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LOADING ON TALL STRUCTURES

Loading on High rise building differs from loading on low rise building.
The different major loads considered for design as compared to low rise buildings
are:
-

Gravity Loads;
The accumulation of gravity loads in high rise building columns and walls
can be very much greater.
The effect of creep and shrinkage is considerable
Wind Loads :
Wind loads are insignificant for low rise buildings
On a tall building, wind load acts on a large building surface area and also
with greater intensity at greater heights, and with a larger moment arm
about the base than on a low rise building
Earthquake Forces :
Tall buildings respond to seismic motion somewhat differently than low
rise buildings
The magnitude of the horizontal inertia forces induced by earthquakes
depends on the building mass, ground acceleration, and the nature of the
structure.

Sequential Loading:
The Load effects which arise due to the sequence of construction are termed
Sequential Loads. Loads that are applied after the construction of the building like
Live load, wind loads and earthquake are independent of the construction sequence.
However, the effect of dead loads depends on the sequence of construction.
In construction of high rise RCC buildings, the practice is to shore the freshly placed
floor on previously cast floors.
The construction loads in the supporting floors due to the weight of the wet
concrete and formwork may appreciably exceed the loads under service conditions.
Such loads depends on the sequence and rate of construction.
Because of the cumulative effects over the height of the building, the effects are
greater in the highest levels of the building.
The deformations of a particular floor will be caused by the loads that are applied
subsequent to its construction. Such sequential effects must be considered if an
accurate assessment of the structural actions due to dead loads is to be achieved.

Gravity Loading :
-

Dead Loads ;
Calculated from the designed member sizes and assumed densities.
Effect of sequential loading shall be considered.
Live Loads:
In the form of uniformly distributed floor loads and in certain cases,
specified concentrated loads
Magnitude of live loads are as specified by the codes (which are based on
experience and field surveys)
Application of Live loads on adjacent and alternate spans shall be
considered for obtaining maximum design forces.
Live load reductions shall be allowed.
Live Loads (Floor loads) specified by various codes:
Building

United
State
(ANSI)
Office Building
Offices
2.4
Corridors
3.8
Lobbies
4.8
Residential
Apartment
s
Hotel
Corridors

Great
Britain

Japan

U.S.S.R.

India(I.S.
875)

2.5
2.5
2.5

2.9
2.9

2.0
2.9
2.9

2.5
4.0
4.0

Building
1.9

1.5

1.8

1.5

2.0

1.9
3.8

2.0
2.0

1.8
1.8

2
2.9

2.0
3.0

Live Load Reduction:


Based on the philosophy that the entire floor area of all the floors shall not be
loaded to its design live load value at any given time, a reduction in live loads is
allowed.
Reduction of live load is generally allowed in the design of columns, load bearing
walls, piers and their supports.
Reduction of live load in floor beams or girders is allowed only when they are
supporting a large area.
The various methods applied for effecting live load reduction are illustrated below:

1. Percentage reduction in live load per floor is specified with a lower limit.
Ex. 5% reduction for each floor down to a minimum of 50%
2. The supporting members are designed to a load obtained by multiplying the
basic live load with a factor 0.3 + 10/A, where A is the total floor area.
3. The maximum reduction in load is specified in terms of dead to live load ratio.
Ex. {100 *(D + L)}/4.33L.

Reduction in imposed loads as per IS:875 (Part 2) :


The code allows reduction in the total imposed loads(with some exceptions) for the
design of columns, load bearing walls and their foundations on a floorwise
percentage basis :

Exception: No reduction is allowed for machinery or plants.


Reduction for Floor beams:
Where a single span beam or girder or truss supports not less than 50 sqm of floor
area at one level, the reduction in imposed load for the beams is allowed by 5% for
each 50 sqm area subject to a maximum reduction of 25%.

Example: Calculate the design loads on column after allowing for live load reduction
as per IS:875.

Impact due to gravity Loading


Impact loading occurs as a gravity live load in the case of an elevator being accelerated upward or brought to a rest on its way down. An increase of 100% of the
static elevator load has usually been used to give a satisfactory performance of the
supporting structure.
Construction loads
Construction loads are often the most severe loads that a building has to
withstand. Many failures occur in buildings under construction than in those that are
complete. It is essential to make special provision for construction loads in tall
building design.
Construction loads are caused by building construction techniques and the type of
floor systems. The construction loads to be supported include stockpiling of
materials on relatively small areas and in contrast to steel framing, the concrete
floor systems which are cast upon temporary formwork or centering. Construction
equipment like the climbing crane is another common construction load, which is
usually supported by connecting it to a number of floors below.
The load of wet weight of concrete plus construction load of workers is usually at 20
psf (957 Pa).
Some designers limit the loads from stockpiling of materials to the design live load
only without including the partition load. The partition load of 20 psf (957 Pa) is
considered equivalent to the incidental loading due to equipment and persons used
to shift the load around the floor areas.
In typical concrete floor systems the construction load that has to be supported is
the weight of the floor forms and a newly placed slab, which, in total, may equal
twice the floor dead load. This load is supported by props that transfer it to the
three or four previously constructed floors below.

WIND LOADS
Wind is a major factor in the design of Tall structures. On a tall building, wind load
acts on a large building surface area and also with greater intensity at greater
heights, and with a larger moment arm about the base than on a low rise building.
For example, under wind load the overturning moment at the base of a building
varies in proportion to the square of the height of the building (M H2), and lateral
deflection varies as the fourth power of the height of the building, other things
being equal ( H4).

For buildings upto 10 stories, the design is unaffected by wind loads.


Forces exerted by wind increases drastically with height, as the wind velocity
increases with height.
Static wind effect increases as the square of a structures height.
Modern skyscrapers are more prone to wind load actions since they employ light
weight curtain walls and partitions compared to earlier high rise buildings which
were of massive masonry.
Effect of Wind on tall structures:
Wind acting on a object can be resolved into six components. However for civil and
structural engineering, the wind force can be considered to be two dimensional as
shown.
The drag forces in the direction of wind is called Along wind or simply Wind, and
the transverse wind is referred as Across wind.
A tall building is subject to wind excitations both in the direction parallel to wind and
perpendicular to wind. In many instances the major criteria for design is the cross

wind response.

Wind acting on a tall building induces oscillatory movement in the upper floors of
the building which may result in the following effects:
-

Objects in a room may vibrate


Doors and chandeliers swing
Pictures on the wall lean
Books fall aside
Strange and frightening noises
Occupants feel the outside world is moving
Occupants shall suffer from symptoms vertigo and disorientation

Gust : Rapid bursts in the velocity of wind are called gust. The gust speed is
obtained by multiplying the mean speed by a gust factor.
CODAL PROVISIONS FOR WIND LOAD
Most codes prescribe both Static approach and Dynamic method for wind load
analysis.

In the static approach of analysis, the building is assumed as a fixed rigid body
subjected to wind forces.
The salient features of each code as related to wind loads are discussed in the
following sections:
Uniform Building Code Method(UBC) : Issued by International Conference of
Building officials
The method is a static, giving the design wind pressure, taking into account height,
gust factor and exposure condition, as given by the formula:

p = CeCqqsI
Where, p = design wind pressure

Ce= Co-eff to account for combined effects of height, exposure and gusting
Cq = Co-eff. That allows local high pressures for wall and roof elements.
qs = basic wind pressure for a minimum 50 year wind speed at a height of 30 ft.
above ground.
I = Importance factor (1.00 1.15)
The Basic Building Code Method (BOCA): Issued by the building officials and
Code Administrators International.
BOCA gives a table of effective velocity pressures at different heights based
on 50 year wind speeds. The speeds are for different exposure conditions
(viz. : Suburban, wooded terrain etc.)
In addition the effective velocity pressures shall be multiplied by coefficients to
obtain wind pressure on windward and leeward walls.

Standard Building Code (SBC): Issued by Southern Building Code Congress


International
The design wind pressure is based on a basic wind speed of 100 years. The design
pressure is given by

P=0.0025 V 2

H
30

2 /7

( )

P = Basic wind pressure in psf.

V = 100 year recurrence of fastest wind velocity.


H = Height >30 ft.
The wind pressures obtained are to be multiplied by appropriate shape factors (1.3
for rectangular, 0.70 for cylindrical). Exposure conditions are not considered.
National Building Code of Canada :
This is the most exhaustive method for calculating the wind loads, taking into
account factors like; building dimensions, shape stiffness, damping ratio, site
topography, climatology, meteorology, aerodynamics and probability theory.
The code gives three different approaches
-

Simple approach:
Applicable for low to medium rise buildings. Approach is similar as in other
codes.
Wind pressure is given by,
P = qCeCgCp

Where, P = design static wind pressure

Ce= Co-eff to account for combined effects of height, exposure and gusting
Cg = Co-eff. For gust factor
Cp = Co-eff. For external pressure (0.8 for wind ward, -0.5 for leeward)
qs = reference wind pressure (q = cv2)
-

Experimental procedure:
By using the results of wind tunnel or other experimental procedures.
Detailed procedure:
Involves series of calculation for more accurate determination of the
coefficients Ce,Cg,and Cp that are used above to calculate wind forces,
by taking into account the dynamics of the structure by incorporating
building dimensions, natural frequency of vibration and damping.

ANSI Standard (American National Standard Minimum Design Loads for Buildings
and other Structures):
Maps are generated for United States. The maps indicate design wind speed for a
50 year recurrence for different terrains.
Indian Standard (IS: 875, Part 3) :

The code specifies basic wind speed applicable for different regions of the country
have been presented in a wind map. The basic wind speed is based on a 50 year
return period.
Wind Force on Buildings,
P=

Cp

Cp

A pd

= External pressure Co-eff.

pd =Design wind pressure


A = Surface Area.
Design Wind pressure (pd ) :
pd = 0.6 VZ2
pd = Design wind pressure in N/m2 at height z above ground level.
VZ = Design wind velocity in m/s at height z m
Coeff. = 0.6 (in SI units)
Design wind velocity (VZ) :
V Z = V b K1 K2 K3
Vb = Basic wind speed (m/s), ranging from 33m/s to 55 m/s, for different regions
based on peak gust velocity for a 50 year return period.
K1 = Probability factor
K2 =terrain, height and structure size factor
K3 = topography factor
Fig. 1. Basic Wind Speed.

Risk Coefficient (k1 Factor) : This factor is based on class of structure and design life
of the structure, as given in table.1

Terrain, Height and Structure size Factor (k2) : The Indian sub-continent terrain is
classified into four categories. And the structures are placed in three different
classes based on their size. The corresponding factor k 2 for various heights is
obtained from table 2.

Topography coeff. (k3 Factor): This factor accounts for topographical features like
Hills, cliffs etc. For upwind slope upto 3 o, K3 is taken as 1.00. And for slopes above
3o, k3 ranges between 1.00 to 1.36.

Experimental Method; Wind Tunnel Engineering :


For buildings exceptionally slender or tall, or if it is located in extremely severe
exposure conditions, the effective wind loading may be increased by dynamic
interaction between the motion of the building and the gusting of the wind, the best
method of assessing such dynamic effects is by wind tunnel tests in which the
relevant properties of the building and the surrounding countryside are modeled.
Wind tunnel tests are carried out to quantitatively obtain the following data:
1. The pressure coefficients for exterior surface of a building which can be used
in determining the wind loads by any static method
2. The overturning moments and Shears to be used in the design
3. The oscillation response of the structure (Human comfort)
Description of wind tunnel:
Wind tunnel experiments are conducted on scaled models to determine the wind
pressure coefficients which can be used in calculating the full scale loading through
one of the codal methods.
An boundary layer wind tunnel is used for Tall buildings (Unlike in Aeronautical wind
tunnels).
The wind tunnel has be large enough to accommodate the models ( about 5 to 20
ft)
Be capable of generating low wind speeds a(0.4 to 0.6 m/s) to very high speeds (25
to 31 m/s)
Building models are constructed to varying scales, usually of the order 1:500.
Tall Building model studies:

In general depending upon the dynamic behavior, two model types are used; (i)
Rigid model and (ii) Flexible or Aeroelastic model.
Rigid model studies:
The basic purpose of rigid model study is to obtain the local pressure fluctuations.
The results can also be used the design pressure on the overall structural system for
buildings whose motion is negligible.
In the rigid model study, the model represents essentially the moment of inertia of
the building about its base. The distribution of mass is not considered.
The material used for making the models are Plexiglas, Lucite and Perspex. Large
number of Pressure taps (500 to 700) are attached to the model. The wind tunnel
test is run for a duration of 60 s, which is equivalent to 1hr realtime. From the
readings obtained, mean pressure and root-mean-square value of the pressure and
peak pressures are obtained. The rigid model studies are performed for design of
cladding and curtain wall.
Aeroelastic study:
Aeroelastic model study is one the most reliable approaches in predicting the
response of a building to wind load and provides an accurate assessment of the
loads for structural design. Aeroelastic model studies are important for slender,
flexible and dynamically sensitive structures where aeroelastic or body-motioninduced motions are significant. Aeroelastic model study basically examines the
wind-induced sway response of a tall building, and requires modelling of dynamic
properties such as inertial stiffness and damping characteristics.
The models used in aeroelastic studies are of the following type:
Rigid aeroelastic models: Rigid models with pivot point introduced at appropriate
location is used. An electromagnet or dashpot is used for the necessary damping.
Flexible models: This model is made by using a rigid diaphragm and flexible
columns. In this model the masses are concentrated in the diaphragm representing
the floor system and are connected by flexible columns.
The wind pressure, shear force, moment and acceleration that occur on the full
scale building are related to the model quantities using non-dimensional ratios and
frequency scales.