July 27 2021
Our 1+1=3 Approach to Construction Engineering & Permanent Structure Design
We believe in a 1+1=3 approach to our work. By bringing two ideas, services, or processes together in a novel way, we can produce more value on a project than each could have done on its own. Integrating construction engineering with permanent structure design exemplifies this philosophy of providing additional value to our clients.
By integrating the temporary works into the permanent structure, we can find efficiencies in the lengthy construction process, eliminate the need to do things twice, reduce materials, and ensure the design is constructible.
The Value in Integrating Construction Engineering with Permanent Structure Design
Depending on the delivery model, such as design-build or P3, it is often possible to integrate temporary works into permanent structure design, thereby saving time, money, and creating a safer construction sequence. By engaging our team early in the project process, contractors and owners gain the benefit of having their construction sequence accommodated in the structural design. When we know how contractors intend to construct a structure, we can collaborate with them to identify opportunities for efficiencies that will enable them to complete their work on time and on budget.
We don’t believe in “setting it and forgetting it”. We work with contractors throughout the process, collaborating with them every step of the way, asking questions, and listening to the answers.
What Does This Approach Look Like?
An example would be designing a base structure to account for temporary loading, such as construction traffic or equipment. By understanding how the contractor is going to complete their work, we can build that capacity into the base design, eliminating the need for and cost of temporarily shoring the slab if that is the cost-effective option. Similarly, if we know that the contractor is going to use a tower crane or material hoist restraint, we can design space in the base build to accommodate this connection, ultimately saving time and money.
Both Calgary’s New Central Library and Platform Innovation Centre & Parkade, for example, were constructed directly overtop an active light rail transit line. The design of the building required innovative sequence of construction considerations to enable the installation of very heavy long-span structural elements across the corridor. Both projects had their unique challenges, but one thing in common was the constructability sequencing and temporary bracing elements that were incorporated in the building design.
Examples of the value behind this approach can be found in more of our projects, a few of which we’ve highlighted below.
Underground Stations, Toronto
Main Entrance SOE Traffic Deck & Utility Support
The station structures for the Finch LRT in Toronto used a top-down approach combined with the integration of support of excavation into the permanent structure. This approach allowed for the simplification and reduction of detours on the roadway as well as considerable reduction in concrete and reinforcement volumes. The work was started at the initial bid phase and modified and developed as the workflow was refined, with accommodation for changes to the excavation pattern and augmented utility information. The use of this approach was carefully evaluated throughout the project and only used in those locations where it was effective.
Heritage Façade Retention, Toronto
Construction at 42 Hubbard Boulevard, Toronto
Façade retention, shoring, demolition, and permanent building design all overlap at some point on a project. One example is 42 Hubbard Boulevard, a Toronto Housing renewal project during which the building shell was retained but the interior wood framing was replaced with steel joists. The façade retention was staged together with the foundation replacement work and the façade retention supports were integrated into the final works. The anchorage points of the façade retention were also spaced to avoid permanent structure connection points, simplifying the final construction.
Permanent Retaining & Slope Stability Structure, EdmontonRendering of shoring for Edmonton Government Centre project.
As part of the multi-phase Edmonton Government Centre Power Distribution Upgrade project, an electrical building (E-House) is required to be constructed on the existing slope. The existing steep slope showed signs of unstable conditions and required stabilization. The initial plan included large temporary shoring to provide room for a permanent cantilever retaining wall integrated into the building. However, Entuitive proposed that the permanent retaining system be separated from the E-House building. In this case, the separation of the permanent structure and the shoring was the most cost-effective. The separation allowed for the use of a permanent tieback wall that eliminated much of the excavation, eliminated conflict with adjacent uses, and greatly reduced the complexity of the electrical building foundation.
Our work doesn’t end at construction. We value working with contractors to ensure the constructibility of a project is optimized. By integrating temporary works into permanent structure design, a host of efficiencies can be unlocked that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible. If you’re interested in learning more about these projects, or how Entuitive can support contractors, reach out to Stephen Brown, or David Fox.