Case study: Designing the steel structure of Dubai’s Nakheel Mall

As the sole steel contractor for the Nakheel Mall project, Rasana Engineering needed an interoperable structural design technology with advanced analysis capabilities

Rasana Engineering used Bentley applications to design the steel structure of Nakheel Mall.
Rasana Engineering used Bentley applications to design the steel structure of Nakheel Mall.

Nakheel Properties’ Nakheel Mall is a 418,000m2 project located in Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah. It comprises five retail levels with 350 shops, restaurants, and leisure attractions spread across 111,484m2 of leasable space.

Valued at $540m (AED2bn), it features a hotel, a medical centre, a fitness facility, cinemas, and a three-level underground parking that can accommodate up to 4,000 vehicles. It also boasts a VIP entrance and rooftop fountains, as well as waterfalls plunging 65ft into the mall.

Appointed by Nakheel as the project’s steel contractor, Rasana Engineering needed to design the steel structure economically and safely, without sacrificing quality. To do this, it required an interoperable structural design technology with advanced analysis capabilities.

The company decided to use Bentley applications, specifically STAAD.Pro Advanced for analysis and design of all steel structures, and Sectionwizard for the irregular built-up sections.

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According to Rasana, the project team initially modelled all structures in Tekla and then imported them directly into STAAD.Pro Advanced for further design and analysis.

The flexibility and interoperability of Bentley’s 3D structural analysis and design applications reportedly enabled an integrated design approach in the delivery of Nakheel Mall.

According to the contractor, using STAAD.Pro Advanced helped economise on majority of the steel sections, reducing the originally budgeted 7,900 design hours to just 6,656 hours, which translated to 15% savings in design time.

Rasana further noted that the direct integration between STAAD.Pro Advanced and Tekla improved project collaboration and eliminated the rework of inputting information, while the dynamic performance of STAAD.Pro Advanced accelerated the analysis process and helped the company deliver on-time, in-budget construction drawings.

Jebin Jacob, structural design engineer at Rasana Engineering, commented: “Bentley’s technology helps our projects to be designed economically without sacrificing safety and quality.

“Using STAAD.Pro [Advanced], we were able to better understand the behaviour of our structure very quickly. This enabled us to deliver construction drawings on time and within budget.”

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