Our most important objective in building consultancy is integrating the structure into the architectonic design. In this we always look for the optimal solution within the budget setting out the task. We devote a great deal of attention to analysing the statement of design: what does the client want, what does the architect want? Here we constantly look for creative, innovative solutions.
It is important from the start of the process not only that there is clarity on the ‘programme of requirements and wishes’, but also on the available budget and the planning. In order to unify all the various basic principles, structural designers need increasingly to call once more on their creativity and inventiveness.
Designing does not only mean filling in the functional needs. On occasion the design sometimes also needs to draw the eye, to amaze. Consider here huge cantilevered extensions, the use of high strength concrete and the structural integration of glass in bearing structures. This concerns not only determining the limits of the technology, but primarily of the question how these limits can be moved in a way that is structurally and financially safe.
We also carry out research into new materials and into more efficient use of materials and construction methods. We also make frequent use of the latest advanced calculation techniques. By this means we are able to implement structures that are more optimal, with the result that frequently material is saved . In practice it turns out that this investment recoups itself: by designing and building a structure as efficiently as possible, the construction costs are often considerably lower.
There are in principle four angles of approach for sustainable construction: flexibility, integrated chain management, energy expansion and promoting quality. Buildings' flexibility is determined in the main by the bearing structure. ABT preferably approaches projects in an integrated way from all four angles of approach in order to arrive at an optimal result.
As a result of the lack of available space in urban areas in particular, buildings are increasingly going further down and further up. The point is made in the introduction that we frequently go down in response to lack of space / inner-city construction. This would thus be an extremely good link. There is a strong interaction between foundations and superstructure, which ABT is able to integrate seamlessly as a result of its advanced knowledge in both areas.
The financial feasibility of a high-rise plan depends heavily on the design of the bearing structure. This offers interesting opportunities to the creative builder. By having the bearing core combine with the outer walls, a more streamlined building can in this way be constructed, while the functional net floor area increases. Or concrete and steel can be combined in a more efficient way in the bearing structure, with savings in weight and more rapid construction as a result. All of this results in the end in lower investment costs.