The Petronas Twin Towers and High-Performance Concrete


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Title: The Petronas Twin Towers and High-Performance Concrete

Author(s): Charles H. Thornton, Hamdan Mohamad, Udom Hungspruke, Leonard M. Joseph and Hashimah Hashim

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 172


Appears on pages(s): 329-350

Keywords: Composite construction; construction; creep properties; cubes; high-performance concretes; high-strength concrete; modulus of elasticity; shrinkage; superplasticizers; tests; towers; wind (meteorology)

Date: 12/1/1999

Twin 451.9m (1482 ft) tall buildings just completed in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia use high performance concrete to good advantage. Each of the Petronas Twin Towers contains approximately 218,000 m2 (2.3 million sf) in 88 floors, as part of the 1.7 million m2 (18 million sf) Kuala Lumpur City Centre mixed-use development. Cast-in-place high strength concrete for the core, perimeter columns and ring beams provides economical vertical load-carrying ability, stiff lateral load resistance, and inherent damping for occupant comfort. Using higher concrete strength than usual in the area keeps column sizes small enough for good real estate appeal. Steel beams on metal deck slabs provide efficient, economical and quickly-erected long span floors which are easily adaptable to future changes in openings and loadings. As part of the first large scale use of 80 MPa concrete in the area, extensive tests were performed to determine appropriate mixtures and their properties of strength, stiffness, creep and shrinkage. A proprietary creep and shrinkage program following published formulas gave good agreement with test data after adjusting for first-day strains. The construction process included specific methods to compensate for shortening and maintain required floor-to-floor heights.