VisLab headquarters, Italy
Science area park, 49 - 43124 Parma, Italy
Studio MFa Architect Mauro Frate
Via Francesco Zanardi, 92/3 - 40131 Bologna, Italy
26zero15 Progetti Srl StP, ing. Roberto Carboni and Diego Caldarini
Via Inzani, 13 - 26015 Soresina, Italy
Ergodomus Timber Engineering
Loc. Fratte, 18/4 - 38057 Pergine Valsugana, Italy
The VisLab company born as a start-up within the University of Parma is at the forefront worldwide in the development of autonomous driving systems for different types of vehicles. His know-how was noticed by the American company Ambarella who decided to make a strategic acquisition in a sector in very strong development that presents a great competition. As a consequence of this, it was necessary to build a new location that can accommodate researchers: by the will of Ambarella herself, the office was maintained in Italy on the campus of the University of Parma.
The construction procedure is necessarily due to go through a public competition with an "integrated tender" procedure.
The construction is distributed over 3 floors (plus a large mezzanine) and is entirely made of wood: perimeter and internal load-bearing walls with Xlam panels, roofing with joists and ribbed floors. This last constructive element required particular attention and a long study as it involved analyzing the combined behavior of two different elements: longitudinal beams in laminated wood and Xlam panel on the extrados which was to be left exposed. The difficulty lies in the fact that the connection could not be made by gluing (infinitely rigid connection) but with screws distributed longitudinally according to the progress of the cut (yielding connection).
To complicate matters further, the fact that most of the implants had to be passed inside the structural part to save thickness and additional material: for this reason some specific processes have been carried out on the joists that required specific modeling with shell elements with orthotropic properties. This analysis allowed the optimization of the screw pitch and the sizing of the reinforcements around the extra processes: all this translated into a considerable saving in terms of time and costs for the manufacturing company.
As can be seen from the photographs, the building has a large glass facade (approximately 200sqm) which required the design of a special bracing system made of laminated wood beams. Another delicate aspect was the complete three-dimensional modeling of the entire building since Parma is located in an area of medium seismicity and the shape is not regular. For this reason, the RF-DYNAM module was used to analyze the dynamic behavior in detail and consequently model all the connections. It is important to emphasize that there are no reinforced concrete or steel elements capable of taking horizontal loads and therefore 100% of the horizontal forces have been brought to the ground by means of wooden elements.
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Programs Used for Structural Analysis
Structural engineering software for finite element analysis (FEA) of planar and spatial structural systems consisting of plates, walls, shells, members (beams), solids and contact elements
Dynamic analysis of natural frequencies and mode shapes of member, surface, and solid models
Seismic and static load analysis using the multi-modal response spectrum analysis
Timber design according to Eurocode 5, SIA 265 and/or DIN 1052