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TEKLA - Pavilions Of Shanghai World Expo Built With The Help Of Tekla Software

Finnish technical expertise will be on display at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China, from the 1st of May until the end of October. A total of 12 Expo pavilions will showcase the use of Tekla Structures BIM (Building Information Modeling) software. Tekla is an official partner in the Finland exhibition during the event.

The pavilions of the World Expo 2010 are specimens of modern architecture and construction skills. Their curved, asymmetrical geometry requires a great deal from the software in use. The Finland pavilion, ‘Kirnu’ (“Giant’s Kettle”), was a challenge both in terms of geometry and the complexity of its steel structure. It was designed by Helsinki-based architects’ office JKMM. Another Finnish company, Lemcon Ltd, is in charge of its construction.

“From the day that Kirnu was chosen for the Finnish pavilion, it was quite clear that there is a need for 3D steel design software,” said Jouni Lehtonen, construction manager for Finland at the World Expo and representative of Finland exhibition organiser Finpro.

Nearly 60 meters in diameter, the steel-tube frame of the pavilion consists of variable cross-sections and unique curved shapes. Tens of thousands of bolt connections are needed to keep them together. It would have been impossible for engineers to design this structure into 2D drawings by using just traditional 2D software.

“We knew that Tekla Structures is Finnish software and one of the best on the market, so it was quite an obvious choice,” said Lehtonen.

Tekla enables sustainability for construction sites

The main theme in the Shanghai Expo is “Better City, Better Life.” More than half of the world’s population lives in cities, which has led to many problems. A big challenge for the near future is to find methods of construction that are sustainable and preserve natural resources.

The Finland pavilion is a laboratory for sustainable building, presenting Finnish solutions for future urban construction. The goal has been to develop energy-efficient, low-emission and environmentally friendly solutions both in terms of construction method and maintenance properties. For Kirnu, the use of energy is being lowered by, for example, light surfaces and natural ventilation. Carbon dioxide emissions are being reduced by recycling and re-use of materials. The outer façade of the building will be covered with scale-like shingles made of paper/plastic composite sheet, a Finnish industrial recycled product.

After the Expo, the Finland pavilion will be disassembled, sold, and taken to new use. Modeling its steel connections with Tekla Structures enables it to be rebuilt in another location. In addition, building information modeling minimises expensive and unnecessary miscalculations.

“Using Tekla Structures software, all necessary building information is gathered into a 3D model database, which all project disciplines can share. This way it is possible to significantly decrease mistakes and costs in planning, site management, and project scheduling,” said Risto Räty, Executive Vice President of Tekla.

Modelling software brings pavilions to life

Tekla received an internationalisation award from the President of Finland in February 2010. The company has customers in nearly 100 countries. International operations account for more than 80% of net sales. In the World Expo 2010, Tekla Structures was used to model and build altogether 12 exhibition pavilions: in addition to the Finland pavilion, these include the pavilions of Germany, Sweden, United States, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Macau, Italy, Luxembourg, and host country China. Moreover, the central pavilion of the Expo as well as its Performance Center were modelled with Tekla Structures.

”The pavilions of the World Expo are architecturally ambitious and thus extremely challenging to build. Tekla Structures was chosen as the tool for so many pavilions because that is exactly where the strength of our software lies: in structural design of complex buildings,” Räty says.

Other modern structures modeled with Tekla software include world’s highest building Burj Khalifa, Bird’s Nest stadium of Beijing Olympics, Wembley stadium of London, and recently opened SkyView gondola of the Globe stadium in Stockholm.


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