King Abdullah Civic Center
King Abdullah Civic Center is 197,000 meters2 in size and includes a theatre, an exhibition center, a market, a museum, a public library and the King Abdullah Center for Cultural Understanding. Two hotels are also planned, along with a sports training facility, marina, mosque, amphitheater, gardens, parks and public squares.
As with any project of this size, in addition to its extremely harsh environmental conditions, challenging engineering issues needed to be addressed in order to ensure the durability and safety of this major Civic Center.
King Fahd University and Project Build Co. Ltd., the construction firm responsible for building the King Abdullah Civic Center, called-in SIMCO to assist in the design and optimization of a series of concrete mixtures for the construction of different elements and phases of the project. SIMCO’s scope of work was to assess the concrete durability designs of the structure in order to ensure a 50-year service life that would not require major structural repairs in time, but only nominal repairs and regularly scheduled maintenance interventions.
Specific activities included the analysis of specifications and technical documents; guidance on the selection of materials for the production of economical and durable concrete mixtures; characterization and optimization of different concrete mixtures for the preparation of concrete submittal documents.
The optimization of different concrete mixtures was performed to meet the specific requirements listed in the specifications and in the technical documents. The mixture designs had to take into account the additional constraints imposed by the extremely harsh exposure conditions.
Durability analyses were performed on the concrete for the beams, slabs, columns and foundation for the different exposure conditions which included airborne seawater, seawater with a high chloride content as well as soil contaminated with salts. The analyses involved service-life calculations performed with SIMCO’s STADIUM® numerical modeling tool. Concrete degradation mechanisms that were susceptible to affect the structure in the future were also part of the durability analyses.
Based on information provided to SIMCO, the design requirements for these different elements were 50 years before major repairs. It was understood that major repairs involved, for example, the replacement, resurfacing or partial rebuilding of any of these elements. Routine maintenance interventions, such as local patching or sealing, may be required throughout the service life of the Center.
The analysis was based on the review of documents provided to SIMCO as well as previous laboratory test results acquired from several different mixtures. SIMCO reviewed the concrete design specifications and plans in order to provide recommendations for the durability of the concrete mixtures. The most appropriate mixtures to be used for the different concrete structural elements in this project were recommended.
- Validate mixtures in accordance to the different exposure conditions
- Determine the most appropriate concrete mixtures to achieve a 50-year service life
- Ensure no major repairs would be required but only nominal repairs and maintenance interventions over the next 50 years
- Review and analyze durability design specifications
- Analyze exposure conditions data in order to generate possible deterioration scenarios
- Predict the degradation of concrete structures exposed to extremely aggressive environmental conditions
- Provide recommendations to ensure a 50-year service life without requiring major repairs
- Better understanding of the impact of harsh exposure conditions on the different concrete elements over time
- Reliable assessment of concrete performance in time
- Several options for the production of durable concrete to achieve a 50-year service life