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ISSN 2234-7224

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban

Habitat, based at the Illinois Institute of
Technology in Chicago, is an international
not-for-profit organization supported by
architecture, engineering, planning,
Founded in 1969, the Councils mission is to
disseminate multi-disciplinary information
on tall buildings and sustainable urban
environments, to maximize the international Habitat, based at
The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban
interaction of professionals involved in
the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, is an
creating the built environment, and to make
international not-for-profit organization supported by
the latest knowledge available to
professionals in a useful planning, development and
architecture, engineering, form.

No. 1 2012

About the Council

About the Council

Volume 1 Number 1 March 2012

Volume 1 Number 1 March 2012
Amplitude Dependency of Damping in Buildings and
Critical Tip Drift Ratio
Yukio Tamura
Human-Induced Vibrations in Buildings
Michael J. Wesolowsky, Peter A. Irwin, Jon K. Galsworthy, and
Andrew K. Bell
Strength Evaluation for Cap Plate on the Node Connection
in Circular Steel Tube Digrid System
Seong-Hui Lee, Jin-Ho Kim, and Sung-Mo Choi
Experimental and Analytical Investigation of Webtransferred Diagrid Node under Seismic Condition
Inyong Jeong, Young K. Ju, and Sang Dae Kim
Validating the Structural Behavior and Response of Burj
Khalifa: Synopsis of the Full Scale Structural Health
Monitoring Programs
Ahmad Abdelrazaq
Parametric Analysis and Design Engine for Tall Building
Goman Ho, Peng Liu, and Michael Liu
Anything Goes?
Dennis Poon and Leonard Joseph


The construction professionals. Founded in 1969, the

CTBUH disseminates its findings, and
facilitates business exchange, through: the
Councils mission is to disseminate multi-disciplinary
publication of books, monographs,
information on tall buildings and sustainable urban
proceedings and reports; the organization of
environments, to maximize the international interaction
world congresses, international, regional and
of professionals involved in creating the
specialty conferences and workshops; the built
maintaining of an extensive website and tall
environment, and to make the latest knowledge
building databases of built, under
available to professionals in a useful form.
construction and proposed buildings; the
distribution of a disseminates its findings, and facilitates
The CTBUH monthly international tall
building e-newsletter; the maintaining of an
business exchange, through: the publication of books,
international resource center; the bestowing
monographs, design and construction
of annual awards forproceedings and reports; the organization
excellence and individual lifetime regional and specialty
of world congresses, international,
achievement; the management of special
conferences and workshops; the maintaining of an
task forces/working groups; the hosting of
extensive website and tall building databases of built,
technical forums; and the publication of the
under construction and proposed buildings; the
CTBUH Journal, a professional journal
containing refereed papers written by tall building
distribution of a monthly international
researchers, scholars and practicinginternational resource
e-newsletter; the maintaining of an
center; the bestowing of annual awards for design and
The Council is the arbiter of the criteria upon lifetime
construction excellence and individual
which tall building height is measured, and
achievement; the management of special task forces/
thus the title of "The Worlds Tallest Building"
working groups; the hosting of technical
determined. CTBUH is the worlds leading forums; and the
bodypublicationto the field of tall buildings
dedicated of the CTBUH Journal, a professional journal
and urban habitat and the recognized
containing refereed papers written by researchers,
international source for information in these
scholars and practicing professionals.

International Journal of
CTBUH Journal
High-Rise Buildings

The Council is the arbiter of the criteria upon which tall

building height is measured, and thus the title of "The
Worlds Tallest Building" determined. CTBUH is the worlds
leading body dedicated to the field of tall buildings and
urban habitat and the recognized international source for
information in these fields.
Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

Issue Chief Editor: Sang Dae Kim


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International Journal of

High-Rise Buildings

Editors Note
The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat has developed into the worlds most influential and
renowned professional organization on tall buildings since its establishment in 1969. Today it leads the
industry by disseminating the latest information to professionals working on tall building design and
engineering, including the production of design guidelines, and volumes of books and technical papers
contributed by the worlds most experienced experts.
The main outlet for the Councils work is the CTBUH Journal, which has published for 12 years, including
practical articles on all aspects of tall building design and construction. It has received great response from
around the world and become a valuable resource for the industry.
Now the Council has decided to publish a new journal, the International Journal of High-Rise Buildings
(IJHRB), focusing on pure research content and investigations in tall building design. The IJHRB should
serve as essential compliment to the CTBUH Journal, adding to the Councils already substantial body of
work. IJHRB will be published four times a year, with a different Chief Editor in charge of each issue.
Although the journal welcomes any papers on tall-building-related topics, we will concentrate on the
followings for the first two years:

Architectural Planning & Design

Construction Technology- Energy Savings
Structural Engineering

I truly hope the IJHRB will energize the tall building industry. Many researchers will be able to present
their work and results through the journal and apply the contents to their everyday practice.
Professionals who wish to contribute their papers to the journal can find the necessary information in the
Overview and Paper Submission Guide at the back of this publication.

Prof. Sang Dae Kim

Co-Chief Editor

International Journal of High-Rise Buildings

March 2012, Vol 1, No 1, 1-13

International Journal of

High-Rise Buildings

Amplitude Dependency of Damping in Buildings and Critical Tip

Drift Ratio
Yukio Tamura
School of Architecture and Wind Engineering, Tokyo Polytechnic University, Atsugi 243-0297, Japan

The importance of appropriate use of damping evaluation techniques and points to note for accurate evaluation of damping
are first discussed. Then, the variation of damping ratio with amplitude is discussed, especially in the amplitude range relevant
to wind-resistant design of buildings, i.e. within the elastic limit. The general belief is that damping increases with amplitude,
but it is emphasized that there is no evidence of increasing damping ratio in the very high amplitude range within the elastic
limit of main frames, unless there is damage to secondary members or architectural finishings. The damping ratio rather
decreases with amplitude from a certain tip drift ratio defined as critical tip drift ratio, after all friction surfaces between
primary/structural and secondary/non-structural members have been mobilized.
Keywords: Damping, Wind-induced response, Amplitude dependency, Critical tip drift ratio, Damping evaluation technique

1. Introduction
In order to accurately evaluate the responses of buildings and structures under wind, earthquake or other external excitations, their dynamic properties such as natural
frequencies, mode shapes and damping ratios should be
exactly known. Damping is the most important dynamic
but most uncertain parameter affecting the dynamic
responses of buildings and structures. This uncertainty
significantly reduces the reliability of structural design for
dynamic effects. For example, the C.O.V. of full-scale
data has been estimated at almost 70% (Havilland, 1976).
If the design value of damping ratio is set at 2% based on
the mean value of full-scale data, mean (standard
deviation) ranges from 0.6% to 3.4% (= 2% 1.4%). If
we evaluate wind-induced acceleration responses of a tall
building with almost 5.7 times difference between damping ratios (= 3.4/0.6), the acceleration responses show 2.4
times difference. Therefore, accurate evaluation of design
damping ratio is a pressing need for tall building design.
Another important suggestion on application of damping
devices can be derived from this fact. If we could assure
additional damping, say 4%, by applying a damping
device, the total damping ratio in the building would
range from 4.6% to 7.4%, i.e., the difference would be
only 1.6 times, and the difference between the resultant
acceleration responses would be only 1.3 times.
Unlike seismic excitations, wind excitations last for a

Corresponding author : Yukio Tamura

Tel: +81 (0) 46 242 9547; Fax: +81 (0) 46 242 9547

long period, e.g. a few hours, and induced building

responses are composed of a static component, a quasistatic component, and a resonant component, as shown in
Fig. 1. If the response level exceeds the elastic limit, the
natural frequency shifts to a lower frequency due to
softening phenomena in the plastic region (Tamura et al.,
2001; Tamura, 2009). This natural frequency shift results
in an increase in the corresponding wind force spectrum,
and can potentially increase the resonant component. The
static component also shows some interesting behaviors
such as a sudden increase in the along-wind direction
(Tsujita et al., 1997; Tamura et al., 2001). There are various uncertainties in the characteristics of wind-induced
responses of a building in the plastic region due to the
long-lasting excitation, static components, and softening
phenomena. Therefore, almost all wind loading codes/
standards, e.g. AIJ-RLB (2004) and ISO4354 (2009),
clearly require almost-elastic behavior even for extremely
strong wind conditions such as ultimate limit state design.
Thus, wind-induced responses of buildings are assumed
to be almost-elastic, and the gust loading factor and the
equivalent static wind loads in codes/standards are essentially based on linear/elastic structural behavior (ISO
4354, 2009). In this paper, the dynamic behaviors of main
frames of buildings are also assumed to be in the elastic
As there is no theoretical method for estimating
damping in buildings, it is estimated from full-scale data,
which shows significant dispersion for various reasons.
There are many potential causes of dispersion of fullscale damping data as follows:
- Soil types

International Journal of High-Rise Buildings

March 2012, Vol 1, No 1, 15-19

International Journal of

High-Rise Buildings

Human-Induced Vibrations in Buildings

Michael J. Wesolowsky, Peter A. Irwin, Jon K. Galsworthy, and Andrew K. Bell
Rowan Williams Davies & Irwin, Inc., Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Occupant footfalls are often the most critical source of floor vibration on upper floors of buildings. Floor motions can degrade
the performance of imaging equipment, disrupt sensitive research equipment, and cause discomfort for the occupants. It is
essential that low-vibration environments be provided for functionality of sensitive spaces on floors above grade. This requires
a sufficiently stiff and massive floor structure that effectively resists the forces exerted from user traffic.
Over the past 25 years, generic vibration limits have been developed, which provide frequency dependent sensitivities for
wide classes of equipment, and are used extensively in lab design for healthcare and research facilities. The same basis for these
curves can be used to quantify acceptable limits of vibration for human comfort, depending on the intended occupancy of the
space. When available, manufacturer's vibration criteria for sensitive equipment are expressed in units of acceleration, velocity
or displacement and can be specified as zero-to-peak, peak-to-peak, or root-mean-square (rms) with varying frequency ranges
and resolutions.
Several approaches to prediction of floor vibrations are currently applied in practice. Each method is traceable to fundamental
structural dynamics, differing only in the level of complexity assumed for the system response, and the required information
for use as model inputs. Three commonly used models are described, as well as key features they possess that make them
attractive to use for various applications.
A case study is presented of a tall building which has fitness areas on two of the upper floors. The analysis predicted that
the motions experienced would be within the given criteria, but showed that if the floor had been more flexible, the potential
exists for a locked-in resonance response which could have been felt over large portions of the building.
Keywords: Human-induced vibrations, Sensitive equipment, Occupant comfort, Building performance, Vibration criteria

1. Introduction
The study of vibration in floors has become more of a
necessity in recent years due to the optimization of
materials in building design creating lighter structures,
combined with improvements in research and imaging
technology that demand a more stable operating environment. Research and healthcare facilities are a prime
example of spaces where a variety of uses and space
optimization places vibration sources closer to vibration
sensitive equipment and processes.
The primary source of vibration in most facilities is
human activity. As people walk, the impact from each
footfall induces floor motions that may easily transmit
to nearby spaces. Quantifying vibration from walking,
whether through measurement of existing spaces or
numerical predictions for guiding the design of a new
facility, is a complex task. This task is complicated in part
by the availability of a number of vibration measurement
and prediction methodologies, each associated with both
similar and unique assumptions. The difficulties in measurement and prediction are further complicated by the

Corresponding author : Jon K. Galsworthy


fact that the engineering community has not agreed to a

standard method for quantifying vibration and processing
methods for assessment of spaces of concern.
In this paper we discuss the impact of unwanted
vibrations both from a human perceptibility and sensitive
equipment standpoint. Generic and specific vibration
criteria that are commonly used in international practice
are presented. Several predictive models are discussed
that apply to both steel and concrete construction. Finally,
a case study involving aerobic activity will be presented,
showing the magnitude of vibration that can be induced
by human activity.

2. Impact of Unwanted Vibration

Floor vibration from footfalls and mechanical equipment may be transmitted to the floor structure that
supports vibration sensitive healthcare/laboratory spaces.
Vibration affects sensitive instrumentation by causing
relative motion of its key internal components, or relative
motion between the instrument and the specimen or target
being studied. Figure 1 shows the impact of baseline
ambient vibration conditions on the image of an E. coli
bacterium taken with a Scanning Electron Microscope at
approximately 65,000X magnification.


Michael J. Wesolowsky et al. / International Journal of High-Rise Buildings

In healthcare/laboratory spaces housing vibrationsensitive equipment, floor vibration can:

- Cause exceedances of manufacturer-specified vibration criteria for equipment within the space;
- Cause substantial noise or errors in measurement,
which interferes with the accuracy of measurement
results (e.g., imaging);
- Cause the reliability or performance of the equipment
to deteriorate; and/or,
- In extreme cases, cause damage or result in loss of

equipment calibration.
In addition to their effects on instrumentation, persistent floor vibrations may also cause fatigue and discomfort to building occupants, whether the usage of the
building is commercial or residential. High levels of floor
vibration can render a space unusable by its occupants,
and the impacts can be costly.

3. Vibration Criteria
Over the past 25 years, generic vibration limits have
been developed, which provide frequency dependent
sensitivities for wide classes of equipment, and are used

Figure 1. Coloured scanning electron microscope images

of E. coli bacterium at approximately 65,000X magnification under two levels of ambient vibration.

Figure 2. Vibration criteria curves.

Table 1. Generic vibration criteria for healthcare spaces (adapted from Amick et al., 2005)

Workshop (ISO)
Office (ISO)

Velocity max level[1]

m/s (in/s)
800 (32,000)
400 (16,000)

Residential day (ISO)

200 (8,000)

Residential night (ISO)

140 (5,600)

Op. Theatre (ISO)

100 (4,000)


50 (2,000)


25 (1,000)


12.5 (500)


6.25 (250)


3.12 (125)


1.56 (62.5)


0.78 (31.3)

Vibration criteria curve

Description of Use
Distinctly perceptible vibration. Appropriate to workshops and non-sensitive areas.
Perceptible vibration. Appropriate to offices and non-sensitive areas.
Barely perceptible vibration. Maximum recommended for general sleep areas.
Usually adequate for computer equipment and microscopes with less than 40X
Appropriate for most sleep areas such as hospital recovery rooms.
Threshold of perceptible vibration. Suitable in most instances for surgical suites,
catheterization procedures and microscopes to 100X magnifications and for other
equipment of low sensitivity. Suitable for very sensitive sleep areas.
Adequate in most instances for optical microscopes to 400X, micro-balances, and
optical balances.
Micro-surgery, eye surgery and neurosurgery, CT, CAT, PET, fMRI, SPECT, DOT,
Appropriate for MRIs, NMRs, standard optical microscopes to 1000X magnification, and moderately sensitive electron microscopes to 1 m detail size.
Suitable in most instances for demanding equipment, including may electron
microscopes (SEMs and TEMs) at more than 30,000X magnification and up to 0.3
micron geometries, and E-beam systems.
A challenging criterion to achieve. Assumed to be adequate for the most demanding of sensitive systems including long path, laser-based, small target systems, systems working at nanometer scales and other systems requiring extraordinary
dynamic stability.
Appropriate for extremely quiet research spaces. Generally difficult to achieve in
most instances. Not recommended for use as a design criterion, only for evaluation.
Appropriate for extremely quiet research spaces. Generally difficult to achieve in
most instances. Not recommended for use as a design sriterion, only for evaluation.

Notes: [1] As measured in one-third actave bands of frequency over the frequency range 8 to 80 Hz (ISO, VC-A and VCB) or 1 to 80 Hz (VC-C through VC-G).

International Journal of High-Rise Buildings

March 2012, Vol 1, No 1, 21-28

International Journal of

High-Rise Buildings

Strength Evaluation for Cap Plate on the Node Connection in

Circular Steel Tube Diagrid System

Seong-Hui Lee1, Jin-Ho Kim2, and Sung-Mo Choi3


Construction Technology Exam. Division, Korean Intellectual Property Office, Daejeon, Korea
Research Institute of Industrial Science & Technology, Incheon, Korea
Department of Architectural Engineering, University of Seoul, Seoul, Korea

Diagrid system has been in the spotlight for its superiority in terms of the resistance to lateral force when applied to
skyscrapers. In diagrid system, most of columns can be eliminated because vertical loads (gravity loads) and horizontal loads
(lateral loads) are delivered simultaneously thanks to the triangular shape of diagrid. However, lack of studies on connection
shape and node connection details makes it hard to employ the system to the buildings. In this study, the structural safety of
the node connections in circular steel tube diagrid system which has been considered in the Cyclone Tower in Korea (Seven
stories below and fifty-one above the ground) was evaluated using the 4 full-scale specimens. The parameters are the extended
length (20 mm, 40 mm & 60 mm), thickness (40 mm & 50 mm).
Keywords: Diagrid, Node, Connection, Stress concentration, Cap plate

1. Introduction
Skyscrapers today are irregular-shaped to be city
landmarks and function as vertical cities to enable the
efficient use of land. 3T (Twisted, Tilted & Tapered)
designs are being suggested for irregular buildings and
studies to develop new structural systems have been
actively made to satisfy slender shape ratio. In this
regard, new structural systems differentiated from traditional ones are being applied more often than before and
diagrid system is the one most frequently applied.
Diagrid system has been in the spotlight for its superiority in terms of the resistance to lateral force when
applied to skyscrapers. In diagrid system, most of columns
can be eliminated because vertical loads (gravity loads)
and horizontal loads (lateral loads) are delivered simultaneously thanks to the triangular shape of diagrid. The
behaviors (tensile/compressive) of the diagrid in axial
direction resist shear and thus minimize deformation.
And, it is more applicable to the buildings of irregular
shape than the traditional systems where the lateral
behaviors of columns resist shear and enables excellent
lateral resistance without additional reinforcement of
core. Because of these advantages, diagrid system has
been employed to the Swiss Re Building in London, the
Hearst Tower and the New World Trade Center in New

Corresponding author : Sung-Mo Choi

Tel: +82-2-2210-2396; Fax: +82-2-2248-0382

York, the Twin Tower in Guangzhou, the CCTV Building

in Beijing and Mode Institute in Japan. In Korea, the
diagrid system has been considered in projects for the
Cyclone Tower in Asan, Lotte Super Tower in Seoul and
Future-Ex in Daejeon. However, lack of studies on connection shape and node connection details makes it hard
to employ the system to the buildings. Therefore, connection details should be suggested and developed in
order to promote the application of the system and the
generalization of the connections with secured safety
should backup its application through structural performance evaluation and reliability verification for the connection details which have been suggested so far.
In this study, the structural safety of the node connections in circular steel tube diagrid system which has been
considered in the Cyclone Tower in Korea (Seven stories
below and fifty-one above the ground) was evaluated
using the finite element analysis. And, 4 full-scale specimens were fabricated for tests with the variables of
extended length (20 mm, 40 mm & 60 mm) and thickness
(40 mm & 50 mm) of cap plate to suggest economicallyefficient ways to mitigate stress concentration in columns.

1.1. Shape of diagrid connections

Because of the simultaneous resistance to gravity loads
and lateral loads which is inherent in diagrid system,
strong stress is generated in node connections in the
system. Securing reliability of connection details is significantly important because of highly complicated stress
generation upon the application of lateral loads. Because


Seong-Hui Lee et al. / International Journal of High-Rise Buildings

Figure 2. Cyclone Tower, using diagrid system.

Figure 1. Cyclone Tower in Asan, Korea.

diagrid members exist throughout the whole floors of a

building, the constructional efficiency of the connections
plays an importance role in shortening construction period.
Consequently, the node connections of diagrid system
should be decided in terms of construction efficiency and
the workability and constructability of the connections
should be considered from the planning stage in order to
maximize constructional efficiency.
In the diagrid connections of the Cyclone Tower in
Asan, Korea, node connections are formed at the intersection of columns as shown in Figure 2. A H-488 300
11 18 beam made of 600 MPa steel (Fu: 600 MPa) was
set up horizontally at the center of the node connection.
A cap plate was set up at the bottom of a steel tube and

a stiffener plate was set up to support the cap plate.

2. Finite Element Analysis

Finite element analysis was conducted for the connections of the Cyclone Tower to evaluate their structural

2.1. Finite element analysis of cap plate

Increasing cap plate thickness and extending its length
have been suggested as the methods to mitigate stress
concentration in connections. So, the finite element analysis was conducted for the two suggestions in this study.
2.2. Analysis model & method
Four objects with the variables of the extended length

International Journal of High-Rise Buildings

March 2012, Vol 1, No 1, 29-36

International Journal of

High-Rise Buildings

Experimental and Analytical Investigation of Web-transferred

Diagrid Node under Seismic Condition
Inyong Jeong, Young K. Ju, and Sang-Dae Kim
School of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering, Korea University, Seoul, Korea

The diagrid structural system is considered to be not only the best structural system for constructing free form structures, but
also a very effective system in resisting lateral load. As a newly investigated structural system, its complicated node has not
yet been completely investigated and minimal experimentation of manufacturing and constructing the system have been
conducted. Therefore, the constructing cost of the diagrid structural system is still comparatively high. In this paper, the cyclic
performance of a diagrid node with an H-section brace will be discussed. Design details that consider productivity were
proposed and their structural performances were assessed through experimental and analytical investigation
Keywords: Diagrid, Node, Web-transferred, Test, Analysis

1. Introduction
The development of structural technology makes it
possible to construct higher buildings. Attempts to defy
gravity have been performed in many ways, such as
developing high strength materials or new structural
systems. However, aesthetic variety has been limited to
only low-rise buildings or to the use of several methods
such as set-backs or a change of exterior materials.
Recently, however, aesthetic diversities in tall buildings
have been attracting peoples attention, and many
attempts at aesthetic diversity are being made, resulting in
the current trend of 3T (Twisted, Tilted and Tapered).
Among these attempts, the diagrid structural system is
gaining acceptance as the most appropriate structural
system for free form tall buildings. The most distinctive
characteristic of the diagrid system is that it has no
vertical columns and consists of triangular modules,
braces and beams, resisting external forces. This characteristic provides free form buildings with many possibilities. Also, these triangular modules act as trusses
resisting external forces with their axial behavior and
very high structural efficiency. The Heast Tower in New
York saved 20% steel material using the diagrid system
(Rahimian, 2006).
Despite these merits, study of the diagrid system is at
an initial stage. Several theoretical studies such as seismic
performance factors (Kim, 2009; Kim, 2009), optimal

angles (Moon, 2007) and progressive collapse (Kim,

2008) are in progress. Construction cost is relatively high
due to the lack of production and construction experience.
To overcome this lack of experience, a series of tests
were conducted and supported by the Korea Institute of
Construction and Transportation Technology Evaluation
and Planning. With this support, a material test, monotonic
tensile/compressive test, mock-up test, cyclic test, and
frame test were conducted and are illustrated in Figure 1.
Among these tests, the cyclic test will be discussed in this
paper, including further research about the test. The
seismic performance of diagrid nodes with H-section
braces was assessed through experimental and analytical
studies. The analysis was conducted using the same condition as that of the cyclic test and the results were well
matched with the test results. Therefore, the generalized
behavior of the diagrid node was derived by expanded
parameter analysis.

Corresponding author : Young K. JU

Tel: +82-2-3290-3327; Fax: +82-2-928-7656

Figure 1. A series of Diagrid experiments.


Inyong JEONG et al. / International Journal of High-Rise Buildings

Table 1. List of specimens

MA-00 MA-01 MA-02 MA-03 MA-04
Web-Flange welding FP(a) PP(b)
Flange-Flange welding FP
Side stiffener welding FP
1.5L 0.6L
Overlapped length
(a) FP: Full Penetration welding, (b) PP: Partial Penetration welding, (c) L = 70 mm.

Figure 2. 3D image of specimen.

2. Experimental Study
2.1. Test specimen
Figure 2 illustrates the test specimen. The X-shape node
at which the H-section braces are intersected has a continuous flange and transferred web. Through the transferring zone, the axial stress of the web flows to the side
The parameters of the web-transferred node are the
overlapped length between the side stiffener and web, and
the welding method of the major parts. The stress transferring efficiency of the transferring zone depends on the
overlapped length; therefore, the structural performances
of the node according to the overlapped length were determined. For tall buildings, very thick plates, and consequently a considerable amount of welding, are used to
manufacture the diagrid nodes. If partial penetration
welding, which reduces the amount of welding required,
can be applied in manufacturing the nodes, the total
welding amount would be decreased significantly. Therefore, the partial penetrating welding method is introduced
as a parameter.
Five specimens are illustrated in Figure 3, and the parameters are tabulated in Table 1. The MA-00, MA-01 and
MA-02 specimens have the same form, with an over-

lapped length of 70 mm, while their welding methods

differ. The MA-03 and MA-04 specimens have an overlapped length of 105 mm and 42 mm, respectively.

2.2. Test setup

To describe a structure that is applied by lateral forces,
tensile force is applied to one brace and compressive
force is applied to the other brace. The angle between the
two braces is 24 degrees, and is scaled to 1/5. Yield
strength and displacement are calculated with the area of
brace section in Eq. (1) and Eq. (2).

Pu = Fy Ag = 357MPa 6, 720mm 2, 400kN


2, 400kN 10 1, 200mm
y = PyL/EA = ------------------------------------------------------------ 2mm
210, 000MPa 6, 720mm


Forces are applied twice at one cycle and the magnitude is increased as axial deformation of the brace
reaches 2 mm, 4 mm, 8 mm and 12 mm, which is one,
two, four and six times of yield displacement, respectively (Figure 4). The tests are completed when the specimens are fractured or the applied load is decreased to
80% of maximum strength.
Figure 5 shows the test setup. Two actuators were
installed at each brace to apply tensile and compressive
loads to each brace simultaneously. For the convenience
of the test setup, the lower actuator was installed horizon-

Figure 3. Details of parameters.

International Journal of High-Rise Buildings

March 2012, Vol 1, No 1, 37-51

International Journal of

High-Rise Buildings

Validating the Structural Behavior and Response of Burj Khalifa:

Synopsis of the Full Scale Structural Health Monitoring Programs
Ahmad Abdelrazaq
Headg, Highrise & Complex Building, Samsung C&T, Seoul, Korea

New generation of tall and complex buildings systems are now introduced that are reflective of the latest development in
materials, design, sustainability, construction, and IT technologies. While the complexity in design is being overcome by the
availability and advances in structural analysis tools and readily advanced software, the design of these buildings are still reliant
on minimum code requirements that yet to be validated in full scale. The involvement of the author in the design and
construction planning of Burj Khalifa since its inception until its completion prompted the author to conceptually develop an
extensive survey and real-time structural health monitoring program to validate all the fundamental assumptions mad for the
design and construction planning of the tower.
The Burj Khalifa Project is the tallest structure ever built by man; the tower is 828 meters tall and comprises of 162 floors
above grade and 3 basement levels. Early integration of aerodynamic shaping and wind engineering played a major role in the
architectural massing and design of this multi-use tower, where mitigating and taming the dynamic wind effects was one of
the most important design criteria established at the onset of the project design. Understanding the structural and foundation
system behaviors of the tower are the key fundamental drivers for the development and execution of a state-of-the-art survey
and structural health monitoring (SHM) programs. Therefore, the focus of this paper is to discuss the execution of the survey
and real-time structural health monitoring programs to confirm the structural behavioral response of the tower during
construction stage and during its service life; the monitoring programs included 1) monitoring the towers foundation system,
2) monitoring the foundation settlement, 3) measuring the strains of the tower vertical elements, 4) measuring the wall and
column vertical shortening due to elastic, shrinkage and creep effects, 5) measuring the lateral displacement of the tower under
its own gravity loads (including asymmetrical effects) resulting from immediate elastic and long term creep effects, 6)
measuring the building lateral movements and dynamic characteristic in real time during construction, 7) measuring the
building displacements, accelerations, dynamic characteristics, and structural behavior in real time under building permanent
conditions, 8) and monitoring the Pinnacle dynamic behavior and fatigue characteristics. This extensive SHM program has
resulted in extensive insight into the structural response of the tower, allowed control the construction process, allowed for the
evaluation of the structural response in effective and immediate manner and it allowed for immediate correlation between the
measured and the predicted behavior.
The survey and SHM programs developed for Burj Khalifa will with no doubt pioneer the use of new survey techniques and
the execution of new SHM program concepts as part of the fundamental design of building structures. Moreover, this survey
and SHM programs will be benchmarked as a model for the development of future generation of SHM programs for all critical
and essential facilities, however, but with much improved devices and technologies, which are now being considered by the
author for another tall and complex building development, that is presently under construction.
Keywords: Realtime-structural health monitoring program, Construction sequence analysis, Survey monitoring programs,
cloumn shortening, Gravity load management, wind seismic engineering management, Foundation settlement

1. Introduction
The Burj Khalifa Project is the tallest structure ever
built by man, Figure 1, that rises 828 meters into Dubai
skyline tall and it consists of 162 floors above grade and
3 basement levels. While integrating wind engineering
principles and aerodynamic shaping into the architectural
design concept was an important consideration in miti

Corresponding author : Ahmad Abdelrazaq

Tel: +82-2-2145-5190, Fax: +82-2-2145-6631

gating and taming the dynamic wind effects, managing

the gravity load flow to the building extremities was
equally significant in overcoming the overturning moment due to extreme lateral loads. Most of the tower
overturning resistance is managed mostly by the towers
own gravity loads. In addition, all the vertical members
are proportioned to resist gravity loads on equal stress
basis to overcome the differential column shortening
issues that are generally difficult to manage in supertall
The structure of Burj Khalifa was designed to behave
like a giant column with cross sectional shape that is a


Ahmad Abdelrazaq / International Journal of High-Rise Buildings

Figure 1. Photo of the Completed Burj Khalifa.

reflection of the building massing and profile. The story

of structural system selection and the structural system
optimization is a novel one and cannot be covered here in
details, however, this paper will provide 1) a brief on the
key issues that led to the structural system selection and
the key issues considered in integrating structural design
concepts and construction planning into the architectural
design concept, 2) a detailed understanding of the overall
structural and foundation system behaviors of the tower
that are considered critical to the development of the
survey and structural health monitoring (SHM) programs
for the tower; 3) and a detailed description of the comprehensive real-time SHM and survey programs developed
for Burj Khalifa.
The development of the survey and SHM program for
Burj Khalifa, at the time of the system installation, is
probably one of the most comprehensive survey and realtime SHM programs in the history of supertall buildings
that will track the structural behaviors and responses of
the tower during construction and during its lifetime and
it included:
- Monitoring the reinforced concrete bored piles and
their load dissipation into the soil.
- Survey and monitoring of the tower foundation settlement, corewalls and column vertical shortening, and
the lateral displacements of the tower resulting from
its asymmetrical geometric shape and structural
system asymmetry.
- Monitoring of the tower vertical element strains and
stresses due to gravity load effects.
- Installation of a Temporary Real Time Monitoring
Program to monitor the building displacement and
dynamic response under lateral loads (wind and
seismic) during construction.

- Installation of Permanent Real Time Monitoring

Program to monitor the building displacement and
dynamic response under lateral loads (wind and
seismic in particular). The intent of this monitoring
program is to confirm the actual dynamic characteristics and response of the building, including its
natural mode of vibration, estimate of damping,
measuring the building displacement and acceleration, immediate diagnose of the change in building structural behavior, identify potential of fatigue at
structural elements that are considered fatigue sensitive and that could be subjected to severe and
sustained wind induced vibration at different wind
speeds and profiles, and most importantly in providing real-time feedback on the performance of the
building structure and immediate assistance in their
day-to-day operations, etc.
- Providing sufficient data to predict the fatigue
behavior of the pinnacle under low/moderate/severe
wind and seismic excitations.
- Tracking the wind speed profile along the building
height in an urban, but semi open field setting considering the scale of the project relative to its
- Correlating the building measured responses with the
predicted behavior of the tower.
These extensive survey and SHM programs have, since
their inception, resulted already in an extensive feedback
and insight into the actual in-situ material properties, the
towers structural behavior and response under wind and
seismic excitations, and continuous change in the building
characteristics during construction. In addition and most
importantly, the SHM program will provide the building
owner ongoing and continuous feedback on the perform-

International Journal of High-Rise Buildings

March 2012, Vol 1, No 1, 53-59

International Journal of

High-Rise Buildings

Parametric Analysis and Design Engine for Tall Building Structures

Goman Ho1, Peng Liu2, and Michael Liu2
Arup, 5/F, Festival Walk, 80 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong SAR, China
Arup, 3008, 30/F, Jing Guang Centre, Hu Jia Lou, Chaoyang Dirtrict, Beijing 100020, China

With the rise in CPU power and the generalization and popularity of computers, engineering practice also changed from hand
calculations to 3D computer models, from elastic linear analysis to 3D nonlinear static analysis and 3D nonlinear transient
dynamic analysis. Thanks to holistic design approach and current trends in freeform and contemporary architecture, BIM
concept is no longer a dream but also a reality. BIM is not just providing a media for better co-ordination but also to shorten
the round-the-clock time in updating models to match with other professional disciplines. With the parametric modeling tools,
structural information is also linked with BIM system and quickly produces analysis and design results from checking to
fabrication. This paper presents a new framework which not just linked the BIM system by means of parametric mean but also
create and produce connection FE model and fabrication drawings etc. This framework will facilitate structural engineers to
produce well co-ordinate, optimized and safe structures.
Keywords: BIM, Parametric modeling, Structural analysis, Finite element

1. Introduction and Background

It is interesting to know that the A5 CPU used in a
hand phone (such as iPhone 4S) or tablet is more powerful than a Cray 2 computer which cost US$17m[1] in
1985. Following the first Z1 computer in 1935, the size of
computer is reducing but increase in speed. In 1965,
Gordon Moore presented his Moores Law that the
components in integrated circuit doubles every ten years.
In early 80s, the availability of minicomputers allowed
software applications shifted from military or aerospace
industry to domestic use. One of the well known is the
release of Unigraphics system by McDonnell Douglas.
Unigraphics converted the Automated Drafting and Machining (ADAM) coding into current named as Computer
Aided Design (CAD), Computer Aided Manufacturing
(CAM) and Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) applications. Although Unigraphics was already in 3D, the
cost of minicomputer was still too expensive for some
small firms which were common in buildings industry by
that time.
Following the very early Personnel Computer (Apple I)
assembled by two youngsters in mid-80s, the cost of
computers became more affordable by building industry
practices. The work for draftsman changed from hand
drawings to 2D CAD drawings and in 90s in 3D drawings. With 3D environment, the true communication language of Architecture, Engineering and Construction

Corresponding author :
Tel: +852-2268-3154; Fax: +852-2268-3945

(AEC) industry is no longer drawings as emphasized

by Carl Culmann by 1860s. It is because the structures
are getting more complicated and hardly be defined by
means of 2D drawings. The definition of drawings nowadays may mean - 3D objects.
At the same time, structural engineers also changed
their practice from hand calculations to now very complex
3D nonlinear transient dynamic analysis. Without computers and software, a lot of ideas will still be on a piece
of paper. For examples, the geometry of Watercube for
Beijing Olympics was created by scripts and then analyzed by computer. The National Stadium geometry was
first created by CATIA; box sections were intruded
following the centerline and twisted to ensure the external
envelope which follows the Bow shape.
Although there were drawings for both Watercube and
National Stadium projects, the 3D computer model were
still the key for communication between various parties
from designer to fabricators and erectors.

2. BIM
With the popularity of 3D modeling techniques, the
industry is moving forward to Building Information
Modeling (BIM) in early 20s. According to Ghang Lee[2],
BIM is the process of generating and managing building information in an interoperable and reusable way. A
BIM system is a system or a set of systems that enables
users to integrate and reuse building information and
domain knowledge through the lifecycle of a building.
In the early stage of BIM, structural engineers use BIM
to produce the global model of the building structures and


Goman Ho et al. / International Journal of High-Rise Buildings

Figure 1. Photo of National Stadium and WaterCube for 2008 Beijing Olympics (Marcel Lam Photography).

Figure 2. CATIA Model showing the twisting and bending of box elements in National Stadium.

Figure 3. Architect Image (With courtesy of Studio PeiZhu) Vs Revit Model Vs GSA Structural Model.

BIM is only a tool to produce computer models. Figure 3

show an architectural image of a building project, the
Revit 3D and GSA (structural analysis) model. Through
BIM tools, engineers can extract the floor plan and
produce the floor plan in seconds as Figure 4.

3. Parametric Modeling
Because of the trends in free form surface, contemporary architecture requirement and buildings getting
taller, the automation of generating the global structural

International Journal of High-Rise Buildings

March 2012, Vol 1, No 1, 61-72

International Journal of

High-Rise Buildings

Anything Goes?
Dennis Poon and Leonard Joseph
Thornton Tomasetti, Inc.

When Cole Porter wrote the song Anything Goes in 1934, he did not include skyscraper examples. The recently completed
Chrysler and Empire State buildings followed decades of tall building development in a logical and predictable line. Today,
dramatic improvements in materials and methods of analysis, design and fabrication have given architects and engineers
freedom to imagine, and contractors to build, towers in configurations never seen before. If writing now, Porter would surely
have mentioned such designs to demonstrate anything goes. Or does it? This article explores the possibilities and challenges
of tall building structural design through current and proposed projects. Examples include engineering buildings with outward
forms that appear structurally unfavorable and taking advantage of load reduction through shaping opportunities.
Keywords: High-rise buildings, Anything goes?

1. Introduction
Pushing the envelope and Thinking outside the box
are widely used expressions. While envelope originally
referred to aircraft performance limits, and box to the
boundaries of a nine-dot puzzle, these days both phrases
could easily relate to building design and construction.
Digital modeling, designing, detailing and fabrication tools
developed in recent years have made unusual shapes and
complex geometries practical to construct, if not necessarily the most economical solutions. Current and planned
cutting-edge buildings are indeed pushing building envelopes to new shapes, and those shapes are often far from
boxy. As composer Cole Porter named his song, Anything Goes.
In the world of tall towers, does anything goes still
apply? On one hand, big buildings have big budgets and
the potential for economies of scale: research and testing
for determining performance of a cutting-edge technology
may be too great a cost for a small project, and small
production runs may result in high unit costs, but the
reverse is true for a mega project. For a large building, it
can make sense to create and dedicate a factory to manufacture a custom design, where the performance payoff is
great enough. On the other hand, size and scale pose their
own challenges, including the need to consider four nonnegotiable conditions: gravity load, wind behavior, earthquake response and geometric limitations. One or more
conditions can govern building structural design, based

Corresponding author: Dennis Poon

Tel: +1-917-661-7800, Fax:+1-917-661-7801

on the direction of the overall building concept. Rather

than anything goes, a better, if less catchy phrase might
be any goal by taking the right direction. Key decisions
make the difference between theoretically possible but
unaffordable concept sketches and practical, affordable
completed buildings. Identifying key decisions early and
finalizing them as a collaborative process within the ownership/design/construction team is essential, as will be shown
through case histories of contemporary projects.
Lets start with gravity, a constant and ubiquitous effect
that cannot be ignored. What if we actually push the
(building) envelope over, literally, by building on a slant?
Gravity creates a tower overturning moment with zero
story shear force. The 26-story, 374-ft (114 m) mirrorimage Puerta de Europa towers in Madrid, Spain designed
by Philip Johnson/John Burgee and engineer Leslie E.
Robertson Associates and completed in 1996, lean toward
each other by 15 degrees from vertical. The concept is
visually simple: the side elevation of each tower is a
parallelogram with the outer edge of the roof almost over
the inner edge at the ground. See Figure 1. In theory a
building of uniform density could simply balance its
weight on that inner corner. In practice balancing a
building on a fulcrum leaves no reserve against additional
moments from wind or earthquakes. Directing load to
such a balance point would also be difficult, as floors in
tall narrow buildings typically span from perimeter
columns to a central core, which is needed anyway for
vertical circulation and services (elevators and stairs,
water, power and telecom risers). Even for a core located
near the inside bottom corner to fit vertically within the
parallelogram shape, gravity loads will not conveniently
flow to the inside corner. In theory a core could resist the
overturning moment, but it would be impractically costly


Dennis Poon and Leonard Joseph / International Journal of High-Rise buildings

Figure 1. Puerta de Europa Elevation. Credit: Royal Production, Philip John /Alan Ritchie Architects.

for a gravity overturning moment many times greater

than the wind overturning moment. Connecting the outer
sloping face to the core where they meet at the roof uses
geometry to advantage, creating a tall, stiff triangle against
overturning. Triangulation, however, is only a partial
solution to the challenge due to load reversal and strain
The outer sloping face columns could cycle between
tension and compression from minor lateral loads, complicating determination of effective stiffness and splice
designs. Construction-phase strains are also complicated:
overturning effects deform the entire building as upper
levels are built, potentially pulling lower floors out of
alignment, but the triangulation achieved at the top could
lock in misalignments whether intentional or not. Longterm strains in central core concrete will occur from
shrinkage as its relative humidity approaches that of
conditioned air in the building, and from creep under
sustained load such as dead load, a continued increase in
strain over time that gradually slows years after construction. Where compressive stress varies due to flexure,
creep will exaggerate core curvature and upper floor
The engineers solution to all these concerns was posttensioning, running high strength tendons along the outer
sloping face from a 15,400 ton (14,000 tonne) counterweight below grade to jacking points at the roof level.
Tensioning the tendons compresses the outer face columns,

keeping joints in contact for maximum stiffness. As the

outer face columns shorten from induced compressive
strain, the horizontal component of that movement draws
the roof level and core top sideways, creating a righting
moment that offsets base overturning and minimizes
stress differences across the core and resulting deformations from differences in creep. While not supertall buildings, the Puerta de Europa towers illustrate the complex
and subtle ways that arbitrary forms can affect building
strength and behavior, the value of strategic decisions to
provide effective solutions to such challenges and the cost
premiums associated with unusual designs.
Another visually dramatic building design with both
gravity and seismic challenges is the CCTV Headquarters
building in Beijing, China. The design by Rem Koolhass
of the firm Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA)
was engineered by Arup. Two towers sloping six degrees
are joined at the base by a building extension forming an
L in plan. The towers are also joined at the upper floors
by an opposite L in plan as separate cantilevers meet at
a right angle to form a bent torsional tube. See Figures
2(a) and 2(b).
At 49 stories and 768 ft (234 m) in height the building
is not a supertall tower, but presents numerous design
challenges. Its large cantilevers mean that balancing gravity loads about a tower edge is not remotely possible.
Gravity overturning must be resisted by the structure. The
designers chose to develop maximum stiffness by bracing

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