Dept. of Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering
Controlling the Wind-Induced Vibration Response of Modular High Rise Buildings
Keywords: Structural dynamics; wind engineering; structural control; modular construction; tall buildings; tuned liquid damper; real-time hybrid testing.
Tall buildings experience wind-induced vibrations which can lead to structural damage and occupant discomfort (motion sickness). The dynamic response of a structure must be limited to avoid such issues. There are many ways to alter the properties of a structure and hence limit the structural response to wind. These include: optimising the building shape, increasing stiffness, increasing mass and adding additional damping. In order to predict a buildings acceleration response to wind, it is first required to know the inherent properties of the structure. This project focuses on a new, rapid form of construction known as Modular Construction which has yet to experience the level of research required to accurately capture its inherent properties.
Modular construction is a more cost effective, sustainable and time efficient form of construction in which individual steel-framed modules are constructed off-site in a controlled environment and transported to site where they are stacked around slender RC cores to create a completed structure. As this method of construction pushes to new heights, questions have been raised about the wind-induced vibration of the finished composite structure. Wind tunnel tests of high-rise modular structures in London have indicated that occupant discomfort will be experienced during a 1 in 1-year wind event.
The purpose of this research is to investigate through means of structural modelling, in-situ testing and experimental procedures, the response of modular high-rise buildings to wind and the ability to control this response by means of auxiliary damping. Accelerations of existing high-rise modular structures will be monitored and processed to examine the structures inherent properties, these will be compared with detailed computer models of the structures and methods to control the accelerations will be explored. This will include the modelling of a tuned liquid damper (TLD) and the construction of a scaled model to be tested using TCDs hybrid testing facilities.
The research is funded under the IRC employment-based postgraduate program. Direct inputs and support from Barrett Mahony Consulting Engineers are acknowledged.