3D Rebar Detailing Supports Two London Skyscrapers

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London’s One Nine Elms development will be one of the tallest residential developments in all of Europe. Find out how Tekla Structures and Trimble Connect streamlined the structure’s detailing process, enabling the team to complete detailed planning reviews in just 12 weeks.

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When concrete contractor Careys Civil Engineering commissioned Solve Structural Design Ltd to complete the reinforced concrete detailing for the One Nine Elms development in London, Solve knew a 3D building information model (BIM) would be critical to the project’s success.

The structure’s three-floor basement would involve one of the longest continuous concrete pours ever attempted in the City of London’s long history. The requirement for a top-down pouring approach added another layer of logistical complexity to the project.

That’s why Solve’s design team opted to detail the raft foundation in three dimensions using Tekla Structures. As Barry Penniston, Solve’s technical director explained, “The Tekla workflow was particularly valuable on the One Nine Elms project, especially considering the sheer amount of reinforced concrete required and the selected top-down construction method.”

One of the Tallest Residential Developments in Europe


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Nine Elms is an ongoing project to erect a mixed-use skyscraper on the River Thames’s south bank. When completed, it will be one of tallest residential developments in all of Europe.
The structure will have two towers, one with 57 floors, and the other with 43. Accommodations will include luxury apartments, retail shops and a five-star hotel.

Solve’s detailing team created preliminary, colour-coded 3D raft models using Tekla Structures. The models enabled the contractors to identify reinforcement bar congestion and spot implementation issues before the onsite work got started.

Over the next few weeks, project stakeholders created, debated and reworked the models to plan and troubleshoot every detail. They identified several potential issues, like the 12 layers of H40 reinforcing bars at the stack’s bottom, rebar congestion surrounding plunge columns and clashes at the corners of the structure’s sloping sides.

Tekla Structures also helped the team plan for shear rails, chair supports and the installation of top bars. “3D modeling, such as that provided within Tekla Structures, allows for the proposed drawings to be checked quickly and accurately, ensuring full continuity before any concrete is cast,” Penniston said. 

Raft Structure Involving Over 5,000 Tonnes of Reinforcement

The foundation of the One Nine Elms development is a massive raft structure, involving over 5,000 tonnes of reinforcement. The team used Tekla Structures to generate 3D models, enabling them to complete all this rebar detailing and verification in only 12 weeks.

The contractor could then perform the 4,850 m3 pour over one 22-hour period. The crew achieved the second-longest continuous pour in the history of Careys Civil Engineering.

The raft under the taller tower was as deep as 5.2 metres and included roughly 1,400 tonnes of rebar. This was the most challenging aspect of the detailing project. 

As part of the modeling process for the main tower, the team identified some particularly serious rebar congestion and clashes. Fortunately, the preliminary 3D model highlighted these problems with the base rafts constructability at an early stage, Penniston recalls. “We were able to promptly host an online meeting with all project parties.”

Communication and Information Sharing with Trimble Connect


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To facilitate all this communication and information sharing among teams in multiple locations, the project relied on Trimble Connect. It’s a cloud-based software application that enables team members to view the latest project information in real time.

Trimble Connect was also a valuable tool for Solve’s onsite crew. Our One Nine Elms site team was also able to easily access the software through their mobile phones and tablets,” Penniston explained. This allowed them to view the completed 3D model alongside the real-time physical context, assisting them in the placement and installation of the rebar and ensuring an efficient and accurate delivery on site.”

BuildingPoint is proud to offer Trimble’s Tekla products to our customers. One Nine Elms is just one example of the many building projects around the world where Tekla Structures’ 3D modeling capability has enhanced design review processes. 

More thorough evaluations facilitate trouble-free implementation of complex, high-stakes construction projects. Why not contact BuildingPoint to discuss how you and your team can use Trimbles Tekla software to plan your next major construction project?

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