Modeling the Steel Structures of North East Tower (NET) Center with Tekla Structures Helped Achieve Architectural Objectives

August 24, 2018

Modeling the steel structures of North East Tower (NET) Center in Padua, Italy, with Tekla Structures software helped achieve the architectural objectives for the building, which would otherwise have proven difficult from the technical viewpoint. Stahlbau Pichler used Tekla Structures to model the tower columns and girders. Processing speed was not the only benefit arising from the use of the software; it also allowed to correctly and precisely set the angle for the entire structure during the mounting stage.

Maximum visibility with steel

The new tower of the Padua NET Center complex, with 20 floors and 80 meters in height, is set to become a point of reference in the city’s landscape. The architectural approach to the design of the buildings hinges around an open space with maximum visibility of thestructures, and steel has been selected as the most suitable construction material for this purpose. Modeling the steel structures with Tekla Structures helped achieve the architectural objectives for the building, which would otherwise have proven difficult from the technical viewpoint.

The tower columns and girders were modeled using Tekla Structures. The column joint was realized during construction using complete-penetration welding. The welded girders for the 20 floors were joined to the columns by means of bolted joints. Processing speed was not the only benefit arising from the use of Tekla Stuctures; the software also allowed to correctly and precisely set the angle for the entire structure during the mounting stage.

The lower building, ‘Palazzo Tendenza’ is characterized by a precise and linear design, conferring the palace an elegant and essential shape. Made of steel and glass, it consists of about 13,300 total floor surface distributed in five levels. In the inside, the palace is full of light. The main space is a long and wide “gallery” where all the units of the building are linked by steel walkways. The two main elevations of the building are almost entirely made of glass. Besides the external curtain-wall, there is one more shell made of grey steel brise-soleil to protect the internal spaces from sunlight.
 
The tower will host a hotel and offices. Its floors have a trapezoid shape that changes on every level and forms ruled surfaces on the façade. The regular horizontal lines of the red steel shading protect the external glass façade from the sun. The structure of the tower consists of an internal concrete kernel, and the light concrete slabs “hang” from this core.

Error-free projects faster

Stahlbau Pichler is an experienced Tekla user. The major improvements that they can attribute to the decision to purchase this software have been the increased quality of their work due to the absence of errors, an increase in precision and efficiency, and a reduction in turn-around times for their projects. While working on the Padua NET Center Complex project, Pichler used Tekla Structures to design the steel structure of the Palazzo Tendenza, that hosts a shopping center, and of the Torre Rossa part, that will host a hotel and several offices.
 
Says Gerhard Mitterer, designer at Stahlbau Pichler: “For this project, the most critical issue we have faced has been the mounting of the angled columns of the tower. Tekla Structures has allowed us to easily calculate the coordinates at the top and bottom of each column. This project has been handled in two separate stages. First we built the Palazzo Tendenza, then the Torre. For each stage, we have only needed two designers; one has been in charge of the structure modeling and the other was responsible for shop and mounting designs.
 
By using Tekla Structures we have been able to cut the time we dedicate to our design activity compared to our previous software,” he continues. “Not only has Tekla  Structures dramatically reduced our processing time, it has also allowed us to correctly set the angle of the whole structure during the mounting of the tower. With Tekla Structures we have been able to create customized connections that can also be used in other projects. There is no doubt that Tekla Structures has helped us work more efficiently, not only because we can tackle more projects during the year, but also because we are now able to process even the most complex projects."

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