Quick Overview

SpeedCore is a revolutionary concrete-filled composite steel plate shear wall (CF-CPSW) core. With this remarkable system, erection will take an estimated 43% less time to complete than it would with a traditional cast-in-place reinforced concrete core.

Erection of this hybrid core begins with pre-fabricated panels consisting of two structural steel plates held in place with cross-connecting tie rods. The steel in SpeedCore can support up to four floors of decking by itself, making it possible to erect four floors in a week. After erection, these panels are filled with concrete, creating a unique sandwich-style structure that provides strength and stability along with the benefits of rapid erection. Additionally, SpeedCore is a non-proprietary system, meaning many American steel fabricators can produce the panels.  

How Does It Work?

The fundamental unit is a sandwiched panel of steel plates that are subsequently filled with concrete. Cross-connecting tie rods hold two structural steel plates in place, supporting the wall panel before the concrete is poured. After erection, these panels are filled with concrete and left in place, providing strength and stability along with a rapid erection procedure that doesn't rely on the complex and time-consuming process required for a reinforced concrete core. 

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How Is It Different?

Erection times using a reinforced concrete core can vary, but a pace of three to five days per floor is not uncommon.With SpeedCore, however, it's possible to build four floors--that's two tiers--in a week. SpeedCore is a non-proprietary system, so many American steel fabricators can produce the panels.

Using SpeedCore also eliminates the persistent construction tolerance issues that tend to appear when using an embedded plate to combine concrete construction and steel construction. With SpeedCore, steel connection plates can be welded directly to the wall panel. 

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How Is It Designed?

The design process published in the Pankow Foundation "Design Procedure" indicates a prescriptive approach using published material strengths. 17Թ will be publishing a Design Guide (expected to be published in 2021) based on the research currently underway. A modeling software package, such as Autodesk Revit, is effective in documenting a SpeedCore project.

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How Is It Built?

The panels in this non-proprietary system comprise two ½-in.-thick steel face plates separated by 1-in.-diameter cross-connecting tie rods; the internal space is ultimately filled with a self-consolidating concrete mix to create the final core wall assembly section. The tie rods are critical, serving to support the wall panel before concrete is poured during erection and providing confined pressure to the concrete for superior seismic performance once the erection is complete.

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How Does It Work In Fire?

Similar to Reinforced Concrete (RC) construction, the bulk of the concrete and the non-exposed faceplate maintain good strength and stiffness. Steel-Plate Composite (SC) structures have better fire resistance than pure steel structures. In many typical uses, the fire resistance of bare SC structures is often adequate without additional coatings. Should additional fire resistance be needed, a suitable protective coating such as spray-applied fire material or intumescent paint can be used on the faceplates.

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   Benefits of SpeedCore 

Schedule Reduction
With SpeedCore, it's possible to build four floors--that's two tiers--in a week, allowing for a greatly reduced construction schedule. 

Cost Savings
SpeedCore's rapid erection translates into construction cost savings and earlier tenant occupancy. 

The SpeedCore system uses pre-fabricated steel panels filled with concrete to create a unique structure that provides immense strength and stability. 

More Flexibility for Adaptive Reuse
SpeedCore construction facilitates adaptive reuse projects because the system is predictable and has no hidden reinforcing bars. 

Increased Blast Resistance
Although this system's use for high-rise construction is novel and innovative, it has been used extensively for nuclear power facilities worldwide due to its superior impact- and blast-resistant qualities.

Eliminates Construction Tolerance Issues and Dimensional Conflicts
With SpeedCore, steel connection plates can be welded directly to the wall panel, eliminating construction tolerance issues and dimension conflicts. 

A lot of the SpeedCore construction process takes place under the cover of steel deck because its timeline is so closely aligned with floor framing. This decreases workers' exposure to materials that might drop from above.

crane  Real-World SpeedCore Projects

The first high-rise building to use SpeedCore, Rainier Square Tower in Seattle, opened for occupancy in 2021. What makes it truly remarkable, though, is that the 850-ft.-tall tower only took 10 months to erect!

"SpeedCore resulted in an eight-month savings as compared to construction of a typical reinforced concrete core," said Ron Klemencic, PE, SE, Hon. AIA, chairman and CEO of the structural and civil engineering firm Magnusson Klemencic Associates. After working on the Rainier Square Tower, MKA is designing five new high-rise buildings in California that will use SpeedCore.

200 Park in San Jose, Calif., is the second SpeedCore project. A third is planned in Boston.


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