Big constructions


Module M6 STMicroelectronics



Focus on the new module M6 STMicroelectronics Catania

Salvatore Porto

Imagine having to run a design using a pen so thin that its section has the thickness of an atom, and that such a design, consisting of thousands of lines, must be done on a sheet of a few millimeters from the side; imagine also make hundreds of these drawings on sheets so thin that you can superimpose all without exceeding the overall thickness of a few thousandths of a millimeter.
This bizarre problem underlying the manufacturing process of electronic microcircuits contained in all devices of which today we make extensive use.

Microcircuits, in fact they are designed to the computer with a cad, printed on special racks, photographed and shrunken, then stacked in layers.
Equipment called “photoexposures”, reading the data contained in the projects “impress” microprocessors using the film as “slices” of pure silicon, like a pen “electronic brush” and as ink atoms conductive metals such as gold or platinum , all with the precision initially described, is obtained through the technology contained in them, both through active media can not transmit the vibrations to the equipment above the most dangerous (ie those whose frequency is contained in a certain range), both through the structures of the buildings that contain such equipment, designed and built in such a way as not to transmit movements and forces induced by the surrounding environment, including those from the wind, the cars passing in the surrounding streets etc.

The core of the module M6, called FAB is a collection of buildings that satisfy the above structural requirements.
These buildings have also further design feature: they are equipped with a slab of considerable thickness (waffle) with openings through which air passes kept in motion by powerful turbines, forced to pass through absolute filters that remove any impurities up to the limits extremes.

Indeed, the presence of dust particles in the atmosphere where they operate these devices affect the function of final products: microchips. The name typical of these environments is “clean room” or “clean rooms”.
These are just two of the structural peculiarities of the module M6, that, with all other adjacent bodies (support, chemical, mechanical, etc.) Is in Europe and the world, one of the largest industrial companies in the field of microelectronics.

The M6 (briefly as it is called), excluding offices, has been almost entirely prefabricated in the factory, less than some parts such as the nuclei scale / lifts, foundations, the steel roof of the fab (consisting of trusses from 70 meters ) and hot flashes plan.

It ‘was a challenge issued by the Client STMicroelectronics, driven by extreme competition in the market in which it operates, require the implementation of the module in a little over a year, in order to anticipate the competition in the market launch of “slices” produced with new technologies. STM is increasingly at the forefront of research, developed in collaboration with prestigious organizations such as the National Research Council and the University of Catania, who for years, thanks to STM, he rose to the top of Italy’s best universities.
The challenge was accepted by the Company and by Pizzarotti SICEP, which, in a few months from the order, have implemented the project and made the work in the time allotted.

STMicroelectronics is a Principal for which SICEP has already realized, alone or with other large companies such as Castle and Impregilo, modules L7, L7bis (research laboratories), M5-extension (office), M9 (fab) and two of portaimpianti three underground tunnels that connect most of the first settlement of the entire industrial STM.
The company Pizzarotti, who first worked for STM, with the role of general contractor, has brilliantly and effectively managed the construction site.

SICEP, partners Pizzarotti, performed independently design, production and assembly of prefabricated structures, exterior panels and related steel structures in support.

Considering the limited time set by ST Microelectronics was essential to involve in the project SICEP external structures, design and other establishments of prefabricated that operated under the strict control of technical SICEP.
All bodies that make up the module were prefabricated from the foundations, pillars providing full height, beams cap and c.a.v., waffle slabs in c.a.v. , Tiled pi in c.a.p. , And panels.

The numbers and the dates that tell the prefabrication are:

  • M6 39 705 square meters total area plan
  • Total area of 34 355 sq part prefabricated plan
  • Buildings: A-B-C Office 16050 square meters in opera
  • E-F Mechanical 9200 sqm floors tt
  • D-G-S Support sqm 19403 attics tt
  • H-L-M-O Support mq 8082 attics tt
  • J-K-I-N Fab waffle slabs 10750 sq.m.
  • 10750 sqm floors tt
  • P-Q-R 9756 sqm Chemical soali tt
  • Total pillars pcs. 1062
  • Total pillars mc 9455
  • Pillars bodies J-K-N sect. 100×100; mesh 7.2 x 7.2 m; h = m12; No. 180
  • Pillars body N sect. 80×80; mesh 3.6 x 3.6 m; h = m12; n ° 300
  • Max height pillars 28,80 m
  • Total panels pcs. 2100
  • Total panels 25000 sq.m.
  • Total 220 000 kg steel panel support
  • Date contract 22/05/2002
  • Start assembly 19/06/2002
  • % mounting to 04/09/03 93%
  • N ° 303 days mounting
  • No. pcs / day mont. 35.46 average
  • No. pcs / day mont. 109 max with 6 teams November 13 2002
  • 12 cranes and 24 editors
  • Max number of teams prefabbr. 6
  • N ° teams mont. steel 1


Nell’M6 were implemented several innovations:

  1. the use of knots “trapped” beam-column is beamed cav that beamed cap. In the first case, the first and second floor of the fab, in order to impart rigidity to the structure, in the second case to contain the section of the pillars. The difficulty of achieving nodes stuck with prestressed beams is dosing the prestressing along the beams as a function of the loads in such a way as not to have decompression in the concrete at the nodes. This resulted in a capillary verification beam to beam: the advantage was against obtaining high beams ductility, low deformability, optimization of the sections in Chap. They were also used type junctions Lenton, which, for their characteristic thread conical and the materials used, are the safest solution in seismic areas. For nodes, however, between elements in cav, innovation has been placed in the pillar which has not wanted to take the advantage of the uniqueness of the piece: it has designed and produced a disruption of the concrete to the portion of the first floor that to allow, before casting the node is handling safely, is the ability to load even waffle beams and floors of the second floor (about 80 tons): the benefit was the total independence from the jets which were made all the end of the assembly, the greater safety in various processes, the reduction of the total time of realization.
  2. To reduce the number of pillars and fully exploit the nuclei staircase / elevator in seismic condition, have been designed and placed in the thermal joints between structures, the couplers can absorb seismic forces and plan to transfer to the stiffening elements, structurally belonging to separate bodies. This allowed to grant space for installations and to reduce the number of artifacts.
  3. To comply with the dictates of the architectural project that he wanted rear-end collisions also spaced 1.00 meters from the structures, has been designed and built a metal structure placed during assembly of prefabricated which allowed the simultaneous mounting of the panels without reliance on the work of the company. Not having to wait for the casting of castings and of the lugs around the perimeter has allowed a considerable saving of time as well as scaffolding and carpentry having been able to achieve the projections using the same structure in steel.
  4. They were designed and manufactured concrete panels removed for re-setting of large machinery, after the end of construction.
  5. Were prepared and the channels junction boxes steel in the pillars for the subsequent passage of the implants.
  6. Prefabrication has been enriched with accessories manufactured to minimize the structures cast in situ, especially in the fab and in the joints between a body and the other.

The cladding walls

The facades of m6 are made with special panels of thickness 24 cm and 15, fitted on the outer face of a deep ribbed 4 cm and 8.5 cm step (modular) whose projecting part has been obtained with the matrix rubber to effect “split stone”. The outer layer was also made of concrete packed with marble sand, in order to give a shade “light beige”, in harmony with the surrounding environment. Even the seals were made with putty-colored in the withdrawal of the frets so make disappear the squaring of the panels. The care of these details has given to a building so challenging landscapes, a natural and harmonious impact and that highlight the preciousness architectural entrusted to a non-trivial interpenetration of volumes, of flat and curved surfaces, and planimetrically altimetrically filleted. The effect of splitting the stone, which characterizes the panels, as if to express a concept primordial, enhances the relevance of materials and colors of coatings and windows, being able to express a whole vocation hi-tech industry STM .


For prefabrication, SICEP employed and coordinated the following resources and equipment:

  1. Final design:
    • 3 and 4 engineers cad designers interior, for the design of structures.
    • 2 and 3 engineers external designers for the design of curtain walls and structures supporting steel.
    • 1 Technical Study external adaptation of the overall project to prefabrication.
  2. prefabrication:
    • For the production and finishing of: pillars, beams cap, tiled pi, waffle slabs (mc 18500 total): 100 persons c / o the main factory site in Belper, between workers and supervisors.
    • For the production of beams c.a.v. and tiled pi greek, with equipment designed and supplied by SICEP, (total mc 5000): separate production lines c / or other establishments.
    • For the production of façade panels: 4 ° production line dislocated c / or other establishment.
  3. Formwork and steel structure:
    • Mechanical workshop for the realization of the formwork of the pillars multistorey, waffle slab and special beams, as well as of steel structures in support of the panels.
  4. Assembly:
    • Telescopic cranes from 50t to 400t (# 1 … .2 per team)
    • Platforms for mounting at high altitude (# 1 per team)
    • 6 teams assembly of prefabricated concrete (max)
    • 1 assembly team of steel structures
  5. topography:
    • For stakeout, inspections, alignments # 2 surveyors who have verified the location of each artifact than the absolute reference system assigned by the Principal and in compliance with the tolerances assigned.


For the M6 was requested finishes of high quality and very tight geometric tolerances.
On all the prefabricated has intervened both in production and in the pipeline in order to render the surfaces of the articles ready application of subsequent coatings Epoxy
In production was necessary to apply a control procedure on 100% of the pieces in order to monitor the geometry of each individual part, acting on formwork with continuous adjustments.
Similar controls were also made during assembly in order to verify the position “absolute” of each piece “in space” with respect to the project. Indeed, given the magnitude of the work the absence of such controls would otherwise arise from the accumulation of errors.
This required strict controls sull’appiombo of the pillars, on the alignment of the artifacts and error checking with statistical techniques.


  • Industrial project: IDC – Dublin
  • Architectural design: A.M. Architects – Rome
  • Principal in Charge: Arch. Alfonso Mercurio
  • Overall design of the structures: Ing. Andrea Cinuzzi
  • Works Management and Coordination for Security: CD Projects Ltd. – Eng. B. Sciacca, F. Di
  • Martino and C. Cassarino
  • Company General: Pizzarotti & Co S.p.A.
  • Prefabrication: SICEP S.p.A.
  • Prime contractor SICEP: Ing. Salvatore Porto
  • Assistant: Ing. Mario Lo Tauro
  • Site manager mounting: Ing. Fortunato Girgenti
  • Final design of prefabricated: Ing. Angelo Ingrao
  • Collaborators: Ingg. Arianna Ragusa and Maurizio Frenna
  • Final design of prefabricated infill: SAP STUDIO – Ing. Mario Granata
  • A special thanks goes to STMicroelectronics for the trust once again granted to SICEP and to all
  • staff ST, especially to Ing. Marcel Jan, project manager M6, for the valuable and timely cooperation.

Finally we thank all the companies that have worked with the SICEP in the design, construction and assembly work:

  • SAP STUDIO – CPC – BML – Sgarioto – Pelaco Assembly – Comina – The Prometec.

Data sheet

  • Year: 2002
  • Surface: mq 34 355 (in pianta)
  • locality: Zona Industriale Catania
  • Province: CT
  • Use: New module M6
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