Civil and Structural engineering

Case Study

Share this article 


Intesa Sanpaolo Tower, Turin

  • Detailed finite element modelling of one of what will be one of the tallest buildings in Italy

  • Staged construction modelling involving creep

  • Buckling analysis of steel transfer trusses

Designed by world-famous architect Renzo Piano, the Intesa Sanpaolo Tower will, on completion, stand 167 metres high and dominate the skyline of Turin. Expedition Engineering used LUSAS finite element analysis software to assist with its design of the structure and carried out staged construction modelling of the tower incorporating creep and buckling analysis assessments of major steel truss members.

Overview of tower

The Intesa Sanpaolo Tower is a mixed-use development that provides office accommodation for more than 2000 employees of Intesa Sanpaolo Group as well as providing leisure facilities for the general public. In total there are 37 floors above ground and 6 levels underground. At its summit, a rooftop greenhouse houses a public restaurant, alongside a roof garden and a panoramic terrace that provides far-reaching views over the city. At its base, a 364 seat multifunctional public hall/auditorium is hung from the transfer trusses four stories above ground level. 

Described by the architect as a "bioclimatic building", it is naturally ventilated and cooled. Cladding consists of transparent double-skinned glass fašades, which incorporate louvres in the outer skin. An appreciable amount of its power requirement is to be generated from photovoltaic panels that cover the southern fašade.

Intesa Sanpaolo Tower (Image : Permission for use sought from Renzo Piano Building Workshop)

Artist's impression of Intesa Sanpaolo Tower
(Image: Renzo Piano Building Workshop)

Basic structure

Six steel megacolumns and a reinforced concrete slip-formed core take all floor, bracing and cladding loadings down to foundation level. A set of huge steel trusses located above the auditorium transfer upper internal column loads to the outer megacolumns.

Intesa Sanpaolo Tower rendering (Image : credit who?)

Intesa Sanpaolo Tower rendering (Image : credit who?)

Megacolumns Transfer trusses above auditorium

Modelling with LUSAS

Andrew Weir, Associate Director at Expedition Engineering said, "We used LUSAS Civil & Structural software to build a detailed model of all elements of the tower structure and then carried out a time-dependent nonlinear analysis incorporating creep to model the main stages of construction ending with a 100 year final loadcase to allow for long-term effects." Here, the evaluation of axial forces in beams and of displacements with respect to the core walls were of primary interest.

Staged construction modelling of Intesa Sanpaolo Tower

Staged construction modelling of Intesa Sanpaolo Tower

Typical axial stress results for Intesa Sanpaolo Tower

Axial stress results for a particular construction stage

Expedition Engineering also created models of particular structural elements to investigate local effects and these included the building of models of the huge transfer trusses above the main auditorium. Euler buckling analysis was carried out with LUSAS to obtain buckling load factors for these.

Construction of the tower started in early 2010 and progress can be seen here at SkycraperCity. On completion in 2013 it will be the tallest building in Turin and one of the tallest buildings in Italy.


"Using LUSAS allowed us to understand how this tall building will behave as it's built and then clearly show that it will stand the test of time"

Andrew Weir, Associate Director, Expedition Engineering

Share this article 


Find out more

LUSAS Civil & Structural

Software products

Software selection



Other LUSAS Civil & Structural case studies:

Software Information

innovative | flexible | trusted

LUSAS is a trademark and trading name of Finite Element Analysis Ltd. Copyright 1982 - 2022. Last modified: March 09, 2023 . Privacy policy. 
Any modelling, design and analysis capabilities described are dependent upon the LUSAS software product, version and option in use.