Deep and High in Hawaii

by Gary Y. K. Chock, (M.ASCE), Vice Pres.; Martin & Bravo, Inc., Consulting Structural Engineers, Honolulu, Hawaii,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1995, Vol. 65, Issue 11, Pg. 42-45

Document Type: Feature article


The First Hawaiian Center, headquarters of the First Hawaiian Bank, will be the tallest building in Hawaii when it is completed in 1996. The unusual design, by architects Cohn Pedersen Fox, posed some structural engineering constraints. Wind and seismic loads were also considered in the design. Hawaii has had several major hurricanes and this was a major consideration. The design called for an unusual sail plan and for eccentric placement of the elevator core. Designers developed six different building configurations, and cost estimation and value engineering was performed on all of these. The structural engineers decided to submit several designs to a dynamic structural tuning to ensure safety as well as occupant comfort in the building. The final design selected was mixed construction system with a concrete basement and an all-steel framed superstructure. The author enumerates the reasons for the final selection. The building's foundation was also a challenge, because of the basement depth of 45 ft below mean sea level and the marine environment. A perimeter soil-mixed wall was installed and dewatering proceeded while the five-story basement and the tower structure were being constructed.

Subject Headings: Building design | Structural safety | Basements | Wind loads | Seismic loads | Seismic design | Value engineering | Architects | Hawaii | United States

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