The American Concrete Institute (ACI) announced the winners of the 2019 Excellence in Concrete Construction Awards, who were honored at a Gala event during the Institute’s Concrete Convention & Exposition, October 21, 2019, in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The highest honor was presented to King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, located in Dhahran, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia.
Also known as Ithra, the Arabic word for “enrichment,” the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture is an 85,000 m2 (914,930 ft2) building surrounded by a 220,000 m2 (2,368,000 ft2) Knowledge Park that creates a space to inspire the imagination. Features of the structure include post-tensioned slabs spanning 15.9 m (52 ft), sloped concrete walls and ramps, and twisted and inclined reinforced concrete columns with decorative concrete finish. The building is 90 m (295 ft) tall and is supported on a 3 m (10 ft) thick raft foundation. Stability is provided through a reinforced concrete core acting as a propped cantilever. The columns supporting the elevated slabs are inclined and result in horizontal thrust forces at the head and base of each column lift. The post-tensioned slabs act as structural diaphragms to carry these forces back to the core. Construction was completed in the fall of 2017.
The ACI Excellence in Concrete Construction Awards were created to honor the visions of the most creative projects in the concrete industry, while providing a platform to recognize concrete innovation, technology, and excellence across the globe. To be eligible for participation in the Excellence Awards, projects needed to be winners at a local ACI Chapter level and submitted by that Chapter or chosen by one of ACI’s International Partners.
An independent panel of esteemed industry professionals judged projects and selected winners based on architectural and engineering merit, creativity, innovative construction techniques or solutions, innovative use of materials, ingenuity, sustainability, resilience, and functionality.
Additional winning projects were selected from among several possible categories, and included:
1st Place: Qatar National Library, Doha, Qatar. The Qatar National Library is one of the first buildings in Qatar with cast-in-place white concrete, so the challenges faced on this project were workability, placing methodology/sequence, and finishing. To provide an unobstructed view and vast plaza space within the building, the entire roof is supported by 1.2 m (4 ft) diameter columns. To transfer loading, multiple columns required a structural steel cruciform to be cast embedded for the structural connection. With some columns 18 m (59 ft) high, multiple placements were required.
Project Team Members: Owner: Qatar Foundation; Architectural Firm: Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA); Engineering Firm: Arup; General Contractor: Multiplex Construction W.L.L; and Concrete Contractor: Readymix Qatar LLC.
Nominator: Qatar Chapter – ACI
2nd Place: Metro State University of Denver–Aerospace & Engineering Building: Denver, Colorado, United States.
1st Place: Generali Tower, Milano, Italy. The Generali Tower is 186 m (610 ft) tall with a tubular core resisting vertical, horizontal, and torsional actions. A shape variation of each floor plan, and its rotation around the center, generate the form. The concrete raft foundation has 64 settlement-reducing piles. Casting was completed in 38 hours by using low-heat concrete to comply with the specification of the maximum inner allowable temperature of 70°C (158°F), which was checked with thermocouples. A special ground-floor slab is 500 mm (20 in.) deep, with 900 mm (35 in.) deep drop panel areas, designed to resist the horizontal forces created by local column shifts from vertical to inclined.
Project Team Members: Owner: CityLife SpA; Architectural Firm: Zaha Hadid Architects – London; Engineering Firm: Redesco Progetti srl; General Contractor: CMB Cooperativa Muratori e Braccianti di Carpi; Concrete Contractor: Ricca Costruzioni – Brescia; and Concrete Supplier: Holcim SpA.
Nominator: Italy Chapter – ACI and Spain – Asociación Científico-Técnica del Hormigón Estructural (ACHE)
2nd Place: Statue of Unity, Gujarat, India.
1st Place: I-91 Brattleboro Bridge–Concrete Bridges to Nature: Brattleboro, Vermont, United States. Designed for an enhanced service life of 150 years, Vermont’s first concrete segmental bridge used 18,882 yd3 (14,436 m3) of concrete. The 4000 psi (28 MPa) footings were constructed with 700 yd3 (535 m3) mass concrete placements completed without the use of cooling tubes. A main aesthetic feature, the bridge’s signature quad wall piers were cast-in-place using 6000 psi (41 MPa) self-consolidating concrete. The quad wall piers provided stability and allowed for the balanced cantilever segmental construction of the bridge superstructure to be constructed from above using 8000 psi (55 MPa) high-performance concrete.
Project Team Members: Owner: Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans); Engineering Firm: Figg Bridge Engineers, Inc.; General Contractor: PCL Civil Constructors; and Concrete Supplier: Carroll Concrete.
Nominator: New England Chapter – ACI
2nd Place: Goethals Bridge Replacement Project: Elizabeth, New Jersey, United States.
1st Place: Hamad Port Project–Design and Build of Visitors Centre, Doha Port, Doha, Qatar. This all-concrete building (except the roof of a pyramid exhibition area) houses a high-end aquarium that is the first of its kind in Qatar. A creative solution for the aquarium involved isolating its raft with a gap from the main building raft. The engineering merits include mitigation of the risk of cracking (as compared with a single raft with a larger thickness), isolation of the aquarium from movement (if any) in the main building structure, and provision for local repairs (if needed) to the aquarium’s raft.
Project Team Members: Owner: Hamad Port Steering Committee, Ministry of Transport and Communications; Architectural Firm: WorleyParsons and Royal HaskoningDHV; Engineering Firm: James Cubitt & Partners, Supervision Consultant AECOM; General Contractor: Al Jaber Trading & Contracting Co.; and Concrete Contractor and Supplier: Rabban Readymix WLL
Nominator: Qatar Chapter – ACI
2nd Place: Anastasis Church, Ille-et-Vilaine, France.
1st Place: King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (ITHRA), Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia.
Project Team Members: Owner: Saudi Aramco; Architectural Firm: Snøhetta; Engineering Firm: BuroHappold Engineering; General and Concrete Contractor: Saudi Oger Ltd; Concrete Supplier: Saudi Readymix Concrete Co.
Nominator: Saudi Arabia Chapter – ACI
2nd Place: MGM National Harbor, Oxon Hill, Maryland, United States.
Repair & Restoration
1st Place: Palais d’Iéna (Restoration of the Façades), Paris, France. To restore the building’s façades beyond a simple renovation, the causes of degradations and their consequences were analyzed. A specific protocol was developed, phasing the work to reproduce the existing hammered concrete finishes. Rust was removed from the soft iron reinforcing bars and decayed concrete eliminated beyond the reinforcement a little farther than usual to place the newly formulated concrete, with a few centimeters of extra thickness from the surface. After a few weeks, the concrete was hammered. For the raw concrete, specific formwork was used to reproduce the building’s original board marks.
Project Team Members: Owner: Conseil Économique Social et Environnemental (CESE); Architectural Firm: Agence Arnaud de Saint-Jouan; Engineering Firm: Bureau Michel Bancon; General Contractor: Pierrenoël; and Concrete Contractor: Freyssinet.
Nominator: Paris Chapter – ACI
2nd Place: Lake Peachtree Spillway Replacement: Peachtree, Georgia, United States.
The winning project details can be found at ACIExcellence.org. Entries for the 2020 Excellence in Concrete Construction Awards are being accepted now through April 6, 2020.
Visit ACIExcellence.org for more information.