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Old Posted Feb 24, 2012, 4:45 PM
Andrew.Messios Andrew.Messios is offline
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Swaying Skyscrapers

Hi all,

I've been researching the Burj Khalifa recently for a documentary, and as part of the process I looked at how the design of the Burj "confuses the wind" passing it, so it is more resillient to lateral wind forces. It's all very interesting.

At the moment I'm looking for a counter-example i.e. a building that does get affected by the wind i.e. it sways and makes people feel sick, or it has fallen over completely. The only example I can find so far is from an msnbc.com article which tells me that 725 fifth avenue, NYC (before it became Trump Tower), used to make people "sicker than a rollercoaster" before it was fixed. I'm looking for examples on these lines.

I'd really appreciate any information you could give me.

Thanks,
Andrew
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Old Posted Feb 24, 2012, 4:57 PM
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Every building sways in some way, shape, or form; some more than others. In the Sears Tower, office employees could feel the building move, on windy days, and report that even the desks and chairs move in instances. But no one has gotten sick, (maybe some do because of nostalgia). No building (skyscraper) has fallen because of the wind.
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Old Posted Feb 24, 2012, 5:42 PM
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Water in glasses noticeably moves on a windy day in the 95th flr at the Hancock.

Even smaller buildings (like 321 N Clark / Quaker Oats / ABA ) sway although it is mostly noticed in the creaking of the windows.
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Old Posted Feb 24, 2012, 6:02 PM
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my condo building, marina city, creaks on windy days, but the sway isn't noticeable enough to make me sick or anything like that.

but the creaking sounds were a little disconcerting when i first moved in.
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Old Posted Feb 24, 2012, 6:34 PM
Nowhereman1280 Nowhereman1280 is offline
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I got sick to my stomach once during a blizzard when I was living on the 49th floor of a highrise in Chicago. I couldn't figure out why I was feeling ill and went to the bathroom. As I was peeing I noticed the water was moving back and forth in the bowl. So I went downstairs for an hour or two and felt better right quick.

I've read that the sway at the top of the Hancock Building is greater than 3ft during high winds.
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Old Posted Feb 24, 2012, 7:12 PM
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The building I work in has expansion joints built in every 5th floor. This allows the building to sway. I work on the 12th floor and it's very windy out today. The lights above my desk are swinging. The creaks in the walls don't bother me unless a severe thunderstorm is moving thru. Then I get nervous.

This happened to our bldg. after a bad storm in April 2006.



http://www.free-photos.biz/images/ar...uare__indy.jpg
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Old Posted Feb 24, 2012, 7:22 PM
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I remember reading that the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center swayed a lot in the wind during a bad storm. I remember someone telling me they were up there and they felt the building move during a bad wind, but it never fell because of the wind nor did people get sick when it happened. The only structure that I know that failed in history because of the wind was the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, but that is a whole other subject. If you want you can research on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. That is what happens when you have something that hasn't been designed all too well to fare against the wind.
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Old Posted Feb 24, 2012, 7:32 PM
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There is one skyscraper I know that did sway badly in the wind at one point, and caused glass to come off the building. That would be the John Hancock Tower in Boston, MA. It left I.M. Pei with a bad reputation for a while.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hancock_Tower
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Old Posted Feb 24, 2012, 7:50 PM
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It's not I.M Pei's fault that a building sways or not. Its the engineers fault. The only thing you could blame I.M Pei for is the selection of facade.
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Old Posted Feb 24, 2012, 9:38 PM
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Moby, that's a handsome skyscraper there, aside from the facade damage. Poor thing

I wonder how much a huge skyscraper like 55 Water of NYC sways in the wind- it's a massive beefcake of a building, even with the lighter construction used at the time it went up, it's gotta have some serious mass. Or the slimmer and rather exposed One Penn Plaza. I've got an article about it losing some glass in a windstorm back in the '70's, but that's all I've heard.
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Old Posted Feb 24, 2012, 9:41 PM
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Quote:
Moby, that's a handsome skyscraper there, aside from the facade damage. Poor thing
After the new curtain wall here is the new look....


http://www.ibj.com/ext/resources/blo...anaSquare2.jpg
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Old Posted Feb 24, 2012, 10:29 PM
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I used to cook in a restaturant atop a 609' office building in Seattle. The hanging room dividers would swing a good two feet in high winds. I couldn't feel the movement in the kitchen though.
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Old Posted Feb 24, 2012, 11:11 PM
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I wonder if any of the skyscrapers at Dubai Marina sway?
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Old Posted Feb 24, 2012, 11:31 PM
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Hmm...this is fascinating. Great first post on the part of Andrew.Messios, welcome to the forum!
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Old Posted Feb 25, 2012, 4:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadcruiser1 View Post
I remember reading that the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center swayed a lot in the wind during a bad storm. I remember someone telling me they were up there and they felt the building move during a bad wind, but it never fell because of the wind nor did people get sick when it happened.
I felt the winds firsthand in the WTC, 99 floors up in the North Tower. I think it was early 1998 when we had a bunch of nasty winter storms roll through NYC (wasn't that an el Niño year..?).

Anyway, one night, it was really windy outside, lots of snow. I was sitting in my cubicle, staring at my computer screen. I had a glass of water sitting on my desk and I watched it slide about an inch across my desk. I stood up and felt my body being rocked. You could truly feel the building move, and it felt like the building moved as one cohesive unit, because everything moved in a certain direction; in this case the winds were blowing north so the tower moved in that direction. And you could hear the building creak and shudder. Something on someones desk might fall over, occasionally a computer tower would fall over, but I never did get sick, nor did anyone else in my office.

The only thing unsettling about the whole thing was the concrete floors in those buildings were very thin, so you could feel the steel floor plates moving as well.
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Old Posted Feb 25, 2012, 7:02 AM
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It would actually be pretty cool to feel a skyscraper swaying underfoot.
I dunno about the new facade of that poor damaged skyscraper. I thought it was nice looking before- the white made a nice contrast to the black.
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Old Posted Feb 26, 2012, 4:33 PM
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The Citigroup building in New York had a close call after its construction in the 70's - the builders had used improper materials or something like that, and the engineer discovered it. So, in secret, the entire supporting structure of the skyscraper was reworked, whilst hurricane season was just around the corner. A storm WAS actually headed for New York as the work was in progress, but changed its course. Check it out on wiki:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citigro...crisis_of_1978

And this video is too crazy not to post, even though it's off topic:
Video Link
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Old Posted Feb 26, 2012, 7:45 PM
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^Highrise engineering FTW! I remember talking to an engineer at the WTC, who told me that the Twin Towers were designed with earthquakes in mind.
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Old Posted Feb 27, 2012, 12:44 PM
Andrew.Messios Andrew.Messios is offline
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Thank you so much for the replies everyone, the stories behind the John Hancock Tower and the Citigroup Center are exactly what I'm looking for. I've found some interesting articles about them that you might like to read:

http://www.pulitzer.org/archives/5826 Article from the Boston Globe about the haphazard journey to completion of the John Hancock Tower.

http://www.duke.edu/~hpgavin/ce131/citicorp1.htm The New Yorker article which first exposed the problems in building the Citigroup Center.

You've been incredibly helpful! Thank you!

Best,
Andrew
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Old Posted Feb 27, 2012, 4:44 PM
MolsonExport MolsonExport is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huggkruka View Post
The Citigroup building in New York had a close call after its construction in the 70's - the builders had used improper materials or something like that, and the engineer discovered it. So, in secret, the entire supporting structure of the skyscraper was reworked, whilst hurricane season was just around the corner. A storm WAS actually headed for New York as the work was in progress, but changed its course. Check it out on wiki:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citigro...crisis_of_1978

And this video is too crazy not to post, even though it's off topic:
Video Link
Amazing video. Made me feel queasy while eating my lunch. I walked around these buildings during my September 2010 visit to Tokyo.
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