Design of a Multi-Column Intersecting Steel Joint for the China Resources Headquarters Tower

Yongjun Huang
Director, Vice GM, Chief Engineer
Shenzhen Aube Architectural Engineering Design, Shenzhen

The 400-meter China Resources Headquarters Tower is located in Shenzhen, representing an important component of the headquarters district Qianhai. Resembling bamboo shoots opening in spring, its shape implies a brilliant future. The shape was realized through a tube-in-tube structural system, and the perimeter steel tube consists of inclining columns and beams. Therefore, many complex multi-column crossing joints must be constructed in order to effect the building shape, and a waist (minimum cross section) with three-dimensional stress state is formed at each junction. Plates in the joint zone are easily dislocated, as each column is distributed in different planes, and matching the plates correctly is difficult.

The process of design and verification of the bottom multi-column crossing joint is introduced, starting with the path of force transmission. The connection scheme of joint slabs (plates of columns and beams in the joint zone), slab thickness optimization and detail construction techniques are also recommended. Typically, the joint will be simplified so that machining and setting up can be more easily. However, this simplified process of flattening the joint panel may apply additional force to the joint. Flattening the joint panel might bring a secondary stress up to 40% of the initial stress, due to moment forces. Its influence cannot be ignored. The verification test results show that the finite element analysis results are coincident with that of the test, and that a reasonably designed joint will be elastic under the design load. From the above, a comprehensive analysis of the force transfer path and the construction details is conducted, to ensure the structure’s safety.

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