CPP measures typhoon wind live from 118th floor

Colleagues on top floor of International Commerce Centre during Typhoon Haima | From left to right: Marc Bohemier, LCL Builds, Toronto; Christopher Horch, JBB, NYC; Christopher Colasanti, JBB, NYC; Kirk Harman, Harman Group, Philadelphia; Bill Maibusch, Andersen Construction Company, Seattle. Not pictured: John Tessem, DCI Engineers, Seattle

The 2016 CTBUH Conference held in Hong Kong last week achieved record registration. It also featured one of the most severe wind storms that wind engineers design for – a typhoon. While many attendees were no doubt disappointed by the cancellation of the final day of the conference due to Typhoon Haima, our VP of structural services, Dr. Roy Denoon, took advantage of this real-life opportunity.

Gaining access to the top floor of Hong Kong’s tallest building, Roy measured the live response of International Commerce Centre to the Signal No. 8 storm. Signal numbers are the system used in Hong Kong to rate the strength of a storm. Typhoon Haima was the first Signal No. 8 (approximately equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane) to be raised in Hong Kong in the month of October for over 20 years.  It also offered a rare opportunity to compare how a super-tall building responds compared with the design predictions from the wind tunnel.

A number of our colleagues from the design and construction industry joined Roy on the top floor during this wind event. They were fascinated to learn how these measurements can be made and interpreted. We are pleased to report that the accelerations were imperceptible to occupants and well within design limits. The measured natural frequencies of vibration were very close to those predicted by the structural engineering team during design.

This is a valuable addition to our database of field measurements from tall buildings around the world, which we use to help validate and improve the services we provide to building design professionals.

CPP measures live response of International Commerce Centre to typhoon winds.
CPP measures live response of International Commerce Centre to typhoon winds.