Qatar Foundation’s flagship project, Education City, is a 2,500-acre campus on the outskirts of Doha that hosts branch campuses of some of the world’s leading universities, as well as numerous other educational and research institutions. Education City aims to be the center of educational excellence in the region.
One of these campuses is the Georgetown School of Foreign Services, which is a new 385,000 square foot facility. Saiful Bouquet is the Structural Engineer of Record for the project and performed detailed design from concept to the final stage of construction. The project consists of several classrooms, faculty offices, a library, an auditorium, and underground parking. During the schematic design phase, three structural systems were proposed and detailed: post-tensioned slab, two-way slab, and conventional one-way slab with beams. After working closely with the client and the architect, it was determined that a one-way concrete slab system with beams and shear walls would be the most economical structural system for a majority of the project. In the 3-story Library building, where open floor plans allowed few columns and walls, a two-way slab-beam system was combined with interior shear walls to minimize floor heights as well as maintain the design intent of the architect.
The double-height Auditorium provided unique challenges, as floor layouts required long-span curved concrete beams to be utilized. The beams used in the roof of the auditorium span over 65 feet to allow for a large, uninterrupted space beneath. The underground parking stands beneath a heavily-loaded concrete slab-beam system that spans over 45 feet between supports.