Baku Flame Towers in Baku, Azerbaijan
Since 2012, the city of Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, has had a striking complex of high-rise buildings: the Baku Flame Towers. The construction consists of three towers, which have the shape of a flame with a maximum height of 623 ft. The flame shape, designed by HOK Architects, was inspired by the importance of fire for the town, as there is a high number of oil wells in the region.
Facade Design and Structural Analysis of Tower Spires
Werner Sobek Stuttgart GmbH & Co. KG, Stuttgart
The dimensions indicated below refer to one of the three spires.
Length: ~ 115 ft | Width: ~ 112 ft | Height: ~ 98 ft
Number of nodes: 772 | Members: 981 | Finite Elements: 981 | Materials: 2 | Cross-sections: 9
Dlubal Software customer Werner Sobek Stuttgart was responsible for the steel spires put on the towers, as well as for the spectacular facade.
Supporting Structure of Tower Spires
The main structural systems of the three towers consist of reinforced concrete. By contrast, the towers' top stories consist of filigree steel frameworks which provide spacious room for special use.
The primary framework of the spires consists of a spatial three‑hinged frame built up of round pipes with a diameter of 24 inches. Following the given geometry, the pipes were taken as biaxially curved sections to the construction site, where they were connected to one another by butt welds.
To reduce deformations of the construction, which is 98.4 ft high, the vertical side steel columns were attached to the frame by bending resistant connections. A special triangular cross‑section made of typical metal sheets and round steel bars was used for these columns to allow an outside view that is as wide as possible. This cross‑section was modeled in the Dlubal program SHAPE‑THIN and then imported to RFEM.
The wind loads that were governing for the design were determined by a wind report, reaching very high values of 146.1 psf. Therefore, additional diagonals were needed on the curved back side of the steel constructions in order to reduce the total deformation on the tower spire to the required 3.5 inches.
Because technical planners were working closely together in an early phase of the project, the planning was performed successfully on schedule.
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The three types of moment frames (Ordinary, Intermediate, Special) are available in the Steel Design add-on of RFEM 6. The seismic design result according to AISC 341-22 is categorized into two sections: member requirements and connection requirements.
Programs Used for Structural Analysis
Structural engineering software for a finite element analysis (FEA) of planar and spatial structural systems consisting of plates, walls, shells, members (beams), solids, and contact elements