Tall Buildings
Learn how in-situ observations can reveal insights to enhance the efficiency of tall buildings.

Project Showcase

Chicago Full-Scale Monitoring Program (CFSMP)

This NSF-funded, full-scale monitoring program for signature buildings around the globe, including the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, has allowed systematic validation of the design process for tall buildings and assumptions governing their dynamic properties and impacts on habitability performance.
CFSMP was established as a collaborative effort between the University of Notre Dame, the structural design firm Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, LLP (SOM) in Chicago, and the Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel Laboratory (BLWTL) at the University of Western Ontario (UWO). By 2002, the program was monitoring three tall buildings in Chicago and has since expanded to include two tall buildings overseas in alliance with the Samsung Corporation. Measured responses of the buildings to various wind events are compared to the predictions of wind tunnel tests and FE models in order to assess the current
design practice. DYNAMO@ND has augmented this with additional databases of full-scale acceleration responses for the Boston Hancock and over 60 additional buildings in South Korea.

Project Website: www.nd.edu/~windycty/

Recommended Reading

Kijewski-Correa, T., A. Kareem, Y.L., Guo, Y.L., Bashor, R., and Weigand, T. (2013), “Performance of Tall Buildings in Urban Zones: Lessons Learned from a Decade of Full-Scale Monitoring,” International Journal of High Rise Buildings, 2(3): 179-192.

Kijewski-Correa, T., Kilpatrick, J., Kareem, A., Kwon, D.K., Bashor, R., Kochly, M., Young, B.S., Abdelrazaq, A., Galsworthy, J., Isyumov, N., Morrish, D., Sinn, R.C. and Baker, W.F. (2006), “Validating the Wind-Induced Response of Tall Buildings: A Synopsis of the Chicago Full-Scale Monitoring Program,” Journal of Structural Engineering, ASCE, 132(10): 1509-1523.

Bashor, B., Bobby, S., Kijewski-Correa, T. and Kareem, A. (2012) “Full-Scale performance evaluation of tall buildings under wind,” 13th ICWE Special Issue, Invited Paper, Journal of Wind Engineering & Industrial Aerodynamics, 104-106: 88-97.

Kijewski-Correa, T. and Pirnia, J.D. (2007), “Dynamic Behavior of Tall Buildings Under Wind: Insights from Full-Scale Monitoring,” The Structural Design of Tall and Special Buildings, 16, 471-486.


In-Situ Dynamic Properties of Tall Buildings + Predictive Models for Damping

As the dynamic responses that must ultimately be evaluated for the habitability limit state are characterized by mass, stiffness, and damping, accurate prediction of these parameters also becomes increasingly critical.
While mass and stiffness are assumedly readily determined in the design stage, damping
continues to elude structural engineers, who remain reliant on rudimentary estimates that are largely based on the building’s primary material: steel or reinforced concrete. This often proves problematic as damping is a particularly critical parameter in the habitability design of flexible structures. In fact, full-scale monitoring efforts around the world have shown that many tall buildings exceed accelerations predicted in the design
stage and that in-situ damping values are often lower than assumed. This is further compounded when in-situ frequencies are found to disagree with the finite element model predictions, which can further contribute to habitability issues. Estimating and understanding these dynamic properties is further complicated in the presence of amplitude dependence and complex building behaviors such as coupling. This research addresses the uncertainties associated with the dynamic properties
of tall buildings by viewing the unique insights afforded by full-scale monitoring, where the full-sale responses are viewed through the lens of structural system behavior, i.e., the degree of cantilever action displayed by the system, to provide designers with a set of heuristic guidelines to inform a more accurate prediction of the periods of tall buildings in the design stage and a more robust and effective predictive model for inherent damping based on this system behavior descriptor.

Recommended Reading:

Williams, S., Bentz, A. and Kijewski-Correa, T. (2013) “A Typology-Driven Damping Model (TD2M) to Enhance the Prediction of Tall Building Dynamic Properties Using Full-Scale Wind-Induced Response Data,” Proceedings of 12th Americas Conference on Wind Engineering, Seattle, June 16-20.

Bentz, A. and Kijewski-Correa, T. (2011) “Wind-Induced Vibrations of Buildings: Role of Transient Events,” Proceedings of the ICE, Structures and Buildings, 164(4): 273-284.

Kijewski-Correa, T. and Pirnia, J.D. (2007), “Dynamic Behavior of Tall Buildings Under Wind: Insights from Full-Scale Monitoring,” The Structural Design of Tall and Special Buildings, 16, 471-486.

Erwin, S. (2009) Extraction of Full-Scale Dynamic Properties from Short Duration Records, MSCE Thesis, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN.

Pirnia, J.D. (2009) Full-Scale Dynamic Characteristics of Tall Buildings And Impacts on Occupant, MSCE Thesis, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN.

Bentz, A. (2012) Predictive Models for Damping: Insights from Full-Scale Data and Structural System Characteristics, PhD Dissertation, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN.


Pseudo-Full Scale Evaluations of Occupant Comfort

Habitability limit states govern often govern the design of tall buildings, as wind-induced accelerations increase and become more perceptible to occupants with the potential to adversely affect occupant comfort. This research addresses the uncertainties associated with the habitability design of tall buildings by viewing the unique insights afforded by full-scale monitoring by offering a pseudo-full-scale evaluation of occupant comfort to better
quantify habitability performance under lateral and torsional responses. The end result is a framework that enables a more accurate prediction and evaluation of habitability performance of tall buildings.

Lead Student: Tara Weigand

Recommended Reading:

Weigand, T. and Kijewski-Correa, T. (2013), “Automated Assessment of Tall Building Wind-Induced Response Data to Support Long-Term Monitoring Programs,” Proceedings of 12th Americas Conference on Wind Engineering, Seattle, June 16-20.

Kijewski-Correa, T. and Pirnia, J. D. (2009), “ 'Pseudo-Full Scale' Evaluation of Occupant Comfort in Tall Buildings,” Proceedings of 11th Americas Conference On Wind Engineering, June 22-26, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Pirnia, J.D. (2009) Full-Scale Dynamic Characteristics of Tall Buildings And Impacts on Occupant, MSCE Thesis, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN.

Bentz, A. (2012) Predictive Models for Damping: Insights from Full-Scale Data and Structural System Characteristics, PhD Dissertation, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN.


Modernized Structural System Hierarchies for Tall Buildings

In the mid-1960s, Fazlur Khan created a hierarchy of structural systems, ranging from two-dimensional moment resisting frames to three-dimensional tubular systems, to aid designers in making efficient choices to resist lateral loads. While this hierarchy has historically been a valuable tool for designers, the ever-advancing modeling and computational capabilities have enabled far more exotic structures to become inhabitable possibilities. This implies that few modern systems obey this classical hierarchy, requiring a new approach to classify structural systems and their applicability in modern practice as both a design aid and educational tool for future designers. Therefore, this project responded to this need by modernizing the hierarchy, not from first principles or theory, but actually from practice by mining the attributes of constructed systems already in existence. The result is a newly proposed system descriptor, a database structure, and procedure to generate modern hierarchies, which can be dynamically updated with time.

Lead Student: Sally Williams

Recommended Reading:

Williams, S. (2014), Modernizing the System Hierarchy: A Data-Driven Approach to System Characterization, MSCE Thesis, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN.


Citizen-Sensing for Assessment of Civil Infrastructure: Proof-of-Concept for Tall Buildings

COMING SOON

Lead Student: Andrew Bartolini


Data Mining Strategies to Support Long-Term Monitoring of Critical Infrastructure: A Tall Buildings Case Study

COMING SOON

Lead Student: Tara Weigand

 

Validation of Finite Element Models

Full-scale monitoring efforts, including the CFSMP, have revealed discrepancies between the frequencies of vibration predicted by finite element models and the in-situ frequencies from full-scale data. While the factors influencing natural frequencies are well understood, errors in the predicted values are not uncommon and can largely be attributed to errant modeling assumptions at times driven by a lack of knowledge surrounding in-situ properties. Full-scale observations of frequencies have been used to systematically identify the major sources of modeling error. Most recently, DYNAMO@ND has hypothesized that the system-level behavior (degree of cantilever action) dictates the accuracy with which component-level (beam-column connection details and flexural properties) and foundation-level behaviors are modeled.

Recommended Reading:

Bentz, A. and Kijewski-Correa, T. (2012) “Finite Element Modeling of Tall Buildings: The Importance of Considering Foundation Systems for Lateral Stiffness,” Proceedings of Structures Congress 2012, 20th Analysis and Computation Specialty Track, March 29-31, Chicago.

Bentz, A., Young, B., Kijewski-Correa, T. and Abdelrazaq, A. (2010) “Finite Element Modeling of Common Lateral Systems in Tall Buildings: Insights from Full-Scale Monitoring,” Proceedings of Structures Congress, May 12-15, Orlando, FL.

Erwin, S., Kijewski-Correa, T. and Yoon, S.-Y., (2007) “Full-Scale Verification of Dynamic Properties from Short Duration Records,” Proc. of Structures Congress 2007, May 16-19, Long Beach, CA.

Abdelrazaq, A., Kijewski-Correa, T., Song, Y.-H., Case, P., Isyumov, N. and Kareem, A. (2005) “Design and Full-Scale Monitoring of the Tallest Building in Korea: Tower Palace III,” Proceedings of 6th Asia-Pacific Conference on Wind Engineering, Seoul, Korea, 12 - 14 September.

Kijewski-Correa, T., Young, B., Baker, W.F., Sinn, R., Abdelrazaq, A., Isyumov, N. and Kareem, A. (2005) “Full-Scale Validation of Finite Element Models for Tall Buildings,” Proceedings of CTBUH 7th World Congress, New York, Oct. 16-19.


Learning from the "Big Boys"

Urbanization trends continue to drive the average height of buildings taller and taller. In this era of tall, supertall and now even megatall structures, the consequences of errant design choices and assumptions can result in significant costs due to a lack of efficiency or even worse in the failure to meet critical limit states like serviceability or habitability. Ultimately designers receive little to no feedback with respect to the accuracy of their design predictions or the assumptions they are making in that process, as they continue to push the envelope in terms of height and complexity with typologies that are increasingly lightweight, efficient and dynamically sensitive. Thus a number of questions plague today's design offices surrounding:

  • the efficacy of structural system choices

  • the proper approach to modeling these systems in commercial finite element packages to assure frequencies and mode shapes are accurately predicted

  • the level of inherent damping one should assume for these systems at various limit states of design

  • the efficacy of commercial wind tunnel testing procedures in predicting the loads and ensuing response of these structures

  • the appropriate criteria for habitability or human comfort within tall buildings

The lack of knowledge surrounding the as-built performance of tall buildings, and the effectiveness of modern design practices, was the motivator for the Chicago Full-Scale Monitoring Program (CFSMP), which has been jointly pursued by the DYNAMO@ND and NatHaz Laboratories since 2001. Since its founding and instrumentation of three signature tall buildings in Chicago and later expansions into Seoul and Dubai, DYNAMO@ND has worked to expand its database of full-scale measurements of tall buildings even further, digitizing the historical archives of acceleration responses for the pre-retrofit Boston Hancock, acquiring a large South Korean database of over 60 buildings, and assembling a database of the 70 tallest buildings constructed over the last decade. These data sources have allowed DYNAMO@ND researchers to undertake a wide range of investigations seeking to answer the aforementioned questions and help advance the tall buildings state-of-the-art. Ultimately this work at DYNAMO@ND showcased on this website is a testament to the value added by full-sale monitoring and reiterates the importance of an ongoing commitment to expanding and diversifying the number of buildings instrumented worldwide.


Recommended Viewing

DYNAMO@ND Tall Buildings Research in the Media

Civil Engineering Magazine Feature

Engineering News Record Feature

Other Recommended Reading

CTBUH (2014) Roadmap on the Future Research Needs of Tall Buildings