An exemplar of environmental performance, robust structural design and leading-edge technology, the Engineering Pavilion at Curtin University is a world-class facility for students, academia and researchers.
BG&E provided structural engineering for the Pavilion, which is a shared use building housing a communal space for exhibitions, a general meeting area for students, and project and self-learning areas. Activities are spread over three floors, with a triple-height atrium sat next to the floors containing walkways and vertical circulation.
A steel diagrid structure was chosen as part of this expressive concept, which not only shares the wind loads on the triple height atrium glazing across multiple members, but also acts as the primary lateral stability bracing system for the building.
The use of a steel diagrid in this way allowed several concrete structural shear walls elements to be removed.
The floor slabs are post-tensioned to reduce the volume of concrete used and to maximise flexibility for services in the ceiling, without having to increase the height of the building. The solution for the support of the roof structure across the 19-metre x 17-metre exhibition space, uses three bow-string trusses with fletched glulam top chords supporting the timber purlins.
A number of cutting edge material technologies were used in the structure of the building, which helped the university to achieve a 5-star rating on the Green Star Rating System.