Steel Shots: Tower of Technology

North Carolina State University and its hometown of Raleigh have done a lot of growing over the past four decades. A raft of campus construction project ranging from libraries, student housing and academic and research facilities have naturally followed, including renovation and expansion of the Talley Student Center.

The focal point of the newly expanded building is the Technology Tower, a decorative 150-ft-tall, 130-ton steel structure anchoring the building’s northeast footprint. Resembling a radio tower as well as the lattice masts found on early 20th century warships, the tower begins in an ellipse with a long axis of almost 40 ft and rises in an oblique cone to a terminating ellipse at the 115-ft level before continuing to 150 ft in a single, round hollow structural section (HSS) mast. Contained within the tower is a three-story glass elevator structure leading to walkways connecting to the main building at each of the primary levels. Ultimately, the tower penetrates the building’s main roof structure, as the roof cantilevers 60 ft over the tower base.

The legs of the tower were shipped with the tops prepped for CJP welds to the first ring layer. The eight layers were fabricated individually and cut into shippable sections, and each of the rings included horizontal rolled plate bands welded to the 24 rolled tube sweeps and eight rolled tube counter-sweep members. The total number of rolled sweep and counter-sweep tubes numbers 288, and an additional 250 pieces form the horizontal elliptical rings. The first ring measures just over 19 ft in height, rings two through seven measure 13 ft and the eighth ring is 5 ft. Each ring section comprises separate panels of four sweeps and one counter-sweep.

To learn more about the project, read the article “Tower of Technology” in the current June issue of MSC.

Photo at right: Robert Benson Photography