Arup ensures Mexico City concrete skyscraper can withstand seismic activity

Double-V hangers and irregularly spaced gaps allow the structure to bend.

July 20, 2016 |

Photo: Torre Reforma/Arup

Mexico City is only 31 years removed from a devastating earthquake that killed 5,000 people. 

Triangular buildings have a tendency to twist when subjected to lateral loads, wind, and earthquake forces.

These two facts aren’t stopping Arup, the engineer, and L. Benjamin Romano Arquitects, the designer, from building the 57-story Torre Reforma in Mexico’s capital.

The tower is reinforced so efficiently that computer simulations determined that it can withstand all earthquake activity for 2,500 years.

Curbed reports that the 800-foot-tall building has a series of double-V hangers and irregularly spaced gaps that give room for the concrete to constrict, allowing the structure to bend. Also, a 10-story basement provides additional support at its base.

The architects chose concrete because it will block out the sun and keep the building cooler, and because the thick walls will allow the building to support itself without steel columns. This means cheaper construction costs, and more importantly, open floor plans. The triangular peak of the building will also contain elevators and egress stairways, freeing up even more room.

The $100 million tower, which has office and retail space, is seeking LEED Platinum certification. 

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