- What structural material makes sense for the local conditions (availability and familiarity) as well as your project design goals -- for example, buildability (what material will be most cost- and time-effective) and sustainability (which has the best carbon footprint)?
I didn't want to go for wood framing but rather steel framing because of the aesthetic of it, and the fact that I want my building to be mostly simple, with cold materials rather than warm ones, like glass and steel.
- Would you like the structural system to be hidden from users of the building or an exciting design feature that’s part of the user experience?
I want the structural systems to be apparent, outside the building and in the main lobby/atrium, but I don't want it to interfere too much with circulation within exhibition or conference rooms.
- Should the structural framing be visible from the exterior? Visible on the interior? Or hidden in the walls and ceiling?
Yes, visible from the exterior of the building but hidden in the inside walls.
- Does your building form have an overall geometry that will help dictate the best grid layout?
It's mostly squared, except the round atrium in the middle which leads to complexities, as well as the overhang/terrace on the South and West sides of the building.
- Will specific areas of your building benefit from different structural strategies? For example, can you use a very typical, closely-spaced column scheme in the office areas? Would a wide-open, few column, long span truss scheme work better for an atrium or exhibition space?
Yes, for now, I put columns everywhere but I have been thinking of using trusses in the atrium, and below the terrace too). I think the exhibition spaces should be fine the way they are right now. Having one structural column apparent in the exhibition room is not a problem and provides structure (organization) to the room, which I like.
I was thinking of slated columns too for the design aspect of it and might change some of them from vertical to slated.