversion issues appeared between
Scia Engineer and ETABS (used by our Chinese
partners), that we could solve as well by adapting our
Using the software package Scia Engineer made it
also easier and clearer for our engineers to ascertain
how the structural design best responds to special load
cases such as earthquakes. Thanks to this, we were
able to quickly process the rapid succession of changes
in response to the client.
With these experiences in mind, our management
clearly decided to expand our software and encouraged
us to invest more in BIM. One of these decisions
included switching to Allplan Engineering, aiming to
overcome the problems of exchanging data between
CAE and CAD software.
Nowadays, all experiences in BIM processes are shared
across the different divisions of Grontmij. We thrive to
implement this new way of working wherever possible,
to bring benefits to every stakeholder of the project.
New Energy Institute - Wuhan, Province Hubei, People’s Republic of China
Software: Scia Engineer
Winner Special Prize of the Jury
Quote of the Jury:
“The jury was impressed with the unique and stunning design, the
outstanding BREEAM rating for environmental performance, and its commitment to Building
Information Modeling (BIM). Highest achievable durability was a primary design goal. The
project will form an education/training platform for the future.”
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