Location – In theolympic green BejingChinaNumber of floors –Three, 226 feet.Architect – Herzog &De MeuronStructural Engineer –Ove Arup & PartnersMEP Engineers – OveArup & PartnersContractor – CITICInternationals
Due to the fact that Beijing islocated in an earthquakezone, it was imperative to beable to withstand the earth’smovement. By building thestadium in two separateparts, including a steel latticestructure and a concretebowl separated by 50ft. thedesigners were able to createa structure flexible enough tohandle considerable seismicactivity.
The building design had toconsider the seatingarrangement for over 91,000spectators. The seats and theathletic fields are housed in theinner concrete bowl, similar toan egg in a bird’s nest. Thestands that hold spectators,were constructed as eightdifferent zones. Each section ofthe bowl is like a building, thereare eight different “buildings” allworking together each withtheir own stability system. Thebird’s nest is prepared towithstand an earthquake of upto magnitude 8 on the RichterScale.
The Stadium is a massive andan incredibly complicatedstructure. The structuraldesign was introduced by theHerzog & De Meuron, whomfrom very initial stages havebeen working with structuralengineers from Ove Arup &Partners and developing 3Dmodels.
The detail shows one of thenumerous connectionsinvolved in the structure.Due to such significantloads on the structuremembers as well as theirconnections had to bedesigned carefully, thewelding process alonesometimes took 17 hoursper connection with severalwelders switching places toavoid exhaustion.
The structure mustresist a total of56,625 tons ofvertical load. TheSteel structureitself must resist itsown load of 42,000tons and 11,625tons of live load,totaling in 53,625tons. The Plinthtype of thefoundation isessential to carrysuch a load, whichis evenlydistributed.
The loads at each intersection are split between the members and transferred downward as indicated.
The massive steel structure resists lateral loads in a similar manner as thehorizontal ones. In addition, instead of the loads hitting the structure andfollowing it downwards and upwards it is broken down through the lattice ofsteel while being weakened and providing natural ventilation in the building.
The outer steel structure is completely separate from the inner stadiumseating area and is placed 50 feet apart. this placement allows the twostructures move independently in case of an earthquake. Steel has arather high modulus of elasticity as compared to the concrete, thereforethe entire outer structure could be put together as a unit and withstandearthquakes. The core of the stadium was constructed out of the pre-castreinforced concrete. Because concrete has significantly lower modulus ofelasticity, it was divided into eight individual sections. this division allowseach portion of structure to move independently of the other in case ofseismic motion causing minimal amount of damage.