The iconic British Airways i360 picked up its eighth and ninth awards of a highly successful 2017, this time at the 2017 Structural Awards ceremony on 17 November.
The annual Structural Awards celebrate the role of structural engineers as innovative design professionals, and act as a showcase for the world’s cutting edge engineering projects.
The BA i360 received the award for Tall or Slender Structures before going on the be selected as winner of the night’s main accolade – the Supreme Award for Structural Engineering Excellence.
The Structural Awards 2017 shortlist featured 45 ground-breaking projects selected from 119 entries.
The shortlist featured a diverse range of structures that are ‘beyond the ordinary’, indicating technical superiority and absolute attention to detail. Shortlisted entries were selected for excellence, creativity and innovation, as well as elegance and detailing. Sustainability, economic viability and value for money were also core considerations.
The British Airways i360 featured on a shortlist of just three projects in the Tall or Slender Structures category, which is awarded for structural engineering excellence in projects where height or slenderness presents a particular structural challenge in the design and construction.
The world’s tallest moving observation tower
The British Airways i360 is the world’s tallest moving observation tower. It carries 200 passengers at a time in a circular glass viewing pod, which rises slowly from beach level to a height of 138m.
The tower is 162m high and only 3.9m in diameter, holding the Guinness Record for the ‘world’s most slender tower’.
What the judges said
Describing it as ‘a remarkable feat of engineering’, the Structural Awards’ judges said:
“The steel tower is clad in perforated aluminium Expamet sheet, which cleverly reduces the wind forces on the tower, allowing it to be so slender.
“To help still further in resisting any dynamic movements when the wind is blowing, the tower has another trick up its sleeve. It hides 78 containers on the inside of the tower, each filled with Australian water, positioned perfectly to help resist movements which the tower might otherwise want to make under wind gusting.
“Another innovation lies in the manner in which the tower was constructed.
“It comprises 17 ‘cans’, each weighing between 50 and 100 tonnes, which were jacked up one by one in a top-down method of construction by using a jacking frame.
“This avoided the use of unfeasibly large cranes, and ensured that all construction occurred safely at ground level.
“And you’ll be happy to know that over 60% of the energy used to lift the pod each time is recovered on its descent.”
Accolades in 2017
The British Airways i360 has now received a remarkable nine industry awards in 2017.
In May, the project picked up no fewer than three awards at the 2017 RICS South East Awards ceremony, including the headline accolade ‘Project of the Year’.
The following month it was named the Best Public Service Building at the LABC South East Building Excellence Awards 2017.
In August, the project team celebrated success once more, after picking up the Innovation Award at the 2017 ICE South East Awards ceremony.
In October, the scheme picked up the Judges’ Special Award at the 2017 British Construction Industry (BCI) Awards
Earlier this month, the BA i360 won the Design through Innovation Award at the RICS Awards Grand Final.
29 November 2017