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The Great American Tower at Queen City Square in Cincinnati, Ohio. Rick Mayer photo.

Great American Tower at Queen City Square

  • COMPLETION DATE
    2011

Overview

Thornton Tomasetti was the structural engineer for Great American Tower, Cincinnati’s tallest building. The 41-story high-rise contains a 525,000-square-foot, 1,700-car parking garage on 11 levels; an 825,000- square-foot, 33-level office tower above a portion of the garage; and a public promenade with 25,000 square feet of retail space.

The building’s core and exterior have been built using environmentally friendly and efficient practices, earning it LEED Gold and making the tower Cincinnati’s greenest building. The structural skeleton includes 5,800 tons of structural steel and more than 63,000 cubic yards of concrete. Two thousand glass and aluminum panels comprise the tower’s skin.

Office floors are column-free, affording tenants flexibility for future office reconfigurations, and floor-to-ceiling windows provide generous daylighting to the open space. Aligned floors connect Great American Tower to 303 Broadway at Queen City Square, a mid-rise structure for which Thornton Tomasetti was also the structural engineer.

Thornton Tomasetti was the specialty engineer to Great American Tower’s prime steel contractor for the skyscraper’s crown, a 400-ton tiara. The award-winning 130-foot-tall by 150-foot-wide exposed steel, elliptical tiara brings the building height to 665 feet. Thornton Tomasetti provided integrated modeling services, including a fully developed Tekla model, connection design and shop drawings.

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Computational Analysis

While the range of shapes and forms that can be designed with modern modeling tools is almost limitless, geometric discipline is still essential for budget control. When forms are still in flux, the design team can use our proprietary tools to interactively study multiple geometric options and establish optimized shapes for structural frames and building surfaces, along with related systems.

Parametric modeling applies parameters such as materials, dimensions or performance criteria to define elements or element categories within a model. Once entered, they can be altered, individually or in combination, to explore and easily incorporate design changes. These 3D models contain intelligent information and can serve as deliverables, or they can be used to generate 2D drawings. Parametric models improve documentation speed and quality, enhance visualization, quickly perform geometry-based analytical tasks and easily calculate material quantities.

Generative modeling uses scripts – instead of direct input – to generate elements, providing even greater flexibility in iterating and testing many options. It allows architects, engineers and other project stakeholders to work together to quickly evaluate any number of concepts and variations.