Los Angeles — International building engineering firm Newtecnic was appointed by main contractor BACS Consortium to oversee the construction stage of the advanced and highly complex facade envelope of the Zaha Hadid-designed, King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) Metro hub in Saudi Arabia.
This appointment follows Newtecnic’s U.S. launch in January 2018 when it opened offices in San Jose, Calif.; Atlanta; Los Angeles; and Austin, Texas. Some of the complex design engineering for the KAFD Metro Hub will be conducted in the newly established U.S. offices.
KAFD Metro Hub’s intricate facade, representing patterns generated by desert winds, is design-engineered by Newtecnic to reduce solar gain and produce air currents that help cool the building. The company’s building research team developed new algorithms to achieve this performance level.
Planned to deal with Riyadh’s expected 50 percent growth over the coming years, KAFD Metro Hub is part of a new citywide transport system comprising six metro lines, 85 stations and more than 100 miles of track. The project will be completed in 2018.
Complexity is produced by the continuity of KAFD Metro Hub’s self-supporting, 650-foot-long, high-performance concrete-composite walls and roof. To produce the structure, new adjustable building components and fixing methods had to be invented, developed and tested by Newtecnic.
By going back to first principles, all excess and waste have been removed to substantially reduce the overall cost of the building. This facilitates the spectacular structure being delivered for the price of an ordinary one and ensures that it will last twice as long.
The KAFD Metro Hub extends beyond simple station typology emphasizing the building’s importance as a dynamic and dramatic multi-functional public city space. Efficiency of pedestrian routes and connectivity are the basis of the internal design and this architectural concept extends to the building’s envelope.
Andrew Watts, founder of Newtecnic, said, “This appointment means the bold aesthetic and technical vision, that we helped through the competition and design stages, can be brought to life retaining the original design intent. I am delighted that Newtecnic’s American teams are working on this exciting project and that U.S. knowledge and know-how is enabling an iconic structure.
“In our role, we examine and approve the work of several contractors, ensuring the project is completed efficiently and accurately and that all building components and fabrications are quality assured before they are used.”
To achieve this, Newtecnic deploys technology that reduces fragmentation, unifies documentation and safely speeds up design and construction by introducing concurrent and collaborative working methods.
“It’s great to be in this role,” Watts said. “Our long-term project commitment and innovative design engineering input have been recognized and rewarded. We are thrilled to be given responsibility for the successful final delivery of this amazing architectural and design-engineering accomplishment.”