In his research as part of his course for Masters of Engineering (Structural Engineering), Zach had to tackle various issues related to the Island of Gozo as part of their thesis. Zach’s research involved the industrial area of Xewkija, through which his proposal sought to invoke new life into the craft industry by creating a public space that allowed the merge of new and old technologies.
The location selected was that of the afforested green area known as Ulysses Grove. The site allows for the creation of new routes and access, not only, to the site but also to the heart of the industrial centre. The landscape is characterized by a particular morphology and is covered with large arboreal vegetation, which is terraced allowing, for a multi-level building to be integrated into the different natural contours of the site.
A steel structure provides the envelope of the building, being as lightweight as possible so as to link the interior workshops, to the garden it is situated in. A green roof is situated in the centre of the structure that is accessible from within the complex as well as providing a public link from the bottom of the garden.
The main emphasis for the thesis project was to establish, analyze and design the structure. The main structure utilizes 6.5m deep trusses supported by two core structures that act, as both as a lift and stair shaft as well as light well. Due to the length of the building, the structure is split by means of a gutter, resulting in cantilevers that span towards the middle. Composite slabs were utilized for the roof and floors which were supported by means of composite beams spanning between the truss structures.
The structure was analysed using quick hand calculations and structural programs to establish sizes of steel members based on their limiting strengths, as well as overall stability of the structure due to vertical, wind and seismic loading.
The thesis project creates the perfect platform to grasp the challenges young engineers face during their career;
- Understanding critical issues and establishing a brief
- Establishing a structural typology that fits the brief
- Definition of load characteristics that shall affect the structure
- Analysis of the stability and strength of the structure
- Translating the design into drawings fit for presenting to a client or construction
Skills, which Zach has been able to utilize in various projects at iAS, such as large residential complexes, workshops and bridges.