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Steel providing a safe design for petrochemical headquarters

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nINEOS1602A steel frame designed specifically to withstand a blast scenario is taking shape at the INEOS petrochemical facility at Grangemouth in Scotland.

More than 900t of structural steelwork is being erected to construct a three-storey £20M headquarters building for INEOS Olefins & Polymers UK, the country’s largest privately-owned company and one of the world’s largest chemical businesses.

“Because of the location, the design stage for this project was more onerous than would be expected for a job of this size,” said BAM Construction Project Manager Gary Brown.

“Because the building is located within a major petrochemical complex the office HQ had to be designed to take this into account and so we employed a specialist blast engineer who had to review all of the initial designs, including the steel frame, secondary steel and cladding, to ensure everything was blast resistant.”

Woolgar Hunter Senior Engineer Kenneth Irvine added: “We worked closely with Michael Laird Architects to develop a solution for the steel frame and cladding, which addresses the loading issue but still provides an elegant and economic building.

“The structural design had to take into potential blast loadings and so the steel frame has to be flexible.”

The requirement for the steel frame to be ductile in the event of a blast led the design team to choose steel-framed cores for the building instead of the more rigid concrete versions.

All of the cross bracing comprises 250mm × 12mm flat sections which were chosen as this steelwork offers more flexibility.

BHC is fabricating, supplying and erecting the steelwork for the project, which is scheduled for an August 2016 completion.

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