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Unique Chicago skyscraper features ArcelorMittal steel sections

An eye-catching new addition to the Chicago skyline will feature 2,530 tonnes of ArcelorMittal’s ASTM A913 grade 65 and 70 column sections. 

The “150 N Riverside” – an unusual 54-storey office building that appears to stand on one “foot” – will feature steel columns made by ArcelorMittal Europe—Long Products’ Differdange mill in Luxembourg, the only producer of steel sections with these specifications. 

Commissioned by Riverside Investment & Development and designed by architectural firm Goettsch Partners, with Magnusson Klemencic Associates as structural engineers, the skyscraper features 111,000 m² of rentable space and is located in one of the most prominent sites in the city – the south branch of the Chicago River.

Magnusson Klemencic Associates’ Robert A. Chmielowski said: “After discussing numerous options with our client and Clark Construction, ArcelorMittal’s products were determined to offer the most cost-effective approach for the structural system designed by Magnusson Klemencic Associates for this unique building. 

“The larger sections and high-strength material provided the only ‘off-the-shelf’ sections that could resist the large forces”. 

An unusual design

The building’s signature component is its unique design. With its vertical exterior columns seemingly terminating at level 8, the building has a significantly smaller base when compared to the typical floors above.
This special layout was required to accommodate the complexities of the building site. The project is located just metres away from the Chicago River at its east – and a rail yard that has been active for more than a century to the west. 

The constraint of the railway, which made it impossible for the building’s exterior columns to extend to solid ground, pushed the design team to develop what is known as a core-supported framing plan.

The building was essentially designed as a typical office building from level 8 through to level 54 with an efficient, yet complex, transfer truss system that enables the weight of the building to be supported on its concrete core below level 8. 

The core is then supported on a 3m deep concrete mat that transfers the load to a collection of 16 rock-socketed caissons below, each one having a 3m diameter.

The structural engineer – in cooperation with Zalk Josephs, the project’s fabricator – determined that incorporating 70 ksi steel sections into the design would lead to considerable savings in fabrication hours and cost. 

Photo credits: Magnusson Klemencic Associates; Goettsch Partners, Inc.

Banner image: Tony Webster, Flickr

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