53W53 | MoMA Tower – Reinforced Concrete Diagrid High-Rise: Where Art Meets Engineering

Gustavo Oliveira
Vice President | Building Structures
WSP, New York City

As construction material technologies advance, reinforced concrete diagrids are more extensively used in large-scale structures otherwise restricted to more conventional moment frames with columns, beams, and shear wall cores. This case study represents the state-of-the-art of this relatively new engineering approach. Theoretically, reinforced concrete diagrids produce benefits by bringing redundancy to gravity and lateral resistance systems, yet forethought regarding construction methodologies can optimize design and construction processes. While potential rebar congestion may exist at an intersection where several elements (diagonals/diagrids, vertical/columns, and horizontal/spandrel beams) converge into a singular node at different angles and sometimes different planes, addressing this early-on can avoid resulting challenges during the erection process. Although somewhat counterintuitive, for certain diagrid nodes with complex geometry configurations, an ideal solution is, in fact, to implement convergence of the elements by employing a steel assembly or “Steel Node” comprised of numerous plates, rebar couplers, and studs allowing for the proper interaction of clusters of reinforcing bars coming together at this intersection.

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