Tevfik Seno Arda High School: Turkey's first anti-seismic school building features ArcelorMittal steel

Realised by the European Convention for Constructional Steelwork (ECCS), the Turkish Constructional Steelwork Association (TUCSA), and with ArcelorMittal as a sponsor, Turkey's first earthquake resistant school building was built in a seismic area in Bingol. The new and safe construction replaces the school building destroyed in an earthquake in August 1999 in which more than 100 students lost their lives.

Detailed information

A pioneering modular system with steel for maximum safety

A modular system that could be re-used in several areas was established. The school building, made of 16 classrooms, 4 laboratories, a computer room, a library, a conference room, and an administrative office was built by distributing the space around a central atrium. This structure ensured the necessary lighting in the classrooms and other rooms, as well as the existence of an inner space intended to be used for breaks during rainy days.

The use of steel was very important in the construction of the facade and inside, including the compound planks. Special attention was given to the surrounding environment and functionality of the building. The anti-fire standards outlined by the European regulations were applied. The school’s fire security and protection requirements were guaranteed by innovative ideas related to the latest research projects developed in Europe, as well as the new versions of the Eurocodes 1, 3, and 4. 

The new ideas were based on an engineering approach to fire security (fire engineering). The end result is fire protection limited only to the primary beams, whereas, the secondary beams and the steel columns of the atrium and the corridors are not protected. The design of this steel school building, located in a seismic zone, is most innovative amongst public service buildings in Turkey.

The school was named after professor Tevfik Seno Arda, founder of the TUCSA (Turkish Constructional Steelwork Association), who heavily contributed to the development of the Turkish constructional steelwork industry.

The steel structure

Tevfik Seno Arda High School was conceived as a three-storey steel structure. The plan of this structure is a rectangle of 28.80 m x 36 m, and is 10.8 m high. Each storey is 3.6 m high. The building consists of a framed structure that spans 7.2 m in two directions and is in-line with the architectural conception. The frames are connected to IPE 300 beams of the slab. The horizontal structures are formed by compound slabs (steel-concrete) with a 12 cm reinforced concrete layer to cover the steel beams.

A 7.2 m x 14.4 m atrium was built at the center of the building with glazed roofing in order to optimise the sunlight. The main elements composing the structure (beams and pillars) are made of HEA or HEB wide flange profiles, whereas IPE profiles were used for the secondary beams. The total weight of the steel structure is 250 tonnes. S275 JR steel was used for the section bars, whereas, S235 JR steel was chosen for the sheets. Class 10.9 high-strength bolts were used to connect the beams to the pillars.

All structural calculations of the building were made according to the technical specifications for structures located in a seismic zone. Calculations were made by considering the parameters estimated for a seismic area 1. The foundations were designed on the basis of a field study of the soil. They were calculated on a 50 cm concrete bed. Pillars were connected to the foundations through anchorage bolts forming a fixed bolted support capable of containing the horizontal shifts. All structural elements were made with bolted connections outside the site in order to ensure better control and a higher construction and assembly speed.

Project information

  • Bingol
  • Turkey
  • Architect:
    Yasar Marulyali - Levent Aksut / UMO Architects
  • 2006
  • Client:
    Government of Izmit
  • Engineering Firm:
    Sezai Guvensoy, Seza Engineering
  • Contractors:
    Steel construction: Tabosan A.S.
    Steel beams: ArcelorMittal
  • Photos & Text:
    ©ECCS, published in Costruzioni Metalliche n°5/2008