Aussie Steel

by Hans Jensen, Dir.; Flack and Kurtz Australia Pty. Ltd., North Sydney, Australia,
Leonard Joseph, (M.ASCE), Senior Assoc.; Thornton-Tomasetti, New York, NY,
Thomas Z. Scarangello, (M.ASCE), Assoc.; Thornton-Tomasetti, New York, NY,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1990, Vol. 60, Issue 12, Pg. 62-65

Document Type: Feature article


The 50-story Chifley Square Building being built in Sydney will be the tallest Australian steel building. Scheduled for completion in June 1992 at a cost of $310 million, it will house financial firms. The building has a trapezoidal shape to fit the street grid, with a convex east facade that overlooks Sydney Harbor and hints at a square sail. Fast-track construction meant issuing drawings in stages of 4-12 floors during the construction of lower floors. The building has a braced core with outriggers; optimization of deflections required a 3-D computer model with 2,300 nodes and 7,100 members. Wind-tunnel tests using an aeroelastic model established wind forces; adjacent towers and the irregular shape of the Chifley Square Building caused building response to vary widely with wind speed and direction. Columns in the wind-resisting system are sized for deflection while the gravity-only columns are sized for stress, causing them to shorten differently under dead load. The engineers countered this by having the more-stressed columns fabricated slightly longer. They used a combination of Australian and U.S. codes to establish reasonable details; Australian codes are more stringent than their American counterparts in some areas, and do not address some aspects of high-rise steel buildings. The building has provision to retrofit damping should its deflections discomfort occupants. The limited range of steel sizes in Australia meant that some beams had to be oversized or built up from plate. The small steel market there also meant that the quantities of steel needed by this project were not available on demand, requiring preordering.

Subject Headings: Displacement (mechanics) | Computer models | Columns | Steel | Steel structures | Fast track construction | Floors | Optimization models | Australia | Sydney

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