Structural Concrete Competition 2020: Submission Requirements

The submission is to comprise four components:

Conceptual design report

A maximum of 30 pages, of either 1.5 line spaced text in a maximum 11pt font, or neatly hand written in black ink, which should include:

  • An appraisal of two distinct and viable design solutions in structural concrete for the building, together with their associated beam, column and wall layouts. The appraisals should include sketches showing the stability of the tower, the structural wall and column locations, the structural elements and some brief notes on construction methodology.
  • An evaluation of the merits and disadvantages of the two solutions. The evaluation should identify significant differences such as cost or buildability between the two alternatives, and make a recommendation in favour of one solution.
  • A description of the foundation scheme adopted for the preferred solution, with a rationale for the selection. A fully detailed design for the foundation scheme is not required.
  • An outline specification for concrete and reinforcing materials, including that for the foundations.
  • A method statement for a safe construction procedure for the building.
  • A statement of how robustness to avoid disproportionate collapse is satisfied.
  • After completion of your design, the client writes to you suggesting that an additional staircase from basement to level 17 is provided as a secondary exit path in the case of fire. Write a letter to the client outlining how this might modify your design.

Verification of structural viability

The verification of structural viability of the selected scheme should be demonstrated in Appendices to the conceptual design report to make up the balance of the report. (The maximum total length of the design report, sustainability report plus Appendix is 60 pages A4.)

The Appendices should contain sufficient design calculations by hand to establish the form and size of all structural elements for the chosen scheme. Entrants should decide how best to convey this information within the space constraints imposed. Calculations for individual elements should enable a checker to clearly understand their contribution to the strength and stability of the whole structure, and the load paths assumed. Hence, if computer output is presented, validation by (approximate) hand calculations is also required. Consideration should be given to performance at both Serviceability and Ultimate Limit States.

Note: calculations are not required for stairs or cladding.


A total of three A3 drawings should be included. Drawings may be prepared using appropriate CAD software, or by hand. In either case, notes and dimensions should not be smaller than the equivalent of an 11pt font. Two of the A3 drawings should be used to present general arrangements, sections and elevations of the building to show the layout, disposition and dimensions of structural elements for estimation purposes. Drawings should be to an appropriate scale and must be dimensioned. Reinforcement details should not be shown on these two drawings.

The third drawing should show:

a) the reinforcement detail where one of the columns supporting the tower meets Level 2;
b) the reinforcement detail at the top of the basement wall where it connects to Ground Level;
c) the detail of the fixing arrangement for a precast concrete cladding panel on the tower.

Sustainability report

The Client requires a statement about the sustainability aspects of the project. Prepare a section on the structure to go into the statement, including any mitigating measures taken in the specification of the structure, and covering some of the wider aspects of sustainability such as fire, material efficiency and resilience.