Innovations in Optimizing Flexible Systems for the Future

Session: 800 West Fulton Market Tour

Aaron MazeikaProject image

Aaron Mazeika
Structural Engineering Principal, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Defined by its bold structural expression, 800 Fulton Market’s external steel braced frames are designed to resist wind loads while accommodating Chicago’s extreme temperature variations.

With lessons learned from 100 Mount Street, Aaron Mazeika and Kevin Rodenkirch will divulge the iterative process that led to the unique form and function of the high-waisted bracing system for 800 Fulton Market.

The structural design of 800 Fulton Market takes the conventional concrete framed office building and imbues it with geometric and technological sophistication while achieving an efficient structural design. The ‘Baker brace’ configuration utilized for the project is a topology optimized version of the conventional X-brace seen on the John Hancock Center in Chicago, which was developed through research led by SOM’s Consulting Partner, William F. Baker. The brace configuration uses a sophisticated geometry with an out-of-plane central node. This inbuilt eccentricity allows the brace to deform elastically to accommodate thermal strain in the steel and creep in the concrete columns without picking up additional brace axial force. This feature allows the coupling of a reinforced concrete gravity system, determined to be the most cost effective at that time, with a steel braced frame, with its known efficiencies as a lateral system.