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Structural design

Seismic retrofitting and facade re­fur­bish­ment

Huntsman Advanced Materials (Switzerland) GmbH commissioned Gruner to assess the seismic safety of its K-90 production building and adapt it to current requirements. The age of the building, which dates from the 1950s, made the mandate a particular challenge.

An analysis of the various factors, including statutory requirements and operational constraints, showed a diagonal steel brace assembly to be the best solution. This offered a neat appearance without encroaching on any core operational areas.

The steel braces were fitted in the building interior and on the external facades. At basement and ground level, they were fastened to new reinforced-concrete walls that bear on micropile foundations. Some of the existing walls were additionally strengthened by structural laminates and the seven building sections were connected together in the area of the expansion joints.

Prior to implementing this solution, Gruner had collaborated with an architect in the development and visualization of a series of seismic retrofitting options to meet its specifications. These visualizations allowed a realistic assessment of each option in terms of its aesthetic impact.


Gruner AG
St. Jakobs-Strasse 199
4020 Basel