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20th December 2017, Chesterfield

Architectural composite specialists to present in Dubai

The roof of the new US$ 5 billion Apple headquarters in Cupertino, CA, manufactured by a Dubai-based Premier Composite Technologies. © Premier Composite TechnologiesCompIC ME, a leading Middle Eastern construction industry conference dedicated to the use of composite materials within construction, will see two leading regional manufacturers present their latest builds and experiences in the architectural composites sector.

Premier Composite Technologies (PCT) and AFFAN Innovative Structures, two pioneering Dubai-based manufacturers, which realised projects like the Steve Jobs Theatre, Apple Kunming Pavilion and the Dubai Museum of the Future, will speak on the second day of the conference being held from 14-15 February 2018.

Composite roof structures

Whilst composites have been used in lightweight free-form building envelopes in ground-breaking projects for several decades, Dr Mark Hobbs, Head of Structural Engineering at PCT, will focus on recent works that utilise the full capabilities of a lightweight carbon fibre construction, enabling some truly inspirational structures.

Dr Hobbs will take delegates on a journey from PCT’s early self-supporting dome structures through to the latest carbon fibre free standing roof structures, including the roof of the Zorlu Pavilion in Istanbul, winner of the IStructE award for Structural Engineering Excellence in 2014, the roof of the Apple Kunming Pavilion, winner of ENR Global Best Project award 2017 and the roof of the Steve Jobs Theatre, the largest self-supporting CFRP roof ever built.

Steve Jobs theatre

The entrance to the Steve Jobs theatre is through a spectacular glass walled pavilion topped by a thin carbon fibre roof, which is 155 feet in diameter, which appears to float effortlessly above the ground as it is supported only by the curved glass walls of the pavilion. The carbon fibre structure had to be exceptionally light and stiff to span 130 feet between supports, as well as being capable of withstanding wind and seismic loading on the roof and providing lateral support to the glass façade. 

Realising the structure required an innovative design, taking materials technology and fabrication methods from modern high-tech race boats and superyachts and combining this with an efficient structural concept to produce a roof with a structural mass of only 36 tonnes. The roof was also designed to allow pre-assembly on the ground, with the full roof lifted in a single pick and placed on top of the glass structure, significantly reducing installation time and costs.

Museum of the Future in Dubai

Also presenting at CompIC ME, Dr Amer Affan, CEO of AFFAN Innovative Structures, will deliver a keynote speech giving a detailed overview of the use of composites in construction. AFFAN, initially a market leader in steel and glass structures, began to adopt composite materials in 2009 as architects continued to push the boundaries of building form and design.

Working in partnership with research and development organisations such as the Aachen Centre for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) and the CFK Valley network in Europe, AFFAN has delivered a wide range of structural composite projects in the UAE and Europe, as well as Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Currently under construction, the Museum of the Future in Dubai is centrally located near the Burj Khalifa and forms part of a personal initiative by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to look forward to future technologies in science and innovation. The museum’s fluid annular shape will feature a metallic clad composite building envelope decorated with Arabic calligraphy, with the curved form providing a breath-taking new addition to the architecture of Downtown Dubai. AFFAN has provided the engineering design and fire safety solutions for the composite components, as well as being responsible for the manufacture and installation of the finished panels as the building moves towards completion in 2019.

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