BLAST PROTECTIVE FACADE
The theme of transparency is very much at the forefront in the field contemporary architecture and current design trends focus on maximising the extent of glazed areas. Building envelopes designed in this way however must increasingly often ensure high levels of resistance and security in the event of natural disasters or terrorist attacks. To respond to both these demands, the Permasteelisa Group have focussed on the development of a construction technology known as Testudo®, that is able to provide cost-effective security without compromising architectural freedom. The strategy for improving the construction of the façade involves the use of dissipative connectors to allow large deflections without disengaging the panel. The Permasteelisa Group used numerical tools developed inhouse in order to support the design during the different phases of the project. All the major outcomes of their research have been therefore integrated into the proprietary software Testudo® for the unitised panels. In the photo: the office block at 99 Bishopsgate refurbished by GMW Architects has become a new contemporary landmark for London. The glazed covering of the building has been specially designed to resist shockwaves from any nearby explosions and can withstand a bomb blast of 8,000 Pa.