Events, People

SOM Leaders to Participate in 2018 CTBUH International Conference in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Image © SOM

In October of 2018, SOM will participate in the annual conference of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). Taking place at venues in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, this year's event centers on a discussion of the evolution of tall buildings as a solution to navigating urban density. Participants will explore the theme of "Polycentric Cities: The Future of Vertical Urbanism."

SOM's William F. Baker, Scott Duncan, Dmitri Jajich, Brian Kleiver, Luke Leung, Joanna Zhang, and Yue Zhu will speak at the conference. Each will share a unique perspective on a variety of topics and pressing issues within urban design, architecture, structural engineering, and sustainability. Details of each individual's participation are below.

Conference Day 1: Dubai
October 20, 2018
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Beyond Diagrids: Next-Generation Exterior Bracing Systems for Tall Buildings
Venue: to be confirmed

As a part of the Tall Building Seismic Considerations Workshop, SOM Associate Joanna Zhang will present a study on diagrids, a structural facade formed of a regular pattern of diagonal members that create an inclined “mesh.” Zhang will explore the benefits of using diagrid frames and share insight on their various technical strengths, including stiffness, efficiency, and eliminating the need for outriggers, which present design and construction challenges. She will discuss three SOM-designed towers that utilize structural diagrids as case studies: Ningbo Guohua Tower, in Ningbo, China; CITIC Towers in Shenzhen, China; and Wuhan Guohua Tower in Wuhan, China.

Revisiting Passive Design for Future Buildings
Venue: GOLD by Rhodes, VOX Cinema, Dubai

In a workshop titled "Towards Net-Zero Energy Skyscrapers," SOM Technical Director Yue Zhu will explore passive design strategies for future tall building projects. Passive design, as exemplified by natural ventilation in skyscrapers, harnesses power from nature to achieve human comfort and wellbeing, while reducing a building's carbon footprint. Covering both existing passive strategies and emerging technologies, Zhu will explore how designers can achieve efficient buildings to face challenges posed by climate change.

Zhu will present case studies that use analytic tools, such as cloud computing and parametric design, to optimize building massing, orientation, envelope opacity, shading, and facade thermal character. Such tools and optimization enable buildings to better utilize natural resources to reduce the need for mechanical heating and cooling.

Naturalization of Polycentric Cities
Venue: Ubora Tower, Al Abraj Street, Business Bay, Dubai

Speaking as a part of the Vertical + Horizontal Landscaping workshop, Luke Leung, SOM Director of Sustainable Engineering, will discuss the naturalization of cities and its role in the future of urban design. Leung will explain the importance of circadian rhythm, probiotic living, the integration of plants in urban environments, and other factors as catalysts for new design thinking. Using data analysis tools, Leung will explore how design professionals can better understand urban micro-environments and improve the vertical realm. In a case study, Leung will present his research proposal for a 300-meter-tall tower in Chicago that included an array of green elements designed to increase air quality and quality of life for occupants.

Conference Day 2: Dubai
October 21, 2018
Venue: JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Business Bay, Dubai

Tall Timber Americas - Challenges & Solutions
1:45 – 3:15 p.m.

At Session 3E: Tall Timber: Americas, Dmitri Jajich, Director of Structural Engineering, will explore the growing presence of tall timber buildings around the world. He will also discuss the challenges to high-rise timber design in the Americas. As tall timber building projects contend with restrictive fire codes and regions of high seismicity, designers must develop viable solutions.

Since 2013, SOM has been developing timber technologies for high-rise construction. With the release of the Timber Tower Research Project, which utilizes a composite timber-concrete system, SOM has continued to refine the initial concepts. Jajich will present a case study on two SOM-designed projects that use composite timber systems developed through a full-scale physical testing program at Oregon State University.

Conference Day 3: Dubai
October 22, 2018

Session 7F: Urban and Building Transit 2050: What Will it Look Like?
1:45 – 2:45 p.m.
Venue: JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Business Bay, Dubai

SOM Design Partner Scott DuncanChair of the CTBUH Height and Data Committee, will participate in a panel discussion on the future of urban transit and high-rise development. Exploring emerging ideas and technologies, the panel will discuss drones, autonomous vehicles, ropeless elevators, high-speed rail, and more. Duncan will be joined on the panel by Zhizhe Yu, Co-Founder and Managing Director, AI.; Earle Arney, Founder, Arney Fender Katsalidis; Sascha Brozek, Senior Vice President, Major Projects, KONE; and Peter Seamer, Director, Planning Strategies.

Keynote: The Future of Tall Building Technology
3:45 - 5:15 p.m.
Venue: JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Business Bay, Dubai

William F. Baker, SOM Structural Engineering Partner, will lead Plenary 3: 50 Forward, 50 Back, delivering a keynote presentation on the future of tall building technology. Baker will explore the evolution of the skyscraper, from the early days of high-rise construction through the present, and the role of skyscrapers as technological marvels that reflect the latest advancements in materials, methodologies, and tools.

The continuous interest in constructing tall buildings in various climates and locations throughout the world has led to the ongoing development of new technologies, specialties, and social considerations that have the potential to transform the buildings of the future. Baker will discuss how these methods and other emerging trends and technologies will continue to redefine tall and supertall buildings, including their shape, organization, and sustainable design.

Baker's presentation will be followed by presentations from Gregg Pasquarelli, Principal, SHoP Architects; Ole Scheeren, Partner, Buro Ole Scheeren; and Antony Wood, Executive Director, CTBUH.

Conference Day 3: Dubai Offsite Programs
October 23, 2018

Building Momentum: How Burj Khalifa Changed Dubai and the Middle East
Session 1: 9:20 a.m.
Session 2: 2:50 p.m.
Venue: Burj Khalifa, Dubai

Speaking at Burj Khalifa as a part of a session titled "Iconic Towers as Development Catalysts," William Baker will examine the role of iconic towers in fostering regional economic and urban growth. Beyond its status as the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa has become an emblem for the ongoing growth of the United Arab Emirates, while serving as an economic driver for the Middle East. Baker will explore Burj Khalifa's undeniable effect on the city and region, with a look how at the ideas behind the skyscraper have encouraged urbanism-oriented thinking and forward-focused infrastructure in Dubai and in cities around the world.

Baker will be joined by presenters from Emaar Properties, Burj Khalifa's owner and developer, and Turner Construction Company, the building's construction manager.

Constructing a Carved and Cantilevered Office Tower: Mashreq Bank Headquarters
Session 1: 9:20 a.m.
Session 2: 2:50 p.m.
Venue: Mashreq Bank Headquarters, Dubai

SOM Associate Brian Kleiver will lead a construction tour of SOM's new 35-story headquarters for Mashreq Bank in Dubai, the oldest privately owned bank in the United Arab Emirates. Kleiver will present the building's unique cantilevered L-shaped design, which maximizes daylight and views while offering the bank's staff modern office space and an array of amenities. He will highlight the building's unique features: its structural design, which allows most of the corner of the tower to be cut away to maximize constant shade, and its facade, composed of a patterned lattice of aluminum and glazed fins designed to offset the solar heat gain and glare.

Days 5 and 6 of the CTBUH Global Conference take place in Abu Dhabi, where attendees will visit notable buildings and participate in sessions hosted by local organizations.

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