New Miami towers becoming products of extreme engineering

Posted on Monday, June 1st, 2015 at 7:59pm.

Two high-profile new construction projects in Miami are pushing engineers to determine new techniques to build these towers, that would otherwise be deemed impossible.

One Thousand Museum, the first project in the Western Hemisphere designed by world-renowned and Pritzker Prize-winner architect Zaha Hadid, has been overhauled by engineers to re-purpose the tower's decorative alien-like exoskeleton to being an integral part of the building's structure. The panels, which will be pre-cast in Dubai before being shipped to Miami, will be installed to the exterior of the building and filled with concrete to reinforce the exterior.

Perhaps setting a precedent for the construction of future towers, Bjarke Ingel's Grove at Grand Bay will be constructed via composite steel walls. Using this, albeit more expensive, material over traditional solid concrete walls reduced the thickness of load-bearing walls by up to 50%. This allows for more usable square footage on each floor and practically paying for itself.

Another engineering marvel at play has been the engineers' ability to grow the tower into a larger rectangle as the building twists higher, a process they call "shapeshifting," allowing for more space on the higher floors. 

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