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Use of Glass and Steel material in skyscrapers

Updated: Jun 17, 2022

After using steel in the construction of the building body instead of using concrete, the outer surfaces are covered with glass instead of traditional materials. Forms created with Steel and Glass have become frequently preferred in high-rise buildings. The use of steel has many features. The most important of these; It is the ease of cutting and shaping. This has helped the designer architect in creativity and in moving the building out of functional and traditional shapes. In addition, steel is lighter in weight than concrete and takes up less space inside the building. It takes much less time in the assembly and construction of the building.

The glass industry has also made great progress in the last two decades. There are many types of glass according to usage and climate differences. For example; A type of folded (cardboard) glass is produced, which is far above solid (steel) metals in terms of durability. In addition, a type of glass that prevents harmful rays from the sun by allowing daylight to pass through, and a type of glass that changes color according to the strength of the sun's rays has been invented.

Finally, this type is strengthened with the chemical materials used in the production of insulating glass called “THERMAL GLASS”. The glass maintains the temperature and coldness in the building. The last type of glass we mentioned has an important place in the use of glass in buildings. Because one of the glass problems in the past; The issue of not providing sufficient thermal insulation – just as in brick, wood and cement – ​​has been eliminated with this type. However, engineers have solved this problem by placing two layers of glass between the antenna cavity, which works as thermal insulation. In addition, due to its flexibility in shaping, glass stands out as a more useful material than steel. It is seen that the use of steel in high-rise buildings is in competition with the use of glass panels for exterior cladding.

Examples of GLASS STEEL structures

Hearst tower

Hearst tower, 2006, by Norman foster. The Hearst skyscraper in New York City received the 2008 HIGH RISE Award for architecture. The materials used by the designer in the construction of this tower show the effect of modern technology that helped the design of this work. These materials are; steel and glass. The materials aided structurally in the ease of the fracture process on the four corners of the building. At the same time, the tower stands out with its flat shape, which gives the building a visual identity from the outside, and we see that it has a unique design shape connected to the structural system with triangular steel frames.

Aldar skyscraper

Located in Abu Dhabi City, United Arab Emirates, Aldar Skyscraper (Aldar Head Quarters), 2011, is the first structure in the world to have a unique feature unlike any other. Its height is 110 meters and the structure is circular (shaped like a pearl). It received the title of "the world's first circular skyscraper". It was designed by the Lebanese Engineer “Marvan Zaghib”. Aluminum and reflective glass are used in the outer tower design. The building had an area of ​​more than 50 thousand square meters reserved for office spaces. In addition, the building contains underground car parking spaces. The factors that make the building an advanced center are that it is equipped with the latest modern technical and logistic techniques.

Capital Gate Capital Gate Tower

Located in Abu Dhabi City, United Arab Emirates, the shape of the Capital Gate, 2011, was inspired by waves, winds and dunes. The architects created a marvelous feature for the Capital Gate Tower. This feature; It is a spiral-shaped tower that rises from the ground, 160 meters high and divided into 35 floors. The shape was inspired by the meandering desert winds. The fluctuations formed on the soil are reflected. The lower floors are allocated as commercial offices, while the upper floors are designed to be used as a five-star hotel.

The Capital Gate Tower is structurally based on a dense distribution of more than 400 steel support piles dug 30 meters below the ground surface. Thus, it has been made resistant to gravity, earthquake and wind forces. It is a first in the world in terms of its design, with its structure four times more inclined than the inclination of the world-famous Pizza Tower. The design team of the Capital Gate Tower decided that the tower's hull should be slim, leaving more room for the lower floors. This allowed the panoramic windows to be opened. In addition, it has made the internal spaces wider. However, maintaining this tower's integrity had become a major engineering challenge. There is no other solution but to overcome the gravitational force.

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