QUALIFIED SPECIAL ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS
Structural Reinforcement Applications
In its early years, Pro^GE, through a joint venture created with its strategic partner “Turner”, undertook the project management of the renovation of Turkish State Pension Fund Hotels (Emekli Sandığı Otelleri). With this project, the employer was planning the renovation of 6 landmark hotels in Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir and Bursa, which are all still active today.
All the design work for STAD Hotel’s construction, Maçka Hotel’s reinforced concrete frame until the ground level and Tarabya Hotel’s earthquake reinforcement, were managed and completed by the Turner / Pro^GE partnership. As a side note, the hotels were proposed for sale, as part of Turkey’s privatisation program, shortly after the beginning of the renovation project. Naturally, the project, which started a relatively short period after the 1999 Marmara earthquake, had “Seismicity” and “Seismic Behaviour of Existing Buildings” as its central axis. In addition to the broadly used “Safety” applications, the two consultants who helped us on these projects, namely:
- Prof.Dr. Mustafa Erdik and
- Prof.Dr. Özay Yüzügülü
introduced us with a higher standard; the concept of a building retaining its functionality and ability to serve.
FEMA 356 “Immediate Accupancy”
The adequate design work required an analysis of the structural behaviour of existing buildings during an earthquake. This step, which is a great example of the “PreConstruction” phase of the project management practice, were completed by specialised firms under the supervision of Pro^GE’s field and central staff.
Considering the time when the renovation work started, we can argue that the old Ankara STAD Hotel, which is today active under the “Radisson Blu” brand, was the first of its kind in Turkey, to apply the “Immediate Occupancy” standard, in parallel with its applications in the USA.
* This experience also offered interesting findings for us. First of all, we found that buildings constructed 25 to 40 years ago, presented quality problems over time. On one hand, we noticed the high level of engineering applied in 1950-1960’s period, in particular with the Büyük Ankara Hotel and STAD Hotel. In order to reach the FEMA 356 “Immediate Occupancy” standard level, the highest earthquake standard in practice in the US at the time, it only required an extra budget of USD 40,000 for Büyük Ankara Hotel and an additional USD 450,000 for STAD Hotel. On the other hand and in comparison, other hotel buildings in the project package were going to be requiring at least or well over USD 3,000,000 individually, given their geometrical characteristics, weaknesses related to the application quality, or other design criteria related insufficiencies and improprieties.
In a similar way, seismic reinforcements were made in different projects with different materials, built with traditional methods as suggested by their designers. Seismic Isolation Systems (a.k.a. Earthquake Isolators), both at the Istanbul Ataturk Airport International Terminal, and at the Tarabya Hotel, as part of the Turkish State Pension Fund Hotels renovation project, represent a “first” as they were applied to the existing structures of the buildings.
While at the at the Istanbul Ataturk Airport International Terminal, the isolators were placed between the reinforced concrete structure and the metallic roof, the same system was applied with a very different method at the Tarabya Hotel, through a cut at the base of the structure’s foundations. After the completion of both these extremely sensitive and complex projects that required particular application methods, the application at the Istanbul Ataturk Airport International Terminal received the prestigious “Engineering Project of the Year” award from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) in 2002.
Deep Excavations and High Retaining Structures
Ideal Hospital is one of the largest private hospitals in Turkey, with 517 beds, 2 towers with 20 and 24 floors, and a podium. A 30-meter deep foundation excavation was made to host the 7 and 6 basement floors of the structure. Before the excavation, 35m long and φ 80cm radius large bored piles were manufactured, and once the capping beam concrete was poured, the excavation started. According to the piled sheathing project, when the anchor levels were reached, anchors were manufactured, waler beam concrete was poured, and progressively, the anchors were stretched and the excavation was completed until the foundation bed.
Top Down Applications / Membrane Wall Top-Down Applications
Fehime Sultan and Hatice Sultan Houses restoration into a hotel in Ortaköy project is another example of our significant experiences, due to the various techniques used, the difficulties to the construction site and the originality of the construction method. This project, with its top-down management and deep excavation work on the shore of the Bosphorus strait, was published by Önder Akçakal, Cevdet Bayman, Selim İkiz, Fatih Kulaç, and Turan Durgunoğlu as an Academic reference work.
The Park Forbes Touristic Complex project in the city of Iskenderun covers an area of 16,983 m2 and includes a residential part, a shopping mall, a hotel and parking. The project is based on 2 basement floors and 4 floors of shopping above them. On top of this wide structure, 2 towers of 16 floors each are constructed.
Pro^GE is also experienced in both the cleaning management and in corrective / protective actions proposals, against man-made or naturally developed chemicals, that represent risks to human health and environment, in buildings or sites. Some examples are below:
- • Asbestos removal in accordance to the international and local regulations,,
- • Decontamination of PCBs (Polychlorinated Biphenyls), organic chemicals primarily generated by industrial waste, or
- • Elemental or native arsenic pollution’s treatment.
Pro^GE and the “Firsts”
Pro^GE and its founders professional experiences include interesting new ground breakings (or “firsts”). Among the recent years “firsts” we already mentioned earthquake isolators above. When we go a little back, we see more “firsts” that are today widespread.
“Sarı Konaklar” residential complex is often referred to as Turkey’s first home automation example in a multi-floor residential building. In this project, a prototype system that was originally built for single-floor houses by Honeywell was jointly adapted to function in a multi-floor building.
Another “first” would be the Shaykovka Air Base Military Personnel Housing project that was the first large-scale “cast-inplace concrete” project, realised in the harsh Russian winter conditions. With its 118,000 m2 of covered building area, the project was followed with interest with its tunnel form concrete application, in those years.
Another “first” we often proudly mention, when talking about Turkey, is the application of the first “Panel System” façade on the İş Bank Headquarters in Istanbul. The tallest building in Turkey, at the time of its construction, often referred to as “İş Towers”, is a true success story, where the contactor Çuhadaroğlu Construction, the designers and Tepe Construction’s technical teams worked together, using an extraordinary amount of professional courage, to jointly analyse and apply solutions to this other “first”. International Quality Control Firms have also certified that international norms were fully applied from both the construction and the practice perspectives.
Pro^GE’s founders, Hasan Barutçu, Tepe Construction’s CEO, Selçuk Alten, Tepe Construction’s General Manager, Bahadır Gümüşoğlu, Tepe Construction’s Electromechanical Director, and its many employees took part in the İş Bank Headquarters Project.