Tianfu Agricultural Expo, China
At over 75,000 square meters, the new Tianfu Agriculture Exposition is the largest timber structure in Asia, and one of the largest timber structures in the world. It is a series of five arched halls that use unique Vierendeel-inspired trusses.
|Architect||CuiKai / CADG|
|Structural Engineering and Timber Construction||
|Planning and Glulam Production | Hall G2||
|Glulam Factory | Hall G2||
Roth Burgdorf AG
|Glulam Manufacturer | Halls G1/G3/G4/G5||
Model data of an arched hall
Dlubal customer StructureCraft was responsible for the structural design and the coordination of this project. StructureCraft engineers used RFEM for the structural analysis.
The Tianfu Agricultural Expo Main Hall is part of a major development program in the greater metropolitan area of Chengdu, which aspires to compete with other major economic hubs in China. Located on the west border of the Sichuan Basin, where up to 5,000-meter-high mountains meet Sichuan’s great plains, the wide views of waving rice fields and mountain peaks on the horizon inspired architect Cui Kai with the concept of the curved timber enclosures.
The result is a unique series of long-span timber structures, created through the cooperation of team members on three different continents in a year and a half, fulfilling the owner’s desire to showcase the economic power of the Chengdu agrarian region and provide a world-class attraction through innovative engineering and design.
The arched halls' main supporting structure is formed by triangle trusses with clear spans of up to 110 m and heights of up to 44 m. The chords of the trusses consist of glued-laminated timber Gl 24h and the bracing, of steel S235.
The Larch double top chord is exposed to the weather, creating the need for a carefully developed weather protection and flashing concept throughout the project. On top of the truss bottom chords lie glulam purlins, supporting the exterior ETFE weather membranes which are pre-tensioned against the two neighboring arches. The steel base connections transfer the chord forces through steel embed plates into the massive concrete foundations. Cable bracing in the area of the lower chords provides longitudinal stiffening of the halls.
Design in RFEM
In the early stages of the project RFEM was used to derive the internal forces and moments of the timber arches and to iterate between different truss layouts.
Once the final hybrid system of arches and trusses was locked in, the RF-TIMBER Pro add-on helped to design the timber chords according to the Eurocode 5. Moreover, the model was refined to a level that the connection forces from the RFEM model were used for the detailed steel, timber, and cable connection design.
This extraordinary project was awarded the "2021-22 Merit Award | Wood Design & Building Awards".
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