China Mega-structures Final Report
Submitted to: Richard Balling
For CE En 594 R
Brigham Young University
June 19, 2009
King To Hung.
Chaper 1. Skyscraper – Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong
The skyscraper that I chose to work on is the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong.
Being the densest city in the world, buildings in Hong Kong are subject to maximize
usabel floor space. Therefore, most of the buildings are not much different from a
retangular box. However, the Bank of China Tower gave a completely different style
any building ever had before in Hong Kong.
The back of China Tower was Architectually designed by I.M. Pei, who is well known
for his complex geomtry, glass clad curtain walls, and modernistic style; the structural
design was by Leslie E. Robertson Associates RLLP, New York; Hong Kong
Construction (Holdings) Limited as the contractor.
The Bank of China purchased the land in 1982, the building was planned to be
completed in 1988. However, ground breaking was delayed for two years. Therefore,
the building completed in 1990 instead. It was opened on 17 May, 1990. The height of
the building is 305m (1000.7 ft) to the roof, and 367.4 m (1,205.4 ft) if include the
spires. It was the tallest building in Asia when completed, and the first skyscraper in
Asia to acheive 1000 ft height. Outside of Asia, it was the fourth tallest building world
wide including spire, or seventh tallest to the roof in 1990. Figure 1 and 2 shows the
tallest buildings in the world in 1990. The Bank of China Tower has 72 floors above
ground and four basement stories, 135,000 m2 (1,450,000 sq ft) floor area, and 45
single deck high speed elevators with speed 8 m/s and a Skylobby on 43rd floor, which
is opened to public. Single deck elevators are usually efficient for up to 60 floors, and
double deck elevators or sky lobby is usually used for up to 80 floors. Since the Bank
of China Tower has 72 floors, single deck elevators with skylobby is a reasonable
Figure 1. The seven tallest buildings in the world in 1990, including spires.
Figure 2. The seven tallest buildings in the world in 1990 counting only to roof.
Human Impact - Controversy
The location of the Bank of China Tower was formerley the location of the Murray
House. After relocating it brick by brick, the 6,700m² site was sold by the
government for“only HK$1 billion (US$128 million)”in August 1982 amidst
growing concern over the future of Hong Kong in the run-up to the transfer of
sovereignty. The Mass Transit Railway (MTR) Corporation paid almost twice of the
price, HK$1.82 billion (US$ 233 million), in cash, for 6,250 m² Admiralty II plot,
where Bank of China would make initial payment of HK$60 million, with the rest
payable over 13 years at 6% interest. The government, who had given apparent
preferential treatment to Chinese companies was again critised for giving the apparent
preferential treatment to the Bank of China – Hong Kong. Also, the announcement of
the sale was poorly handled, and a dive in business confidence ensued. The Hang
Seng Index fell 80 points, and the HK$ lost 1.5% of its value the next day.
Human Impact - Feng Shui
When the Great Britian took over Hong Kong, the british was greatly interested in
Chinese Feng Shui. Therefore, all the major buildings in Hong Kong would consult
with feng shui masters on matters of design prior to construction. However, Chinese
from maniland China generally care less about Feng Shui, and the Bank of China
tower is the only major building in Hong Kong to have bypassed the convention of
consulting with feng shui masters on matters of design prior to construction
The inspiration of the design is to resemble growing bamboo shoots, which is
symbolising livelihood and prosperity. However, the diagonal and brace trusses
display gaint “X” all over the building, and the symbol “X” has negative meaning,
possibly means death. Figure 3 shows the original design of the Bank of China Tower.
Therefore, the architectual design hide the horizonal brace trusses, by the owner’s
request, to convert “X” into diamond, which is much more pleasant in Chinese culture.
Besides the “X” symbol, the sharp corners of the Bank of China Tower are supposed
to bring bad luck to its neighbors. It also looks like a gaint cleaver, which gives
preception of chopping directly against the HSBC Main Building, see Figure 4.
Figure 3. The Giant “X” Symbol Displayed on the Original Bank of China Tower
Figure 4. Bank of China Tower acting as a Cleaver Against the HSBC Bank
Human Impact–Air Traffic Concern
Before 1997, the Hong Kong Airport was located in the heart of Hong Kong,
surrounding by buildings. It was considered to be the most dangerous airport in the
world. Airplanes had to fly through many buildings closely when take off and landing.
Figure 5 shows the famous picture of airplane flying though the residential buildings
in Hong Kong when the old airport was still in use. There was a concern that a tall
building such as the Bank of China Tower might obsturcts the air traffic. Therefore,
the building was thoughtfully placed out the path of the old airport. This allowed the
deisgn to have no restriction on its hreght, and the building was constructed to its full
Figure 5. A Famous picture of an airplane flying though the heart of Hong Kong
when the old airport was still in use.
Human Impact - Use
The Bank of China Tower served as the headquarters for the Bank of China for 11
years before the headquaters moved to Beijing in 2004. Two basement floors are used
as parking lots. The Bank of China uses the bottom 19 stories and the top 4 stories,
and leases out other floors. Since moving the head quarter to Beijing, the ownership
was transferred to the Bank of China Hong Kong Branch. But the Bank of China
China Branch rents a few floors for its business.
Structural - Information
The Bank of China Tower is support by five composite mega-columns, four at each
corner and one in the middle. The middle mega-column is only used after the first set
back. Therefore, it is terminated from 24th floor downward. There are brace trusses at
every 13th floor (concealed in the final design at the client’s request). Four stories,
granite base podium with complete open space due to terminating the middle
mega-column on 24th floor. All floor has 4-in. thick concrete slab on a metal deck.
There are three setbacks at 25th (80m), 38th (132m), and 52nd floors (211m). Figure
6 shows the floor plan for each set back.
Figure 6. The floor plan for each set back, and the side view of the Bank of China
Structural - Eccentricity
Common practice says it is not possible to make such a building stand because the
off-center loads would cause excessive stresses in some columns. But Les Robertson,
the structural engineer, told that he based the system on what he refers to as, “a
truism’not obvious in practice to most engineers.”A single eccentricity in a column
will cause bending; but two or more lines of eccentricit, joined by a uniform shear
force mechanism, will conteract and therefore eliminate the bending.
The stiffening trusses on the perimeter working with the 12-story-high major bracing
configuration transfer the majority of the load to the four exterior mega columns.
Therefore, only very small portion of the load transfer down through the service core
in the lower floors.
Lateral loads are carried down the building through the diagonal system to the fourth
floor where they are coupled to the two service towers. These towers, designed as
shear tubes, reach up and stablize the building at the fourth floor. After carrynig the
lateral load down the building, it is supported by the shear walls, which are found in
the elevator shafts
Structural–Environmental, Design Loads, and Cost
Using glass clad curtain walls relfect sunlight and heat, which helps reduce energy
consumption by keeping the building cooler in the summer. And because of the
innovative diagonal bracing design, the Bank of China Tower used 40% less structural
steel use compare to the similar height buildings at the time. Decrease material usage
and decrease demand of air-conditioning are the biggest contribute of Bank of China
Tower to the environment.
Because of decreasing material usage, the dead load is only 100 kg / m2, which is
about half of the normal dead load. However, because the dead load was so low, the
engineers used twice of the usual live load to increase the safety factor. The engineers
used 143 mph wind load, which is twice as Chicago; and a seismic load that is four
times of what would usually be used for buildings in San Fransico. The Bank of China
Tower is truely remarkable because it needed to consider such adversery condition.
The final cost of this building is USD150 million, which is USD 20 million over
budget. However, it was still considered to be a “cheap building” compare to the
HSCE Main Building, which cost USD900 million to constrcut for same amount of
A stick model analysis was conducted on the Bank of China Tower. The wind stress
safety factor, seismic safety factor, buckling safety factor, wind displacement safety
factor, and seismic displacement safety factor are 5.3, 6.1, 9.1, 2.4, and 4.7,
relative height (ft)
0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800
Figure 7. Plot of safety factor with height.
Chapter 2. Bridge – Lupu Bridge, Shanghai
The Lupu Bridge is the world longest arch bridge, which has the longest span of 550
m. It is 32 m longer than the New River Gorge Bridge in the US, which is the next
longest arch bridge. It was opened on June 28, 2003. It is a still bridge, constructed
completely by welding. It is 3,900 m long, 28.7 m wide, and has a 46 m clearance
below. Figure 8 shows the plan and two sides view of the Lupu Bridge.
Figure 8. The plan and two sides view of the Lupu Bridge.
Human Impact - Use
Lupu Bridge is the seventh bridge crossing over the Huangpu River. It connects
Luwan District on the nother bank and Pudong New District on the south bank. It is a
freeway bridge and was designed to ease up the traffic congestion problem in the
quickly developing areas around the southern side of the river. It was also built to help
with the traffic for 2010 World Expo.
Human Impact - Controversy
Even though the Lupu Bridge was designed to ease up the traffic in the quickly
developing areas around the southern side of the river, it was widely thought as
wasteful. Many people felt that that it is just a show piece for the city for the World
Exop and the price tag of USD302 million reflected that status.
The asethetics design of the Lupu Bridge was based on Fritz Leonhardt’s criteria
(10 rules that a bridge should adhere to be considered beautiful). They are as follow:
1) Functionality – the bridge should reflect its apparent ability.
2) Proportions - a balance between the sizes andshapes within the bridge
structure. In the main span of the bridge, this is achieved with the relatively
large arch sections and relatively thin deck.
3) Order - The structure should be well ordered in that it has a coherence and
fluency about the lines and shapes within it.
4) Refinements – geometery of the bridge that gives an aesthetically pleasing
5) Intergration into the Environment - Surrounded by industrialism and
development, the Lupu Bridge fits effortlessly into its environment.
6) Texture–welded connections give a smooth, clean appearance.
7) Character–At night the bridge comes alive with an impressive and eye
catching lighting arangement, see Figure 9.
8) Colour–The cables are colored such that they blend into the background and
from a distance effectively become invisible, giving the illusion that the deck
is floating above the water, see Figure 10.
9) Complexity - Too much complexity can make a bridge look confusing and
10) Nature - Drawing inspiration from natural forms creates some stunning shapes
and effects, but it does not seem that the Lupu Bridge has done this.
Figure 9. A night view of the Lupu Bridge.
Figure 10. The hanging cables blend into the background.
Step 1 – Foundation
Shanghai has generally soft soil, being next to the river, the soil is particularly soft
and unstable. Therefore, there are 118 pile foundations with 9m diameter steel tube,
and went 65m into the ground. Also, 7 m diameter soil-cement stirring piles were used
for resisting horizontal force and limit displacement.
Step 2 – Approach Bridges
Prefabricated box girders were simultaneously constructing along with the span.
Step 3 – Side Spans
Using false work system, the falsework supporting the side span arch most likely
remained in place throughout the construction of the main span to help improve the
stability and also to spread the load at the bas lowering the bearing pressure on the
Step 4 – Arch Ribs
The cable-stayed cantilever method was used to construct the arch ribs. This method
allowed reducing the bending stress. Also, the arch would be in compression as it
would be upon completion. Figure 11 shows the cable-stayed cantilever.
Figure 11. Cable-stayed cantilever that was used to construct the arch ribs.
Step 5 – Deck Girders
The deck girders were constructed by Conventional suspension bridge construction
method, and were in stalled from the center of the arch outward. Figure 12 shows the
construction of the deck girders. Then a 75mm think layer of tar paved on steel deck
for better driving surface.
Figure 12. Constructing the deck girders.
Structural - Load
The Lupu Bridge has a factored dead load of 46,200 kN. Three different live loads
were considered during the design process, uniform, abnormally, and knife edge; and
the values are 8kN / m2, 1289 kN per notional lane, and 120 kN per notional lane,
respectively. It can with stand seismic intensity 7, wind from typhoon 12, and
temperature expansion or contraction from -10 to +41 degree C.
A load test were conducted before opening, 36 trucks with 30 tons capacity gave a
total of 1000 ton load drave across the bridge at the same time, and the maximum
deflection was 116 m.
Chapter 3. Complex - Zhujiang New Town Guangzhou
The Zhujiand New Town consists business landmark building, which are the west and
east towers, Guangzhou Opera House (Figure 14), Guangzhou New Library (Figure
15), the New Guangdong Museum (Figure 16), No.2 Children's Palace , the Twin
Towers, and the new TV tower.
Figure 14. Guangzhou Opera House.
Figure 15. Guangzhou New Library.
Figure 16. New Guangdong Museum.
Guangzhou Opera House
The Guangzhou Opera House looks like two big boulders joint together. It is a 1,800
seats grand theater, and occupies 70,000 m2. It has an internal street, an approach
promenade, is cut into the landscape, beginning at the proposed Museum site at the
opposite side of the central boulevard, leading to the Opera House.
Guangzhou New Library
Guangzhou New Library has 6,000 seats on six floors, and contains four million
books. It was design to handle the maximum capacity of 15,000 readers per day. It
occupies 95,000 m2, and has more than 2,500 termials. The library will be opened six
days a week, except Monday. The building will be lower than 50 meters as required
by the city government that the buildings along the Zhujiang River should be
gradually descending in height, so that the local residents can enjoy a broader view of
No.2 Children's Palace
The No.2 Children's Palace is built in Zhujiang Xincheng, and will be one of the
landmark buildings in the area. Covering 16,570 m2, the palace has 90 classrooms, 7
exhibition halls, collection houses, practice halls, and an entertainment centre with
700 seats. It allows 20,000 children to learn and have fun at the same time. Within the
palace compound lies the first Children's Museum in China. Different from traditional
museums, it encourages children to touch the items on display in order to arouse their
interest. There are no "do not touch" signs. The museum is divided into five exhibition
halls: Vision Space, Hearing Space, Touching Space, Imagination Space and Public