The new Benetton production centre in Treviso, Italy, employs a unique stayed, cable guyed structure to create an unencumbered space totalling over 36,000 square metres.
All structural steel elements are hot dip galvanized together with a special galvanizing treatment of the external steel cladding to create a fabric-like herringbone pattern.
The latest addition to a unique multibuilding complex which forms the jeans and tops production, robotised automatic warehousing and administration centre for the Benetton fashion house in Treviso, Italy is a giant clear span, galvanized steel structure with a total floor area of over 36,000 square metres.
The Benetton building is configured as a central tunnel measuring 39 by 175 metres where raw materials and goods to be made up are received and handled, with two side manufacturing areas each measuring 85 metres by 175 metres with a 9 metre ceiling height, free of any constraint from columns, pillars, partitions or supporting walls.
Designed by Italian architects Afra and Tobia Scarpa, the building features a stayed cable bridge type structure to provide maximum adaptability of the indoor space with the large unencumbered areas designed to provide greater control, efficiency and an unrestricted production flow of garments.
It is believed that this is the first time that construction of this type has been used for a factory type building, although it is a common technique for bridge and large sporting arena construction. The building has a central anchor structure comprising a reinforced concrete core to which the seven pairs of 25 metre high steel pylons are anchored.
Attached to the central pylons are steel trusses or lattice girders which are supported by steel wire guy ropes of 54mm diameter. The ends of the trusses at 84.5 metres rest on reinforced concrete walls.
This guyed structure repeated seven times forms the general skeleton of the building from which the roofing and external curtain panels are fixed. Duplex top coats were used where colour was required. All steel structural elements are hot dip galvanized to ensure long life and a maintenance free structure.
The architects also chose to clad the exterior walls in a special ribbed steel profile which has also been hot dip galvanized. The galvanizing technique chosen was to hold each sheet by a different corner as they were placed in the galvanizing bath. The zinc as it crystallised has created a unique herringbone pattern as an architectural feature which reflects the texture of the fabrics on which the Benetton business is founded.
Despite its size and complexity, construction of the building was completed in eight months by a team of specialist contractors whose performance was supervised by a multi discipline project management team.
Source: Galvanizers Association of Australia
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