SOM

SOM

Cathedral Of Christ The Light – Structural Engineering

The Cathedral of Christ the Light employs state-of-the-art technologies to create lightness and space. The 1,350-seat cathedral incorporates a highly innovative use of materials, including glue-laminated timber, architecturally exposed reinforced concrete, high-strength steel tension rods, aluminum, and glass to provide lightness and luminosity within an efficient structural form. With a building life goal of 300 years, it utilizes a base isolation system along with superstructure materials that allow the structure to resist strength and ductility demands beyond the maximum considered earthquake levels.

From the very beginning, the lightest ecological footprint was a core design objective. Through the use of renewable materials and other sustainable design strategies, the building minimizes the use of energy and natural resources. With the exception of evening activities, the cathedral is entirely lit by daylight to create an extraordinary level of luminosity. The structure’s concrete makes use of industrial waste fly ash, a by-product of coal production that requires less energy to produce than cement. The reuse of this material provides a better adhesive while reducing waste. An advanced version of the ancient Roman technique of thermal inertia maintains the interior climate with mass and radiant heat. Through displacement heating, small ducts beneath the pews cool the building from the floor.

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