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2009

Problems in Construction

Yordan Vakarelov JPE® Company 9/21/2009

[PROBLEMS IN CONSTRUCTION] September 21, 2009

The Title Name E-mail

Problems in construction Yordan Ilkov Vakarelov yv123251@stud.noea.dk

College Semester Education Month/ Year

University College of Northern Denmark 3BKE0909 Architectural Technology & Construction Management October 2009

Specialist-teachers name

Carl Redmond

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An industry which boundaries and possibilities are continuously being pushed to another level. The construction industry nowadays is one of the harshest working environments to be in.[PROBLEMS IN CONSTRUCTION] September 21. It is a business which is constantly chaining in order to adapt. 2009 Abstract/resume The mega structures of modern times are an excellent example of the huge number and complexity of the problems that each single structure faces. 3 | JPE® Company .

3 December 2003 5.4 Building the Cube 5.1.2 How? 5.3 July 2003 5.1 Architecture and Construction 5.3.2 Water 3 5 5 8 8 8 9 9 11 11 5.1 Nature 5. Introduction 3.1ETFE 15 15 16 6.1. Methods 4.1 Photographs 8.1 What and Why? 4. Thesis Statement 4.1.3 Time 5.3 Building a Mega Structure 5.2.1.2 Bibliography 4 | JPE® Company 20 20 21 21 22 . Conclusion 7.1 January 2003 5. Perspective/discussion 8. Abstract/resume 2.[PROBLEMS IN CONSTRUCTION] September 21.2.2. Main Content 5.2 March 2003 5. References 8.2.4 Water and Soap Bubbles 12 12 14 14 18 14 13 5.2 History of the Cube 5. 2009 Table of Contents 1.

2009 Problems in construction Introduction From soaring structures that scrape the sky to underwater tunnels that manage to connect entire nations. to imagine solutions that have never existed before. develop. There are many constant problems in the design and development of every structure and maybe there always will be.[PROBLEMS IN CONSTRUCTION] September 21. Facing problems in modern constructions. commodity. But what exactly are these problems that arise whenever we build new and innovative structures? The basic need for shelter and protection from the elements that is deeply embedded into us and our nature has made construction one of the most important aspects and problems of our time. and delight. to build. It is up to us as the new generation of people that are involved in the construction industry to design. mankind’s desire to progress pushes us to our limits day after day. because there will always be better and better solutions for them. We manage to create unbelievable buildings and structures that defy reality and often seem impossible. especially in some countries like Japan and China. Perhaps the most interesting area of architecture and the construction as a whole is its capacity to dream. one of the hardest. yet beautiful and unique. be practical and functional. come up with solutions. today’s top architects are constantly trying to find ways of implementing Vitruvius’s words in the buildings they are designing. It is being known as a fact that the construction industry is if not the hardest. Thesis Statement The ancient Roman architect Vitruvius famously wrote that a building should have "firmness. This constant need for homes for the ever growing population on Earth is already a top priority problem." In other words buildings should withstand the forces of nature and the test of time. 5 | JPE® Company . change.

Projects like Burj Al Arab. 2009 Contemporary architecture is constantly being pushed to a higher level. Beijing 6 | JPE® Company . Many bold and ambitious projects bring new and innovative solutions to problems that construction faces nowadays. Dubai Gerkin. London Beijing National Stadium.[PROBLEMS IN CONSTRUCTION] September 21.

Search for solutions of the problems that withhold us from finding that line between the two. Beijing These and many more constructions shape the face of modern architecture. Millau The China Central Television Tower. But that exactly are the problems that we face whenever we are designing and developing a building? How do we cross the bridge between our ideas and reality? We all know about the everlasting quarrel between architects and engineers. We need to find the balance between fiction and reality. We cannot simply draw something and want it to become reality. Asking the questions What is the difference between ideas and reality. 2009 The Millau Bridge. in the concept of what can be imagined and what can actually be built after that? What are the problems in construction and how do we solve them? 7 | JPE® Company .[PROBLEMS IN CONSTRUCTION] September 21.

[PROBLEMS IN CONSTRUCTION] September 21. The nature of those two problems isn’t an easy thing to explain because it is constantly chaining and enveloping more and more areas. 2009 Methods What and Why? The purpose of this article is to try and create an overall overview of the construction industry today and the problems it faces. Other methods that were used are . The aims of this paper are to inform and educate readers. about its main characteristics and the problems in it. It also describes the problem of trying to separate reality from fiction in the concept of designing and constructing buildings.giving statistical data. 8 | JPE® Company . which are not so familiar with the construction industry and the technical language that is being used there. pictures and additional information. How? It is easier for the readers to compare and comprehend the problems in the construction industry with those of the given example of a mega structure.

which brought to innovative ideas. Over the past few decades China’s economy has grown rapidly and has made the country a dominant figure in the world trade. amazing designs and breathtaking structures. This fact dramatically changed the face of China’s modern architecture and construction. China is a force to be reckoned with but in a very different aspect. just like hundreds of years ago. Companies had the chance to exchange experience and knowledge with architects and engineers from all over the world. 2009 Main Content Architecture and Construction Today’s modern architecture isn’t bound to certain countries.[PROBLEMS IN CONSTRUCTION] September 21. It creates bridges that pass beyond nations and create connections that give birth to brilliant teams formed from people from all over the world. people or visions. China has greatly increased its interaction with other countries in all economic sectors. Now. 9 | JPE® Company . Today’s modern architecture is constantly changing concept with everexpanding limits.

2009 The growing numbers of international connections make way for billions of euro which fund and realize one of the biggest and most stunning construction projects in the world. Nowadays Beijing is one of the fastest developing cities in the world. Enormous and daring projects constantly shape the new face of the capital of China. And China is getting right on top of all that with Beijing being the center of all of it. Daring masterpieces like the National Grand Theater. deadlines that have to be met and billions upon billions of money invested. the designers and engineers of these amazing buildings have an even tougher job solving the problems that occur. Beijing. focusing the eyes of the world on it. The Commune. Linked Hybrid. Beijing International Airport and Beijing Water Cube are just some of the examples of the kind of structures that shape modern Beijing’s architecture today. With that in mind. But how do engineers and architects bring these mega structures to life? What are the problems in modern architecture and construction and how do we solve them? National Grand Theater Beijing International Airport 10 | JPE® Company .[PROBLEMS IN CONSTRUCTION] September 21.

Strange as it may seem water is the inspiration for architects as well. 2009 To answer questions of this nature it is best to give an example of a structure with this scale and complexity. It is also vital for the creating of all know forms of life. The venue for the Olympic swimming events that took place in Beijing 2008 is the birth child of PTW Architects. Buildings with innovative design that define contemporary architecture. Maybe the best word that represents all that is around us is nature.[PROBLEMS IN CONSTRUCTION] September 21. Maybe one of the best excising symbols of the present-day world of construction is Beijing’s Water Cube. China. Nature has been used to describe not only the living world that surrounds us. The creators of this magnificent building have managed to keep China’s ancient symbolic architecture spirit alive and also combine that with new and innovative ideas. bringing to the world a mind-blowing masterpiece. 11 | JPE® Company . Water Water is a composed chemical substance of both hydrogen and oxygen that covers 71 % of the Earth’s surface. Everything in this perfect self-sustainable circle of life has inspired people for hundreds of years. to design and build amazing things. but also the physical or material world. It is the main concept behind one of today’s most beautiful and innovative buildings – Beijing’s Water Cube in Beijing. Sydney. Nature Being only a spit of sand in the whole wide universe our planet is home to millions and millions of amazing and extraordinary things.

2009 History of the Cube January 2003 The international architecture design completion of China’s future national swimming pool has started.[PROBLEMS IN CONSTRUCTION] September 21. As soon as the competition was announced the design team of the water cube was created. Not only had they to create an astonishing construction that will win the hearts of Chinese people. A team that had its work cut out for them. A building that was incredibly thought of in both architectural and engineering point of view. but the building site that was set out was only a kilometer away from where Beijing National Stadium was to be build – the Bird’s Nest. designers and engineers to transform it into an Olympic host city like none ever seen. the design team of the Water Cube struggled with that problem for six tiring weeks until they found the answer. A true modern mega structure. So how do you design something that defines modern architecture? Nowadays in a world where it seems that everything is already invented and designed what does it take to come up with an innovative idea? It is maybe the biggest problem for today’s top architects. Beijing has invited the world’s top architects. Water and the soap bubbles it makes. 12 | JPE® Company . Arup engineers and Chinese designers from China Construction Design International (CCDI). engineers and the construction industry and a whole to constantly evolve and make different and unique buildings. Working seven days a week for more than ten hours each day. A consortium between architects from the Australian design firm PTW.

stability. At a point where three or more bubbles meet. That is the problem that the developing team of the Water Cube faced. which is also the reason why the cells of a beehive have the same 120° angle and form hexagons. and the bubbles will adopt the shape with the smallest possible surface area. the same physical principles apply. Since the surface tension is the same in each of the three surfaces. Water and Bubbles. the three angles between them must be equal to 120°. efficiency. “1 1 Source .org/wiki/Soap_bubble 13 | JPE® Company .http://en. The same thing that gave birth to the initial idea for the building. If the bubbles are of equal size. control. 2009 Water and Soap Bubbles Sustainability. These are only some of the things that engineers nowadays have to take into consideration. firmness. they sort themselves out so that only three bubble walls meet along a line. Their common wall will bulge into the larger bubble. whenever calculating and designing modern structures.wikipedia. Soap bubbles are nature’s most efficient division of space. So where can you find a solution to a problem of that nature? Well the answer is simple – nature itself. the wall will be flat. as smaller bubbles have a higher internal pressure (also known as Ostwald ripening which is caused by pressure differences in bubbles of different radii as predicted by the Young– Laplace equation). Nowadays unique visions of buildings that defy reality can only exist if we find unique and innovative solutions to construct them.[PROBLEMS IN CONSTRUCTION] September 21. And with architects and designers coming up with even more and more amazing and sometimes unrealistic constructions is becoming a job that is harder and harder to do. gave away the solution to the problem of constructing it. “When two bubbles merge. This is the most efficient choice. again.

Bubbles. in which the team still worked on their model just before presenting it in front of the judges in China. And in the harsh environment of the construction industry. walls.[PROBLEMS IN CONSTRUCTION] September 21. The 14 | JPE® Company . An ingenious solution that gave life to an extraordinary idea. time plays the role of one of the most decisive factors. March 2003 With a total of ten firms that were allowed to the final round. it was down to the last hours. 2009 It is often that nature has given us the answer for many of our questions and problems. A world in which time is a vital factor in everything we do. structural elements and its aesthetics. After voting online. time was quickly running out for the consortium between architects from the Australian design firm PTW. Time Today we live in a dynamic world that moves around us at an incredible pace. With such a short time frame to come up with a complete model of the structure. July 2003 After nearly four months of hard work the design team of the Water Cube gets the good news. It means a lot of money. They had to build a model of their Water Cube to show the judges what the finished building would look like in only five weeks with nobody knowing if designing a building of that complexity in such short time is even possible. The positioning and connection of the bubble shapes of which the building is designed. A factor which doesn’t mean money. Arup engineers and Chinese designers from China Construction Design International (CCDI). roof. Time was the factor that almost ruined the hopes of the Water Cube’s design team to see their building become a reality. the people of china have chosen their idea to be realized as the new Beijing National Aquatics Center. The bubbles that form the Water Cube also allow the building to be a continuous form between every one of its elements which merge achieving this effect – floor. give the structure a very strong and stable construction which can withstand the harsh earthquakes that China faces.

This process is chaining the industry and leading to the involvement of more and more people with different skills and qualifications. But the real question was – how? Up until this point the people that were developing the Water Cube’s design were more focused towards its aesthetics then its actual construction. China needed such a team. faces. Building the Cube As mentioned earlier. The only thing that is more important than that is the safety of people.[PROBLEMS IN CONSTRUCTION] September 21. New technologies are constantly being developed and implemented into the construction industry. nowadays it is quite a job to come up with a unique design but. 2009 Water Cube was finally on its way out of the drawing boards and was about to be realized. one of the most important aspects that contemporary architecture has to comply with is nature and the world that surrounds us. which has forced governments around the world to step up and take action. a mega structure of this type. Many experts were involved into the realizing of this amazing structure. We are constantly destroying our planet little by little. A problem that the designers of the Water Cube had to solve. Building a Mega Structure Having an idea for a building is something very different from actually building it. with the requirements that modern structures have to comply with constructing them is maybe an even harder thing to do. designing and developing an idea that had captured the attention of the whole world. As mentioned earlier. Engineers have to not only calculate a building to keep it from falling down in even the worst of circumstances but they also have to design a fully self-sustainable system that is environmentally friendly. For example many of the world’s resources are deploying rapidly. Constructing a building like the Water Cube in Beijing. Now in front of them stood the harder task of finding an answer to all the problems that building. A team that worked day and night. especially taking in account that the structure that they were designing was going a Olympic 15 | JPE® Company . The complex problems that mega structures face can only be solved by collaboration between specialists from various areas of knowledge. Energy consumption is already at a very high level and a lot of people and companies around the world are trying to reduce that effect and lower energy consumption.

“ETFE. When burned. Finding the right materials for a building in order to keep its structure together and yet carry out the aesthetics of the architect’s idea is a global problem in construction. ETFE film is 1% the weight transmits more light and costs 24% to 70% less to install. But how do you construct this grid of seemingly random steel bubbles firm and stable yet fire resistant without chaining the original look? Covering this amazing honey combed looking square needed a material that was light and flexible. ETFE This material may look just like ordinary plastic but it combines the finest qualities of some of the most used resources in the construction industry. ETFE releases hydrofluoric acid. “ 2 “Compared to glass. ETFE has a very high melting temperature. New technologies are constantly coming up with innovate materials or improving old ones but sometimes the most ingenious solutions aren’t in using the most complex materials but the simplest. That is if you can call a material like ETFE simple. incredibly hot summers and subfreezing winters. was designed to have high corrosion resistance and strength over a wide temperature range. They needed to think of a substance that can protect the building from Beijing’s harsh desert sandstorms. and its systematic name is poly(ethylene-cotetrafluoroethylene). 16 | JPE® Company . They needed to find a material that can do all that. This left the engineers with a big problem. Glass was too heavy and not strong enough. electrical and high energy radiation resistance properties.[PROBLEMS IN CONSTRUCTION] September 21. which is extremely corrosive. self-cleaning (due to its nonstick surface) and recyclable. technically ETFE is a polymer. With fire and earthquakes being the two biggest threats for modern buildings nowadays and this structure in particular. engineers had to design ways to protect the venue for the Olympic Games and the people inside. a kind of plastic. excellent chemical. 2009 Aquatics center and was going to draw and gather many people. Concrete was an impossible solution because it didn’t fit into the overall idea of the Water Cube. It's also resilient (able to bear 400 times its own weight.

Engineers had to find another way to prove that the building can still support itself whenever exposed to fire. In sheet form as commonly employed for architecture. The Water cube was approved by Chinese fire experts approved the building’s design without any changes.[PROBLEMS IN CONSTRUCTION] September 21. This allows all the harmful chemical gases and smoke out of the building. it is able to stretch to three times its length without loss of elasticity. So covering the building in the plastic inflatable cushions may not be such a good idea. with a working temperature range of -300 °F to 300 °F. “ 22 These qualities make ETFE the perfect choice for covering the “outer skin” of the Water Cube.org/wiki/ETFE 17 | JPE® Company . trapping the people inside. They began to calculate how the steel frame behaves whenever exposed the high temperatures fire heat the steel to. Still how would fire affect the steel construction? China has a building regulation which requires exposed steel structures to be coated with a special chemical which is very affective but doesn’t fit the aesthetical design of the building. 2 Source . What they discovered amazed them even more. This vital quality is due to a chemical that ETFE is made out of – fluorine that prevents oxygen from sustaining a fire and puts it out. Fire also uses out the oxygen in the rooms and releases various reaction products such as carbon dioxide a big quantity of which can be fatal. 2009 On the other hand it is prone to punctures by sharp edges. tears can be repaired with a patch or multiple sheets assembled into larger panels. Test revealed that nature’s perfect honey comb design can still sustain itself even if some of the bars melt away thus proving the construction was feasible and most importantly – safe. A building covered in plastic…An ingenious yet simple solution to a very complex problem. Whenever fire affects the ETFE covering the material doesn’t burst in flames – it melts away. therefore it is mostly used for roofs. But is it that good? What happens when there is a fire in the building? We all know that fire is maybe the biggest enemy of structures. Employing heat welding. ETFE has an approximate tensile strength of 6100 psi.wikipedia. Whenever present fire destroys parts of the construction making it unstable and it even may cause a building to collapse. Fire engineers started testing the building’s behavior in a present fire situation.http://en.

How can this incredible structure be made into an environmentally friendly and energy efficient building? Again new technologies and the amazing qualities of the ETFE make the solution possible. The problem with making the building a very efficient structure during the winter was solved. The amazing material that covers the building also lets in much more sun light that some areas save up to 50 % of energy. 18 | JPE® Company . The structure is covered in two layers of ETFE cushions. Another brilliant idea was making the Water Cube into a gigantic green house. But in the summer time. The ETFE cushions have to be inflated all the time. Many new big projects aren’t approved unless the designers and engineers prove that their building is self-sustainable. This program’s good engineering saves energy and proves to be very efficient.[PROBLEMS IN CONSTRUCTION] September 21. which is used to heat the rooms and the swimming pools. However the teams of engineers and architects have thought about everything and the building progressed with full pace and minor setbacks. Heating the building in the winter is not a problem. 2009 December 2003 Constructing this masterpiece was a task that is not so much easier then designing it. the temperature in Beijing reaches very high temperatures making this huge greenhouse a very unpleasant place to be. The space between the two layers of plastic traps up to 40 % of the solar energy. Only one problem remained. This is a task that the developers of the Water Cube have executed perfectly. Amazingly it may seem the solution to this problem again came from the same material that is covering it – the ETFE. But how is that possible without wasting so much energy? A very smart network of indicators in each cushion feeds information to a computer which controls air fans that fill up the cushion if necessary. Today building energy efficient buildings is a must.

Amazing structures that one day will be in the history books on architecture and from which young architects and engineers will be inspired to create innovative ideas and come up with solutions to problems that are even more complex. There is no point in building something so brilliant and magnificent if you are not going to sustain it.[PROBLEMS IN CONSTRUCTION] September 21. Talking about energy consumption the Water Cube has one final trick that helps the building store up its own energy supply. But those dots have a very important purpose. In the summer time that energy is let out of the building trough ventilation gaps. They reflect solar energy while letting the sun light go through. which can be cut trough with a simple knife. The only problem that this construction faces lies in maybe the only flaw that the covering material has. ETFE is can withstand nature’s harsh behavior and proves to be a very energy efficient resource but nevertheless it is a very thin material. This weakness demands constant maintenance to assure that the structure keeps its beautiful appearance and its energy efficiency. 2009 ETFE may seem to have randomly printed out black dots that cover over half of the surface area of the material. It is a whole new problem that modern construction industry faces and spends a lot of money into. Printing out more or less of these special black dots allows the engineers to control which part of the building to receive more or less heat excluding the need for a big cooling system which also saves energy. A problem that considering the benefits of the material that causes it is a very little price to pay. After all maintenance is a vital part of keeping every structure in the condition that it was designed to be. 19 | JPE® Company . Today’s mega structures have to be looked after because they are part of the architectural history. During the winter time the energy that sun light and heat produce is stored in a sealed environment between the two layers of bubbles that the structure’s skin is covered in.

In other words maybe the question we have to ask ourselves is not “What is the difference between ideas and reality. in the concept of what can be imagined and what can actually be built after that?” But “What are the problems in construction and how do we solve them?” Because that is what really allows us to create making us go forwards. Collaboration between groups of people with different backgrounds and knowledge proves to be an ingenious way of solving even the most complex problems. On top of all that the progress of technology constantly comes up with new methods and innovative solutions to problems of the construction industry. designing and achieving the impossible. The problems that contemporary architecture faces are numerous and have to be handled with great care. 2009 Conclusion Giving an example like Beijing’s National Aquatics Center is the easiest way to point out the problems in the construction industry today. There is just no way for a single person to be informed about everything that is going on and every change that this rapidly chaining construction environment is going trough. development and construction of every single structure. Perspectives/discussion The topic of this article is an issue that can never be fully understood. This in actual fact is why there are so many people with different skills and knowledge involved into the design. But it really doesn’t matter if you are designing a building such as the Water Cube or a simple multi story construction. It is so because every different building has very diverse problems and solutions to them. The best way to understand this article and the problems it discusses is by being involved in the construction industry and have experience in this field of work. The constant development of the technologies that we use and their implement in modern constructions is continuously chaining the perception of reality and fiction. 20 | JPE® Company .[PROBLEMS IN CONSTRUCTION] September 21.

edu/~elemfren/F200/Millau%20Viaduct%20In%20Southern %20France.jpg http://www. 2009 References Photographs Cover page http://2modern.jpg http://iasos.jpg http://images.com/images/Empire%20State%20Building.[PROBLEMS IN CONSTRUCTION] September 21.americanfeast.indiana.bg/photos/15622/original/al_burj_panorama.com/U/P/01/30/85/55633443654565673750.jpg http://www.jpg Page 4 http://blog.org/images/niaochaonei.com/nextstep/upload/image/Beijing_night.files.wordpress.org/architecture/resources/2007/watercube-thumb.blog.jpg https://www.jpg Page 9 http://www.com/ethel.com/2009/01/cctv_china-central-televisionbuilding-beijing.com/news/dubai/BurjAl-ArabHotel.jpg http://zeifod.fism2009.jpg Page 6 http://www.jpg Page 5 http://www.jpg http://aftermathnews.eikongraphia.com/ss/05/12/china_wonders/image/dong_hai_brid ge.jpg http://z.baraona/docs/watercube_the_book http://kwc.about.businessweek.com/2009/03/burj_dubai_b.wordpress.com/images/uk_dubai/100_8653_bullet.davidmacd.files.com/wordpress/wpcontent/Foster%20and%20Partners%20%20Beijing%20International%20Airport.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/06/12/1.jpg Page 8 http://makkah.nextstepconnections.elanso.jpg 21 | JPE® Company .com/d/olympics/1/0/S/2/-/-/inside-the-nest.jpg - Page 10 http://issuu.blogs.

Beijing.jpg Page 12 http://allthatsnew. Retrieved from en.com/projects/Oresund%20Bridge/Oresund031.). (2009. E. Retrieved from http://en.baraona/docs/watercube_the_book.detail.org 22 | JPE® Company .org: http://en.detail.com: http://ftp2.businessweek.jpg Bibliography (n.righttech. Retrieved from www.wikipedia.de: http://www.com: http://images.China. http://www.sg/images/ff_etfe_printed.com/index.jpg Page 15 http://img171.).Cube.Geographic.com/dist/collateral/User_20Story_3A_20Arup_20_2D_20Water_20Cube_2C_20Low _20Respdflo.pdf (n.org.jpg/ Page 18 http://www. Retrieved from www.bentley. B. 10).com/2009/01/wallpaper-more-2. http://issuu.htm en.de/rw_5_Archive_En_HoleArtikel_5846_Artikel.Water.businessweek.wikipedia. 2009 Page 11 http://bridgepros. (n.com/ethel. Retrieved from ftp2.wordpress.dpr-barcelona. [Motion Picture].org/wiki/Beijing_National_Aquatics_Center National.d.php?/projects/watercube-the-book/.wikipedia.htm (2007.com.us/i/watercube023mjo2. 12).d.).files.imageshack.d.wikipedia.bentley.[PROBLEMS IN CONSTRUCTION] September 21.wikipedia.com/ss/05/12/china_wonders/index_01.org: http://en. WATERCUBE: The Book.Megastructures. Pohl. Wikipedia.

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