Bahá’í Temple of South America in Santiago, Chile
An extraordinary structure was built in Chile: the "Temple of Light." It is one of eight Bahá'í temples worldwide. The monotheistic Bahá'í religion has about seven million followers, mainly in India, Iran, Africa, and North and South America. It took many decades to plan the temple.
Structural analysis, construction and completion (steel and roofing)
Josef Gartner GmbH, Würzburg, Germany
Hariri Pontarini Architects
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís rel="noopener noreferrer" of Canada
Josef Gartner GmbH, the German customer of Dlubal Software, was given the job of planning, design and construction of the entire structure above the foundation.
The shape of the temple resembles a nine‑petalled blossom of a lotus flower. The building has a diameter of about 34 m and a height of 30 m. The substructure consists of a two-story concrete structure and a flat footing.
As the site is placed in a Chilean region with a high seismic risk, it was necessary to uncouple the structure horizontally from the ground with regard to vibrations. That is why a total of ten friction pendulum bearings were arranged between the concrete columns and the second intermediate ceiling.
The steel supporting structure is a kind of space frame with an upper and lower chord layer consisting of rectangular cross‑sections as well as round pipe diagonals serving as connecting elements.
The nine petals that are identical in construction are closing with their leaf apices at the maximum point forming a light dome (oculus). The structural skeleton is formed, like for real plant petals, by an interior framework consisting of round pipes with thicker section walls of d = 323.9 mm.
First, the building was modeled using the design software Rhinoceros. Then, the complete 3D model was transferred to RFEM and RSTAB and optimized in close cooperation with the architect.
Finally, Gartner calculated the steel structure in RFEM and RSTAB considering the impact of earthquakes.
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Structure stability is not a new phenomenon when referring to steel design. The Canadian steel design standard CSA S16 and the most recent 2019 release is no exception.
SHAPE-THIN determines the effective cross-sections according to EN 1993-1-3 and EN 1993-1-5 for cold-formed sections. You can optionally check the geometric conditions for the applicability of the standard specified in EN 1993‑1‑3, Section 5.2.
The effects of local plate buckling are considered according to the method of reduced widths and the possible buckling of stiffeners (instability) is considered for stiffened sections according to EN 1993-1-3, Section 5.5.
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Read more about designing cold-formed sections with SHAPE-THIN and RF-/STEEL Cold-Formed Sections in this technical article: Design of a Thin-Walled, Cold-Formed C-Section According to EN 1993-1-3.
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