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 Innovative modular façade enables better use to be made of space over the full length of the tower, left; 3D printing was used for visualisation and design verification, above

problems and include peer reviews with our university partners. It has a completely different rhythmto our more production oriented London office,” saysWatts. “Having that different rhythmis important so that the production pressures don’t influence the approach taken in the Cambridge office.” Newtecnic took the

step of creating

technical and quality manuals and gaining ISO9001 certification to adopt a consistent,

professional and quality

assured approach to its work. It also applies best practices and

drives innovation by setting reading material for its engineers. “We keep abreast of all that’s happening by

industry tends to bemore intuitive and experience-based than other industries and that there is a fear of failure associated with that. To overcome this, Newtecnic reliesmore on procedural practices, innovation and the development of its staff to break away fromindustry traditions. “The fear of failure is reduced through

robust prototyping, design validation, testing and verification,” he says. The company’s laboratories and testing

facilities checkmaterial properties while 3D printed prototypes are used to show how the structure fits together and to verify the design. Newtecnic is a boutique company

employing just 30 people in two offices in London and Cambridge. “Our Cambridge office is linked to academia so that we can go to first principles on challenging

32 /// Environmental Engineering /// October 2017

devouring everything that’s applicable to the industry,” saysWatts.

CFD SIMULATION Newtecnic uses computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software to perform simulation tests of its designs in different airflow cases. Using CFD for wind analytics has a high influence over the structural and environmental design to overcome the potential for fatigue or vibration resulting fromwind or seismic activity. “The wind produces positive and

negative pressures across the surface of the tower in the same way as if the tower were immersed in flowing liquid. By using CFD to simulate this, you can start to understand the behaviour of the tower and the façades so that you can optimise the design and reduce costs with benefits that

are typically around 20 per cent for façades,” explains Kunchev. With building regulations being the

benchmark, with a resultant tendency to over-engineer, the general approach in the industry is to examine worst case and build to withstand it. “Using CFD ismore scientific, it’s an accurate tool that shortens development times and helps to optimise the design fromthe start,” says Kunchev. CFD analysis also ensures that numerous design iterations can be quickly assessed and verified. Kunchev went on to explain that the

right skills are needed in order to be successful in this. Input values determine the level of accuracy and so the skill lies in providing the correct inputs that accurately define the environment and gaining agreement on any approximations.

EXTREME MAINTENANCE Once the tower has been built, it will need to bemaintained with regular inspections and cleaning operations. Unmanned cradles aren’t viable as they are unable to carry any parts and it can take amonth to do regular checks and cleaning in this way. And using twin-layered cladding with a gantry between would be too costly. To overcome these challenges, Newtecnic

is creatingmanuals for the design that have the option of takingmaintenance to extremes by using drones. Such drones, which are tethered to the building both for safety and power, will be able to carry out cleaning and inspection tasksmore quickly. The field of buildingmaintenance

drones isn’tmature yet but is developing quickly, according to Newtecnic. EE

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