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2017WinterShotcreteEMag

2016 Honorable Mention Dome Technology Corporate Headquarters By Jason South Dome Technology recently completed a new corporate office in Idaho Falls, ID. The office is a stunning achievement in concrete thin-shell construction. The achievements showcased in the construction include an open free-span concrete thin-shell building exposed by arching openings and beautiful light window glazing around the building perimeter, a sleek porcelain tiled exterior with an insulated durable shotcrete interior, and geothermal cooling incorporated into the shotcrete shell. “We wanted to be able to show people what we could do. We bring in people from all over the world to meet with us, and we needed an upgrade,” said Dome Technology Project Manager Daren Wheeler. With this building, the Dome Technology team did something with a concrete thin shell that has never been done before: constructing a free-span open thin-shell geometry using air-formed shotcrete technology without a single conventional concrete form or shore. We gave it a 100-plus-year roof, made it watertight and fully insulated, and we uniquely heat and cool the building using geothermal energy. Dome Technology builds bulk-storage and architectural concrete thin-shell domes all over the world and specializes in customized solutions to meet customer needs. Because “technology” is part of its name, Dome Technology sought an architectural style for its new office that would complement its cutting-edge engineering and construction. “It’s a modern office showcasing the stunning geometry achievable using Dome Technology’s air-formed shotcrete construction process,” Wheeler said, adding that visitors can’t help but notice the open freespan area with open views and tremendous natural light. The open spans of the building are made possible due to the strength and geometry of the reinforced concrete thin shell. Concrete thin shells are inherently strong due to their double curvature and robust concrete materials. Application of the shotcrete and reinforcement followed Dome Technology’s standard application process but was uniquely modified to achieve the large arched openings in the building—an elliptical air form fabricated with highstrength architectural polyvinyl chloride (PVC) fabric by Dome Technology’s affiliate, Fabric Span, was inflated, and polyurethane foam insulation was applied inside, forming a layer 3 in. (75 mm) thick. Workers then applied layers of reinforcement and shotcrete in a strategic sequence. Multiple applications of shotcrete and steel reinforcing bar were applied until the necessary thickness was achieved and the dome met its strength requirement. Arched openings were achieved by placing a thin amount of shotcrete and reinforcement in the area to be removed. This shotcrete was integral with the remainder of the shell. Later these areas were cut out and removed from the shell, leaving the arched opening. The orientation of the building and placement of the arched openings in the shell were designed with the aid of a lighting study to shade the glazing like an eave or shade structure in the summer. This prevents unwanted thermal gain and cools the building in the summer. In the winter, however, the sun is lower in the sky, and the arched opening is sized to allow light to touch the glazing, providing thermal gain that aids in the heating of the building. The glazed window system is light and free of supports, showcasing the light, open span of the shell from the exterior. The porcelain tile provided a sleek exterior. An earth-tone green color and smooth pattern were chosen to mimic the Fig. 1: Reinforcing bars and shotcrete are integral parts of the dome construction process 46 Shotcrete | Winter 2017 www.shotcrete.org


2017WinterShotcreteEMag
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