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CEMEX Supplies Concrete for Tallest Building in Mexico

Date published: September 3, 2015

CEMEX Supplies Concrete for Tallest Building in Mexico

Render of the finished project, courtesy of Internacional de Inversiones

Great history is being written in northern Mexico, and CEMEX is a proud protagonist. The KOI tower, developed by Internacional de Inversiones (IDEI) and designed by the HOK and V&FO firms, will become the tallest building in the country at a height of 917 feet when its 64 stories for residential and office use are completed. For this project, CEMEX will contribute nearly 80,000 cubic meters of special concretes.

The skyscraper is in the process of obtaining a LEED Silver certification due to its sustainable character. It is part of the VAO complex located in the Monterrey metropolitan area of Mexico. With the local mountains as an inspiration, KOI blends aesthetic and functional elements to achieve an attractive harmony of innovation, design, proportion, and sustainability.

Turning a project of this magnitude into a reality required a detailed structural analysis in order to identify the appropriate building materials. Without compromising its avant-garde design and with economic and structural viability as its goal, the answer was overwhelmingly convincing: a unitary structure—comprised of load-bearing walls, slabs, and columns—made of concrete.

By providing a comprehensive range of products, customized services, and solutions, CEMEX helps make it possible to build this extraordinary "urban sculpture" as Alberto de la Garza Evia, President of IDEI, describes it.

Conquering heights requires sound, long-lasting bases. The foundations of a building like KOI are a clear example. Its massive 26-hour concrete pouring is the second largest ever done by CEMEX in a Mexican urban area. In order to build the foundations of this great building, 7,070 cubic meters of ready-mix concrete were poured continuously at a rate of 270 cubic meters per hour.

CEMEX Supplies Concrete for Tallest Building in Mexico

Render of the finished project, courtesy of Internacional de Inversiones

Taking advantage of the expertise and operational capacity in which CEMEX excels, a great logistics effort was undertaken, involving 340 employees, seven ready-mix concrete plants, 98 revolving trucks making 1,010 trips, seven boom pumps, and 5,000 blocks of ice to control the heat produced by concrete hydration.

“Definitely with KOI—more than with any other building—we realized the exceptional technical capability and human talent that CEMEX enjoys," said De la Garza Evia.

After installing the bases, the challenge of rising to the sky began. In order to build this structure, CEMEX, in coordination with the DOCSA construction company, used “placing boom” pumping equipment to uniformly and continuously pour the concrete slabs, columns, and other construction elements of the tower.

With this versatile technology, fed by a pipeline running through the core of KOI, CEMEX pours concrete at great heights in a quick, efficient, safe, and flexible way.

Attaining a light, viable, and efficient structure that bears the load of the building and the movement of the wind is the main mission of the team of experts at KOI. To achieve this end, a special type of concrete was used, which provides greater structural durability while creating savings in the construction process.

Thanks to the experience of CEMEX's Cement and Concrete Technology Center, with the support of international advisors, for the first time, CEMEX designed a custom concrete with a strength of 700 kgf/cm2, which was used for the columns at the lower levels of the structure.

"If we had not had access to these high-strength concretes, such as the ones developed by CEMEX, the KOI tower, as currently conceived, would simply not have been possible," explained Luis Fernandez de Ortega, Responsible Architect for V&FO.

Other CEMEX concretes that increase strength in aggressive environments and allows for the self-sealing of fissures, as well as Promptis, which cuts the time and labor required during pouring, were employed to meet the different needs of the KOI construction process.

The final chapter of this story will be written in 2016. For now, the more than 50 stories of progress are proof of the ambitious project that KOI represents: a work that will reshape the urban skyline, while simultaneously setting an architectural precedent for Mexico and Latin America.

CEMEX Supplies Concrete for Tallest Building in Mexico CEMEX Supplies Concrete for Tallest Building in Mexico CEMEX Supplies Concrete for Tallest Building in Mexico

CEMEX is a global building materials company that provides high quality products and reliable service to customers and communities in more than 50 countries. CEMEX has a rich history of improving the well-being of those it serves through innovative building solutions, efficiency advancements, and efforts to promote a sustainable future.

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