Design and Construction of South Asia's Tallest Tower – Lotus Tower

Priyan Mendis
Professor of Civil Engineering, Director of ARC Centre for Prefab Housing
University of Melbourne, Melbourne

The 350 m tall Lotus tower which is going to be completed in 2018 in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, is the tallest tower in South Asia. The design of the Lotus Tower includes a slender concrete tower and an antenna mast.
The design and construction challenges are highlighted, and novel methods used in planning and design are covered in this presentation.
The presentation will provide an insight into a new numerical modelling approach of developing an evacuation strategy in high-rise buildings for occupants’ egress in emergency situations, which is extremely important for polycentric cities and people. The influence of important egress parameters such as the crowd flow density and evacuee demographics were considered. Defend-in-place option was not possible due to the concentration of people at the top levels and other constraints of the local fire authorities. The work reported in this presentation, led to some layout changes in the Lotus Tower including the relocation of the kitchen from the top of the tower closed to the revolving restaurant to the basement level of the tower.
The wind design was conducted using 3 techniques, code methods, CFD Techniques and wind tunnel tests and a comparison was made between these methods. As a world first, sophisticated CFD fluid-structure interaction techniques were used to predict accelerations and then validated with wind tunnel test results. The other challenge was lack of reliable measured wind data in Colombo and the wind-induced fatigue of the masts. How those challenges were overcome will also be covered in the presentation.